Me no Leica
May 10, 2008 3:27 PM   Subscribe

What is causing the horizonal lines on pictures taken by my digital camera?

See picture here - that's a picture of a white wall in my flat, and as you can see there are faint horizontal lines across it. The camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 and has so far given me six months of trouble-free service. The lines started showing up last week. The camera has not suffered any extreme heat or shocks. The lines are still showing up with a clean memory card and a fully charged battery.

I am a total amateur and it is entirely possible I have changed a setting by accident - no obvious error messages are appearing, but there is a red camera-shaped icon in the top left-hand corner of the viewfinder that might indicate trouble of some sort. Or it might not.

Anyway, it's vexing. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it. The camera is within warranty so it can be returned to Panasonic if necessary.
posted by WPW to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had the same thing happen on my Fuji FinePix 900. I believe it's a problem with the CCD, and, from what I could glean by sifting through digital photography webforums, not an uncommon one.

Fuji was really great about it: though my camera was out of warranty, they fixed it for free. Which was awesome. If yours is still under warranty, you should have no trouble getting Panasonic to fix or replace it. Sounds to me like it's time to send the thing back.
posted by Dr. Wu at 3:42 PM on May 10, 2008

I realise this may be a long shot, but have you tried pressing buttons to see if you can get the red icon to go away again? Or possibly even looking in the manual to find out what it means, if you have a manual available?
posted by Lebannen at 3:45 PM on May 10, 2008

Response by poster: Lebannen: Yes, I checked the manual; the screenshots in the manual are black and white, but the icon is present in them, so I think it simply means "I'm in camera mode". Indeed, changing the mode (to video, playback, or whatever) changes the icon, but it's still red. It seems to be a red herring.
posted by WPW at 3:51 PM on May 10, 2008

It seems like a hardware problem. You should probably give Panasonic a call. They'll rule out other possibilities with you before deciding to replace it.
posted by winston at 4:08 PM on May 10, 2008

The red camera icon means it is in Normal Mode. Does not mean there is a problem. (Try a different mode, does the icon change?).
posted by artdrectr at 5:03 PM on May 10, 2008

Depending on your camera processes information it could be a hardware problem. I would follow Winston's advice.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:08 PM on May 10, 2008

That really sounds like a damaged ccd, which is definitely not reparable. You'll need to return/exchange it.
posted by rokusan at 5:11 PM on May 10, 2008

same thing happened with my canon powershot. it was 4 years old and wayyy out of warranty but i called up canon, sent it to them and since it was the ccd, they sent me a newer (nicer!) camera.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 2:25 AM on May 11, 2008

Your CCD is gonna go. Moisture and slight temperature change affect it. (ie. next to laptop=good, in a draw=bad!) If one day all you can see is black with some purplish - that was your CCD... and it's gone!!

It's their fault, MOST camera companies CONTINUE to use this cheap and nasty part (crappy plastic rather than ceramic) - so they will replace it for you! Don't let them try to weasel out of it... It's no secret that the plastic ones are shit, if they used it anyway - what did they think was going to happen?!
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 7:42 AM on May 11, 2008

What everyone else has said is probably true.

What kind of batteries does it use? If they are normal AA or AAAs, try new ones. If they are internal, rechargeable ones, try and see if the effect happens when it's plugged into the charger.

Also, just for grins, see if the manual has anything about a master reset or a cold reset, and do that.

And also, almost for nothing, take a photo of something with more contrast and color, at the full resolution of the camera. Then crop out a small-ish portion and magnify it. It might be easier to see exactly what its doing.
posted by gjc at 8:22 AM on May 11, 2008

I had the same problem with a Panasonic FX01, tragically out of warranty. It was indeed the first sign of CCD failure and things got much worse after that. Now it takes a weird type of psychadelic photo I'm trying to find a good use for.
posted by mmoncur at 2:30 AM on May 12, 2008

« Older How/where can I track down a power supply from the...   |   SportBrain: Stuck in phone-jack land. Alternatives... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.