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Digital Camera Failures

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the on-their-best-behavior dept.

Sony 316

An anonymous reader writes "In the past week, four major camera makers have quietly published service advisories admitting their digital cameras are dying. In each case, the flaw appears to involve Sony CCD sensors using epoxy packaging that eventually lets in moisture. Sony's own cameras are among those affected, and the company also has dozens of affected camcorder models. Sony is believed to be picking up the tab for the repairs for the other camera makers as well, regardless of warranty status. (If true, a laudable approach.) Given the large numbers of cameras that are potentially involved, this can't be good news for Sony, who apparently already is expecting losses, and who has also recently announced major layoffs."

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316 comments

Frosty! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762036)

Frist

They're complex. (0, Redundant)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762037)

Digital cameras are very complex. Of course they'll run into problems now and then. At least they're usually not used for mission-critical applications.

Re:They're complex. (4, Insightful)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762060)

At least they're usually not used for mission-critical applications.

Try telling that to a bride on her wedding day. It's obvious you've never taken pictures for hire.

Re:They're complex. (4, Interesting)

Mateito (746185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762696)

Try telling that to a bride on her wedding day. It's obvious you've never taken pictures for hire.

How many wedding photographers turn up with a single camera body? You can't stop a wedding to wait for the photographer. The Pros I know take three - a digital SLR, a standard SLR loaded with colour film and a standard SLR with black and white print film.

Re:They're complex. (4, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762149)

About half of the photographers I know (a good number) use digital exclusively. Now that Digital SLRs are good AND cheap, the others are all planning to move that way. And it isn't just the people I know, here's an outside link. [smh.com.au]

While photography isn't usually a life or death industry, it is 'mission critical' to tons of photographers, magazines, ad agencies, etc. etc. So I would say that your statement is incorrect.

I know I haven't touched a film camera in years, and neither have any of the other photographers at my place of work. In fact, we just made a big deal out of putting our last remaining film camera in a little glass case for posterity.

Re:They're complex. (4, Informative)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762333)

what you say is correct, but none of the canon models affected are in their professional line of cameras, i.e. the 20D or the 350D.

the ones affected are the powershot line, which are intended for the lower end, high quality consumer use cameras.

Re:They're complex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762553)

> ...high quality consumer use cameras.

High quality cameras with the high quality faulty CCDs? Let me guess, you work for army intelligence.

Re:They're complex. (2, Informative)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762664)

Actually, I don't consider the 20D or the 350D to be professional line cameras. That's what the 1-series is for...

Olympus Rocks! (0, Offtopic)

Colonel Blimp (642760) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762242)

Olympus is the best, and they make underwater cases for scuba divers for all their cameras.

Yeah!

Re:They're complex. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762437)

At least they're usually not used for mission-critical applications.

Digital cameras are used for pr0n!!!!! You don't get more misson-critical than that!

Dammit!! (4, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762055)

It may be a "laudable approach" for Sony to pick up the tabs for the camera makers, but what about the consumers? I have one of the Canon models mentioned. I'd like to get it fixed/certified NOW so I don't unexpectedly find it exhibiting these defective behaviors when I'm trying to tape something important like my son's first steps or his first Christmas.

The Canon announcement is only for Asia and it only offers to fix the camera if and when it starts showing symptoms of the problems. As far as I'm concerned, that's bogus. They should offer a general recall and repair/replacement of all models affected so people don't lose the once-in-a-lifetime events they bought these cameras to capture.

- Greg

Re:Dammit!! (0, Offtopic)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762068)

It's just the LCD screen... the camera still works fine, right? You'll just need to use the viewfinder if the LCD happens to bonk out at an important moment. It's really not too tragic.

Re:Dammit!! (5, Informative)

Milkyman (246513) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762090)

its not the LCD its the CCD, the sensor that picks up the light through the lens, i have one of the effected camcorders and it just shows and records blackness.

Re:Dammit!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762645)

its not the LCD its the CCD, the sensor that picks up the light through the lens, i have one of the effected camcorders and it just shows and records blackness.

Annoyingly, some of the CCDs don't work as expected if the lens cap is still on. Tried removing it?

