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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:42 AM   #21
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You'll need a flash indoors with most non-DSLR models like that one.

Otherwise, you're going to have very blurry photos (it would need to keep the shutter open far too long to expose the image without a flash, leading to blur from subject movement and blur from camera shake)

No, the fingers would not need to be part of the photo. If the lens sees any reflected light during the preflash (fingers in front of the flash reflecting the light back towards the camera's lens), it can lead to severe underexposure with some models.

The camera issues a very short preflash, usually around 100ms before the main flash burst. Based on how much reflected light it sees, it decides on how long the flash burst needs to be for the main burst. If that burst is too short, you'll get underexposure (images that are too dark).


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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:46 AM   #22
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Okay, gotcha. Then, to summarize, you see no evidence that the camera itself has a defect. The likely cause is the way she is holding the tiny camera. Sorry to be dense, but I think that may be the answer, so I want to make sure I understand about how her fingers could be causing the problem--if the fingers are in front of the actual flash itself?--or if that isn't right, tell me exactly where NOT to put the fingers so that when I try it myself I can make sure that is the problem (I think it might be).
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 11:52 AM   #23
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Well, we don't know if it's got a defect or not. But, that kind of thing is pretty rare. That's why I'd try it yourself and make sure it's not something simple (like how it's being held).

Now, I'm looking at the front of the camera in our review, and it looks like there may be a sensor just to one side of the lens (on the opposite side of the lens from the flash).

Some models don't use a preflash (and rely on a separate sensor that measures reflected light during the flash exposure instead). So, make sure nothing is interfering with that small hole to the right of the lens when you are shooting, too (and make sure it's not clogged up with some lint or dust or something). ;-)

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:07 PM   #24
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IOW, if exposure is good without a flash outdoors, the metering is probably working OK. So, something is interfering with how much light it thinks is being returned by the flash (or you've got a bad flash sensor).

It's more likely something simple (like how the camera is being held, or in some cases, a clogged up flash sensor can cause it for model's equipped that way). I've got a little pocket camera with a separate sensor, and if I get my fingers too close to it, or cover it up, it squelches the flash too soon (sometimes they work in the opposite way that you'd expect when they get covered up).

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:14 PM   #25
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I will definitely try these things when I get my hands on the camera. That it takes gorgeous outdoor pictures is certainly "telling." My d-i-l is so sweet, she actually was trying to say that she could just use it for outdoors and not worry about indoors. I told her that of course it should work well indoors, too. I'll try the "how it's held" possibility as well as the clogged sensor (if I can figure out how to tell if it's clogged). If it is a bad flash sensor, I suppose sending it in for repair is the only way to know? Don't know if it has a warranty or not (I did not purchase an extended warranty, I know that).
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:19 PM   #26
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Look for something obvious (spec of lint in the hole that sensor occupies, if that's indeed what it is, and I don't know that for sure, and haven't looked in this model's manual to check).

I don't see a viewfinder on this model. So, it's probably a sensor for the flash (very rare anymore, as most models use a preflash to judge exposure). The separate sensor is a better way to go (just make sure nothing is interfering with it).

Again, try it yourself and see what you get, making sure that you're holding it so no reflected light towards the camera is being caused by your fingers, making sure you've got focus locked (half press the shutter button and wait for the green focus lock before pressing it down the rest of the way). You want to make sure focus is locked on your target (since some models use focus distance as part of the algorithms to determine how long a flash burst is needed).



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Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:35 PM   #27
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P.S.

It looks like that model was announced August 24, 2006. So, it should still be under warranty (if it was intended for sale in the country you live in and you bought it new from an authorized Nikon dealer), assuming a one year warranty like Nikon typically has in the U.S.. But, Nikon will want proof of purchase if you need to send it in.

I doubt it is defective though. Check for a clogged sensor, and see what you get yourself (making sure you're within the rated range and have focus locked) first.

Reset it back to defaults, too (just to make sure a bit or two didn't get flipped somewhere causing an issue). These things are more like computers than cameras anymore, and resetting one back to defaults sometimes fixes odd issues.

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Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:36 PM   #28
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Thanks for all your help.:-)
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 6:14 AM   #29
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Any update?
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Old Nov 10, 2007, 8:53 AM   #30
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We determined that on occasion she was allowing her hand to block the sensor, so that was a major discovery. However, we cannot get good pictures in venues such as indoor sports or choir concerts.
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