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Fuji FinePix 1400 white balance problem

 
 
Bob Engelhardt
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      08-08-2006
I have a Fuji FinePix 1400 Zoom which is just great for what I do (web
stuff: eBay, email, newsgroups).

Recently I have been photographing some items for eBay. I have a setup
with incandescent lamps and white paper background. I set the camera's
white balance to "incandescent" and it was doing a great job:
http://home.comcast.net/~bobengelhardt/NormalPic.jpg

Then ... with the exact same setup it went all yellow, as if the white
balance had gone back to "auto":
http://home.comcast.net/~bobengelhardt/YellowPic.jpg

I have tried going to auto and then back to incandescent; changing the
white balance to other manual settings and back to incandescent. I put
in freshly charged batteries. I removed the batteries overnight so the
camera reverted to the factory default settings, and then tried
incandescent. None of this has made a difference.

Anybody have any ideas? If I were to have it repaired, what do you
suppose it would cost?

Thanks,
Bob
 
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Bob Engelhardt
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      08-08-2006
Never mind .... it just started working again. I hope that it's not
going to be doing this regularly. Then I might have to get a new
camera. Ohh noo

Bob
 
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Bob Engelhardt
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      08-08-2006
Bob Engelhardt wrote:
> Never mind .... it just started working again. ...


%^*&&^$#$%, it's back! Dammit!! So, I'm still looking for ideas.
Bob
 
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ASAAR
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      08-09-2006
On Tue, 08 Aug 2006 14:20:05 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:

> Recently I have been photographing some items for eBay. I have a setup
> with incandescent lamps and white paper background. I set the camera's
> white balance to "incandescent" and it was doing a great job:
> http://home.comcast.net/~bobengelhardt/NormalPic.jpg
>
> Then ... with the exact same setup it went all yellow, as if the white
> balance had gone back to "auto":
> http://home.comcast.net/~bobengelhardt/YellowPic.jpg


It may have gone back to auto, although it's hard to tell with the
EXIF data stripped from these two pictures. Is it possible that
these two shots were taken using different shooting modes? Check
your 1400's manual. The manual for my Fuji S5100 has a table
showing the available options for each of the camera's shooting
modes. The desired White Balance can be selected for P, A, S and M
mode, but the WB appears to revert to Auto WB when the camera is in
Auto mode, Video mode or any of the Photography Modes (Portrait,
Landscape, Sports and Night Scene).

 
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Bob Engelhardt
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      08-10-2006
ASAAR wrote:
> It may have gone back to auto, although it's hard to tell with the
> EXIF data stripped from these two pictures. Is it possible that
> these two shots were taken using different shooting modes? ...


It definitely was not in Auto mode. Definitely Manual.

I kind of stumbled onto the answer, I think. It was a matter of the
content of the picture. I think than the taps were too shiny and the
camera didn't have a good basis for figuring out what was "white" and
what wasn't. It worked OK at different angles (shininess affected) and
when that didn't work I stuck my finger in the shot and that fixed it.
The finger gave it more not-white to work with, I'm thinking. Kind of a
nuisance, but at least it's a way to make it work.

Bob
 
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ASAAR
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      08-10-2006
On Wed, 09 Aug 2006 21:20:22 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:

>> It may have gone back to auto, although it's hard to tell with the
>> EXIF data stripped from these two pictures. Is it possible that
>> these two shots were taken using different shooting modes? ...

>
> It definitely was not in Auto mode. Definitely Manual.
>
> I kind of stumbled onto the answer, I think. It was a matter of the
> content of the picture. I think than the taps were too shiny and the
> camera didn't have a good basis for figuring out what was "white" and
> what wasn't. It worked OK at different angles (shininess affected) and
> when that didn't work I stuck my finger in the shot and that fixed it.
> The finger gave it more not-white to work with, I'm thinking. Kind of a
> nuisance, but at least it's a way to make it work.


If it works, great, and you can't argue with success. But if the
camera was trying to figure out what was "white", that would
indicate it was in some kind of an Auto WB mode. Didn't you say
that the 1400 suddenly started producing yellow images when WB was
set to "incandescent"? I'd think that an "incandescent" setting
would indicate that the camera knows the color of the light and
wouldn't have to analyse the subject to figure out how to modify the
WB.

As I said, different WB modes can be used depending on the current
shooting mode. But mechanical switches can sometimes be erratic,
and (assuming that the 1400 uses a dial rather than menu selections)
if the 1400's dial was set to P, A, S or M, the camera might have
actually been stuck in a different mode. If the EXIF data shows the
shooting mode, you could check it and it would either confirm or
rule out this possibility.


 
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Bob Engelhardt
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      08-11-2006
ASAAR wrote:
> ... I'd think that an "incandescent" setting
> would indicate that the camera knows the color of the light and
> wouldn't have to analyse the subject to figure out how to modify the
> WB.


That makes sense. My Owner's Manual says this: "... devices such as
digital still cameras register a white subject as white by first
adjusting their internal color balance to match the color of the ambient
light around the subject." That's not real clear, but it's what gave me
the idea about needing white and not-white in the frame. I'm not going
to worry about it now that I know how to work around it, but it is curious.

> As I said, different WB modes can be used depending on the current
> shooting mode. But mechanical switches can sometimes be erratic,
> and (assuming that the 1400 uses a dial rather than menu selections)
> if the 1400's dial was set to P, A, S or M, the camera might have
> actually been stuck in a different mode.


The 1400 does use a menu.


> If the EXIF data shows the shooting mode, you could check it and it
> would either confirm or rule out this possibility.


I've never looked at the EXIF data, but I downloaded Exifer and checked
one of the yellow pix. Under "Makernotes" it showed "1024" for white
balance, whatever that means. It also showed "Focus Mode" and "Flash
Mode" as 0, but not a "Shooting Mode".

Bob
 
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ASAAR
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      08-11-2006
On Thu, 10 Aug 2006 23:31:19 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:

> I've never looked at the EXIF data, but I downloaded Exifer and checked
> one of the yellow pix. Under "Makernotes" it showed "1024" for white
> balance, whatever that means. It also showed "Focus Mode" and "Flash
> Mode" as 0, but not a "Shooting Mode".


Irfanview doesn't show anything under "Makernotes", but does have
an ExposureProgram value listed in the regular EXIF data. After
checking a number of my Fuji S5100 images randomly, I was able to
come up with these values:

> ExposureProgram - 1 (manual control)
> ExposureProgram - 2 (program normal)
> ExposureProgram - 3 (aperture priority)
> ExposureProgram - 4 (shutter priority)


I haven't used any of the other Photography Shooting Modes, but
assume that they'd be as clearly defined as the P, A, S and M modes.
I didn't see any White Balance variable, but perhaps this is how
it's defined:

> LightSource - 0 (auto)


Update: after more checking it turns out that my guess was correct,
so the information's there. It'll just take some digging to figure
them all out. These are a few of the values that I've discovered:

> LightSource - 0 (auto)
> LightSource - 3 (tungsten)


> Flash - 9
> Flash - 16
> Flash - 25


 
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