J

Re:Dammit!! (1)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762098)

No, the problem says it is with the CCD, and no image appears on the LCD because no image was taken.

Re:Dammit!! (3, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762187)

That's why Real Photographers(tm) carry two cameras. (Or three... or four...)

Re:Dammit!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762485)

I know! This clueless hack should go back to photography school. When he mentioned his "son's first steps or his first Christmas" he didn't even bring up the correct lighting gear! How does he even know he'll get the model's permission when he's that young?

Re:Dammit!! (5, Funny)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762534)

Indeed. One body for 35mm chrome (Velvia 50 or EPP), one for 35mm black & white (Tri-X), maybe another for infrared, Hasselblad backs loaded with 120 chrome and B&W (and Polaroid back with Type 665P/N), digital SLR at the minimum. Add to that the Holga, maybe a pinhole or two depending on format, lighting conditions, and the durability of the model. Then maybe I can leave the house for a shoot.

Re:Dammit!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762215)

I'm a newbie here. I get mod points once or twice a month and I guess I certainly am doing something wrong, as there is no way I would have modded this troll. What about this makes it a troll? I mean, everything he's saying makes sense. It's not GNAA spam, he's not saying "OFMG S0NY SUXX0RS" How is it a troll?

Re:Dammit!! (5, Informative)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762296)

If you go to the US site there is information about a return there, too. Here's what I found about my Cannon A75.

It has recently come to our attention that the vendor-supplied CCD image sensor used in this Canon digital camera may cause the following malfunction: When the product is used in recording or playback mode, the LCD screen and/or electronic viewfinder may exhibit either a distorted image or no image at all. While reports of this malfunction have been rare in the United States, we have determined that it may occur if the product is exposed to hot and humid environments.

Effective immediately, and regardless of warranty status, Canon will repair, free of charge, products exhibiting the above-mentioned malfunction if the malfunction is caused by the CCD image sensor. Canon will also cover the cost of shipping and handling in connection with this repair.

U.S. residents are kindly directed to contact the Canon Customer Support Center for further assistance at 1-800-828-4040. Support hours are Monday thru Friday - 8:00 AM to 12:00 midnight; and Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (all times EST). Alternatively, if electronic support is preferred, please send your email to carecenter@cits.canon.com

This information is for residents of the United States of America and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this issue, and appreciate your understanding in this matter. Thank you for your support and patronage of Canon products

found here: http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=Pg ComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fcategoryid=221&mo delid=9828act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fc ategoryid=221&modelid=9828 [canon.com]

Re:Dammit!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762433)

Nobody cares about your dumbass son. Sucks to be you...

Use film or buy a real camera. (5, Insightful)

BrianH (13460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762442)

A $250 digital camera, for all practical purposes, is the equivalent of a $50 35mm film camera (technically the $50 film camera has a higher resolution, but that's another discussion). These low end digitals replace the snapshot cameras of yore, but shouldn't be confused with actual professional quality cameras. If you know that you're going to be shooting a "once in a lifetime" event like a wedding, first birthday, or something along those lines, you should either be shooting it in higher quality (and more reliable) film, or invest in a higher end digital.

If you lose that once in a lifetime shot because you trusted it to a cheap snapshot camera, that's as much your fault as the vendors.

Re:Use film or buy a real camera. (3, Informative)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762545)

On the other hand, one of the articles lists the Fuji FinePix S2, which is a $1500 dSLR. Not exactly a cheap snapshot camera. (Not sure I buy the S2 being on that list, because the CCD is supposed to be a radically different design than the others listed, but the news article does include it...)

Re:Use film or buy a real camera. (2, Insightful)

timelessroguestar (920772) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762656)

the first generation (i.e. the actual film) may have higher resolution, but 2nd generation (aka the print) will not. That's one reason why [film] slides were as popular as they were. Converting from a 1st generation image to 2nd is quite costly (certainly not perfect).

Re:Use film or buy a real camera. (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762668)

Because you need the *pro-quality* transistors! You aren't gonna use any ol' bought-them-off-a-guy-with-an-overcoat-transistors in your camera, now are you? No, you need 'em gold-plated!

