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Unreliable?!

Aristeidis Noutsos , Sep 14, 2005; 07:24 a.m.

I've just gor some bad news from my SONY DSC-717! It's been sitting there for 2 weeks, after having used it for 2 years regularly, and today it completely lost its connection between the digital and the optical part. They say it's the chip, and that these problems are quite common with digital cameras. They say it will cost me ?170 to repair (i.e. more or less the price of the camera, if you bought it today)! I mean, what if I get a DSLR? Will it not get through the first couple of years? I am SO disillusioned, man! Cheers

Responses

Meryl Arbing , Sep 14, 2005; 11:41 a.m.

As cameras get more electronically complex, there are more opportunities for failure. But, it is not limited to digital cameras..I remember my Contax 167MT 35mm film SLR...it is known for electrical problems and, in fact, the first one I bought had to be taken back to the store within the first day.

My current 167MT has no problems and I know that there are many many people who have the Sony 717 and who have not had problems. I doubt that it is a common problem across the board..just bad luck.

Matt Brost , Sep 14, 2005; 05:56 p.m.

Well, Yes. At the current time and probably for the next few years most digital cameras will not be very rugged or reliable. Most are not weatherproof, and the electronics are usually as expensive as a new camera. I lost my Canon 300d to a very small amount of water, they wanted $670 or so to fix, which is a little less than what a 300d is new. My Mom's P&S Canon stopped communicating with its compact flash, and it was cheaper to buy a refurbished unit from Canon than have the old one fixed.

Its partly do to the fact that every 18 months or so the capabilities of the electronics will double. So, the manufactures need to do two things: One stay competeitive in the market in regard to new features, and Two, not loose a lot of money in keeping obsolete parts around.

IMO, buy digitals knowing that the expected lifespan is 2 years. The top of the line DSLRs are a little different, they are usually weatherproof, but I could not say if they fare better or not. The mid level DSLRs are not weatherproof and fare about the same as the P&S's. IMO invest in good lenses, not in electronics, until the rapid development of electronics stops and becomes more stable.

I did kill one very electronic Nikon film camera once, but it was submerged in water for a while. I did not expect it to survive. But, my 300d I did expect to survive because it was only a few drops of water. In contrast, I used my GA645 in a good rain storm recently and it had no problems.

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