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Old Sep 14, 2009, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default E-500 built-in flash not working

I've had this camera nearly 3 years. I got it out this weekend and the flash wouldn't pop up automatically like it general doesn't. My daughter didn't realize it right off and continued to snap pics and it smelled like it was burning. The flash was firing as it was closed. I have to use my fingernail to open the flash manually. Later as my daughter was taking pictures outside (in the shade with the flash open) I saw a little flume of smoke as the flash fired. On the plastic where the actual bulb is is now smokey/cloudy looking. Anyone have any ideas about what the problem is and how I can remedy it?

Thanks so much,
Wendi
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 6:57 PM   #2
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I've not heard of a situation such as you describe. But, my suggestion would be to contact the service group at Olympus America. Here's a link

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...vicerepair.asp

Ordinarily I would suggest that you just disable the flash and buy a used FL-36 flash unit that would work very nicely on the E-500. It is far better than the on-board flash unit. It is available used for around 135.00, probably what you'll pay to repair it. However, since your description included smoke coming out of the flash unit, it's unclear wether you would do additional damage to the camera by continuing to use it.

If I were in your position, I'd contact the service dept and talk to a tech who could possibly give you an estimate to repair as well as advice as to wether disabling the on-board flash is feasible.

Good luck,
Zig
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 8:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I will contact them. I have an external flash and wondered if it would be safe to use it. I haven't tried since I've misplaced it in our move this summer! Maybe that's a good thing though, I'd hate tomess it up.

Thanks again,
Wendi
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Old Sep 14, 2009, 8:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4given1 View Post
Thanks for the reply. I will contact them. I have an external flash and wondered if it would be safe to use it. I haven't tried since I've misplaced it in our move this summer! Maybe that's a good thing though, I'd hate tomess it up.

Thanks again,
Wendi
Be careful about using an external flash unit on your E-500 if you have an old flash unit. DSLR flash sync voltages are way lower than the voltages on our old film SLR cameras. You need to be sure that your external flash model will not wipe out the circuits in your DSLR. It may be OK but find out before you use it on your E-500.

Good luck!

Ted

PS: I have an Oly E-500 as well - I loved that cam but got an E-3 for the better high-ISO performance for low-light imaging. Still, the E-500 took lots of great images in daylight.
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Old Sep 15, 2009, 5:13 PM   #5
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I don't use external flash units much. But my understanding is that you can get an adapter that will allow you to use an older film-type flash safely on a DSLR. Maybe some of the folks on this forum that use external flash units can advise you.

Ted
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 8:57 AM   #6
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You may find this thread to be helpful:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...l-cameras.html
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Old Sep 16, 2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jim. That Wein unit was what I was trying to remember.

Ted
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Old Sep 20, 2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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If it's an E-500 that you had for three years it's probably not worth the expense of getting fixed. Instead you may want to check out some of the newer models that have been out for a while now (and therefore dropped in price) like the E-510/520/410/420.

As soon as ANY digital camera has been "orphaned" by the manufacturer it's going to be harder to get parts, not to mention it's been surpassed by superior technology.

You have to consider the value of an older camera isn't that much, especially with a limited shutter life of so many exposures and after you get this problem fixed something else may go wrong!!!
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 2:42 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Mikefellh;1002353]If it's an E-500 that you had for three years it's probably not worth the expense of getting fixed. Instead you may want to check out some of the newer models that have been out for a while now (and therefore dropped in price) like the E-510/520/410/420.

They said they would fix the flash, clean it, update the software, and mail it back to for $190. How does that sound, fair, too much?

I would love to upgrade to a newer camera but don't have that much $$ right now.

Thanks for all the replies!

Wendi
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 3:15 PM   #10
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Only you can decide what exactly is the best solution for you. But, to give you some perspective. Here's a link to a used E-510 selling for 199.00. The E-510 has image stabilization, and 10MP sensor.

http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20355405.html

Adorama is a reputable dealer. You may also try Craig's List and B&H Photo.
Fourthirdsphoto.com also has members selling their Oly gear regularly. You may want to see what they have.

good luck in whatever you decide.
Zig
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