Solved: Digital Camera taking Black Pictures | Stellar (2023)

Summary: Are you frustrated with your camera taking black pictures? Are the photos coming out dark or shadowy in spite of ample light during the shoot? It is probably because of wrong exposure. This post explains why camera photos turn out black and helps you with the 13 workable solutions to fix the issue.

Contents

  • Why are my pictures coming out black?
  • How to fix camera taking black or dark photos
  • Finally,

You love to shoot amazing pictures with your digital camera. But suddenly the camera starts taking black pictures. Photos appear too dark. Indoor photos are black despite the ambient light.And you wonder why?

Photography is not just a creative pursuit but a skill mastered with practice. Nevertheless, you don’t need to wrap your head around this problem. Camera recording black or dark photos is a common issue. And can be easily fixed using the below methods:

  1. Set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to prevent dark pictures
  2. Use Auto Mode in the camera
  3. Adjust Exposure Value Compensation
  4. Use fill flash to remove darkness from photos
  5. Check the camera battery
  6. Shoot in RAW
  7. Clean the camera lens
  8. Check the LCD backlight
  9. Reset your camera to factory settings
  10. Use Histogram to correct picture exposure
  11. Fix dark photos during editing
  12. Contact the authorized camera service center
  13. Repair corrupt black pictures with Stellar Repair for Photo

Why are my pictures coming out black?

Your camera would do the best job when it receives the good amount of light. A combination of right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings is a key to perfect photos. When the 3 elements are not set to the correct level, your camera will produce underexposed, dark, or black photos.

In addition, the camera pictures can turn out black because of shooting onlow battery orwith adirty lens. In case the LCD screen shows a black screen instead of a photo, the problem could be with the LCD backlighting.

How to fix camera taking black or dark photos

To fix black pictures issue, first check the camera settings. Ifyou are shooting in Manual Mode, fix the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings.Alternatively, you can try your camera’s default Auto mode or shoot in RAW.

Plus, do the basic checks like lens cover is removed before shooting, battery is fully charged, and there’s no dust over the lens.

1. Set aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to prevent dark pictures

If your camera is taking black pictures, work upon the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. But to obtain the correct settings that bring the perfect exposure in the photos, it’s essential first tounderstand these 3 camera elements.

Aperture

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Aperture is a hole through which light enters your camera. The bigger the aperture more the light reaches into the camera sensor. It is measured in a focal ratio such as f/4.0, f/5.0, f/8.0, etc. The larger the focal-number, smaller is the aperture, i.e., lesser light passes the camera sensors. So aperture should be more to stop the camera from taking dark photos.

Shutter speed

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Shutter speed is the duration for which the shutter is opened. It is measured in a fraction of a second such as 1/10, 1/40, etc. Less shutter speed lets more light into the camera. Hence, when taking pictures at night, keep the shutter speed low. Further, shutter speed also affects the picture sharpness in motion photography. You can follow the common rule — to set the shutter speed as per the focal length of your camera lens.For example, if the camera focal length is 65 mm, set the shutter speed to 1/65.

ISO

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ISO is the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light. Lower ISO results in darker photos. Conversely, you can brighten a picture by increasing the ISO number. ISO value usually starts from 100 and can go up to 6400, depending upon your camera. When shooting in less light, keep the camera ISO value higher to prevent the camera taking black pictures. Try to set it to at least 200. Further, depending upon light conditions, you may need to raise it to 1600 or above.

Having said this, a very high ISO can result in grainy photos. Thus, use camera ISO to brighten photos only when low shutter speed and bigger aperture are causing blur or noise in pictures.

In a nutshell, adjust these 3 photography aspects to an optimal level so that the maximum light enters the camera. And you get a bright photo without noise, blur, or grains.

If you are still unsure about setting the proper exposure in a photo or find it complex, try the automatic mode of your DSLR camera.

2. Use Auto Mode in the camera

As an amateur photographer, you may not want to fidget with the multiple settings in your camera. Instead, take advantage of the camera Auto, also called Program Mode. The automatic mode in the camera auto selects the aperture and shutter speed settings to generate the best possible light exposure in your photo.

Professional photographers commonly denounce the Auto Mode in contrast to Manual Mode.But modern cameras built-in Auto mode is improved and better. Mostly you can obtain a well-exposed photo without the annoying darkness.

