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  #1  
Old 08-25-2011, 04:57 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Digital Camera Washout Problem

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Moderators, if I am in the wrong forum, please move.

I have a Kodak LS443 Digital Camera. I have had it about 5 years or so and am quite happy with it. Until now that is. It is doing something really strange, hopefully there is a fix as I really don't want to spend the money for a new camera.

If you use it to take a photo outdoors during the day the only image I get is icredibly washed out, almost as if I was pointing the camera directly at the sun. The strange thing is if I use it to take a picture indoors or use it outdoors when it is overcast I get a perfect picture!? What is going on here? Is the image cell going bad in the camera? Does that happen over time?
The settingss are all on auto if that helps.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:17 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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Could be that the aperture is failing to stop down. If so you could buy a new camera for the cost of repairing it.

I'd try a factory reset, in case it's something in software.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:32 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
Could be that the aperture is failing to stop down. If so you could buy a new camera for the cost of repairing it.

I'd try a factory reset, in case it's something in software.
Thanks for the reply. I certianly wouldn't consider paying to have it repaired. As you said, it would cost more than the camera is worth. However I am hoping it might be something simple that I am overlooking and one of the SD tech savvy people will have a suggestion.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:35 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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If the camera has exposure compensation (usually controlled by a button that says +/-) make sure it hasn't been inadvertently set.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:52 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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Learn your camera

I rarely use the automatic setting on my Kodak. I go almost completely manual. Set you camera to manual and observe what the setting are. And Kodak has a nice way of telling you ahead of time what the light reading is +or-. You should be able to see if something is set wrong outside. Change the various settings to zero out the exposure and take a picture. I'm betting the picture will be good. If not, then you have a hardware failure. If the picture is OK, then continue to use the manual setting. It's really not that hard to set and adapt to conditions. They even have a manual that explains how all this works.

PS. I realize that it's almost impossible to screw up the automatic setting so there may well be a failure. Still, if a workaround is possible this could be an opportunity to perfect your camera skills.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:48 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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Originally Posted by Al Bundy View Post
I rarely use the automatic setting on my Kodak. I go almost completely manual. Set you camera to manual and observe what the setting are.
I always take the liberty of looking up the specs of a camera before attempting to answer questions like this.

The Kodak LS443 is a nine-year-old 4 megapixel camera which is completely automated with the exception of two-stop over/under exposure compensation.

I think the problem is that it's a nine-year-old P&S, and needs to be replaced.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:53 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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With the age and initial basic nature of that camera there is certainly no hope of doing an economical repair. Many cameras have a "return to factory settings" selection in the menus, that's really your best bet. The only hope you have is that something got set to a weird value and this will reset it.

More likely, the sensor or the electronics are failing and you be forced to spend $100 on a new (much better) camera.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:59 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by postcards View Post
I always take the liberty of looking up the specs of a camera before attempting to answer questions like this.

The Kodak LS443 is a nine-year-old 4 megapixel camera which is completely automated with the exception of two-stop over/under exposure compensation.

I think the problem is that it's a nine-year-old P&S, and needs to be replaced.
Wow, I had no idea my camera was NINE years old. Time goes by so fast. And to make the record clear, I am not cheap. I could go and buy a new camera, but would hate to. The one I have does a really good job and I have never been (until now of course) dissapointed by the picture quality of the camera.

