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inspector Jan 5, 2004 10:07 PM

DSC-P92 Macro photos w/flash overexposed
I recently purchased a new Sony DSC-P92. When I take a macro photo (distance about 5" from subject to camera lens) and have the flash setting on "Auto", the resulting photo is extremely overexposed.
I have tried changing various settings. I adjusted the EV it did not help. I also tried changing the flash intensity to "low", with no apparent difference.
The EV adjustment and the flash intensity are definitely working OK, because I can notice a difference on photos taken at normal distance, but the macro photos are completely washed out no matter I do if I use the flash.
In Steve's review of the DSC-P92 he commented that that the flash photos in macro mode were "excellent" and that the camera did a nice job of "throttling down" the flash when taking macro photos.
Has anyone had any experience using the flash in macro mode with this camera?
Is it possible that my camera is defective? Any tips or advice would be appreciated!

inspector Jan 5, 2004 10:15 PM

"Ammendment" to my post
The actual statement in Steve's review of the DSC-P92 camera was as follows:

"In Macro mode the autofocus allows you to capture images as close as 4 inches from the end of the lens and squelches the flash enough to get a great exposure at very close ranges."

I have not been able to obtain favorable results when using the flash in macro mode.

steve Jan 6, 2004 10:16 PM

We did not have any overexposure problems in macro mode. You can see an average example of one on our samples page:

All of those photos are direct out of camera with no editing, as are all of our sample photos unless otherwise noted (such as processed raw files from dSLR cameras.)


GWiz Jan 7, 2004 9:44 PM

Macro photos w/flash overexposed
Thanks for the post, Steve.
I called Sony customer service and described my problem to them. They had me check some of the menu settings on my DSC-P92:
1. The "white balance" setting on "Auto"
2. The "metering mode" to "multi" (not "spot")
3. The "EV" (exposure bias) set to zero.
3. The macro mode engaged (small flower icon showing on display)
4. The zoom backed off to widest view position.
I checked all of the settings, and they were all precisely as recommended.
They told me that if the photos continued to be overexposed (which they did) with these settings that I should set the "Reset" button, then retry.
I got the same results after resetting the camera. And I know the camera was definitely reset because I had to re-enter the date and time after I turned it back on!
I guess I'll have to send it in to Sony under the warranty.
As a comparison, I took some macro photos with my Nikon 4300 today using the flash at 4" distance. They were not too severely overexposed, but then I adjusted the EV to the lowest setting (-2.0), and then they turned out very good.

And yes, this is me. I used my old alius on the former posts. We recently moved to Minnesota and I have a different e-mail address. So I "re-registered" using my new e-mail address. There is no way to change your e-mail address in the user profile after you register, at least that I could find. Plus, I couldn't use my old username ("Inspector") because it was listed as already used by my old registration!

macro Jan 11, 2004 4:49 PM

Terrible Macro pics -bought this camera based on review here
I shoot mostly macro pics for on-line auctions, and have been using Nikon Coolpix 2500 with great results. Decided to imrove the image quality with a more recent camera.

And I am terribly diasspointed. Read Steve's review and bought this camera today. For last 1 hour, I have not been able to get even one decent macro pic of small objects. All pictures are out of focus as well as overexposed. Another stupid feature is that you cannot use zoom in the macro mode? Am I missing something??

Yes, all the settings are proper and I know enough about photography otherwise.

I used to take these on-line reviews seriously but now realize that these rehashed product releases from the manufacturers.

GWiz Jan 11, 2004 8:33 PM

DSC-P92 Macro photos
After several phone calls to Sony Digital Camera customer service (1-800-222-7669) they were of the opinion that my DSC-P92 was defective. They recommended that I send it in for service/repair and assured me that they would find the problem and correct it. I reluctantly sent it off.
I'll post another reply to this Forum after I get it back with the results.
According to the printed Operating Instruction Manual for this camera (on page 26) you *can* use the zoom in Macro mode. When the zoom is all the way to the W side you can shoot photos up to 4" distance from subject to the lens. When the zoom is set all the way to the T side you can shoot photos up to 23 5/8" from subject to the lens.
Actually, the macro photos that I took with my DSC-P92 *without* the flash turned out quite good (both exposure and focus), provided I held the camera steady and there was reasonably good ambient light. The only problem that I was having was when the flash was required on photos taken at a distance of 4" to 6" from subject to lens--they were way overexposed.
I hope that you can figure out the problem with your camera, Macro. I think that the Sony DSC-P92 is a really nice camera--it has a lot of nice features. The people in Sony Customer Service seemed very helpful and cooperative when I contacted them for assistance. I hope that you have a good experience, too. Please post the outcome of your situation!

macro Jan 16, 2004 2:41 PM

I had tio return the Sony camera - nothing helped
Tried Sony Tech Support and other options. Turns out this is a design flaw in these camera. Basically, do not try to use flash with Macro at very close distances. It is annoying that I bought this camera based on glowing review on Steves Digicams. And they seem to have missed this basic flaw.

It cost me $45 in restocking fee to find out this major problem.

In future, I will not bother to read these reviews. Just read the press release from the manufacturer and hope to get what you pay for.

GWiz Jan 17, 2004 8:09 PM

Macro, you said that "turns out this is a design flaw in this camera"? Did you come to this conclusion on your own? Certainly the people in Sony Customer Service would not have told you this!
When I contacted them they told me that the problem of overexposure on macro photos with flash could and would be remedied provided I send the camera in to them, which I did.
I guess I'll find out after I get the camera back if in my situation it is a defect that can be corrected, or whether that is just the way the camera performs.
The way I figure there is NO digital camera out there that is 100% perfect. And the Sony DSC-P92 excels in many areas of performance.
In your case, where you take lots of macro photos, perhaps your decision to abandon this camera in favor of a different model was the best choice for you.

GWiz Jan 22, 2004 9:41 PM

I received a phone call from Michael at the Sony Service Center in California today. He said that they checked over my DSC-P92 and there is nothing wrong with it! :roll:
What a blow. :(
He told me that you aren't supposed to use the flash when taking macro photos, and that if you do use the flash that you can expect the photos to be overexposed because the flash is too powerful.
I suggested that apparently this is a design flaw in this camera, but he denied that and said that he had never heard of anyone trying to use the flash for a macro photo.
I explained to him that I discussed the problem with the Sony Customer Care person in detail prior to sending my camera in, and that they told me that there was an apparent problem with my camera. He told me that the Sony personnel who answer the phone calls don't know anything about the cameras. They just listen to you and help you arrange to send your camera in.
I couldn't believe he said this!
I told him that this was nonsense. I also requested to speak with his Supervisor, who basically told me the same things that Michael did. His Supervisor provided some "recommendations" for lighting (using an external light source) the subject when taking closeup macro photos.
Anyhow, they are going to send my camera back. At any rate, I certainly wasn't at all impressed with the technition repair department, which seemed to have a non-professional aire about it.

steve Jan 22, 2004 11:28 PM

Guys - All I can say is that the P92 that we used had no problems shooting macro flash shots at a distance of 7-8 inches. This sample photo here was shot at that distance with the flash.

This was a production model P92 so we assumed that all of them worked as well. We took many closeup flash macro shots like this during our review process and the vast majority of them came out OK. I intentionally shoot this candy dish because those highly reflective candy wrappers really test the camera's exposure system capabilities.

If you want excellent macro/flash shots then go with a Nikon Coolpix, they're the king of macro digicams.


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