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Rebel T3i Auto Mode - Photos taken with flash entirely washed out, camera broken?


Hello!  As the title says, when I take any photos on Auto mode where the built-in flash is used, the photos come out all white.  It did not used to do this when I first bought my camera refurbished from Canon 2 years ago.  I tried resetting all my settings already with no luck.  The camera seems to take photos just fine without the flash.  Here are sample photos of the same scene, with and without flash:


This basically happens every time, doesn't matter what the lighting conditions are or what I'm taking a picture of.  I'm basically just trying to figure out if anyone else has come across this, and if you think my camera is straight broken.  Thanks!



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Try a different lens, if you can, and see if the problem persists.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

You might have dialed in some flash exposure compensation by mistake.


I have not had a built in flash for a while so I don't remember the menus but also make sure you are in ETTL flash mode. 



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Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

But exposure compensation settings do not apply in full auto mode do they?  I believe that only comes into play when doing manual controls?

That is correct, but it can't hurt to reset your settings from the wrench menu.


Can you clarify a few things for me...when you said auto mode...what do you mean by that?  Was it on P or on the Green box?


How was the flash activated?  Automatically popped up or did you have to press a button?


Does the flash work in Av or Tv mode or are the pictures consistently over-exposed whenever the flash is activated in any modes?


I've heard of cases for external flashes malfunctioning being stuck on full power mode...over-exposing images as a result but I haven't heard built-in flashes having the same problem.  It is conceivable that the built-in flash could get stuck outputting full power, however.  But you need to isolate the problem by testing some more and report back?


Please try the flash with Full Auto mode (green box), P mode, Av mode, Tv mode, M mode and see how the built-in flash behave for each mode.  If the flash is stuck outputting full power, it is malfunctioning and needs to be sent in for service.

Diverhank's photos on Flickr

@diverhank, thank you for the input, I will try to troubleshoot more.  When I am talking about Auto mode, I mean the green box.  The flash pops up by itself if it determines the shot needs flash.  I know the flash still over-exposed on P mode, I haven't tried Av or Tv mode yet.


My personal feeling is that it's malfunctioning.  Something is not right with exposure, because in my opinion the photos that are taken without flash seem to be UNDER exposed (too dark).  It's especially frustrating because I hardly even used this camera, it has been sitting on a shelf for most of its time with me.  I am very hesitant to buy refurbished again, I had thought it was safe buying directly from Canon.  The camera has been dropped before though (on carpet), and I've had my 2 year old hold the camera a couple of times because he really wanted to take pictures like daddy, but I cannot be sure if there's any correlation with either of those things.


I got a quote of ~$230 to get the camera repaired by Canon, and that's way too much to me.  I'll play around a little more with it, but I might just sell it on eBay as-is to get some money back I'm thinking.

If there's nothing else wrong except for the flash, you can get an external flash and use it.  I never use the pop up flash anyways.  If it overexposes with the green box, then the flash is malfunctioning...

Diverhank's photos on Flickr

@diverhank wrote:

If there's nothing else wrong except for the flash, you can get an external flash and use it.  I never use the pop up flash anyways.  If it overexposes with the green box, then the flash is malfunctioning...

Good idea.  You can buy a small Canon flash for half the price they want to repair the camera.  The built-in flash is relatively low powered, and can cast shadows on your subjects when you use lens longer than 2-3 inches.

"The right mouse button is your friend."