Camera not giving good picture quality in bright sunlight

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by vj, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. vj

    vj Guest

    I have a Samsung L201 digital camera. Suddenly, I observed that the it
    is giving a very poor picture quality for still pictures when the
    ambient light is bright (such as in outdoor), even indoor when the
    light is sufficient. The pictures taken in such condition appear to be
    hazy, having horizontal white strips, and sometimes the picture is so
    poor that it is not visible at all.
    In conditions when the ambient light is low, the camera gives
    reasonable picture quality. Surprisingly, if I shoot a video, it is
    even in the sunlight.

    Has anyone experienced such a situation?

    PS: I have also posted this issue in a
    few days back, but no response yet.
    vj, Nov 12, 2010
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  2. vj

    otter Guest

    Bright sunlight is not the best to take a quality picture, but it
    sounds like your problem is more severe than that. Sounds like you
    are over-exposing, or perhaps there is a defect in your camera. What
    settings are you using? You may also want to post a link to a sample
    otter, Nov 12, 2010
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  3. vj

    Martin Brown Guest

    A picture is worth a thousand words! Any chance you can post a couple of
    examples. Things that spring to mind are shutter problems leading to
    overexposure and charge bleeding or muck on or inside the lens.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Nov 12, 2010
  4. vj

    J. Clarke Guest

    Ordinarily I'd suspect flare, but "horizontal white strips" sounds like
    something is busted. The "suddenly I observed" suggests the same. The
    description would be consistent with a malfunctioning focal-plane

    It may still be under warranty--if so the thing to do is call Samsung.
    If it's not under warranty the cost of repairs would likely be more than
    the cost of replacement.
    J. Clarke, Nov 12, 2010
  5. vj

    vj Guest

    Thankyou all for your replies. I have uploaded some sample pictures
    which can be accessed with the following link (given at bottom).

    Picture_1_Outdoor, and Picture_2_Indoor : Picture_1 is taken in
    sunlight (not very bright sunlight, around 7 am), and Picture_2 is
    taken indoor, with enough ambient light. As I said earlier, the video
    seems to be better than the still picture, I am also uploading the
    corresponding small videos of the scenes, so that you can have a
    better idea how the actual scene looks like.

    Surprisingly, when the conditions are dark (not enough light), the
    picture comes out to be reasonable (Picture_3_IndoorDark), whereas the
    video is not so good (Clip_3_Indoor_Dark).

    For all these (and usually) I use “Auto” mode. However, after I
    started getting this problem, I have tried other options and changing
    settings randomly such as “exposure”, “white balance” etc, but not
    much success. However, since I am not an expert in this and as such, I
    have not tried these options systematically and exhaustively with a
    specific expected result in mind. So, I can still try these specific
    options if suggested by the group.

    I will be happy to provide any other info, or more pictures if

    Unfortunately, this camera is not under warranty.

    vj, Nov 13, 2010

  6. All 3 still shots have an exposure time of 1/45 sec. The shutter might
    be stuck to this value.
    Your camera does not have a manual mode but if it has other modes try
    shooting with the flash off in darker conditions and see if the
    exposure time changes from 1/45 sec.

    I don't know what help that might be to you, if the warranty has
    lapsed then that's it.

    Sebnem Kurt Petre, Nov 13, 2010
  7. vj

    otter Guest

    The flash fired, but he was outside during the day. I don't think
    that would have caused anything to overexpose, unless it was very
    close. I think the flash firing is a symptom, not the cause.

    My expert opinion is that the camera is hosed. The banding is pretty
    severe, even in the low-light shot.

    Actually this is very good news. Now you can go get a new camera!
    otter, Nov 13, 2010
  8. vj

    Martin Brown Guest

    I suspect electrical interference from the flash circuit recharging
    wrecking the readout of the CCD. It would be worth setting flash to
    manual and disabling it and then try outdoor shots. It is also a mystery
    why the flash wants to fire looking at a well lit outdoor view.

    One critical difference between video mode and camera mode is that in
    video capture mode the flash is deactivated. The CCD appears to work OK
    in video mode so the fundamental readout electronics appear to work.

