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I set my Canon Powershot A460 to automatic mode and took photographs outdoors. When I see the to-be-photographed area on the LCD, it appears normal; but when I take a picture, the photo turns out extremely white. The more the outdoor light brightness, the whiter the picture. Because of the white, you can't see any of the objects that were photographed.

The camera is 3 years old, and I've tried taking pictures in manual mode with maximum and minimum exposure settings (+2 to -2). Same thing happens. Could anyone help out with this? I have already restored all the camera's settings to default factory settings, but the problem persists.

(I hope it's ok to ask such questions here. If it isn't please mention it in the comments and I'll delete the question. Thought of asking on the Canon forum, but I'm a big fan of the stackexchange sites.)

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What about pictures which were taken in low light? Are they properly exposed? –  fahad.hasan Aug 9 '11 at 13:49
    
Yes. Photos taken indoors in low light and photos taken indoors with flash are properly exposed. –  Nav Aug 9 '11 at 17:31
1  
@Nav — this kind of question is definitely okay. Someone may have the same problem later. –  mattdm Aug 9 '11 at 17:51
    
@mattdm: Thanks. Actually, people have asked on other forums but got no definitive answers. –  Nav Aug 10 '11 at 8:27
    
I really like the white effect! Do you know if there's any way I can set up my camera to take photos like this when I want? –  user7448 Dec 1 '11 at 0:18

2 Answers 2

It sounds as if the internal light-lowering mechanism in the camera has failed. In a larger camera, this is the aperture, but in many point and shoots, using an aperture to reduce the amount of light will only increase diffraction in the extremely short focal lengths of these cameras. So it's instead a series of neutral-density (ND) filters.

The fact that this is occurring outdoors points to this as a cause - the shutter isn't fast enough to cut down the light. I'm assuming pictures taking in lower light are properly exposed?

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Yes. Photos taken indoors in low light and photos taken indoors with flash are properly exposed. So is this light lowering mechanism a part of the hardware or the software? Will I be able to get it rectified/serviced or is this a permanent problem? –  Nav Aug 9 '11 at 17:33
    
@Nav unfortunately I don't know. To be honest I don't know how ND filters in compacts work (if that is the mechanism) but it's hardware. Might be a couple of polarisers that are activated in need... –  gerikson Aug 9 '11 at 20:12
    
I've submitted a question about how this works: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/14747/… –  gerikson Aug 9 '11 at 20:19
    
Thanks for helping. As per the answers, if the filters slide in and out, I'm guessing the camera took some internal damage if the person who borrowed it from me had dropped it. There's no external damage, but half of their trip's photos were fine, and the rest of the trip pics were washed in white. Looks like I'll have to take it in for repair. Knowing what went wrong helped immensely. Thanks guys! :-) –  Nav Aug 10 '11 at 8:31
    
@Nav sorry to hear that you lost pics! Hope you can get it repaired in an economical manner. Please let us know if that was the problem! –  gerikson Aug 10 '11 at 9:42

My Canon PowerShot A2200 was experiencing the same problems. I just reset the camera to default settings under the tool menu. That fixed the problem.

It appears that the original question did the same and it didn't fix the problem. So, for others looking at this, try just resetting the camera first.

Apparently I was taking pictures in the perfect lighting. Resetting didn't work.

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