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08-23-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Is this a sensor defect?

First, apologies that this isn't specifically a Pentax question. It's regarding my wife's new Nikon Coolpix S4000 that I bought her to use as an ultracompact to supplement our Pentax K20D that I normally use for shooting. I just know there are a lot of knowledgeable people here so I hope you can help me.

We just got back from Disney, and it's the first real use of this camera. Much to our disappointment, we found many of the photographs have severe artifacts in them. They seem to appear only in outdoor pictures, in particularly bright parts of the picture. Oddly, it doesn't *always* occur in these conditions. I've attached four pictures to demonstrate:

The first is quite obvious - the sky looks like it was taken through a fence or something.

The second is more subtle, but you can see the effect in the waves and the boy's skin.

The third and fourth have similar composition, yet one shows the problem and the other does not.

Is this likely a camera defect? Are we doing something wrong? Surely this isn't to be expected with this camera?

Thanks!
-Tim

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08-23-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'm not a camera expert or tech but I'm pretty sure you are not doing anything wrong and that it is in fact a sensor defect. P&S's are extremely easy to use right out of the box and only require the initial set up to begin shooting so my vote is for a sensor defect and you should return it immediately.
08-23-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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I have to say that is the first time I've actually Seen banding of any sort when somebody talks about it online. If the camera is returnable, I would exchange it for a new one.

08-23-2010, 07:59 PM   #4
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By the way, the SD card involved is a 4GB Kingston that I've used successfully with my K20D for months. I bought a new 8GB card for the Pentax and gave this one to my wife...

08-23-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tfischer Quote
By the way, the SD card involved is a 4GB Kingston that I've used successfully with my K20D for months. I bought a new 8GB card for the Pentax and gave this one to my wife...
Then try the 8Gb in the Nikon and see if it does the same thing. It's most obvious in the blown out areas so overexpose the sky a little and it should show up. Somehow, I doubt this is a card issue though. Anytime I've ever had a card issue, it either wasn't recognized by the camera (card error or no card), or the photos were completely scrambled looking. This was a previously working junk card that I eventually hit with a hammer just to see if that helped it (it didn't).

08-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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I just reproduced the problem with the camera's internal memory and no SD card (the internal memory is a joke - holds about 10 pictures at full resolution, but I guess it was good for something! ) The camera will go back ASAP.

Thanks for the tips!

-Tim
08-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting that. Not sure if it's the sensor, but there's something seriously wrong.

Paul
08-30-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Just one last follow-up: The camera has been swapped, and I have been unable to reproduce the problem with the new one.

Now I get to attempt to photoshop all the bad photos from our vacation!

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