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FYI on Canon 7D Pop-up flash

Harry Joseph , Mar 11, 2011; 12:56 p.m.

Today I was testing one of my flash units I sent for servicing with my Canon 7D, after checking that everything was OK, I decided to use the Pop-up flash.

To my surprise the Flash would not pop-up. I tried everything even tried the Green Square mode(Fully Automatic) , but nothing worked. I finally reset the camera settings to camera specifications, since this usually work. Not this time, the flash would not Pop-up. I then took the battery out and put it back in again. This did not work either.

So instead of panicking, I searched the web to see if anybody else had the same problem, I entered: "Canon 7D pop-up flash will not pop-up". I got a hit ! Some guy from the Flikr website was having the same problem. I scrolled the thread to find the best advice which was "One of the Hot-Shoe contacts on the camera was stuck making the camera beleive that there was still a flash on the hot-shoe".
Made sense to me, all I had to do was unstick the contact that was stuck and that would resolve the issue. Sure enough when I went into the menu and selected "Flash Control/Internal flash" I got some type of message that said "UNABLE TO PERFORM THIS FUNCTION BECAUSE EXTERNAL FLASH CONNECTED !" .

I got my eye-wear repair kit, the one with the little tiny screw drivers for the job. Now I could not tell which one of the contacts were stuck ! They all looked the same to me ? So I decided to unstick all of them or at least try to. When that was done I hit the Pop-up flash button and Voila ! the Pop-up flash popped up.


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Jay DeSimone , Mar 11, 2011; 01:56 p.m.

Good to know, this happened to me, also, but I didn't know how to fix it. I suppose it cleared itself the next time I put the flash on the shoe. Fortunately, I rarely use the pop up flash, so it wasn't an inconvenience.

Jos van Eekelen , Mar 11, 2011; 02:17 p.m.

Strange you had to go to Flickr to get this information. The sticky microswitches have been discussed on Photo.net quite often, although I must admit that it's some time ago I saw reference to it.

Puppy Face , Mar 11, 2011; 02:35 p.m.

The sticking microswitch been an issue since the early 90s when popup flash appeared on the 10S, A2 and Elan. Cure is still the same but easy and quick. I fixed mine in the field with a toothpick. If you don't use an external flash it doesn't seem to happen. It only happened to me with cameras I used external units on and tended to over tighten. Now I merely snug up the lock wheel and haven't seen the problem for a few years. I used to jack the lock wheel so tight the switch would to stick every other time.

Mark Keefer , Mar 11, 2011; 11:31 p.m.

Thanks for the heads up.

Jeff Spirer , Mar 11, 2011; 11:48 p.m.

If you don't use an external flash it doesn't seem to happen.

It doesn't happen if you only use external flash.

I used external units on and tended to over tighten

Not possible with the 580EX2, and maybe the earlier 580s also. What's the deal with them?

Puppy Face , Mar 12, 2011; 03:00 a.m.

Dunno, I own the lowly ST-E2, 430EX, 420EX and 220EX. The 220EX and ST-E2, instead of a tightening wheel, uses a lever lock. It's not as tight but is faster to lock than the wheel and, in my experience, is less prone to jam the microswitch than my 430EX.

Jos van Eekelen , Mar 12, 2011; 03:07 a.m.

Never understood the reason for the tightening wheel anyway. The 30 yr old 199A already had a lever to tighten the flash, like rhe ST-E2 and the 580 EX-II. Much easier to use than the tightening wheel.

Harry Joseph , Mar 12, 2011; 06:58 a.m.

The sensor is apparently under the right spring, a little black button. It's not there on the 5D or 30D.

Matt Orth , Mar 12, 2011; 08:09 a.m.

It is there on the 30D, mine got stuck and I had to send it in, I couldn't get it unstuck. And since the 5D has no pop-up flash, well, there wouldn't be much point?

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