Cameras forum


Kodak EasyShare ZD15 pics too dark or too light-can't fix!

by abbygayle65 / January 25, 2013 1:05 AM PST

I must have messed with a setting somewhere, but can't figure out how to fix this. When I take a pic, I either get a real bright light over the photo or the picture is really dark. Even if I leave everything on the same mode, but one picture will be real light and real dark.
It does not seem to make a difference what flash setting I use. It does not seem to matter what picture mode I use either.

I am kind of thinking I might have an idea of one of the problems, but can't fix it. Under the "Smart Picture" setting (where most photos are to be taken), there are three options. I push the button with the flower on it. THen on the LCD screen it should cycle through the options, a flower (macro), a mountain (infinity) and AutoFocus (no icon & normal picture taking). I am unable to cycle to the no icon auto focus. It only goes to the flower and mountain. Maybe this is why my photos are so messed up???
I'm a complete loss. This is/was a good camera until just recently I ran into this problem. I would hate to have to junk it, but I am having absolutely no luck figuring this out!

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Clarification Request
Did you try reset?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2013 1:11 AM PST
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No luck
by abbygayle65 / January 25, 2013 7:57 AM PST
In reply to: Did you try reset?

Thanks for the response. I hadn't seen the camera reset, so I was excited about this idea, but unfortunately it did not do the trick for me. I still can not get a clear photo. One picture will be nearly pitch black and the next will be blindingly bright. Someone suggested turning bracketing off. In the modes where I saw bracketing, those are turned off.
I still curiously am unable to select AutoFocus under the Smart Picture setting.
Any other ideas? Again, I appreciate you taking the time to give a reply.

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Some things to try.
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 25, 2013 8:24 AM PST
In reply to: No luck

The symptoms you describe seem unusual even for a malfunctioning camera.

Charge the battery.

Set the camera to the auto mode
Set the flash to Auto
Go outside to the daylight.
Turn the camera around and look at the lens while you take some pictures.
See if the lens has extended all the way out.
See if the lens cover is opening all the way.
Look for any smudges or finger prints on the front of the lens (glass).

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(NT) Do this first (great advice)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2013 8:37 AM PST
In reply to: Some things to try.
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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2013 8:27 AM PST
In reply to: No luck

But it sounds like another one of those failures. I can't guess if it's the usual sensor or some other cable/connection issue but if you reach the point where you have written it off, try the old smack trick. Remove battery, card and any part that comes off easily then, and this is within my limits of English writing, grab the camera firmly with one hand and swing it to the other hand letting it smack into your hand with a nice smack sound. I do that when we are just about to toss them out.

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Another question
by abbygayle65 / January 26, 2013 11:17 PM PST
In reply to: Sorry.

Hi guys. So, I put a new set of batteries in and all of the sudden the "smart capture" (photo of camera) mode is available again with the flower and mountain. Unfortunately, it doesn't stay. It cycles randomly every few seconds between the three now at this point and I"m unable to keep it on one setting. But there is an addition now too. There is a image of a person with brackets around them.
Someone mentioned turning bracketing off. Is that what this bracketing is? I can not figure out how to turn off bracketing and am unsure whether that is really a symbol that means bracketing. I appreciate the help. Any ideas on this one? It has seemed to help the extreme darks and extreme brights, but it still is not taking quality photos at this point.

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Something to try
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 27, 2013 8:36 AM PST
In reply to: Another question

It sounds like new batteries may have fixed the problem.
You say you are no longer getting extreme brights/darks.
Check the battery compartment and see if there is any corrosion from the previous batteries.
Corrosion shows up as white or green powder on the metal parts.
If it is there, it must be cleaned out.
If you are using standard batteries, make sure you are using Alkaline batteries.

Regarding the changing flower and mountain symbol.
That is normal if you are in Smart Capture mode.
Put it in P,A,S,or M mode and you will see that it will stay where you put it when you use the Focus button on top of the camera.
When you are in Smart Capture mode the symbols will change as you point the camera at something far (mountain) or close-up (flower). It is changing because you are moving the camera around. Keep the camera still and the symbol will stay.

Regarding the poor quality problem.
Most likely it is caused by the digital zoom.
Look in the set-up menu and make sure that the "advanced digital zoom" is turned off.
Digital zoom degrades the quality of a picture.

I'm not sure what he meant by bracketing.
I do not know what a man with brackets is.

