Fix Yellow Spots or Blotches in Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Photos

Depending on how you use the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 camera, in certain lighting conditions, you may notice that yellow spots (or yellow blotches) can appear on your photos. Perhaps not many ZS3 owners notice though, or at least it seems that this yellow spot issue does not bother or impact most Panasonic ZS3 owners, since there is not much discussion about the issue online.

To those owners that do notice, it can be a fairly significant annoyance. But these yellow spots can be largely fixed by using some freely available software. This issue has also been seen in other cameras, so the solution described here can apply to photos taken with many other cameras as well.

Seeing Yellow Spots May Need a Closer Look

In cases where there are yellow spots or blotches on your photos, you may not notice the yellow spots unless you zoom in to inspect your photos.

This may be especially true if owners use it as a true point-and-shoot camera, and do not do much post-processing or inspection, in which case the yellow spots or blotches are likely not noticed by them. Also if most photos are quickly uploaded online at smaller sizes (to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, etc.), then this issue would likely not be noticeable to these Panasonic ZS3 owners.

These yellow spots can be removed for the most part, though of course, it is preferable to prevent them from appearing in the first place. In the section of a zoomed-in photo shown below, which was taken indoors in the daytime, the yellow spots or blotches are visible throughout the photo.

When Do Yellow Spots or Blotches Appear in ZS3 Photos?

Typically, these yellow spots (or yellow blotches) do not always appear, but when they do it is usually in photos taken indoors (day or night) with less than ideal light, in the shadow areas of otherwise well-lit photos, or in photos taken under low light or dark conditions.

These are not likely visible on the LCD screen display of the Panasonic ZS3, and will be easier to see on a desktop or laptop monitor. The yellow spots will not likely be noticeable unless you zoom in on the photo.

To avoid or reduce these yellow spots or blotches from appearing in the first place, you can try to use a higher ISO setting or use the flash. When using the flash, these yellow spots are not likely to appear at all. Of course, taking photos in a more well-lit area with natural light is the best way to prevent these yellow spots or blotches.

Yellow spots or blotches typically do not appear under more “perfect” shooting conditions, such as in photos taken outdoors (day or night, sunny or cloudy), and in photos taken in well-lit areas.

Software Needed to Fix Yellow Spots or Blotches

Note: Download links can be found at the end of this article.

Some free software programs are needed to achieve the most effective yellow spot or blotch removal.

  1. Neat Image (free demo version), a photo noise reduction software program.
  2. PhotoShop, or any other photo editing software that can adjust Hue and Saturation on a photo, such as Paint.NET.
  3. (optional) PhotoME, a free EXIF data viewer/editor, restores the original photo’s EXIF data to the processed photo. The demo version of Neat Image does not save EXIF data.

 

How to Fix Yellow Spots or Blotches

Note: A comparison of before and after photos, processed using this method, is shown at the end of this article.

In Neat Image:

  1. Click “Open input image” and select the image you wish to fix. If you have multiple copies at different resolutions for the same photo, please use the largest resolution photo you can.

  • Click the “Device Noise Profile” tab, then click “Auto Profile”.
  • Click the “Noise Filter Settings” tab, then change the Noise Filter Settings to match the image below. Or, if you have a preset for the Noise Filter Settings, load the preset then skip ahead to step 5.
  • Save the Noise Filter Settings as a preset. For example, name the preset “Yellow Spot Removal” or similar for use on future photos.
  • In the “Noise Filter Settings” tab, click “Preview” and adjust the zoom to preview the changes. Click the left mouse button and drag the white square outline to choose which area you want to preview the changes for. Release the left mouse button to preview the changes.
  • Click the “Output Image” tab, then click “Apply” to apply the changes to the image. Then click “Save output image” to save the changes.
  • The first time you save an image after opening Neat Image, you will see this pop-up describing the limits of the demo version of Neat Image. For most users these limits will not be an issue, since the image file is saved at a high quality, and the EXIF data can be copied from the original image to the processed image using a tool such as PhotoME.
  • The yellow spots or blotches in the processed image may reduced enough to meet your needs. You can stop here if you are happy with the results, but for better yellow spot removal, proceed to work with PhotoShop as described below (or use any other photo editing software that allows you to change the hue and saturation values such as Paint.NET).

