I have a beef. For months, I deliberated about whether a new camera was worth it to me or not. I cut back on expenses and saved until I could afford the camera I wanted. I waited for it to arrive for weeks while it was on backorder. Finally, it arrived and I thought for sure it would take my photography to a new level.
(Alas, you know what they say: it’s not the ingredients, it’s the chef.)
What I didn’t expect was to have some bizarre problem with my brand new camera.
Yesterday, after attempting to shoot the Transit of Venus, I nearly had a heart attack when I placed my loupe up to the LCD and saw some of the images included in this post. Having previously seen a video that shows how you can ruin the sensor in a digital camera by pointing it at a laser light, and having also read enough of the camera manual to know it says “never point the camera directly at the sun,” my heart took a pause when I considered the possibility that I had just destroyed the sensor in my 3-week old camera.
The images looked like half of sensor had been completely blown.
I stood there at my tripod and tried to breath. My heart was racing, my stomach doing flips–had I just ruined my biggest single investment in photography? I tried to calm down by reminding myself that I have shot sunsets numerous times without a filter and it’s never burned my sensor. This time, I had a 10 stop filter on the lens–surely that protected my camera?
Taking a few deep breaths, I managed to dissipate the panic enough to do the only thing one can do when anything operated by a computer starts to malfunction: reboot.
I turned off the camera and turned it back on. Thankfully, it started working again. My heart slowed down and I almost cried with relief.
When I looked at my photos on my computer, it became clear that there was indeed a malfunction. Some of these images look like double exposures–I didn’t think that was possible with a digital camera.
In looking at the problematic images, I discovered several things. First, it happened when I was shooting bracketed exposures (e.g., the camera automatically shoots 7 images in a row with a shutter speed that is one stop of light apart for each shot).
I also recalled several times when I was expecting to get 7 shots, I ended up with 2. When I looked at the pairs of photos that were most likely associated with these misfires, they have identical metadata. By that, I mean the shutter speed, ISO, aperture, date, and time (down to the second) matches exactly. Yet, the exposures and even the subject in some cases look wildly different.
I have googled to no avail. I seem to have a unique problem. I always knew I was different. 😉
If anyone knows what this problem is, please comment!
P.S. Title is an exact quote of my all-time favorite error message in a software program circa 1994.