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I have been in Kenya shooting some properties and staff portraits for 2 weeks. Everything has been working as normal until yesterday when I imported my photos from the day and discovered some major color banding. In playback mode right after taking the pictures, I did not see this problem. It was only when I imported them to my MacBook Pro and into Lightroom classic that I saw the issue. I haven’t dropped my camera or caused any damage that I know of - I did get caught in a little rain yesterday but in my experience the Pentax has been previously unaffected by a little water. Please tell me my SD card got scratched or something? I do see some scratched on the gold part. I am using a sandisk 256gb card and have a 2TB sandisk hard drive.

Please someone tell me that this is not a broken camera sensor and rather a problem with the SD card reader or card itself!

Image showing banding problem enter image description here

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Based on the photo you have a problem with SD card (storage or reading/writing process). As you can see these errors have more or less random nature so it is not something related to the sensor. You can try for example external card reader to confirm the problem is in the card. If all photos downloaded via external reader are OK the problem is your computer card reader.

But if the result is the same you can copy somewhere the photos from the card and format it in the camera! But my personal advice is not to rely on this card and replace it with another.

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These look like JPEG decoding errors, indicating that your file is corrupt(*). If you post one of the JPEG files somewhere (take a picture of an object if you have privacy issues) one of us can confirm. The most likely explanation is that the SD card is malfunctioning, and should be replaced. Worn out SD cards are frequent, I do replace them preventively.

(*) The beginning if the file (what would be the top left corner in portrait) is OK, then the decoder encounters a bad section of data and things go bad for the rest of the picture.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ JPEG errors would manifest in squares either 8x8 or 16x16. The vertical nature of this problem points to something different. Your advice to ditch the SD card is sound though. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2022 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkRansom JPEG from a camera are always encoded in landscape mode, and there is an orientation flag to tell how to rotate the result. So in the sample the stripes are horizontal in the un-rotated landscape. In addition the JPEG data is compressed using a ZIP-like encoding, if any byte is damaged the decompression algorithm is thrown off-track for the rest of the picture. Even a one-byte damage alters the rest, see this \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Apr 23, 2022 at 7:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkRansom Btw, you can see at the bottom of the OP's screenshot that in landscape pictures the bands are horizontal too... \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Apr 23, 2022 at 8:48

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