I recently picked up a used but "like new" G1X from Ebay. The camera has been excellent, a big step up from the S110 I'd been using for a while now. I know there are newer options, but for my price point it is the best option for taking SLR-quality landscape shots with a fixed lens camera, which is my main interest.
That said, the flash appears to be broken. I only just tried to use it today for the first time, and I can't get it to work.
I pop it up, set the camera into any of the modes offering control over the flash (P, M, Tv, Av), force it on using the flash button, depress the shutter all the way, but nothing.
The AF assist lamp stays on, the flash icon starts blinking on the screen, but the flash never discharges. If I hold the shutter button for a long time (like 2 minutes) while it's in this state, it tells me the battery needs to be charged and shuts down.
The battery is fully charged, actual Canon battery and Canon charger, and shows as full on the screen indicator. I've tested it with my backup battery, same problem. Every other camera function is as normal.
I confirmed that it isn't the hotshoe mount sensor. I pushed that down with a screwdriver and the camera takes a picture as normal just without any flash. As soon as I let go, it's stuck in the same "blinking icon" flash situation.
I also disassembled the case, found the date/time battery on the front of the camera, and popped it out/replaced it just to be sure that wasn't causing issues. I also visually inspected the ribbon cables connecting to the flash assembly inside the case, no problems and everything looked tight.
I emailed Canon for input. They basically walked me through how to hard reset the camera, which I did with no luck, and then suggested I mail it in for repairs. I'm not the original buyer and it's a couple of years old so I think that might cost as much as what I paid for the camera, so I don't think that's a good option.
My questions, then.
1. Has anyone else run into this error with a G1X? Is the flash assembly or capacitor shot and in need of replacement, or is there another fix I've overlooked? How difficult is it to replace the physical assembly for the flash?
2. In lieu of that and given that I don't use flash all that often, what type of shoe-mount flash should I be looking at as a backup? I'd prefer to keep the cost under $50 so that eliminates things you guys would probably suggest like 270EX flashes, but do the generic Chinese flashes that claim to be compatible with Canon SLRs actually work well enough?
I'm not doing studio shoots, I just like a little fill flash every now and then and indoor group photos in low light.
Your help is much appreciated, thanks!
Well you've covered all the bases pretty good. There are utube videos available to assist in the repairs if you shoud go that route.
I have other service manuals unfortunatey not your G1X and there are multiple potential reasons for that failure. A fuse, the flash assembly or the Flash circuit board, the main PC board.
I have the EX270 Flash and it is a good compact flash unit, good for about 20ft.
I did a quick search and did not see a G1X service manual available online. The G1 but that wont help you.
Most likely Canon might offer you a refurb in return for yours which they sell for $269.
Thanks John. I'm now wishing I'd bought the refurb at that price, because I actually paid slightly more for this used camera and have no warranty.
Since it seems like there are too many potential errors to be worth going down the rabbit hole for repairing the internal flash, do you know if something like this would be compatible?
[ Mod note: removed link per FORUM GUIDELINES ]
I know very little about external flashes, but I saw ETTL listed in the G1X specs so I'd think this or similar would at least work?
Your welcome Dan, Canon runs good deals oh their refurbished models I wound up buying an SX50HS for $149 from Canon refurbished which they still are offering for my daughter whereas I had bought a new one about a year ago for myself for 3 times that amount.
The moderator removed the item you listed but you are right it uses an E-TTL Flash system.
I saw the 270EX on Canon for $139 new and as I said it is a good flash, compact and lightweight. If I were you I'd shop around for compatible flash units and different pricing.
Also where you bought your camera offers automatic protection too especially if you used PayPal to make the payment. Have you tried contacting the seller and also eBay?
That's an awesome camera you have it's worth the effort.