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This will solve your problem but time sensitive.
Website sony e support . click on camera then cyber shot and in search type image problem enter then scroll down and click on link. important notice about your sony.
Thank you for your support and patronage of Sony products. It has come to our attention that a limited number of products, manufactured before March 2004, and incorporating a certain type of image sensor device (CCD), may exhibit the following:
When the product is used in camera mode, the LCD panel and/or electronic viewfinder exhibits either a distorted image or no image at all.
We have determined that this only occurs in a limited number of devices, but may be accelerated if they are exposed to hot and humid environments. Until November 30, 2009, Sony will repair, free of charge, the following product models exhibiting the above-mentioned symptom where it is caused by the image sensor device:
There is a $20.00 charge for shipping and handling.
A credit card is required at the time the order is placed.
You must provide a mailing address in the United States or U.S. territories.
Except as provided above, all of the terms of your Sony Limited Warranty continue to apply. Please follow the steps below to determine if your product may be affected by this issue and require service.
I think your lens are dirty. Buy lens cleaner from your nearest electronic store. Or do what I do, breath a mist on the lens and rub with a clean cloth. It always does a trick. Don't use glass cleaners.
Assuimn there is nothing on the lens[I would not think this is the case as it would not show as a distict spot
Not ne fora DIY or a repairshop this is a a failure of the CCD.
Depending on the age of the camera and model this may qualify for replacement, as there was a reported CCD issue at one time
Either that or Sony may offer a replacement at a good discount.
Rendrat: I just got a P72 and am wondering what settings you are using. Are you using Auto ISO? If so, the ISO will increase to 250+ with the flash and any significant zoom. It's a pretty weak flash and increasing the ISO is the only way to get sufficient range. You will definitely notice the noise at ISO 250.
I'm assuming you purchased a Sony as replacement. If that's the case, take it back and ask for a new one or have it checked out. Something sounds horribly wrong to me.
If by chance you got one of those Chinese/Taiwanese cameras. Give it away and go back to the P72.
Of course, a few hours reading the manual and playing with the camera may solve your problems. Don't try to get fancy first off. Stick with Auto modes until you get a feel for what you're doing. If you are using Auto the go back to the first sentence :-)