Look, there are legitimate statements that can be made regarding advantages of high end digital cameras over low end, but I am exceedingly dubious that reliability (of a device that is almost entirely solid-state digital electronics) is at severe risk.

Re:Dammit!! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762444)

"...They should offer a general recall and repair/replacement of all models affected so people don't lose the once-in-a- lifetime events they bought these cameras to capture."

Is it that big a deal to you? Then why don't you buy a second camera?

Is that too expensive? Gee, do you suppose that not offering perfection made the single digital camera affordable in the first place?

Face it: you are not willing to pay for what you want. You bought a camera with a warranty that is being honored. You bought no guarantee of perfection.

Re:Dammit!! (3, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762538)

I'd like to get it fixed/certified NOW so I don't unexpectedly find it exhibiting these defective behaviors when I'm trying to tape something important like my son's first steps or his first Christmas.

I have the same problem. I can and I am taking steps to prevent a failure.

When I was stationed in the tropics, rusty tools was an issue. Contact corrosion was an issue on test equipment. While I was there I keept most of my tools, envelopes, postage stamps, and test equipment in ammo boxes with large packages of silica gel and a humidity indicator. I would nuke the silica gel when the humidity started to creep up. Now that I know the camera can be affected, it is now stored in an ammo box. Corrosion creep should not be an issue when it's stored at 20% or less humidity.

Maybe this is because Sony is CRAP (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762056)

...no really, everything Sony I've ever had broke, and I take good care of my stuff.

MOD PARENT UP (1, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762147)

...he speaks the truth! I haven't bought Sony products in years, but my girlfriend's family has, and so far two PS2s (an old big one and a newer small one) have been broken, apparently without cause.

Moreover, Sony isn't crap just because it makes poor-quality products, it's also crap because all its products are infested with DRM and proprietary technology.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1, Informative)

The Grey Clone (770110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762261)

What in the blue hell? Someone's going through modding everything troll. Methinks the GNAA got ahold of some modpoints.

Either way, the PS2 does have a lot of reliability issues, the first time mine broke I pulled the ole switcharoo at Wal-Mart. Then I learned more about the PS2 and since then I've opened mine up and used canned air on it several times (and I took some rubbing alcohol to the lens. Fixed it up every time.

http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Guides/ ps2diy/ [neoseeker.com] looks like a decent guide. It does void your warranty, but IIRC, the PS2s only have a 90 day warranty anyway.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762357)

Apparently we've got an infestation of Sony fanbois...

Re:Maybe this is because Sony is CRAP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762262)

Everything sony made is total junk, with the exception of their SuperCCD.

HA! (4, Funny)

VaticDart (889055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762059)

My 10D's might CMOS sensor will dance on the scattered bones of your useless moisture-letting-in-CCDs!

Re:HA! (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762207)

Given the costs of DSLRs vs point'n'shoots, Sony better pray to god that those don't have similar problems. I figure replacing the world's supply of Digital Rebels, Rebel XTs, and 20Ds will pretty much destroy any hope of profit that fiscal year...

Re:HA! (3, Informative)

jimboisbored (871959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762411)

Actually Canon manufactures the CMOS for the slr cameras in house.

Re:HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762232)

don't forget about the dead psp's, ps1's and ps2's!

Re:HA! (4, Funny)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762342)

I'll try to comfort my Powershot with this here vast pile of cash.

Phew! (0, Offtopic)

higuy48 (568572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762061)

Boy, am I glad I've procrastinated on buying a camera and continue to do so.

While I'm here, anybody have a reccommendation for an amateur-enthusiast-level mini-DV camcorder between $500 and $1000?

Re:Phew! (1)

JimiSpier (921236) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762419)

JVC GR-DF550, I have one and it works really good. I think I only paid $465 for it at a place called Video Only.. I have seen it in Circuit City for around the same price..

kudos to Sony (1)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762064)

For all the Sony-bashing I've done, I have to salute Sony for stepping up to this one, no matter their motivation, though it looks mostly to be customer service and satisfaction. There are probably many of these defectives far out of warranty. Good for Sony!