3. Adjust Exposure Value Compensation

Cameras now come with built-in Exposure Value Compensation. The feature helps to correct the brightness levels in pictures captured by the camera. You can quickly fix the camera taking too dark pictures. Especially while shooting in dim light or indoors, exposure compensation lets you take greater control of the exposure setting.

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In order to use Exposure Compensation, first select any of the camera mode such as Program Mode (P), Aperture Priority (A/ Av), Shutter Priority (S) or other scenic modes present in your camera. Remember, Exposure Compensation doesn’t work in Manual (M) mode. Once you select the camera mode, adjust the exposure value compensation to remove darkness from your photos.

The Exposure Value Compensation is indicated with (+/-) sign. Check for the sign overyour digital camera. It should be typically available on a button or a dial, depending on your camera model. If you set the exposure value towards negative, the camera will take darker photos,whereas moving it to the positive sign, the pictures will get brighter.

4. Use Fill flash to remove darkness from photos

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Lighten up pictures by using the fill flash. The technique is best used to remove the darkness or shadowed areas from pictures when recording at night, dim light, or on extremely sunny day.

Typically, fill flash is used when the background is brighter than the subject in your frame. Like when your subject is in front of a sun-dappled river or a snowy mountain. Using the technique, you can remove the dark cast over your photo’s subject and brighten up the overall picture.

However, be careful when adding light to the shadowed areas of your photo. Too much light or flash too close to the subject can muddle your images. Maintain a balance between the ambient exposure (the existing light) and your flash light. Professionals prefer to control the exposure manually using both camera’s exposure settings and flash settings.

5. Check the camera battery

Turn off your digital camera. Remove the battery for a few minutes and reinsert it. Make sure the camera battery is fully charged and properly inserted.

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Now check if the camera exposure issue in pictures is resolved or not.

6. Shoot in RAW

Cameras have options to record photos in JPEG and RAW. Choose to shoot in RAW format if you are getting dark JPEG pictures. The RAW file types capture all image data recorded by your camera sensor. The RAW format photos are of high quality and brighter compared to the compressed JPEG files.

7. Clean your camera lens

Turn off your camera. Remove the lens. Gently clean it using a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt, fingerprints, or smudges.

You can also use the ‘Clean Image sensor’ option present in your camera. The feature removes the dust that sticks to camera sensors during exchange or change of lenses. You can find the sensor cleaning option in the menu of your digital camera.

8. Fix the LCD backlight

If photos are black on camera LCD screen but appear fine on computer, it is possible that your LCD backlight is dead. Besides, to be rest assured that camera taking black pictures is actually an LCD display issue you can do the following checks:

  • Make sure the digital camera powered on when viewing the photo.
  • The lens cap is removed before taking pictures.
  • Press the camera FINDER/LCD/ Display button more than once to check if the LCD screen is working.
  • If none of these methods help, try factory reset your camera.

If your camera LCD display still shows black and you can’t see any picture, contact the manufacturer for repair. If the camera is in warranty, they should replace the LCD display.

9. Reset camera back to factory settings

If the pictures continue to come out black, try by resetting your digital camera to default settings. The reset option may vary with camera model. For instance, Canon variants usually have ‘Clear all camera settings’ options whereas to reset Nikon DSLR, navigate to ‘Reset Shooting Options’ from the camera menu.

10. Use Histogram to correct picture exposure

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Histogram helps to assess the picture exposure settings on your camera LCD. It is a graphical representation of the brightness levels in the picture. You can quickly find if the photo is underexposed and change the camera settings accordingly.

If you see a tall spike on the left in the histogram, it indicates the photo is underexposedor dark. Whereas if the picture is overexposed, the spike will appear on the far right.

Most of the new cameras display histogram of each picture they take in the review or electric view finder mode.

11. Fix dark photos during editing

Do you already have dark or underexposed pictures and can’t reshoot them? Fix dark pictures using anadvanced photo editor. Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Movavi, and others have multiple options to fix the brightness and contrast in your pictures.You can add hue/saturation adjustment layer, use filters or other features to enhance the image and minimize the dark cast.

12. Contact the authorized camera service center

If no technique works and the camera continues to take black or dark photos, contact yourcamera authorized service center. You can also email or call the manufacturer’s support service on its website.