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Gettting closer?
by abbygayle65 / January 27, 2013 11:56 AM PST
In reply to: Something to try

Thanks snapshot! Hopefully we're getting closer with this one. So, now it makes sense why it is continually changing! Thank you for that. I also turned off the advanced digital zoom. Previously hit had been on pause. Thank you for that as well. I guess when I say I am having trouble with poor photo quality, I guess it is mainly a poor lighting on my photos issue. I do not get the extreme brights anymore, but I am getting very dark pictures still. Almost every other photo. The auto flash is almost never producing a flash. Even when I put it on preflash (the flash with eyeball symbol, it doesn't normally flash. Do I have a flash issue do you think? When I have a dark room and put it on auto flash, it won't flash most of the time. Also, when it does flash, it will still be a dark photo half the time.
I know that the "Fill" option is not available in smart capture mode, only in P, A, S, or M modes, but even when I use that and it is supposed to flash every time, it only flashes about half of the time. ....

(Also, probably unrelated, but just in case it is relevant....Where the mountain and flower alternate in top left corner, I also have a picture of a person (head and body) surrounded by a frame. Sometimes this person has a star above his head..Normal?

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More Information
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 27, 2013 12:53 PM PST
In reply to: Gettting closer?

At this point I think you should do a camera reset again.
After the reset you should turn the camera off.
Then turn the camera back on again.
This is necessary to complete the reset.

There is EXIF information included in every picture.
This information includes details about the picture.

Find one of the dark pictures where the flash did fire.

With the computer, Right click on the file name.
Then click on Properties.
Click on the Detail tab.
There will be data about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.
I would like to know all of that information.

Take a few pictures outdoors (without flash) and let me know how they came out.

Flash -
Auto flash with/without red-eye enabled will likely react the same. With red-eye, it will flash twice.

So far I have not found anything about a person surrounded by a frame.

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by abbygayle65 / January 27, 2013 1:16 PM PST
In reply to: More Information

Ok, i'll work on this and get back to you. THANK YOU for your help!

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by abbygayle65 / January 28, 2013 3:35 AM PST
In reply to: More Information

Ok, I reset the camera.

The photos taken outside without a flash turned out pretty well. I was happy with these. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on them, but didn't have any dark photos out of the dozen or so that I took.

Next, some inside photos where flash fired, but pictures were dark
Properties & Details on 3 photos:
Photo 1: pic size 3648x2736 pixels
shutter: 1/30th sec
exposure: portrait mode
distance: -
flash: fire/auto
aperture: f3.50
focal length: 6.20mm
ISO speed: 200
Light Source: -

Photo 2 and 3 were the same.
Let me know if you need anything else on those. Thanks

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Kodak ZD15 camera
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 28, 2013 11:37 PM PST
In reply to: results

The exposure information looks to be what I would expect - meaning it is OK.

Any time the flash is used, the shutter is set to 1/30th second on this camera.
The other settings are within bounds.

The ZD15 flash is only rated to 15 feet (10 feet if using red-eye setting).
If something is directly in front of the camera (such as a person) the flash uses that object as the exposure setting and the object will be properly exposed and anything behind that object will be underexposed (dark). That is normal.

If nothing is nearby (in front of the lens), the room should be well lit (if it is a small room).

If your flash pictures are different from that, post the picture for us to see.

If you have your picture somewhere on the internet, just post a link to the photo.
If you don't have the picture on the Internet you can open a free account with and put your picture(s) there. When you look at the photo there will be some links near the photo. Use the link called "Direct Link". Put that link in the message you post here and then we can see the photo.


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a few pics
by abbygayle65 / January 30, 2013 1:09 AM PST
In reply to: Kodak ZD15 camera
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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 7:44 AM PST
In reply to: Kodak ZD15 camera

After seeing that outdoor picture, I have to ask.

Was that a foggy day with a fine mist falling.

That is a bad picture. Everything is out of focus.

I can't get any useful information from it.

How about posting a picture of a house and/or building outside wall taken from 10 feet away.


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by abbygayle65 / January 30, 2013 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: Wow!
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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 31, 2013 5:02 AM PST
In reply to: Ha!

Those outdoor pictures are what I was wanting to see.

It looks like your only problem is with the flash unit.
It does not reliably flash when it should.
Just as a final possibility, ready the camera as if you were going to take a flash pictures and have someone watch and see your hand placement on the camera.
Make sure that no part of your hand is covering the flash unit or the Auto Focus assist light on the front of the camera.

If that checks out OK it is time to see about service or replacing.
Service usually will cost over $100.

The camera can still be used for "non flash" pictures.

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by abbygayle65 / January 31, 2013 10:21 AM PST
In reply to: Ha!

Ok, well thank you for your help. I appreciate that you took the time to investigate with me a bit. Looks like it'll be time for a new camera. Good and bad there, just have to spend the dough. Sad But, thanks again. I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me problem solve here on this one.

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