 

In PhotoShop:

  1. Open the image in PhotoShop.
  2. Open the Hue/Saturation settings by selecting from the file menu, Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
  3. Adjust the Hue/Saturation settings, and adjust the Global/Master Saturation setting to “+10”.
    Select “Yellows”, next to “Edit”, and adjust the Lightness setting to “+42”.


    Select “Blues”, next to “Edit”, and adjust the Saturation setting to “-21” and the Lightness setting to “-31”, then click “OK”.


    Depending on the photo, you may want to experiment with different values here to get a better result. Otherwise, using the settings as described should produce good results.

  4. Save the file.

The yellow spots or blotches should now be greatly or completely reduced in the processed photo. As another further step to improve how the finished photo looks, you may choose to reduce the resolution or size of the photo, especially if you intend to upload or share the photo.

 

Additional Notes on Removing Yellow Spots from Photos

Some further comments:

  • Save the original: It is recommended that you always keep your original photo files, as a backup.
  • Sharpness trade-off: Processed photos using this method will be slightly less sharp or detailed as the original, but that is the trade off for removing the yellow spots.
  • Sharpness improvement: While the sharpness is decreased using this method, you may still be able to improve the sharpness of the processed image, by using additional filters and software.
  • Copy EXIF data: The demo version of neat image will not save the original image’s EXIF data (photo shooting settings, time, camera model, etc.). Use another program, such as PhotoME, to copy the EXIF data to the processed photo. In PhotoME, export the EXIF data from the original file, import it to the processed file, and save.

Helpful Forum Discussion Thread

Topic: FZ18-Yellow Spots at High ISO settings?
Full Forum Thread
Thread Summary: This thread has Panasonic FZ18 users discussing the yellow spot, or yellow blotch, issue. The issue is exactly the same as that experienced with the Panasonic Lumix ZS3, often occurring in lowlight situations. Some more photo examples are shown. Since the thread topic involves the Panasonic FZ18, some of the features and fixes (such as shooting in RAW) do not apply. Other software discussed includes Noise Ninja and Capture One beta, however the free versions of these either have too many restrictions or else they do not produce results as good as Neat Image does. The actual solution described above was suggested by user “DD70”.

Comparison of Before and After Photos – No Flash

Unprocessed photo with yellow spots or blotches:

Full size, zoom at 100% – unprocessed photo with yellow spots or blotches:

Processed photo with greatly reduced yellow spots or blotches:

Full size, zoom at 100% – processed photo with greatly reduced yellow spots or blotches:

Side-by-side comparison (unprocessed photo on the left, processed photo on the right):

 

Comparison of Before and After Photos – Flash

Unprocessed photo (using flash) with yellow spots or blotches:

Full size, zoom at 100% – unprocessed photo (using flash) with yellow spots or blotches:

Processed photo with greatly reduced yellow spots or blotches:

Full size, zoom at 100% – processed photo with greatly reduced yellow spots or blotches:

Side-by-side comparison (unprocessed photo on the left, processed photo on the right):

Download Links

Neat Image – Free Demo Edition
PhotoME – Free Digital Photo Metadata Editor
Paint.NET – Free Image Editing Software
Find all current special offers on Adobe products

Related Information

» Repair Oily or Shiny Skin on a Person’s Face in a Photo

» Convert and Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free

» Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Digital Camera

4 Comments

  1. Don Gillies

    I tried a number of different tools (don’t have photoshop) and finally decided that GIMP 2.0 with a special plug-in (installed separately) was the best way for me to remove yellow splotches.

    Filters > Enhance > Wavelet denoise

    This did the best job of removing yellow splotches while fully preserving the very high-resolution and high sharpness of ZS3 photos.

  2. Pingback: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7/TZ10 Tips | Fabri Blog

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