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Each photo taken in landscape orientation with my Olympus XZ-1 shows a dark stain on the top right, like in this example.

Does anybody else has this problem? Could it be a dump patch? How can I diagnose what's going wrong? Should I send the camera to the assistance as long as it is under guarantee? If the guarantee had expired, what would be my best options?

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4  
These kinds of questions really require an example image to get meaningful answers. –  Phil Sep 10 '12 at 15:30
    
I added a photo example: dl.dropbox.com/u/6660682/P8264418.JPG –  Darion Badlydone Sep 10 '12 at 19:02
2  
OK. It looks like sensor dust but seems too big. Does it always appear exactly in the same spot? It will vary in size by aperture, so try another image at F/8 and compare. If it moves, it might be in the lens (I assume the lens itself has been cleaned and that no filters are involved). –  Itai Sep 10 '12 at 19:06
    
I tried to take a photo at F/8 and the stain is visible. If I shoot at F/1.8 the stain is quite invisible. But It's always on the same spot. –  Darion Badlydone Sep 13 '12 at 6:57

2 Answers 2

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I've had almost identical spot/problem with my Finepix F30 after a trip to some local waterfalls. Sent it for checkup - they said it's water damage to the sensor and cannot be easily cleaned. The price they quoted for repair was more than the current value of the F30, so I ended up buying Canon S90.

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Remember, this is a small sensor camera, so dust is magnified. With the note that it is invisible at wide aperture and visible stopped down, the diagnosis is near-certain: there's a speck of dust on the low-pass filter in front of the sensor. (There's a small chance that it's a stain from water as Boby says, as well, but the sample looks more like dust to me.)

With a compact camera, sending it in for cleaning is usually the only option. This'll probably cost $100 — and they'll probably do it under warranty for you at least once. If you don't want to pay that, you can:

  • resign yourself to only shooting with wide apertures in situations where the dust isn't visible
  • clone it out in post-processing every time
  • use this as an excuse to buy an interchangeable lens camera with a dust-removal system (and where you can clean the sensor yourself if need be)
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I sent it to Olympus Customer Service and I hope they are cleaning it under warranty. However I like your 3rd option! –  Darion Badlydone Sep 25 '12 at 13:52

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