1. AC Question's Avatar

    I just bought a new Sony and noticed that pictures taken with the rear camera have darkened patches. The bottom two corners are darkened (portrait orientation) and the top left corner is darken almost square shaped, with a distinct divide in the top middle where normal tone continues to the right corner.

    Is this a hardware issue? Sounds like it to me. Can it be fixed by replacing the camera? Or should I have the phone replaced (I'd rather not..)

    12-06-2016 08:01 PM
  2. nahoku's Avatar
    Check to see if there's a lens protector sticker on the lens. Might just be shadows from the sticker. Do these dark spots also show up in the same place in landscape and portrait photos? If there's no sticker, could be dust either inside or outside of the lens. Yes, it could be hardware, and if so, you should just exchange the phone... I would.
    12-06-2016 08:16 PM
  3. JB4999's Avatar
    (same person, I have sign up on the forum now)
    There's no sticker on the lens.
    I also had performed a factory reset, which didn't make changes.
    The smudges do show up in landscape and portrait images.

    The reason I am hesitant to replace the whole phone is that I ordered it online from another country (not through my provider), and so returning and replacing it would take time. I wonder, would replacing the camera fix the hardware? Would it be less trouble than sending the phone back?

    Here is a picture of the dark patches. It is a photo in lower lighting, but of an off white surface with no shadows, yet you can see the darker areas.
    Dark Smudges on my Photos--Hardware Problem? Fixable?-sketch-1481126225877.png
    12-07-2016 09:54 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Just to be sure -- do the smudges still show up when viewing the images somewhere else, like on your computer? If so, then it's possible that replacing the camera module itself might fix the problem. But it's difficult to know for sure unless you try it.
    nahoku and JB4999 like this.
    12-07-2016 01:17 PM
  5. nahoku's Avatar
    Would it be less trouble than sending the phone back?
    This would depend on which phone you have. Many phones require you to pull the display to access the camera module/connector... in which case, you may end up causing more problems than just the camera. Check Youtube for disassembly videos on your model phone. It'll give you a good idea what it entails.

    If the photos still show the dark patches on your computer as B. Diddy has asked, then for sure, something is wrong with your phone, and yes, it could just be the rear camera module as you didn't state it happens with the front camera.

    I personally would contact the seller to see what they say. It's not likely they'll send a replacement to you before they have a chance to look at your phone, but they might. Contact with email also and send photos showing the problem. Plead with them that you need your phone and can't do without it for any length of time... anything to hopefully convince them to send a replacement before sending your phone back.

    By the way, those patches look very bad!
    B. Diddy likes this.
    12-07-2016 02:02 PM
  6. JB4999's Avatar
    Yes, they appear on my computer as well and yes the front facing camera takes clean images.

    I looked at a tear down tutorial today (i have a sony xperia z1 compact). I haven't fixed a phone before but it didn't look too complicated, except it required gluing/re-applying adhesive to reconnect the back. It also would cause the phone to lose its waterproof ability I think. That wouldn't be the worst, I don't plan to swim with it, but I would like to receive a new phone that I don't have to fix.

    They offered to give a discount, though they didn't say how much, but they said I have to send it back before getting a replacement. I am going to try and ask again though.

    Is this dark spot thing a common problem with this model, does anyone know? I'd hate to replace it and have the same problem again..

    Thanks for the input!
    12-07-2016 02:31 PM
  7. nahoku's Avatar
    I just watched the teardown, now that we know your model number. Replacing the camera module requires removing the screen and motherboard to get to the module connector. Are you certain you didn't watch the Z1 (not Compact) video? In that video, it's an easy job. You do have a Compact model, correct?

    If you can't convince the seller to send you a new device, I would opt to send your phone back for replacement. Don't take a discount as the seller may have known about the issue and sent the phone knowing full well it had a problem, and hoping they could satisfy you with a discount. I've experienced something similar myself in the past on a Swappa buy... I returned the phone.
    12-07-2016 03:37 PM

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