I recently (2 months ago) bought a Nikon D5200 as my first DSLR. Everything was fine until a few days ago, but now it seems that every shot I take in auto mode (including the various modes like landscape / portrait, etc.) is completely overexposed and washed out. The only way to get a normal shot is to switch to "A" or "S" mode and manually adjust the exposure compensation to something large and negative (e.g. -5.00).
In Auto mode, the ISO value is set to Auto, the WB value is set to Auto, as in most cases. So I'm amazed at what causes the overexposure and why this problem suddenly occurred. Even in aperture priority mode "A", if I manually set the ISO value to 100 and the WB value to "Direct sunlight", the pictures will still be too white / washed out unless I set the exposure compensation.
I tried to reset the factory settings by pressing and holding the two buttons. I also reset the shooting menu and everything else I could find to reset, but in Auto mode the pictures are still overexposed.
Does this mean that my camera has been smashed and needs servicing, or is there anything else I could try?
Here is a picture of the camera lens attachment area: