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Old Nov 2, 2009, 8:06 AM   #1
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Default A720 IS - erratic flash behaviour, advice please !

Hi

This camera behaves very strangely, especially in low-lighting.

Often it just refuses to take a picture, or takes one when the "flash" symbol is light in the viewfinder, but doesn't flash.

This even happens if the flash is turned to "On" (not just "Auto").

Sometimes if you play about changing the shooting mode / type of autofocus it might work, bit often not.

Often when this happens, the orange focus assist light (on front of camera) stays permanently lit until you take finger off shutter button.

Also, it sometimes doesn't want to take a picture in daylight ! You either get the focus square (on LCD image)) staying orange or not appearing at all.

I bought this camera over 12 months ago and Canon haven't been very helpful e.g fault vs some setting that needs changing vs operator error etc. - all they have advised is send it for repair.

Can anyone shed further light on this problem ?


thanks
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Old Nov 2, 2009, 8:28 AM   #2
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The first thing that comes to mind is batteries, as borderline batteries (or a bit of oxidation on battery contacts) can sometimes cause erratic behavior (especially when using flash)

I'd make sure to try a different set of known good, fully charged, high capacity NiMH batteries in it and see if that fixes it.

I'd also try resetting the camera. With some Canon models, if you press and hold the menu button down for more than a few seconds, it will ask you if you want to reset the camera. Your A720 IS also has a Reset All menu choice in it's setup menus. Here's the screen it's on:
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Old Nov 2, 2009, 4:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
The first thing that comes to mind is batteries, as borderline batteries (or a bit of oxidation on battery contacts) can sometimes cause erratic behavior (especially when using flash)

I'd make sure to try a different set of known good, fully charged, high capacity NiMH batteries in it and see if that fixes it.

I'd also try resetting the camera. With some Canon models, if you press and hold the menu button down for more than a few seconds, it will ask you if you want to reset the camera. Your A720 IS also has a Reset All menu choice in it's setup menus. Here's the screen it's on:
Thanks - I'll try that.
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Old Nov 10, 2009, 3:15 AM   #4
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Well the Reset All seems to have fixed it (have only played around with it briefly however)

No idea what setting change would have made it behave like this though ..
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Old Nov 29, 2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default Same issue - erratic flash behavior

I seem to be having the same issue. I have "reset all" and it has not solved the problem. I have replaced the batteries including the flat watch-style "memory" battery which maintains the date in the memory. If I replace the batteries with brand new alkaline batteries, the camera will work for a small period of time, however I can only take pictures in well lit areas - the flash will not work for low-light conditions and refuses to take a picture at all. I can turn the flash off and it will take the photo, but because of the low light environment, I get a very blurry and dark picture. Even with the brand new batteries, and using the camera outside in the sunshine...not using the flash at all, I get a "change batteries" message after about 15 minutes and the camera shuts itself off. I have tried using the "ultimate" lithium batteries and the flash will work for a while, but again, after about 15 minutes, the batteries are drained again, and the camera shuts itself off. I have also tried using rechargeable batteries and get the same result as if they were alkaline batteries and am unable to use the flash. I have tried cleaning the contacts as well as inserting a very small slither of a business card behind the battery compartment door contacts to create a tighter contact point. I am not adept at photography and usually just leave it on the auto setting however I have tried other settings on the setting dial on top of the camera with the same results. It seems as if something is making the batteries drain much faster than normal.
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 7:13 PM   #6
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I just recently had the same problem with my A720. But I found a different cause and solution I thought I'd post, even though the thread is pretty old. On my 720, I had formatted the memory chip on my computer so that I could load a CHDK file onto the camera. This involved creating a file labeled ver.req onto the SD memory card. Even though I no longer use the CHDK software on the camera, I found if I don't have the ver.req file on the memory card, the flash doesn't work. I haven't tried it yet, but reformatting the memory card using the camera might also fix the problem.
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Old Apr 20, 2013, 8:35 PM   #7
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Follow up on my previous post.
After doing a full format on the memory card with the camera firmware, the flash problem is gone and I no longer need the .req file on the card.
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