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I've got a refurbished Panasonic DMC TZ40 which I consider to be very good value for money for my needs as amateur ignorant photographer. The camera is in good shape but was clearly used for some hundreds/thousands photos.

I took some hundreds test shots and some of them have completely dark corners (usually when zooming near the maximum, I think). It doesn't look like optical distortion at all.

Is this "expected" vignetting, e.g. due to bad configurations/conditions? Or an incorrectly oriented lens hood or decentred lens, as written elsewhere? Other damage?

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Since the output from the lens toward the sensor is circular the odds are that something which is the same shape as the sensor is blocking parts of the image pathway. As lens hoods are usually circular or have petals that don't block the corners in the way you're seeing, we shouldn't be seeing this in the corners.

My suspicion is that whatever it is may be loose or improperly fitted as the vignetting you're seeing outside of the corners is essentially square but is not parallel to the frame edges. If you can remove the lens hood it would be the easiest way to rule that out.

Such output appears to be a fault.

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I have two Panasonic DMC-ZS-40. This is my travel camera. Superseded by ZS-50 which sports a slightly improved electronic eye-level viewfinder. The ZS-50 omits the GPS which makes it less desirable for a travel camera. I take the ZS-40 on travels all over the world. I take pictures at all stages of the zoom and I have never seen a vignette. Yours must have an optical flaw.

I think the TZ is the same camera but special GPS for the Asian market.

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