White spots on digital photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by softman, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. softman

    softman Guest


    Some times when I take pictures with my Nicon Coolpix 3500 with the
    flash on, I get some sort of white spots at the picture. Does anybody
    know why? Is it the camera or is it only dirt at the lense.

    Examlepicture at

    http://www.nt.ntnu.no/users/ivarw/Perutur2003 133.jpg

    softman, Dec 22, 2003
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  2. Some times when I take pictures with my Nicon Coolpix 3500
    These are dust particles floating in the air in front of the lens. The flash
    illuminates them, and they show up as white spots because they are out of
    focus. If you use the repeat mode on your camera, you'll see them in
    different places each time--or you may get lucky and get a shot without

    Michael Geary, Dec 22, 2003
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  3. softman

    zbzbzb Guest

    Some times when I take pictures with my Nicon Coolpix 3500
    Or they are ghosts. At least that is what many ghost hunters claim when they
    take pictures of haunted sites. Hard to say who is right. From what I've read
    both sides generally claim they are right, although similar pictures have
    stumped professionals. One thing that can't seem to be explained is why do they
    only show up in certain locations, often locations where paranormal activity
    has been experienced before, but not in others or at one moment but not others.

    What were the circumstances and location of the picture?
    zbzbzb, Dec 22, 2003
  4. softman

    dicko Guest

    My S40 camera had these too. In my case, they were most definitely not
    dust spots. If I put the camera on a tripod and took sequential
    pictures of the same scene, The white circles showed in the exact same
    spots on the photos. If they were dust particles, I would expect them
    to be in different spots as air currents blew them around.

    And funny thing, it was only the S40 that had them. My old Kodak DC260
    never showed them.

    I chalked it up to some kind of lens reflection because they only
    seemed to happen when there was a bright light source outside the
    field of view. They happened often enough and spoiled enough pictures
    that I got rid of the camera.

    dicko, Dec 22, 2003
  5. I have a Canon PowerShot A70. Page 210 of the User Guide,
    Troubleshooting Section, responds to the problem with this comment:

    "Cause: Light from the flash has reflected off dust particles or
    insects in the air. This occurs more frequently in the following

    - When shooting at the wide angle end.
    - When shooting with a high aperture value in the aperture-priority

    Solution: This is a phenomenon that occurs with digital cameras and
    does not constitute a malfunction"

    So says Canon - You may want to check your Nikon guide to see if they
    have anything different to say.

    Alan Wonsowski, Dec 22, 2003
  6. softman

    Paolo Pizzi Guest

    Then they probably are dust speckles inside the lens or, even
    worse, fungi.
    Paolo Pizzi, Dec 23, 2003
  7. I saw a TV program on this phenomenon recently... Apparently it's
    quite a lucrative business for the photographers/"ghost hunters" who
    can charge quite large premiums to arrange trips to haunted houses.
    They are generally quite clever about it, using places with with a
    reputation for being haunted and making special arrangements with the
    owners for a private session and so on. Of course, most haunted
    houses are quite old, dusty, and have ceilings that are more prone to
    gathering pockets of dust than more modern smooth plaster ones. The
    program makers had set up a popular haunt of these scammers with
    hidden video cameras and they were, under the guise of "helping" the
    amateurs with thier cameras, sprinkling dust in front of the lenses.

    Even looking the exercise as a sceptic, it was actually quite easy to
    see how people could be taken in, despite their lack of gullibility;
    even with people moving around the room, some areas were clearly
    experiencing far less convection than others, as was later
    demonstrated. One guest who claimed to be sceptical appeared to
    reject the dust theory he'd gone in with because one part of the room
    had very animated "ghosts" while another part's were largely static.

    Oddly they seemed to imply it was a recent phenomenon, as in since the
    take off of digital cameras, although I would have thought a decent
    film camera would catch the reflection too, under the right lighting
    and film conditions. Of course, film doesn't give the immediate
    feedback that a digital with preview screen does, so maybe this kind
    of instant gratification is necessary for the scam to work.

    Andy Blanchard, Dec 23, 2003
  8. softman

    zbzbzb Guest

    Or they are ghosts. At least that is what many ghost hunters claim when they
    Does that explain all those pictures though. :)
    zbzbzb, Dec 23, 2003
  9. softman

    Patrick L. Guest

    Of course they are ghosts. The big one in the center, I swear, is my uncle


    Patrick L., Dec 23, 2003
  10. softman

    Alan Browne Guest

    Another argument for wider aperture cameras.
    Alan Browne, Dec 23, 2003
  11. softman

    Alan Browne Guest

    It has more to do with the use of small apertures than the use of film.
    At larger apertures, the dust motes near the lens would not be visible
    (far out of focus)

    Alan Browne, Dec 23, 2003
  12. Scammers, no. Dust, probably. From the point of the scammers, "more
    ghosts" = "more customers", so when the room's own dust doesn't
    cooperate, having some in your pocket helps keep the bottom line
    healthy. I have absolutely no truck with the idea that these things
    are ghosts; the majority are probably dust motes close to the lens and
    in the right angle to catch the flash or even ambient light. The rest
    are going to be down to one of any number of fluke circumstances to
    cause a small blob of sensors to get maxed out, or close to it;
    reflections off a shiny surface hitting the lens, whatever.

    Andy Blanchard, Dec 23, 2003
  13. softman

    zbzbzb Guest

    Does that explain all those pictures though. :)
    Never experienced any paranormal phenomena? :)
    zbzbzb, Dec 23, 2003
  14. Actually, I have had a few experiences I've been at a loss to explain,
    both visible and audible phenomena, and that creepy "I'm sure there is
    someone right behind me" feeling. I'm sure that there are people that
    would instantly take these experiences as evidence of ghosts, UFOs,
    "The Matrix" or whatever their personal beliefs. I just happen to
    think that until proven otherwise that odd light in the sky is more
    likely to have been light reflecting off a cloud, or whatever, than a
    spaceship from umpteen lightyears away, for example.

    Basically, I'm a card carrying skeptic, even when I've experienced
    something I can't explain. "No proof" equates to "it's still only a
    'maybe'" every time and a theory is a theory, not a fact.

    Andy Blanchard, Dec 24, 2003
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