Random Thoughts

When digital camera tech support sucks

Written by Gail Bjork

Digital camera tech support often sucks. When it does, seek advice in an online forum.

SlugExcuse my language, but tech support sometimes really sucks. At least that’s been my experience too many times, and I bet yours too.

It’s time some of these companies clean up their acts.

Until they do, thank goodness for online photo forums!

We have a Q&A Forum at Digicamhelp geared specifically for new and intermediate digital camera users. Recently a forum visitor inquired about pink vertical stripes that sometimes appear on the LCD and on the image when shooting video.

The forum participant contacted contact tech support because he was having problems with his camera. He wrote that he had spoken to two technical representatives by phone who claimed it was the first they ever heard of the [problem].

Give me a break!

Those “tech reps” apparently have the “expertise” and training of a slug.

The fact of the matter is that the band of reddish or purplish light is a known phenomenon that occurs in devices with CCDs, such as consumer digital cameras. It happens when taking photos or video of a subject that is too bright.

Most of us may not know this, but shouldn’t tech reps?! I mean, it is in manuals and one kinda expects that these folks know some troubleshooting facts about the digital cameras they represent.

Read the manual, tech reps!

These reps obviously never read any of the manuals written by the company they work for. I own that particular brand of camera and when first encountering this problem some time ago, I checked the troubleshooting section of my manual. It says:

“A bar of light (red, purple) that may appear on the LCD monitor when a subject is ‘too bright.’

“This is a normal occurrence in devices containing CCDs and does not constitute a malfunction. (This red bar of light will not be recorded when shooting still photos, but it will be recorded when shooting movies).”

When shooting video, all we need to do to prevent the reddish streak is change the camera angle so the subject isn’t in bright. Oh, and we also need to watch out for tech reps that are not very bright.

Reliable information can often be found in online forums from other plain ‘ole users like you and me. Thankfully, a lot of them are really bright!

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.


  • charles, Some support for older Minolta lenses is still offered but lenses should be evaluated on a case by case basis. You may be able to use some older Minolta autofocus lenses on Minolta/Sony DSLRs. However, I do not believe that you can use Minolta lenses made for their manual focus film cameras. Be aware that the DSLR you buy may have a focal length multiplier, increasing the effective length of your lens by 1.5 for Sony DSLRs.

    I highly recommend you call a local camera shop, or a place like B&H Photo to for the most accurate advice.

  • Can I get a digital camera body and use a 100-300 zoom lens on it from a film camera 35 mm? The lens is a Minolta 100-300 mm zoom lens. If so do you know of a digital camera body I can use to make use of my current lens?