Re:kudos to Sony (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762088)

at least around here there is universal warranty on product defects that were in the product when you bought it...

(that were in the product at the time of buying... in other words, for design failures, using crap material - if the camera dies from this faster than would be expected of a camera to die then it's a defect and they're responsible for it - of course there's a quite bit of gray area with this)

Re:kudos to Sony (4, Informative)

TekPolitik (147802) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762270)

For all the Sony-bashing I've done, I have to salute Sony for stepping up to this one, no matter their motivation, though it looks mostly to be customer service and satisfaction.

Not so. These defects are such as to make the products unmerchantable, which gives the buyer (in this case the manufacturers) a bunch of rights that would cost Sony a lot more if they were exercised. Doing the repairs free will cost Sony a lot less than paying the value of replacement products or repairs by a third party, which is what they would be up for (plus costs) if they were sued.

There is nothing remotely attributable to honourable conduct here (and if you have dealt with Sony recently you would be aware of how thoroughly dishonourable that behemoth has become). It is self preservation, pure and simple, that has led them down this path.

sony and lack of QC (5, Interesting)

jstroebe (921953) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762075)

Maybe I'm the only one, but I've vowed to stop buying Sony products after the last two things I've bought from them have been total pieces of S#!t. I had a Vaio laptop that lasted a year, and a camcorder that didn't last much longer. The name Sony use to be one I related to quality but anymore I steer clear.

Re:sony and lack of QC (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762403)

You had a laptop last a year? I'm going to go buy one today!

Re:sony and lack of QC (1)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762643)

I totally agree on the decline in Sony's quality and standards.

These days I consider the reliability and quality of their products to be worse than many of the noname OEM Chinese manufacturers.

Time was when buying Sony meant a guarantee of quality and performance. These days it's just the same as taping a "kick me" sign to your backside.

Grammar (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762079)

It's "effected."

It is either, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762144)

affect
tr.v. affected, affecting, affects

      1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
      2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
      3. To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.

effect
tr.v. effected, effecting, effects

      1. To bring into existence.
      2. To produce as a result.
      3. To bring about. See Usage Note at affect1.

Re:Grammar (2, Informative)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762173)

No, it's "affected"

Effect is a noun, affect is a verb. How do you put a noun in the past tense?

Re:Grammar (1, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762198)

How do you put a noun in the past tense?

I'm sure some dolt will find a way.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762520)

>> How do you put a noun in the past tense?
> I'm sure some dolt will find a way.

I'd have penned more of my thoughts on this, but I'm sure I'd just get grammar nazied.

Re:Grammar (1)

gregduffy (766013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762210)

You are only partially right. I commonly see two errors involving this issue. The first is using "effect" as a verb when one should use "affect" instead. To affect something is to have an influence on it, so in this case the summary is CORRECT because the issue influences Sony cameras.

However, a lot of people assume that "effect" can never be used as a verb. This is untrue, to effect something is to bring it about or produce it. E.g. "I effected a change in the development process."

Re:Grammar (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762213)

Effect can be a noun or a verb. You can effect an effect.

Re:Grammar (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762311)

No it ain't.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762484)

Yes, it is.

"We were able to effect repairs before the water got too high."

Re:Grammar (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762540)

Touche...

Re:Grammar (1)

J. Random Luser (824671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762577)

How do you put a noun in the past tense?
Say it with an American accent...

Re:Grammar (5, Funny)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762292)

Slashdot article description ... FREE
Grammar nazi correcting something that isn't wrong with something that is ... FREE
Having that post moderated +1 Informative ... PRICELESS

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762086)

I have an S200 that died last week with the same exact symptoms
Guess i'm SOL regardless because that model isn't on Canon's list

Start making noise then. (1)

robbak (775424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762153)

You may well get somewhere. Remember, a paper waranty is only an attempt to limit your common law rights - and rarely is it a successful one. (This does depend on how ancient you camera is, of course.)

1 companies problem, not 4 (0)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762087)

I think the way this is titled is kinda funny. Canon, Fuji, KM, are victims of 1 company having a failure. Its one failure, not failures at 4 companies. Then again trusting sony is a form of a failure.

