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Old Aug 27, 2006, 12:23 AM   #1
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I own two (used) D-550s. One seems to work well, the other, well . . . .

In indoor shots, exposure seems OK. Here's a shot of the office (not my desk!) (click on image for larger):

[img]ftp://asavage.dyndns.org/hosting/Olympus_D-550/P8170001_c.jpg[/img]

But, if I walk outside to the parking lot (click on image for larger):

[img]ftp://asavage.dyndns.org/hosting/Olympus_D-550/P8170002_c.JPG[/img]

If the ambient light is a bit less, you can see (faintly) the image and some vertical streaking.

EXIF info for the second picture:
Quote:
"Property name",
ImageDescription,"OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA "
Make,"OLYMPUS OPTICAL CO.,LTD"
Model,"C300Z,D550Z"
Orientation,"Top left side"
XResolution,"72.00 "
YResolution,"72.00 "
ResolutionUnit,Inches
Software,v574u-76
DateTime,"2006:08:17 13:08:10"
WhitePoint,"0.00 "
PrimaryChromaticities,"0.00 "
YCbCrCoefficients,"0.00 "
YCbCrPositioning,"Datum point"
ReferenceBlackWhite,"0.00 "
Copyright,
ExposureTime,"1/500 sec"
FNumber,"2.9 "
ExposureProgram,Normal
ISOSpeedRatings,85
ExifVersion,0210
DateTimeOriginal,"2006:08:17 13:08:10"
DateTimeDigitized,"2006:08:17 13:08:10"
CompressedBitsPerPixel,"1.0 "
ShutterSpeedValue,0
ApertureValue,0
BrightnessValue,"0.00 "
ExposureBiasValue,"0.00 "
MaxApertureValue,"4.0 "
SubjectDistance,"0.00 "
MeteringMode,Multi-segment
LightSource,Unknown
Flash,"Flash fired"
FocalLength,"6.0 mm."
SubsecTime,
SubsecTimeOriginal,
SubsecTimeDigitized,
FlashPixVersion,0100
ColorSpace,sRGB
ExifImageWidth,1984
ExifImageHeight,1488
RelatedSoundFile,
FocalPlaneXResolution,"0.00 "
FocalPlaneYResolution,"0.00 "
FocalPlaneResolutionUnit,
ExposureIndex,"0.00 "
SensingMethod,Unknown
FileSource,"Digital Still Camera"
SceneType,1
UserComment," "
UserCommentCode,Undefined
Artist,
XPTitle,
XPComment,
XPAuthor,
XPKeywords,
XPSubject,
(EXIF info for the first pic above is here.)

TTBOMK, every image-related setting is at factory defaults (Auto, etc.).

I am not a photographer, not even a hobbiest photographer. In general, I just use the digicam to document various aspects of my work. Most of this is indoors, so I didn't notice the problem for quite a while, but it's repeatble and consistent.

Ideas? Suggestions?
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:44 AM   #2
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When in bright light, you should

1. Use a higher Fnumber (F2.9 is wide open, let's too much light in)

2. Use a faster shutter speed, like 1/1000


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:52 AM   #3
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The exif says you fired the flash too...
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Old Aug 30, 2006, 10:35 AM   #4
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al_savage wrote:
Quote:
TTBOMK, every image-related setting is at factory defaults (Auto, etc.).

I am not a photographer, not even a hobbiest photographer. In general, I just use the digicam to document various aspects of my work. Most of this is indoors, so I didn't notice the problem for quite a while, but it's repeatble and consistent.

Ideas? Suggestions?
Make sure everything is reset back to factory defaults. You'll find a menu option under Setup called "ALL RESET". Make sure it's set to On (the camera will reset everything to defaults each time you power it off that way). See this page for more details:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2002_.../d550_pg3.html

If that doesn't help anything and you have two of these cameras, swap the batteries and memory cards between them and see if that clears it up. From time to time, a faulty battery can cause those kinds of symptoms.

If that doesn't fix it, my guess would be that you've got early signs of CCD failure. Without knowing how bright the conditions were, it's tough to say if the camera's metering selected appropriate values or not (in overcast conditions, 1/500 second at f/2.9 and ISO 85 isn't too far out of line).

If you take photos with both cameras in the same conditions, and one is very overexposed and the other correctly exposed, and both are using approximately the same settings for ISO speed, aperture and shutter speed, it's likely the sensor or a related component. I've seen this type of failure before (overexposure, even with appropriate shutter speed/aperture, with banding throughout the image).

I had a camera doing the same thing a while back. In my case, swapping the battery solved it. But, that may have been a coincidence, as I've seen others report that swapping the battery didn't help anything and it turned out to be a faulty sensor.

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 11:25 AM   #5
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jota: I am not a photographer. I don't see an option for directly changing the fnumber (aperture?). The EXIF data above reflects the "ISO" option set to "Auto". I just repeated testing, using all possible "ISO" values of "Auto", 100, 200, 400, with no discernable difference.

I do not see how to change the shutter speed in this camera. But if it's possible, I'm willing to be educated.

jacks: The flash setting was set to "Auto". If the flash fired (in bright light!), it was because the camera decided to, not because I set it to.

JimC: I just swapped the batteries and SM card between the two cameras to do the ISO tests above: no change. All outdoor shots in moderately bright light (ie mostly clear sky and bright sunshine) are completely washed out, as in the example upthread.

Mode Menu | Set | All Reset is set to ON, and always has been.

Thanks for all replies. It appears that I have an "indoor-only" camera.

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 11:58 AM   #6
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If that was taken in clear and sunny conditions, then it's probably not metering the scene correctly (selecting an aperture/shutter speed combination that results in overexposure).

In a non-DSLR model like this, the main sensor is also used for metering. So, it's probably defective (or one of the supporting components has failed).

I'd try leaving the batteries out for a couple of days, just for the heck of it. Sometimes that will allow a camera to reset everything (sort of like a computer rebooting), in case it's just something in memory messing it up, versus a defective component). The RESET ALL may not really be resetting everything in some cases.

You may also want to try a different metering mode to see if that makes any difference (spot versus Matrix). I doubt it though (unless you deliberately meter on something very bright to try and fool it into correctly exposing the rest of the scene).

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:01 PM   #7
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When I bought the camera, it was shipped sans batteries, so it had been unpowered for several days.

I'm going to give up on it. I have the second, working D-550, and just bought an SP-350 @ Costco last night for $200. I'm moving on.
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