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Nikon Coolpix 5700 Flash Problems

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by 1ofaKind, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. 1ofaKind

    1ofaKind
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    Hi All,

    Used my camera a couple of times of Xmas and now the flash has stopped working. The unit pop's up but does not fire. I have reset settings (not that I had changed any) and checked the various things the manual suggested. Now I either get a speedlight is in the closed position message (which its not) or SB* which means the speedlight is charging. I've tried new batteries / different CF cards to no avail.

    The camera is about 2 years old now.

    Can you replace the flash bulbs in these cameras or are they factory sealed units where you need a shop/Nikon to fix.

    Anyone experienced any similar problems?

    Cheers
     
  2. ginger113

    ginger113
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    Hi 1ofakind

    Having read your posting I thought you might be interested in my experiences with my 5700.

    Having got a new one from a closing-down Dixons at a knock-down price, I was disappointed to get it home and not be able to use it! When the flash was set to auto, the red dot and 'SB' icons flashed in the viewfinder/monitor and the shutter would not be released. After much troubleshooting, I deselected the flash via the flash button on the front side of the lens, and the camera would take pictures, and if there was enough ambient light, the exposure was perfect. From this I realised there was a problem with the flash unit, because in any flash mode, even if the flash was not required, the camera seemed to sense the fault and would not function - but take the unit out of the loop and it worked fine.

    Whereas normally you would just take the camera back to the store and get it swapped, this option was not open to me. I could either get my money back (which wouldn't be enough to buy a new 5700 elsewhere) or send/take it direct to Nikon myself and get it repaired under warranty. I chose the latter, because after trawling the internet I came across an American digital photo forum thread with a few people experiencing exactly the same fault. Various solutions were offered, but some had stated that they had just sent their cameras back to Nikon with good results. This gave me the confidence to know that I stood a good chance of me still having gained a bargain and not a turkey!

    Luckily for me, Nikon UK is based in Kingston, Surrey near to where I work and so I dropped it in to their Service Dept. It was ready to pick up within a few weeks and for a while I had a working camera. Sadly the fault returned and so did the camera! They were very sorry and the camera was dealt with as priority and was returned within 10 days with replaced image board this time (sounds expensive!) and a thorough internal clean. When I had dropped it off, I chatted to the guy and said that I had discovered the forum with reports of similar experiences, but he said that he didn't know of any particular faults with this model. He also said that if a camera comes in with the same fault a 3rd time, they automatically replace it with a new one.

    All was now good with my camera and it served me well in fairly high usage for a few months, but sadly on Christmas Eve - same story. Luckily they had skeleton staff on between Christmas and New Year and so I popped in again. I have to say, apart from the fact that the fault has yet to be fully sorted, I can't fault the folk at Nikon. They are always helpful and seem to do a thorough job, I just think that I've got a bad unit. The guy straight away said that the camera would get swapped but that the relevant person was not in until the New Year. Despite this, he still got a colleague to repair it for me so that I had a working camera over the festive period, and whenever it suits me I can just bring it in and get it swapped for a new unit.

    Like I say, although it has just been fixed again, I will definitely get it swapped and take my chances with a totally new unit. I was wondering if they could be obliging by offering me a good deal on upgrading rather than a straight swap. Although for what it is, the 5700 is a very good camera, I do find that the autofocus is not only very sluggish in low light, I have at times found it totally flounder in non-low light situations where there is little contrast in the image. The fact that there is now a similar model with 8 MegaPixels I thought might be that bit more competent in this area, but it seems that they would take my dodgy one and just offer the upgrade at the price that dealers buy them off Nikon. Although it sounds a good offer, it ignores the £400 I paid for my 5700! I'm not trying to take the mick, and the fact that they will replace mine shouldn't be knocked.

    Well sorry for the essay, I hope some of it is of interest or relevance to your situation. I know your camera is possibly not still within the warranty, but it does demonstrate that others have had similar problems and Nikon try to solve them. Although you may have to pay for the repair, that repair is then guaranteed I believe, and perhaps they have the same replacement policy if the fault re-occurs?

    Good luck whatever you do.

    Best Wishes

    Rob
     
  3. ginger113

    ginger113
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    Sorry to add even more to this, but I've just realised it might be a different fault, because you state that the flash pops up. When mine goes wrong, the flash unit doesn't even rear its head - only on one troubleshooting occasion, when I set the camera to self timer did the flash physically pop up, but then the 'speedlight is in closed position' warning comes up that you state that you have had. I would have a word with Nikon - 02085414440 is the number, I can't remember if that's the switchboard or direct to the Service Dept.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  4. 1ofaKind

    1ofaKind
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    Hi Rob,

    Many thanks for the reply. I think I've experienced both problems flash up/down now. Agreed if you disable the flash it works fine. Thing is I wondered if it could be simply a new bulb required but it doesn't seem to be a serviceable part - looks sealed in.

    Cheers for the number I'll find out what the score is with getting it fixed. Jessops told me that as its out of warranty its going to cost £40 minimum to get it looked at/quoted and then potentially the sky's the limit. Considering you can buy them 'new' for under £400 and expensive repair bill is a bit off putting especially considering this cost my £900 2 odd years ago :mad:

    However being the foolish person I am :D I have got another camera to use whilst I ponder the Nikon. I just bought my father for his birthday a Canon EOS20D. I had a quick play last night its like night and day compared to the Nikon. For my usage though the Nikon is fine ;)
     
  5. ginger113

    ginger113
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    Well, now you're talking, having a proper toy to play with! Just picking up a 35mm SLR reminds me of what I'm missing, both in build, control, and physical end results, but I have been amazed at how quickly digital has got under my skin.

    Before I got my 5700 I hadn't touched my 35mm camera for an embarrassingly long time, busy work combined with the costs of film being an excuse to cut down, and the absence of a good film scanner in my arsenal. As much as you can't beat viewing a transparency, the ability to view and edit the pictures on the road and then feed them straight into the computer and Photoshop has just meant that in many ways I have been much more adventurous, all be it trigger happy with thousands of images filling my hard drive!

    I had toyed with upgrading to a digital SLR, financially right now that just ain't gonna happen. Like you say, taken for what it is the 5700 is pretty good really and does pretty much deliver its 'prosumer' goods, a few niggles aside.

    Well I hope you manage to get things sorted- who knows, Nikon might not be as pricey as Jessops?

    All the best

    Rob.
     

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