    The only other time I have seen anything like this with massive readout
    noise patterns was with a digicam that was being periodically
    illuminated at close range by a powerful ships radar.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Nov 13, 2010
  9. vj

    J. Clarke Guest

    FWIW, it seems to be shooting everything at 1/45 and f/3.0 and adjusting
    the ISO accordingly, but not hitting the right settings. Don't think
    the flash per se is the problem because Picture_3_indoor is OK. The
    ones with the banding look like they're just plain overexposed.
    Applying Sunny 16 to Picture_1_Outdoor it's overexposed by about 6

    Dunno what kind of malfunction could have the shutter working but only
    at a single speed, the aperture could be just plain old fashioned
    J. Clarke, Nov 13, 2010
  10. vj

    otter Guest

    It's a $100 point and shoot. It's disposable. Time to move on.
    otter, Nov 13, 2010
  11. vj

    Bruce Guest

    Agree 100%. And next time, buy a better brand of camera.
    Bruce, Nov 13, 2010
  12. vj

    Robert Coe Guest

    : FWIW, it seems to be shooting everything at 1/45 and f/3.0 and adjusting
    : the ISO accordingly, but not hitting the right settings. Don't think
    : the flash per se is the problem because Picture_3_indoor is OK. The
    : ones with the banding look like they're just plain overexposed.
    : Applying Sunny 16 to Picture_1_Outdoor it's overexposed by about 6
    : stops.
    : Dunno what kind of malfunction could have the shutter working but only
    : at a single speed, ...

    On a Canon that can occur if the flash is turned on. The camera will refuse to
    set a shutter speed too high for the flash synchronization. Outdoors in very
    bright light this can cause gross overexposure. But 1/45 is a very low maximum
    speed for synchronization, and I'd expect the aperture to be fully stopped
    down. So that scenario has little explanatory power in this case. And a
    Samsung may not have this "feature" anyway.

    : the aperture could be just plain old fashioned jammed.

    Maybe it's a combination of factors. Has the camera been dropped?

    Robert Coe, Nov 13, 2010
  13. vj

    Nervous Nick Guest

    Yes. And I learned very painfully that it is a Bad Idea to take
    snapshots at a Leather Boy nudist colony.

    Nervous Nick, Nov 13, 2010
  14. vj

    J. Clarke Guest

    Agreed. Still, the engineer in me would like to know what's wrong with
    the thing.
    J. Clarke, Nov 13, 2010
  15. vj

    John Turco Guest

    The Samsung L201 is a compact "P&S" camera and therefore, wouldn't contain
    a focal-plane shutter, to begin with.
    John Turco, Nov 14, 2010
  16. VJ-

    Only one of the samples I saw shows signs of a problem. The only way I
    can imagine the effect would have occurred, was if you were shooting an
    outdoor scene from behind a window screen, and the flash illuminated the

    The flash would have negligible effect as far as distant exposure is
    concerned, but it would slow shutter speed down for synchronization.
    Your owners manual should mention a maximum flash sync speed.

    I think that f/3.2, 1/45 Second and ISO 80 would result in a five or six
    stops overexposed sunshiny outdoor photo. Correct exposure would be
    f/16, 1/80 Second for ISO 80, per the sunny 16 rule.

    Before you junk the camera, try resetting it to factory defaults. If
    that is not an option remove the battery for several hours, maybe 24
    hours, so it will "forget" any botched setting held in its RAM.

    Leaving the battery out could work unless it happens to have a second
    lithium cell that keeps settings such as date, time and the most recent
    photo number. If it has such a battery and it is dead, that could be
    causing the problem.

    Fred McKenzie, Nov 14, 2010
  17. vj

    Martin Brown Guest

    Actually no they don't . If you look at the what should be shadows there
    is burn in on some lines only and it runs on a line by line basis. This
    tends to suggest electrical interference.
    Try some other shots at dusk with intermediate light levels to see if
    the camera can ever get the exposure right.
    If the aperture was jammed the camera should alter the shutter speed to
    compensate. If the shutter was stuck at a single speed (as once happened
    to me when a film camera failed) then with an auto aperture you get a
    range of EV where it will work OK.

    But a true overexposure gives uniform burn out in the bright parts and
    more shadow detail than you could ever want. The linear patterns in the
    shadows "looking through a venetian blind effect" shows that there is
    something more going on.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Nov 14, 2010
  18. vj

    J. Clarke Guest

    Have you shot heavy overexposures with that particular model of camera?
    Do you know with certainty that what you are seeing is not
    characteristic of heavy overexposure with it?
    The OP might want to do that but it's already shown that it can get the
    exposure right with flash.
    It seems to have escaped your notice that the EXIF data reports that the
    same shutter speed and aperture were used for all shots, suggesting that
    both are malfunctioning.
    It does this with that specific sensor and electronics?

    You're arguing that certain things _must_ happen with a piece of
    equipment that you do not have in your possession. In other words
    you're assuming, and any engineer knows what ass-u-me-ing does to u and
    me. Perhaps with whatever you are using 6 stops overexposure in bright
    sunlight gives the response you describe, however I seriously doubt that
    you are using a 100 buck Samsung.
    J. Clarke, Nov 14, 2010
  19. vj

    peter Guest

    it's obviously broken
    peter, Nov 14, 2010
  20. vj

    me Guest

    As is your need to qoute 125+ lines to add that simple one line
    comment. Can you consider at least trimming some of the chaff?
    me, Nov 14, 2010
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