13. Repair corrupt black pictures with Stellar Repair for Photo

If a perfectly shot photo appears completely black on your computer, it could be due to corruption. Image files stored in hard drive, SSD, camera memory card etc., can get corrupt due to virus infection, improper file transfer, bad sectors in drive and other reasons. The corrupt photos may appear black, grainy, color damaged, etc. However, you can repair them usingphoto repair software.

Photo repair tools don’t work like image editing software. They don’t fix overexposed, underexposed or other flaws in pictures caused due to wrong camera settings or poor light arrangements during shoot.Instead, they repair corrupt file header and data to bring back your photos in original form.

We recommend tofix damaged photos due to file corruption with an advanced Stellar Repair for Photo software.It is straightforward and simple to use. You can easily repair JPEG and other RAW photo file formats used in Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Canon,and other camera brands.

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But do take the free trial to assess the software. It fixes the corrupt photo and shows the preview after repair.

Finally,

It’s annoying when your camera takes black photos. But now, with the given 13 ways in this post, you can easily fix the camera taking black or dark pictures problem.

Hope you found this post helpful. Do share your comments in the box below.

About The Author

Solved: Digital Camera taking Black Pictures | Stellar (9)

Nishat

Nishat Paiker is an expert technical writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. She has deep knowledge about data recovery and loves to explore new technology and DIY tools. Nishat has keen interest in photography. You will often find her giving photography tips and hacks.

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FAQs

Why does my camera keep taking black photos? ›

A combination of right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings is a key to perfect photos. When the 3 elements are not set to the correct level, your camera will produce underexposed, dark, or black photos. In addition, the camera pictures can turn out black because of shooting on low battery or with a dirty lens.

Why is my Nikon taking black photos? ›

Exposure

If you have the camera taking black pictures, it could be because of the wrong exposure. Exposure is the amount of light that seeps into your camera. It also produces the picture on the image sensor.

Why is my digital camera not taking pictures? ›

Make sure the battery is fully charged. Check the lens to make sure it is properly attached. Don't set the Drive Mode to Self-Timer. If you are using the built-in flash, you need to recharge it before you take another picture.

Why is my camera LCD black? ›

It may be that the LCD screen's backlight flex cable is loose or that the backlight has failed in the screen or that the motherboard backlight power supply circuit has a fault condition. If you can't detect an image at all the most likely the LCD screen is faulty or has a loose connection.

Why are my photos black in manual mode? ›

In brief: if you use full manual mode you need to set an appropriate aperture and shutter speed. To sum up the issue, you are using full manual mode but have not determined an appropriate aperture and shutter speed that would result in a correct exposure.

What is ISO on a camera? ›

ISO is your camera's sensitivity to light as it pertains to either film or a digital sensor. A lower ISO value means less sensitivity to light, while a higher ISO means more sensitivity.

How do you clean a Nikon camera sensor? ›

How to clean your NIKON DSLR Sensor & Mirror (THE PROPER WAY)

How do I change the ISO on my Nikon? ›

Nikon tips - how to adjust shutter aperture and ISO - YouTube

How do I change aperture on Nikon? ›

To adjust aperture, keep the Adjusting Aperture button pressed while rotating the command dial (left for larger apertures/lower f-numbers and right for smaller apertures/higher f-numbers).

How do I get my camera to take pictures? ›

If you want to start using your camera, begin by taking a few pictures. Choose a subject, like a landscape or a pet, focus your camera for a moment, and then press the shutter button. The camera should capture this image. To get the hang of using your digital camera, take a few pictures around your house.

Why is my camera shutter not working? ›

The Shutter Won't Open or Close

If your shutter won't budge, it's likely jammed. You'll end up with overexposed photos (if the shutter stays open too long) or dark images if the shutter is stuck closed.

Why can't I take pictures? ›

We found 3 possible causes: The pictures are saved in the wrong memory. There's not enough memory on your mobile phone. The camera isn't used correctly.

How do I reset my camera? ›

Restore Default Settings for your Camera App in Android #shorts

Why is my Sony camera just a black screen? ›

The reasons why the screen would not be working could be because the camera is having issues initializing everything properly, or the LCD screen is either damaged inside or is not properly attached to the rest of the camera's circuitry.

How do I fix my camera? ›

Fix your Camera app on your Pixel phone
  1. Step 1: Clean your camera's lens & laser.
  2. Step 2: Restart your phone.
  3. Step 3: Clear the Camera app's cache.
  4. Step 4: Update your apps.
  5. Step 5: Check if other apps cause the problem.

