Troubleshooting Vivitar Cameras

How to fix common issues with memory cards, focus, and flash settings

If you experience a problem with your Vivitar digital camera, you may see an error message like the following:

  • Card Full Error/No File Exists
  • Lens Error/E18 Error
  • Write Protected Error

You may also experience problems where the camera provides no visual clues. With or without an error message on the screen, use these tips to fix your Vivitar camera.

Information in this article applies broadly to all Vivitar point-and-shoot digital cameras.

Causes of Problems With Vivitar Cameras

Here are some causes of potential problems with Vivitar cameras:

  • If the camera won't read the SD memory card, it may be write protected, or you may have a new memory card that needs to be formatted.
  • If the flash is not working, it may have been turned off manually through the camera’s menus.
  • If the lens will not extend, the camera may need a good cleaning, or it could be a problem with the camera's internal mechanisms.
  • If you have a low camera battery, you can experience a host of problems. For example, if the camera is trying to save a photo when the power becomes exhausted, the photo may not be saved or may become corrupted.
  • If the camera is shooting blurry images, it’s possible that the camera’s autofocus system just isn’t able to work as quickly as needed to create a sharp image.
  • If you’ve ever dropped the camera, it could be internally damaged.
  • With some cameras, if you do not have a memory card installed, your camera only temporarily saves photos in internal memory. Once you power down the camera, the photos are automatically deleted. Make sure you’re using a memory card to avoid this problem.

Unfortunately, Vivitar doesn’t make the greatest cameras, which is one of the reasons they’re so inexpensive compared to other brands. Therefore, it’s possible that your camera just cannot capture photos of the quality you desire.

Vivitar 2.1 megapixel digital camera
NoDerog / Getty Images

How to Fix Issues With Vivitar Cameras

Follow these steps the fix common problems with Vivitar cameras:

  1. Keep your camera batteries charged. Recharge the battery or replace the AA/AAA batteries regularly to avoid sudden problems.

  2. Prefocus your shots. If you're having trouble with focus, press the shutter button halfway to pre-focus on the scene whenever possible. Once the camera has achieved a sharp focus, press the shutter fully.

  3. Check the flash settings. First, make sure the camera is not in macro mode, which can cause some Vivitar cameras to turn off the flash. Then, change the flash setting to automatic.

  4. Clean the camera lens. Make sure the lens housing is clean and free of particles and grime, both of which could cause the lens to stick.

  5. Disable write protection on the SD card. If you have a write-protect switch on the side of the card, move the switch to the unlocked position to allow the camera to write photos to the card again.

  6. Format the memory card. Make sure that you’ve retrieved and saved any photos from the card onto your computer since formatting will erase all files on the card.

  7. Shut down the camera, remove the batteries, and wait 10 minutes. When you replace the battery and turn on the camera again, the lens should extend on its own.

  8. Get your camera professionally repaired. If you've tried everything above and are still having trouble with the lens and flash, it's possible that the internal mechanisms have failed, which can be an expensive repair.