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Old Jul 12, 2007, 10:45 AM   #11
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Oh brother. I'll try again.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 10:45 AM   #12
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My Bad.

The header is there. Program bug (I'm using a beta version of an editor that apparently has problem). lol

Let me look at it and I'll comment shortly.

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 10:47 AM   #13
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Oh, good. Thank goodness someone else has a "bad" every once in a while!:-)I appreciate your help.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:12 AM   #14
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I don't see any obvious with camera settings that would have been causing it.

Flash was used and ISO was set to Auto. It used ISO 125, which seems a bit on the low side for sensitivity if it thought it needed to illuminate something futher away (although that may be a designed in limitation with some settings).

Two guesses:

1. She was holding the camera in a way that caused the flash to reflect back towards the camera.

Most models use a preflash to judge the length of the main flash burst needed. So, it looks for reflected light from this preflash and if something closer to the camera is reflecting it back (like the palm of a hand), it can really throw it off. I've seen this kind of thing with very small camera before. So, you have to make sure it's being held in a way that doesn't cause that (any reflected light from a hand or fingers, etc.).

2. Focus could have been on something much closer to the camera (causing the same type of issue), and it may have found the white book on the closer table and squelched it. That's unlikely though.

Now, that was taken with a focal range equivalent to 80mm (zoomed in closer to the long end of the lens). Flash range would only be around 8.5 feet there (and that couch across the room is going to be further away than that). But, chances are, that was not her subject (otherwise, the flash would have tried to stay on longer if that was the focus point and better illuminate the closer part of the room).

Are all of them coming out like this?

Here are the settings used (from my edited version, but the settings will be the same as in your original):

File name: s9test1.jpg (Standard EXIF Tags)

>>> Photograph Information <<<

Color Space : sRGB
Components Configuration : YCbCr
Compressed Bits per Pixel : 2
Contrast : Normal
Custom Rendered : Normal process
Date and Time (digitized) : 2007:07:07 05:13:44
Date and Time (original) : 2007:07:07 05:13:44
Digital Zoom Ratio : 0.0
Exif Version : 48 50 50 48
Exposure Bias : 0
Exposure Mode : Auto
Exposure Program : Auto
Exposure Time : 1/125 s
FNumber : F4
File Source : Digital still camera
Flash : Yes, auto
FlashPix Version : 48 49 48 48
Focal Length : 13.2 mm
Focal Length In 35mm Film : 80.0 mm
Gain Control : Low gain up
ISO Speed Ratings : 128
Interoperability IFD Pointer : 1554
Light Source : Fine weather
Max Aperture Value : F3.5
Metering Mode : Center weighted average
Pixel X Dimension : 640
Pixel Y Dimension : 480
Saturation : Normal
Scene Capture Type : Standard
Scene Type : Directly photographed
Sharpness : Normal
Subject Distance Range : Unknown
User Comment :
White Balance : Manual


>>> Image Information <<<

Date and Time : 2007:07:07 05:13:44
Document Name : s9test1.jpg
Exif IFD Pointer : 321
Image Description :
Image Length : 480
Image Width : 640
Manufacturer : NIKON
Model : COOLPIX S9
Orientation : top, left
Processing Software : digiKam-0.9.2-final
Resolution Unit : inch
Software : COOLPIX S9V1.0
X-Resolution : 72
YCbCr Positioning : Co-sited
Y-Resolution : 72


>>> Embedded Thumbnail <<<

Compression : JPEG (old-style)
JPEG Interchange Format : 0
JPEG Interchange Format Length : 5017
Resolution Unit : inch
X-Resolution : 300
Y-Resolution : 300


>>> Interoperability <<<

Interoperability Index : R98
Interoperability Version : 48 49 48 48

File name: s9test1.jpg (MakerNote EXIF Tags)

>>> Nikon3 <<<

AF Focus Position : N/A
Auxiliary Lens : OFF
Color Mode : COLOR
Data Dump : 73 73 42 0 8 0 0
Digital Zoom : 1.0x
Flash Setting : NORMAL
Focus : (AF-S )
Focus Distance : Unknown
Image Adjustment : NORMAL
Image Processing : 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 0 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 0
ISO Selection : AUTO
ISO Speed : 0
Noise Reduction : OFF
Pointer to a preview image : 574
Quality : NORMAL
Saturation : 0
Scene Mode :
Sharpening : AUTO
Version : 48 48 50 48
White Balance : SUNNY

Note the white edged book on the corner table? That may have thrown it off if focus locked on that.. But, even it looks a bit underexposed (although it may have tried to protect highlights with it).

Have you got any more in slightly different conditions coming out this way we could check? Do any come out OK for subjects within the flash range?

I brightened your image a bit so we could look at the contents and see if anything may have been throwing off the flash or metering.


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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:17 AM   #15
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First of all, how did you get the picture to even show up? In your reply, I can see the images; in the original photo, almost nothing is even visible.

Some of the indoor pictures are a little better, but I'm almost positive that those are ones that the auto setting did not call for a flash.

Your postulations sound like it would take a pro to make sure this little dinky camera is set right for indoor pictures.

From what you see, then, it's not so much a matter of doing the reset? or can you tell that yet?

I
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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Here is another example--taken inside their home, which has a lot of windows, so I'm not positive a flash was called for....
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:24 AM   #17
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P.S.

I'd try it yourself and see what you're getting (making sure you're not holding it in a way that reflects any of the flash back towards the camera).

Make sure you've got focus lock (half press the shutter button and you'll get a green light indicating focus lock when it's achieved), and see what the flash exposure looks like then. If focus is not locked, that can also cause exposure issues.

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:26 AM   #18
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I'll try these things when I get the camera in hand.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:30 AM   #19
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That last one was taken zoomed in even more. But, Auto ISO kept the ISO speed at ISO 64 for it. So, the camera's metering did not think it needed to increase it for more range.

Now, anytime you have a lot of white in an image, that can throw off metering. But, it should not be that far off. I'd try it yourself and see if it's something very simple (like the way she's holding the camera causing some reflected light from her fingers). When that happens, the camera thinks it can use a much shorter flash burst (it thinks that reflected light is coming from your intended subject), leading to underexposure.

I've had that kind of issue with very small cameras before.



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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:34 AM   #20
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If she is holding the camera wrong, would it be obvous--that is, would she be actually seeing part of her hand on the lcd screen, or is it more subtle than that?

Also, to simplify things for a non-photography-specialist, would you suggest, then, that she not use the zoom at all in photos that call for flash? Is it still adviseable to leave the flash on auto, or should she take off the flash completely?
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