My Camera’s Built-in Flash Failed to Pop Up


I have a Canon 7D, which has a built-in flash that pops up when activated. Most professional photographers recommend not using this flash, because the light is too hard and creates shadows.

I know that and I do have a rotating external flash, but I confess I often use the built-in flash anyway. The other day I went to use it, but it would not pop-up no matter what I did. When I brought up the menu to adjust its options, the message said the menu could not be accessed, because there was another device attached to my hot shoe.

I tried to mount and remove my external flash several times, hoping to unstick the switch. I had already Goggled the symptoms, finding I was not the first one who had experienced such a problem.

I then called Canon technical support. I basically had tried everything they suggested. Fortunately, the Canon Service Repair Center is in Irvine, CA, which is only about 35 miles away.

This morning I drove to the repair station. I thought I knew where I was going, so I did not really follow my GPS as I got closer – a bad idea. I finally arrived and was about seven or eight numbers back in line. The wait did not take long.

I was ready to pay $100 or more and having to find my way back to the repair center after several days when my camera was fixed. I was happily surprised. They replaced the hot shoe while I waited and charged me nothing, even though my camera was significantly out of warranty.

I was very impressed with Canon service, but I have had similar experiences in the past when a Nikon camera I had at the time needed a repair. It too was out of warranty, but Nikon fixed it at no cost.

Speaking of cameras and built-in flashes, I suspect my 7D will be the last DSLR I buy that has one. When the Canon 6D came out, I was tempted to buy one, or least beginning the rationalization process to do so. The 6D, with its full frame sensor and GPS, is very attractive to me. But it does not have a built-in flash, and cannot match the speed of my 7D’s eight frames per second. And then of course, there is the issue of buying all new lenses, if I were to buy a 6D.

For now at least, I’m sticking with my 7D.