Is this a bad sensor?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by kim_bahnsen, Jun 6, 2013.

    My camera was borrowed and got dropped from the height of the bed to the floor. The photos now have these strange jagged lines, noise, or pixelation. I'm not sure if it's a sensor or the lens. Any guidance?
    It's a Canon EOS Rebel T3, thanks!

  2. I doubt it's the lens, and I don't know if a drop can "break" a sensor per se, but there's no question that something gone horribly wrong, and it seems clear enough that it's something to do with the electronics.
    I wonder if it's something wrong with the read-out to the card - have you tried a different sd card?
    What about a different lens? And was the lens dropped too? (I still can't see it being the lens, but every information point might help).
  3. I have not yet tried another card, but can do so (that would be great if it was just that!). I think the lens was on it, but I don't have another lens to test out.
  4. I don't have another lens to test out.​
    Then buy, rent, or borrow another lens. You are wasting your time until you check it out with another lens.
  5. I just tried another SD Card... unfortunately, it didn't fix the issue.
  6. It seems likely that, if the problem showed up right after the camera was dropped, there is something wrong internally. But it certainly doesn't hurt to test other things before sending it off to Canon for a repair quote, or possibly buying a replacement.
    Assuming it is something internal to the camera, it's likely the repair costs will be a large percentage of the the cost of a replacement. One way to get a less-expensive replacement is to use Canon's Customer Loyalty Program. Canon will sell you a heavily discounted refurbished T3 through this program. All you have to do is call them up, they'll send you a shipping label for the damaged camera, and you'll get a replacement T3 (or even more if you'd like) for less than the current refurbished prices on their website.
  7. Don't know why you'd need a different lens, this is clearly not lens related (though it couldn't hurt to try it?), the repeated pixellation is clearly caused at a point beyond where the light hits the sensor.
    I would do a hard reset first. pulling both the main battery and the time and date battery will do this (assuming the t3 has a time/date battery), alternatively, updating the FW will do this as well. I don't necessarily expect that to fix the problem, but it may fix it (say, for example, the blow scrambled it's poor little brain a bit). if not, as Rob suggests, a new one or repair is in order.
  8. "updating the FW will do this as well", what does this mean?
  9. It's not the lens, and it doesn't look like a bad sensor. It looks to me more like electrical noise, perhaps from damage to a ground connection. I suspect it would be a fairly basic repair -- maybe of the $200 or $300 variety. That might not be worth it.
  10. Thanks Sarah, at that price i'm more than half way to a new camera. Are there any trade-in programs?
  11. Well, try the hard reset first. It's free, and you never know...
    Even so, the randomness of the zigzaggy lines looks like classic electrical noise to me. It would be great if I'm wrong! ;-)
    Trade-in programs: Yes, Canon's customer loyalty program.
  12. I'm pretty new to cameras and photography, but when I play with the Noise Reduction and Luminance in Bridget, it does smooth things out a bit.
  13. I also think it is something electrical. I can't conceive of any kind of lens damage that would cause this sort of regular pattern. Noise reduction will smooth this out regardless of the cause, so that is not diagnostic.
    I would check Canon's repair policy. I think they have a minimum standard charge, but I think they also give you the option of refusing the repair and having it returned after they give you a final estimate. I think in this situation, assuming the minimum is not too high and they do in fact let you refuse the repair, I would send it in for an estimate. If the repair is too expensive, then have them return it and use the Canon Loyalty Program to trade it in on a refurbished camera.
  14. The circuitry and/or the sensor has been jarred. I doubt it can be repaired. Look up what your camera is worth used on Adorama etc. If its less than $300, then just buy another body and be done.
  15. Kim, it may be a fault due to the drop , but it is a quirky image ! Save it and print it ,it could be a winner in the world where just one image could not be repeated ! Wish you well Miken
  16. You can shoot without a lens if you do not have another lens. Activate live view mode and if you still see the pattern it is most likely your sensor. However, pattern also suggests some kind of interference.