What ISO should I use? ›

As discussed above, you should always try to stick to the lowest ISO (base ISO) of your camera, which is typically ISO 100 or 200, whenever you can. If there is plenty of light, you are free to use a low ISO and minimize the appearance of noise as much as possible.

What does manual mode do on a camera? ›

Manual Mode

As the name suggests, “Manual” mode stands for a full manual control of Aperture and Shutter Speed. In this mode, you can manually set both the aperture and the shutter speed to any value you want – the camera lets you fully take over the exposure controls.

How do I make my photos clearer in manual mode? ›

You're going to need to change the ISO setting in manual mode. ISO controls how sensitive your camera is to light. The smaller the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to light. So in the above example you will need to set your ISO to the lowest possible setting (100) to avoid overexposing your photo.

What ISO is too high? ›

ISO 800 is half as sensitive to light as ISO 1600. A low ISO value (e.g. 100 or 200) means low sensitivity to light. This is exactly what's needed in bright conditions in order to avoid overly-exposed photos. A high ISO value (e.g. 800, 1600 or higher) means a high sensitivity to light.

What shutter speed do I use? ›

Generally speaking, using the standard rule of thumb is to make the shutter speed equal to your focal length when hand-holding your camera. For example, if you are shooting with a 200mm lens then you want to keep your shutter speed at 1/200 sec or above to avoid any blur occurring from camera shake.

What does F mean in camera settings? ›

Aperture and f-stop.

The “f” in f-stop stands for the focal length of the lens. While focal length itself refers to the field of view of a lens, f-stop is about how much light you allow to hit the sensor via the aperture opening.

How do I know if my camera sensor needs cleaning? ›

Make sure that your focus is way off (completely out of focus) – that way only dust particles will be visible. Zoom in on the image (rear camera LCD), scroll from left to right and top to bottom all over the image and see if you can find any dark spots. If you cannot see any, your sensor is clean.

Can I use alcohol to clean camera sensor? ›

Although there are a number of camera lens cleaning products you could use, alcohol is the best and easiest alternative for a smudged or dirty camera lens when you don't have any products on hand.

Should I clean my camera sensor myself? ›

DIY sensor cleaning is completely safe. As long as you do it the right way, you shouldn't have any problems. Many photographers regularly do their own sensor cleaning without any issues.

Do professional photographers use auto ISO? ›

Automatic ISO is widely used by both professional and beginner photographers alike. Rather than having to manually adjust your ISO for every photo, your camera does the work.

Should I set my ISO to Auto? ›

Should You Use Auto ISO? Absolutely, you should! As you have probably gathered, Auto ISO is a great feature that's useful in situations where the light is changing rapidly or you don't have time to adjust your settings in fast-paced situations.

Where is the ISO automatically set in most cameras? ›

The Auto ISO setting can be found in the shooting options menu of newer Nikon digital cameras.
  • Manual Mode. In Manual mode, the aperture and shutter speed values are fixed by the user. ...
  • Shutter Priority. ...
  • Aperture Priority. ...
  • Program.

What f-stop should I use? ›

To keep both the foreground and the background in focus for a photo spanning a lot of distance like this one does, try using stop settings of f/16 or f/22 (definitely over f/11). Also, when you're in the wide depth of field range, use the Sunny 16 Rule: On a sunny day, it's best to use stops of f/16 or higher.

Is lower aperture better? ›

A lower aperture means more light is entering the camera, which is better for low-light scenarios. Plus, lower apertures create a nice depth of field, making the background blurry. You want to use a low aperture when you want a more dynamic shot.

How do I know what aperture my lens is? ›

So start by identifying your lens's maximum aperture. (This is generally listed in the name of the lens; it's also generally printed on the side and/or end of the lens.) Note that all prime lenses feature a single maximum aperture, such as f/2.8 or f/4.

How do you take pictures with a digital camera? ›

How to get better photos from your digital camera - YouTube

When you take a picture Why is it that the camera won't take a shot if there is no focus? ›

If the lens isn't attached properly the contacts may not be touching. So the camera can't send the lens the message to focus when you press the shutter button. An even worse scenario is that your lens could literally just fall off and get damaged if it's not locked into place correctly.

How do I know if my shutter is failing? ›

Shutter failure almost always presents itself as a partially exposed image, meaning part of the sensor is not exposing anything due to a shutter leaf still being in front of it. There will be a large black shaded portion of the image. You would clearly notice this and it would become more frequent as time goes on.