A new camera might only be $100 or $200, but that is money I don't have to spend if there is an easy fix. However, I will have to concide that most of you are right, the sensor and the hardware has probably reached it's life limit. I just find it strange that it still works great indoors, even with a flash. Maybe I don't understand how the sensors work, I just thought it strange that it works only in certian conditions.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:11 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Maybe I don't understand how the sensors work, I just thought it strange that it works only in certian conditions.
A stuck aperture would explain your symptoms: it overexposes because the iris doesn't close down to adjust for bright light. The sensor is probably fine.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
A stuck aperture would explain your symptoms: it overexposes because the iris doesn't close down to adjust for bright light. The sensor is probably fine.
So, a good slam on the nearest counter to try to get it unstuck? Or doesn't work that way?
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:32 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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This model resets to factory settings when you shut it off. I suspect the light sensor. Try setting the exposure compensation to -2 when shooting outdoors and see if that helps. If not, then keep it for an indoor backup.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2011, 10:00 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
I just find it strange that it still works great indoors, even with a flash. Maybe I don't understand how the sensors work, I just thought it strange that it works only in certian conditions.
Exposure is a function of how big a window you open, how long it stays open, and how 'sticky' the medium that the light lands on is. Usually it stays wide open to help with composition, and snaps down when you take the picture. If it works good in low light situations, where you would expect it to stay wide open, but not in bright light, where you would expect it to close down some, then either the window is not closing down when it's told to, or the meter isn't telling it to close down at all. I suppose you could take it apart and see if you can clean or free up the apeture, but I wouldn't do that unless you're prepared to wind up with nothing but a pile of parts.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:09 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by outlierrn View Post
Exposure is a function of how big a window you open, how long it stays open, and how 'sticky' the medium that the light lands on is. Usually it stays wide open to help with composition, and snaps down when you take the picture. If it works good in low light situations, where you would expect it to stay wide open, but not in bright light, where you would expect it to close down some, then either the window is not closing down when it's told to, or the meter isn't telling it to close down at all. I suppose you could take it apart and see if you can clean or free up the apeture, but I wouldn't do that unless you're prepared to wind up with nothing but a pile of parts.
It isn't winding up with a pile of parts that bothers me. It's when I get it back together and I have one part left over. You know, the part that looks unimportant, but you just know it is the lynchpin of the whole works.

Not to mention the look of no confidence the wife will give me as I start to unscrew the case and the "told you so" that is without a doubt following if I am unsuccesful.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:20 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
So, a good slam on the nearest counter to try to get it unstuck? Or doesn't work that way?
Doesn't work that way.

There is a way you can test it. Go outside and take two photos: one zoomed all the way out (wide), one zoomed all the way in, but the same in all other respects. If only the first is overexposed then it means the aperture isn't stopping down correctly.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:10 AM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
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Reboot

Another possibility is that the camera became corrupted. My Kodak has gone crazy a couple of times and locked up. I took the batteries out and hit the power button and held it briefly a few times. This must have reset it so it works fine after. Anything is worth a try.
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  #16  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:52 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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I am with Al Bundy on this. It may well be just a software issue, and it is well worth doing all you can to reset to factory default settings (even if you are not aware of having changed any), before taking more drastic and more expensive action.

My daughter's cheapie Coolpix started doing something like this a couple of years ago (maybe not quite the same, it's hard to tell). Anyway, I eventually figured out she had accidentally changed one of the special effects settings. I do not know your model, but most cameras these days come with a huge slew of possible settings, most of which most people are not aware of and never want to touch. Just because you did not mean to change any of them does not mean they did not get changed.

Last edited by njtt; 08-26-2011 at 03:53 PM..
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  #17  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
I am with Al Bundy on this. It may well be just a software issue, and it is well worth doing all you can to reset to factory default settings (even if you are not aware of having changed any), before taking more drastic and more expensive action.
As mentioned above, this camera resets to factory defaults every time it is turned off so that's not it. Taking the batteries out for 24 hours to let all the capacitors drain is your only remaining option, IMO. Opening up the camera to try to fix something simply isn't going to work - these cameras aren't designed to be repaired.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:46 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
As mentioned above, this camera resets to factory defaults every time it is turned off so that's not it. Taking the batteries out for 24 hours to let all the capacitors drain is your only remaining option, IMO. Opening up the camera to try to fix something simply isn't going to work - these cameras aren't designed to be repaired.
Thank for all the advice everyone. I will take the batteries out and let it sit overnight. Will post results tomorrow.

It is such a shame that nothing appears to be fixable any longer. Everything seems to be made disposable. I remember being a kid at my grandfathers house. He never threw anything away, and he always seemed to be able to repair anything that was broken. Perhaps his experience growing up in the 20's taught him the value of making do with what you have.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:55 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Opening up the camera to try to fix something simply isn't going to work - these cameras aren't designed to be repaired.
Oh, I agree, this is the kind of thing I would do with little hope of success just because I like to tinker with things.
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  #20  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:58 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
Doesn't work that way.