  17. Is this constant on photos taken everywhere, or just this location. It kind of looks like RFI, radio frequency interference. Were you near any radio, television, cell phone transmitter or repeater antennas where this photo was taken? Close proximity to radio transmitting antennas, especially commercial, can produce very strong RFI inducing voltages across all the wires and microcircuits. It could screw up a photo taken while this was happening. If strong enough it could possible damage surface mount and integrated circuits. Imagine putting a micro chip into a microwave oven, cooking it with radio waves. Those wave induce voltages on all metal. Just a thought.
  18. I would try doing a complete factory reset of your camera. If that does not help and a second lens shows the same problem, then it is likely the body.
  19. Looks like RFI. Maybe the shielding was knocked loose. My old 5D used to show similar patterns (but not as heavy) when I shot near a transmitting tower or around cheap radio poppers. My later EOS have better shielding and I haven't seen RFI since.
  20. I've decided that lending out gear is just a no-no.
    Earlier this year, I let somebody borrow my 5D2 to shoot video; when it came back the memory card pins were bent and needed replacement, and there was so much filth on the sensor it needed professional cleaning.
    Although it's good to help people, lending them expensive camera gear may not be the best way to do it.
    My 2p
  21. I hadn't thought of a strong radio source causing the problem, the pattern certainly is similar to that kind of interference. The rebel, with it's solid plastic body would be the most sensitive EOS to this kind of interference. If a ground connection was broken or knocked loose in the fall, that would certainly make the camera vastly more sensitive to that kind of EMI, though I'd think you'd have to practically be shooting on top of a broadcast antennae for that amount of interferance to come through to your images (your camera makes a pretty poor antennae)...
    Did updating the firmware (or reinstalling a current version) make any difference in the camera's performance?
  22. It kind of looks like RFI, radio frequency interference.​
    Yep, that'd crossed my mind too, Mark.
  23. If you're downloading files from the camera to a computer via cable, be watchful that the USB cable and any AC power cables are well separated.
  24. The Canon USB cable does have a ferrite core to choke off RFI, still doesn't mean RFI can't get in on the computer too, but I doubt this is the issue. At the file transfer point the image is already a file, ones and zeros in JPEG or RAW format, if it was getting corrupted in file transfer from memory card to computer the file would just be corrupt. I believe this interference is being captured at the time the photo is being encoded into a file on the camera. The herringbone lines are recorded as part of the image. It could be RFI, simple to rule out, shoot some shots in a field with no nearby transmitter antennas.
    Occam's razor, the camera fell and the problem started, makes sense something broke. It is also possible a broken or cold solder joint or connection, RF filter capacitor or other micro circuit in the camera circuitry is damaged and is causing a beat frequency in the cameras circuitry. Even a cracked circuit board.
    I only brought up RFI as a possible cause and that will be easy to rule out by testing in an RF free environment.
    It will take some trouble shooting, try the easy stuff that costs nothing to test first. If all fails, send it to Canon, or have your local shop do it. If the camera is damaged it may be a $200+ fix or they will just say it is not cost effective to fix, at which point you can buy a cheap good as new refurb camera through Canon's customer loyalty program or go some other route.

    Sorry you are going through this.
  25. Thanks everyone for responding. It's so frustrating that I can still take pictures, and most turn out well until I blow it up 150% and start seeing the noise.
    I did a factory reset and no change. I swapped SD cards, no change. THe RFI is a good thought, as this picture was taken in Hong Kong up on a mountain, and there were probably antennas up there too. But I've now taken this camera back and gone shooting on my own, and no change. I still see noise. I have a call in to my cc company to see if they will consider the extended warranty.
    Even when I preview photos on my camera before I download them, and zoom in, I can see the noise...
    Perhaps a free estimate into Canon would at least get an answer to cost. It was $460 so I imagine any repair will be a large chunk of the purchase price.

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