How do I know if my shutter is working? ›

How to test if a point and shoot camera is working before loading it ...

What is a stuck shutter? ›

A stuck shutter is a common failure mode for digital cameras. The camera may take black pictures (for shutter stuck closed), or the pictures may be bright and overexposed, especially when taken (for shutter stuck open).

How do I restart my camera app? ›

Method 1: Restart the Camera

Exit the camera app on your Android. Wait for few minutes and then tap on the Camera icon to restart the app.

Are you allowed to take pictures of paintings? ›

Photographing public art is always allowed. It's the USE of that photograph, however, that may require your permission. This is where the concept of copyright comes in. In the U.S., we value the ability of artists and other creative people to make money from their own work.

Are you allowed to take pictures in a museum? ›

Some large art museums like New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts have changed their policies and now allow photography in parts of their permanent collections. However, they typically ban all photography in special exhibitions, which are often the main reason people are visiting.

Why does iPhone camera go black? ›

To fix a black camera screen on your iPhone, try switching cameras or restarting the Camera app. You can also try turning off the VoiceOver feature in case that's interfering with the camera. If nothing works, try restarting or updating your iPhone, or resetting all settings.

Why are my Spypoint pictures black? ›

Why are my night time photos over/under exposed? The ideal environment for night pictures would contain enough obstacle to reflect the light emitted from the flash (IR LEDs) When the environment has too low obstacle like a field, the light source is lost making the picture very dark.

How do you clean a Nikon camera sensor? ›

How to clean your NIKON DSLR Sensor & Mirror (THE PROPER WAY)

How do I restart my camera? ›

Method 1: Restart the Camera

Exit the camera app on your Android. Wait for few minutes and then tap on the Camera icon to restart the app.

How do I fix my camera? ›

Fix your Camera app on your Pixel phone
  1. Step 1: Clean your camera's lens & laser.
  2. Step 2: Restart your phone.
  3. Step 3: Clear the Camera app's cache.
  4. Step 4: Update your apps.
  5. Step 5: Check if other apps cause the problem.

How do I reset my camera app? ›

Restore Default Settings for your Camera App in Android #shorts

Why are some photos blank? ›

There's a chance the problem with blank photos was caused by the very last update you installed, and the next update will deal with it. So, just make sure the Google Photos app and all other Google apps are up to date. That's about it.

Why is my SD card showing no photos? ›

There can be many reasons behind the SD card not showing photos. Your files may be hidden, virus infection in the memory card, or you have inadvertently deleted or formatted the SD card. Sometimes, if you continue recording photos in a full SD card, the photos won?t get saved on it.

Why is my gallery black? ›

If you have a black screen while taking photos on your Android device, it is becuase insufficient access rights are allowed for PostureScreen either to the camera or to the storage of the device or both.

Why does my trail camera take pictures of nothing? ›

Here are reasons that could be causing your camera to take photos of nothing (false triggers): There is dust, debris, or something else on the Fresnel Lens (motion detector). The camera`s motion detector is triggered by differences in temperatures moving in the detection zone.

Why are my photos so dark canon? ›

Dark images happen when the shutter speed is too fast or the aperture isn't open enough. Be careful of your camera's automatic settings. Most cameras tend not to pick the right ones by default. If your camera creates an image that is too dark, use EV to bump up the brightness.

Why is my Moultrie camera taking black photos at night? ›

Your Moultrie Trail Camera takes impressive photos of wildlife in the great outdoors. Should you start seeing black night photos, or pink daytime photos, it's time for an infrared (IR) filter reset. The first step to seeing clearer photos is to confirm you are using Moultrie recommended batteries and SD Card.

How do I know if my camera sensor needs cleaning? ›

Make sure that your focus is way off (completely out of focus) – that way only dust particles will be visible. Zoom in on the image (rear camera LCD), scroll from left to right and top to bottom all over the image and see if you can find any dark spots. If you cannot see any, your sensor is clean.

Can I use alcohol to clean camera sensor? ›

Although there are a number of camera lens cleaning products you could use, alcohol is the best and easiest alternative for a smudged or dirty camera lens when you don't have any products on hand.

Should I clean my camera sensor myself? ›

DIY sensor cleaning is completely safe. As long as you do it the right way, you shouldn't have any problems. Many photographers regularly do their own sensor cleaning without any issues.

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