Hot pixel mapping for the C-2100 UZ works!

Started Sep 5, 2003 | Discussions thread
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corhoin New Member • Posts: 16
Hot pixel mapping for the C-2100 UZ works!

Here's my story.

For some time I had struggled with the bright hot pixel groups that my nice C-2100 UZ decided to develop just a few months after the warranty period had expired. Of course the camera's internal hot pixel table could be fixed (remapped) in an authorized service shop, but not for free, no way. I was obviously about to loose some hard-earned money to get this hot pixel problem fixed. Probably not for the last time either, I knew, if I was to keep this camera for some years.

After crawling the Web back and forth I saw some links to a small "hot pixel calibration" program made for Nikons by a Russian hobbyist. Supposedly this program commanded the camera to start its internal pixel remapping routine (that is already available for users in some newer cameras). Unfortunately my camera was an Oly, so no help here either, I thought.

Some other links had discussions about the fact that many digital cameras seemingly use a chipset and firmware made by Sierra Imaging, including Nikon, Olympus and probably many others as well. I got interested in this issue and I asked this Russian guy for his opinion. After a couple of emails I decided to give his program a try, and connected the camera to the COM port of my PC.

The program could read only the first 16 hot pixels from the camera, although the UZI probably has as many as 512 locations reserved for them. This is the case with some Nikons also (for what reason, we don't know), but at least my UZI could communicate with the program to some extent. Even the Olympus' firmware version numbering was very similar to the one Nikons report, so after another email I was convinced enough to try the second step (remapping) at my own risk. I let the camera warm up for 15 minutes and inserted a set of fresh batteries into it. Then I took a deep breath and prepared to repair my camera with this utility - or send it directly to hell! Well, actually nothing exciting happened, the camera clicked a couple of times during a one-minute period or so, and then it was all over. The program only reported 512 hot (or hottest) pixels succesfully mapped into the camera's memory.

After a power on-off-on cycle I took a "black" test picture (4 seconds, ISO100), and gone were the Bright Big Stars that had plagued my pictures lately. The DeadPixelTest utility reported now only 18 hot pixels with a long-exposure picture (16 seconds), whereas the previous figure was over 1800! This was undoubtedly a Victory.

This is just a report of one (the first?) successful DIY hot pixel remapping done on an Olympus C-2100 UZ. Please don't do this at home unless you know exactly what you are doing and why. Well, so much for the disclaimers, we Finns don't like them anyway.

I promised to buy this Russian programmer a beer if he ever visits Helsinki. He absolutely deserves that a million times more than the greedy service shops that charge horrible amounts of Euros/$$$ insert-your-currency-here for a simple five-minute job...

For anyone interested, the utility can be found at:
http://e2500.narod.ru/ccd_defect_e.htm

There's hope. There's always hope.

Cheers,

Vesa
--
Vesa T. Korhonen
Corhoin Wizardonik Customworks, Finland

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