A strange looking artifact started showing up on the wife's digital camera (a Sony DSC-W5) yesterday. In regular non-zoom mode, it just shows up as a small dark fuzzy patch in the lower left corner of the image. At full optical zoom it becomes a slightly more defined small rectangular patch:
It's not anything on the surface of the lens, and it doesn't move when the optical zoom is adjusted so I'm thinking it must be something on the CCD. With a flashlight and some image enhancement using GIMP I managed to get these images:
Not entirely sure what to make of it. The striations possibly suggest something spring-like. A few hours later, it migrated a little bit higher to the left middle of the screen (perhaps in response to some soft thumping I gave it). Looks like I'll have to send it in to have it looked at.