My Precious

Wait! Wait! Don't Throw That Out!

Samsung Pro815 by Samsung
'Bowl of Pears II'
'Color Festival'
'Trumpet Vine'
'Onion Blossoms'
'Red Reeds'
'Time Escapes Me'
'Emotional Prison'
'Bellefleurs Bokeh'
'Frida Lay'
'Nesting Orchids'
'Morning Whispers'

I have had quite a few digital cameras over the last 10 years and have had battery failures, glitches and other issues, but nothing like this.

Sunday evening after a day of shooting with my favorite camera, I decided to pull out one of my cameras for some early evening photography; my Samsung Pro815. I have used this camera for many years and in fact one published image on JPG's Theme: 'Human Impact'. Well, I fire it up, she comes on just like every other time, the displays function; there is a 3.5" rear, viewfinder, and 1.5" waist level display. I switch the setting to Auto and head out the door to my garden and pop off a couple of shots...

I have the setting to display the image on the main screen so I can see what is happening instantly, but something is wrong. The images are all white and lines completely cross the screen and the images are impossible to make out.

I begin to fiddle around with the settings, wondering if I had something wrong...every setting is the same: no matter the exposure time, fNumber, Focal length, Color Space or any other setting; the images all come out the same, except when I come back in the house and snap a shot of a vase in the mirror with very low light. Suddenly the image comes up on the screen and it is visible but very distorted with bleeding colors and shadows where there are none.

My panic sets in, fearing that my camera is toast. I pop off shots all around the house in the low light and suddenly the images begin to really display some very artistic effects; negative-like, ghostly, bleeding color, shadow play, light where it is dark and vice-versa.

I post the first image on JPG to see if others have had this issue and several people comment that the sensor is kaput! I was so upset at first, but after really figuring out what lighting the camera likes to shoot in, it all starts to come together. Low-Light and darkness are what it prefers.

You can see from the results the effects of a damaged sensor, but I would say the sensor is working perfectly, the way I would like to capture the world. I have many other cameras and this one is definitely my NEW 'OLD' PRECIOUS!!

So, if you have a digital camera and the sensor is failing, do not throw it out or have it fixed just yet. Play with it and try different settings and light situations; you may be surprised at what comes out of it. I think it has a mind all its own and I'll keep it and shoot with it as long as it allows me.

JHB - See more images:

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26 responses

  • Andrew Gwozdziewycz

    Andrew Gwozdziewycz said (21 Jul 2009):

    I had a Coolpix 5700 that went kaput a few years ago doing similar things. I tried taking photos in various lighting conditions hoping that the sensor was recording *something,* like what yours is, but to no avail. You're one of the lucky ones. These images are great!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (21 Jul 2009):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Dorothy Menosky

    Dorothy Menosky gave props (21 Jul 2009):

    What an amazing series of photos. They should be in a gallery.

  • Alexis - Now on Flickr

    Alexis - Now on Flickr gave props (21 Jul 2009):

    Very cool!

  • Robert Duncan

    Robert Duncan   gave props (21 Jul 2009):

    sorry about the camera going down; but what a happy accident! that's the term i use with my students when they think they've screwed something up, but turns out quite nice.

  • peggy gardner

    peggy gardner gave props (22 Jul 2009):

    yeah I've tried to "clean" some weird effects from streaks...maybe you could purposely marr it...anyway, yeah this is coolio...juz like you.

  • Penny Nannini

    Penny Nannini   gave props (22 Jul 2009):

    now this is a digital camera that I could use!

  • adniloj

    adniloj gave props (22 Jul 2009):

    loving them all!! & what a fun adventure for you

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist said (22 Jul 2009):

    It's a little late for the damn votey button...since the moment has passed.

  • Michael Risenhoover

    Michael Risenhoover (Deleted) gave props (23 Jul 2009):

    Oh yeah, this is great and I am still happy that "damn votey button" is back!

  • Karen Zimmerman

    Karen Zimmerman gave props (23 Jul 2009):

    Wow, after the panic, I think I'd be excited as you are...these images are really cool!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (23 Jul 2009):

    cool and creative discovery, J!!! Yeah, it is rad, my vote

  • Natalie S

    Natalie S gave props (25 Jul 2009):


  • Ingz

    Ingz (Deleted) gave props (26 Jul 2009):

    this is such beautiful and creative, I had no idea your sensor was broken....I love how you made some wonderful out of a normally bad situation! you will certainly have my vote.

  • Ingz

    Ingz (Deleted) said (26 Jul 2009):

    ....sorry about all of the mistakes, the space to write in is so small!

  • Chris Whitney

    Chris Whitney said (28 Jul 2009):

    Interesting effect combined with some nice comps!

  • Richard Seah

    Richard Seah gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Fantastic story John. Congrats for making the Ten 10 Precious list.

  • Gail Anderson

    Gail Anderson gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    congrats on making the blog for the story!

  • dp *

    dp * said (29 Jul 2009):

    Wonderful series and great read. RADman ! dp

  • Penny Nannini

    Penny Nannini   gave props (29 Jul 2009):

    congratulations on being in the blog!

  • Paul Lavallee

    Paul Lavallee gave props (29 Jul 2009):

    your eye behind this camera has created some stunning images

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (29 Jul 2009): the photos! My Vote :)

  • Cindy Coubrough

    Cindy Coubrough gave props (29 Jul 2009):

    You're a blog star!! Congrats J.!

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (2 Aug 2009):

    Very interesting essay and I love the photos! Congrats, JH

  • ♥ Cairenn ♥

    ♥ Cairenn ♥ said (18 Aug 2009):

    !!LuV!! this!! - voted 'Yeah!'

  • Danne Dhirgahayu

    Danne Dhirgahayu said (19 Aug 2009):

    wow man!!!amazing!!!i love it!!!

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