Saturday, 2 November 2013

Can anyone help me solve this puzzle?

My old backup camera, an Olympus 560UZ, is suddenly acting up. There are two problems, and I can't understand or diagnose either. Neither is in every photo. I'm going to post some example sick photos that demonstrate the problems, plus other photos of what things should have looked like.

Problem 1: Red tones appearing where they shouldn't.

Example set 1:

Almost normal 
WAY more pink, especially the clouds
What it really looked like, taken by Karen's camera
Example set 2:
Pink spots in the clouds... 
...that are gone 90 seconds later
Example set 3:
Mt. Lassen in it's pink glory 
Taken seconds later. Not pink.
Problem #2: Smeared whites

Example 1:
Very tall police car fenders.
Then things get REALLY ugly when both problems happen at once.
That's the front ranges, that have grown REALLY tall and pink
More VERY tall pink mountains
Pink clouds, white smeared wings
I have tried fixing these problems by playing with white balance and ISO settings, to (mostly) no avail. Things look fine in my electronic viewfinder and rear LCD display -- until I press the shutter button. The captured picture is terrible.

This only started happening, and is an "occasional" thing (not every picture has the problem) -- though recently, it's happening with greater frequency.

So, smart people who are also photographers: what's the diagnosis? Sensor gone?


Ron said...

If it were the sensor, I'd expect either the whole image or a focal geographic portion of it. Instead, this looks like it's overdialing magenta into the white part of your gamut. No idea what could be causing this.

Back in the day of fixable cameras, I used to depend on Master Po in Altadore. He was able to recalibrate my Canon F1 spotmeter when they stopped making the proprietary battery and I had to go to one with a different voltage. Don't know if he does digital, though.

RyderDA said...

My niece sent me a note directly that I thought I would post here for further thoughts on the potential problem and it's solution. I quote:

"From what I've read the pink problem happens when the highlights get blown out when you're a certain wb temp usually in the 2000-2500k range. If you're shooting in an auto or semi auto mode you could be taking pictures of the same scene and getting different results depending on the camera's meter, especially if you have your meter mode set to a spot mode rather than metering the entire scene.

So in the mountain photo, if you metered more to the trees your camera would want to up the exposure and that will cause the white part of the mountain to blow out and go pink. In the same photo, if it was metered more for the white part of the mountain to he camera would underexpose it a bit and then your whites won't blow out (and stay white).

If your settings are 100% the same in the pink vs non pink examples then I'm at a loss as to what would cause it.

The smudging I've never seen happen before but it seems like it's a fairly common issue with a lot of Olympus cameras and from what I can figure out it's not a sensor issue but a firmware issue. I don't know anything about updating firmware in cameras though"