I bought myself a new DSLR few days back I tried taking pics in manual mode at night, and the built-in flash won't fire, even if I press the button to make it pop up. What might be wrong, and what can I do?

  • Further questions: what shutter speed have you selected. Have you changed any flash-related menu settings (purposefully or accidentally)? Is the shutter firing and taking a (dark) photo, or not taking a picture?
    – MikeW
    Dec 27 '16 at 23:39
  • Shutter speed of 1/400 , shutter press doesn't take a picture, flash settings are not fiddled
    – Gopinath
    Dec 28 '16 at 2:50
  • See edited answer: you need to have shutter at 1/200 or slower. Setting to 1/400 may not prevent the flash from firing (but pls try it anyway) but at 1/400 you won't get a fully exposed frame
    – MikeW
    Dec 28 '16 at 3:29
  • And if shutter is not firing, perhaps too dark to autofocus? Have you tried using manual focus?
    – MikeW
    Dec 28 '16 at 3:34
  • It was too dark i guess, now it's working fine, Thanks for the info.
    – Gopinath
    Dec 28 '16 at 4:22

You'd have to consult your manual, but the pop-up flash probably pops up automatically only in scene modes, and possibly "A" mode. With other modes including manual, it will not pop-up automatically

If you want the flash, press the small button on the left side (which has a lightning bolt symbol).

Edit: You've indicated you have shutter speed set to 1/400. The flash sync speed of the D5200 is 1/200th, so you need a shutter speed of 1/200 or slower.

And if shutter is not firing, it's not a flash problem at all - the camera probably isn't achieving focus in the dim conditions. Does the autofocus appear to be hunting? Try switching to focusing manually and see if you can get the shutter to fire.

  • Tried pressing the button said, it poped up but didn't flash
    – Gopinath
    Dec 27 '16 at 18:44

The internal flash should fire in A,S,P,M modes anytime you have opened it. If open, and if A,S,P,M modes, that is instruction that it should fire with the shutter, regardless. Why it might not is mysterious, sounds like a defect.

The internal flash will only automatically open and fire in Auto or Scene modes. Auto modes are automatic everything, including ISO and white balance, everything, including the flash (auto, meaning no user control).

Auto has the adjacent mode (with lightning bolt symbol with strike out line) that is Flash Off, but still Auto. Then flash will never fire in Auto. This is for places flash is inappropriate, not allowed or infeasible.

But in A,S,P,M modes, only exposure is automatic (except M, unless Auto ISO is also on). All else works only if you have turned that part on, including if the flash has been opened. You open the flash when you want to use it (in A,S,P,M).


the pop-up flash doesn't pop-up or function in manual mode because you're not supposed to use the pop-up flash in manual mode - it's called "manual" for this reason. in manual mode you're using the camera settings to adjust for lighting, not the flash. pop-up flashes are generally crappy and aren't for use in professional shots, so they're only designed to work with the camera's automatic point-and-shoot settings. if you need more light in manual mode, i'd recommend at least using an external flash with a diffuser, or at best taking a photography course to better learn how to use your camera's manual settings to adjust for lighting, and getting a tripod while you're at it. shooting in manual with a pop-up flash is like buying a ferrari and then replacing the engine with that of a ford taurus. you're doing it wrong. (;

  • you're welcome. (: i've been doing professional photography for several years now and love it. i definitely highly recommend learning more how to shoot in manual without a flash as you'll definitely get the best results that way. there are a lot of good tutorials online you can find if you search for them! Dec 27 '16 at 19:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.