There is a way you can test it. Go outside and take two photos: one zoomed all the way out (wide), one zoomed all the way in, but the same in all other respects. If only the first is overexposed then it means the aperture isn't stopping down correctly.
Tried this. The Wide picture was totally over-exposed, just a bright white image. The full Zoom picture was mostly over-exposed, you could see the middle of the image, but the perimeter of the picture was whited out. Not sure what it means, but the zoom was definitely better, although unusable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bundy View Post
Another possibility is that the camera became corrupted. My Kodak has gone crazy a couple of times and locked up. I took the batteries out and hit the power button and held it briefly a few times. This must have reset it so it works fine after. Anything is worth a try.
No luck with this approach. And I am unable to find any sort of reset button or option in the menu.

So, I am going now with approach number 3. The battery is out and I will wait until tomorow to replace it. Will post results. Might even try stare at it really hard and intimidate it into working correctly.
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  #21  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:44 PM
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It is such a shame that nothing appears to be fixable any longer.
This is the price you pay for the price you pay. You can get $200 cameras today that are significantly better than the top of the line cameras less than 5 years ago. And you got 9 years of use out of it! DSLRs are designed to be repaired, but compact consumer electronics haven't been repairable for a long time. If they were, they'd cost 2-3 times as much.
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:57 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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This is the price you pay for the price you pay. You can get $200 cameras today that are significantly better than the top of the line cameras less than 5 years ago. And you got 9 years of use out of it! DSLRs are designed to be repaired, but compact consumer electronics haven't been repairable for a long time. If they were, they'd cost 2-3 times as much.
Agreed. I got nine years out of it AND it didn't cost me a dime. I got it with my Staples reward points/cash rewards. I use to do a lot of shipping with them, got 5% back on my shipping fees. I miss those days, I would get a new computer every year with my rewards.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:00 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Post an image we can download, and I'll have a look at it and the EXIF and see if something strikes me as off. Also, an indoor picture that looks good.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:55 AM
jabiru jabiru is offline
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Reported.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:08 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Spam reported.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:10 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Spam reported.
Spam?
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:14 PM
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It's been removed. The mods can remove multiple spam posts all at once, leaving behind the reporting posts.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:35 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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It's been removed. The mods can remove multiple spam posts all at once, leaving behind the reporting posts.
Thanks, I am easily confused.
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  #29  
Old 08-27-2011, 02:40 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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As long as you're here, any luck with removing the batteries?

ETA: Well, you were here an hour ago...

Last edited by ZenBeam; 08-27-2011 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:24 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Post an image we can download, and I'll have a look at it and the EXIF and see if something strikes me as off. Also, an indoor picture that looks good.
Well, I let the camera sit without battery to drain the capacitors with no improvement. Sadly I am ready to throw in the towel and send the camera to the great beyond. However here is a few photos, perhaps it can give you some insight. Once again, thanks to all.

Outside picture: http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/x...n/100_0207.jpg

Inside picture: http://i746.photobucket.com/albums/x...n/100_0206.jpg

Looking at the inside photo there appears to be some ghosting on the left side.

Disregard dates on photos, I didn't reset date after battery removal. Thanks again!
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  #31  
Old 08-29-2011, 04:45 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Have you cleaned the lens with a Q-tip and a little Windex or rubbing alcohol recently?

Don't know if that's the issue, but a dirty or smudged lens will reflect ambient light and make photos look really washed out.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:07 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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Based on the exif it's a metering or aperture problem.

The outside exposure was 1/333s at f/2.8, 100 ISO. That's overexposed by about 3 stops - at f/2.8 the shutter speed ought to have been more like 1/3200s on a sunny day, not 1/333. I don't think your camera's shutter speed goes that high, so it should have closed down the aperture much smaller than f/2.8.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:36 PM
Banquet Bear Banquet Bear is online now
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Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
Based on the exif it's a metering or aperture problem.

