Both my son and myself have the same camera and are experiencing the same problem, after 3 years of excellent performance some of the images are slightly faded and have horizontal lines throughout the whole image as if only some of the information has been processed. the batteries are in good condition and all the pictures were taken whilst on the auto setting. the video capture still works ok but the number of porr images is on the increase. i have a different memory stick but problem remains
4/8/08 Found the answer. Sony Repair service is fixing for free any CCD sensor problems on "any" camera that had a "Sony Manufactured CCD sensor". I have now called the service center and they sent me a UPS Return label so I can send my camera in for "free" repair. This is good news!!!
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Re: sony dsc-p73 image problems
Are the images ok in playback mode ? If they are ok but the pics in capture mode are "noisy" ( i.e. quality is poor both in terms of color rendition and resolution) then it is a CCD sensor that is on its way out.
Note that properly manufactured CCD transducers last 10 years + so see if Sony will do this free of charge ... you have a good case.
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It's possible with how old it is the zoom motor has worn out, I've seen that before with the older Sony digital cameras. It's possible for it to be repaired but it's more cost effective to get a new camera from my experience. Hope this helps.
Try to do this:
1) Increase the picture ISO and set the ZOOM to max. Here is the manual
2) Reset your camera settings to defaults, this will help if it is a software problem.
3) Update your camera firmware.
4) If all didn't work then your camera has a hardware problem and need to be send to Sony Repair and Support Service.. You can access it here: http://eservice.sony.com/webrma/web/index.do