The outside exposure was 1/333s at f/2.8, 100 ISO. That's overexposed by about 3 stops - at f/2.8 the shutter speed ought to have been more like 1/3200s on a sunny day, not 1/333. I don't think your camera's shutter speed goes that high, so it should have closed down the aperture much smaller than f/2.8.
...and the aperture is at 2.8 both indoors and outdoors: it looks like the camera is stuck on that aperture.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:45 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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Looking at the inside photo there appears to be some ghosting on the left side.
The "ghosting" looks to be light reflected off the glass table top onto the wall. Same for the right side of the cabinet, reflecting off the TV.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:48 PM
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...and the aperture is at 2.8 both indoors and outdoors: it looks like the camera is stuck on that aperture.
Thanks for taking the time to look at the photos. So I guess there is no DIY fix for this. I am assuming it is a mechanical problem by your use of the term "stuck". I hate to sound so anal about this issue, it has always bothered me to throw away useful items without attempting to find a fix.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:22 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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I am assuming it is a mechanical problem by your use of the term "stuck".
It's likely that the lens aperture is physically stuck, though it could also be an electronic problem preventing the camera from telling it to move. Either way it amounts to the same result.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:20 AM
postcards postcards is offline
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...it has always bothered me to throw away useful items without attempting to find a fix.
It's no longer a useful item. Throw it away.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:07 AM
Banquet Bear Banquet Bear is online now
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Originally Posted by obbn View Post
Thanks for taking the time to look at the photos. So I guess there is no DIY fix for this. I am assuming it is a mechanical problem by your use of the term "stuck". I hate to sound so anal about this issue, it has always bothered me to throw away useful items without attempting to find a fix.
...to be honest: my recommendation would be to bang it hard on something. One of either three things will happen: either nothing will happen at all, or you will bang it hard enough to change the aperture, or you will break the camera further. And as it is already broken, what do you have to loose? And of course, I'm curious to see the results!

But seriously, unless you want to spend a bit of money on it, I'd say your camera is dead. There are a few people discussing a stuck aperture in this thread:

http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com/prod...asyshare-ls443

and some other people having problems:

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/arc...hp/t-1076.html

I just noticed that on the first link, the first comment used the "fonzie fix", and it worked! So if you are considering throwing it out, give it a bang before you do!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:21 AM
GaryM GaryM is online now
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"fonzie fix", and it worked! So if you are considering throwing it out, give it a bang before you do
!

Good old Percussive Maintenance!
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:16 PM
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I'm curious to see the results!
Well, I am planning on sending it to the great beyond this weekend, so what the hell. I will attempt the "fonzie" fix and see what happens. Follow up post in a few days.

And just to clear my name, as I said before I am not cheap. I just hate seeing everything so disposable today. Even items such as cars, so many items on a car are not repairable any longer, just toss the part and buy a new one.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:45 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by tellyworth View Post
Based on the exif it's a metering or aperture problem.

The outside exposure was 1/333s at f/2.8, 100 ISO. That's overexposed by about 3 stops - at f/2.8 the shutter speed ought to have been more like 1/3200s on a sunny day, not 1/333. I don't think your camera's shutter speed goes that high, so it should have closed down the aperture much smaller than f/2.8.
Yeah, most of the signs point to it being a mechanical problem with the aperture not stopping down. I'm actually a little surprised that it didn't report the aperture as f/5.6 or whatever the correct exposure would have been, because I would have assumed there's no actual feedback from the physical mechanism reporting back to the EXIF metadata what the aperture actually is, rather than what it should be. What I mean is, if the camera's computer calculates 1/350 @ f/6.3, then sends a message to the stop down to f/6.3, I would have thought f/6.3 gets recorded in the EXIF instead of there being a message sent back from the aperture mechanism saying it only stopped down to f/2.8, and was kept there. So what I expected to see is EXIF that says 1/350 @ f/6.3 with a picture that's obvious overexposed. Apparently, my assumption was incorrect. I do know that with my Nikon D3, it will report the aperture as f/0 if there is any problem, so maybe these old compacts work in a similar way.
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