Now to just keep hoping the sony CCD in my KM 7D doesn't have issue. Which would be real bad since it would be bad to have a leak in something that gets cleaned with liquid from time to time.

Amusingly I got in a debate not long ago in a camera forum about Sony Quality, I think I have officially won that debate now.

Sony is in a world of trouble (1)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762091)

First they get troubles over the damned dual shock [slashdot.org] , then they are forced to lay off employees, now this. Holding off on the PS3 seems like a better and better idea every day.

I'm really happy now... (0)

dieman (4814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762095)

... that I bought a Nikon Coolpix 5700 rather than a sony or a minolta! Yay!

My DV cam is on the list though, grmbl. Hopefully they fix it if/when it breaks. Haven't used it in like, oh, six months, so no idea if its working or not, either.

Re:I'm really happy now... (1)

kilonad (157396) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762174)

Nikon uses Sony CCDs in most of their cameras, so don't start jumping for joy just yet...

Education Hit (3, Informative)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762109)

My school was badly hit by this - our Film and Video department was largely made of Sony digital cameras, and they all died over time. We have since switched to Panasonic, and they have never had to be replaced.

Education Hit-Right in the IBM Deskstars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762183)

Gee folks. Substitute "Hard drive" for "image sensor" and we all could make a trip down memory lane. So who's up for implimenting "software liability"?

Figures (1, Interesting)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762140)

Sony usually makes pretty reliable hardware, too. Although I guess they have been falling back lately. Panasonic seems to be stealing most of their thunder, especially in the TV market.

Re:Figures (1)

SAU! (228983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762529)

My Panasonic TV is good, but I bought a DMR-E95HS (HD/DVD recorder) recently, and it has been pretty disappointing. It has lots of nice features, but I bought it mainly as a VCR substitute, so I could record what I wanted when I wanted, without having to deal with the extra annoyances that come along with anything Tivo-like. Unfortunately, the firmware in the DMR is not very well suited to that task. Sometimes it won't start recording when it's supposed to, and sometimes it will forget most of its settings, which puts it back into its "Welcome -- please set me up now" mode. It's connected to a UPS, so power problems are not an issue. I discovered too late that a number of people in web-land are having similar issues with this model, and there appears to be no fix forthcoming from Panasonic. Makes me a little wary of whatever their next software-driven device may be....

Sony DCS-F828 not affected - kinda puzzling (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762165)

I was pleasently surprised to see that while the DCF-F717 is affected, the DCS-F828 is NOT ... which I own. While the advisory states "October 2002 through March 2004" I've owned this camera for almost 2 years now ... so it doesn't sound like this is affecting any recent vintage digicams (?)

Poor product quality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762168)

Every Sony product since a walkman in the early 90's has broken completely within 2 years, I don't know if it just me or Sony have laid off their entire testing and quality management dept. but it really is crap, VAIO notebooks just one example, horrible failure rate, Playstation? i don't know of many that dont have problems.

Nintendo Fanboy Inside Us All (4, Funny)

bleaknik (780571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762208)

Ok. So... Sony posts losses for one quarter, and they lay off a bunch of people... It's now my responsibility as a Nintendo Fanboy to jump up and down and praise this as the death of my archnemesis right?

Ehh. Who am I kidding. Apathy is too much damned work.

Re:Nintendo Fanboy Inside Us All (1)

Mr_Tulip (639140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762575)

FWIW, Sony Computer Entertainment is doing quite well. It's the consumer electronics division - the one that makes TV's stereos, etc. that's losing money and sacking 1000's of employees - mostly due from competition by cheaper brands like Panasonic, LG etc.

Good timing! (3, Interesting)

eSchmitty (670312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762218)

My Canon Powershot A70 just started to exhibit this problem 3 days ago!

I have found out that Canon USA and Canon Canada will both fix the camera, regardless of the warranty status.

This is the 2nd time that I've had to send my camera back for service. The first time was soon after I bought the camera because of a different CCD problem. Despite all of these problems, I still really like the camera and think it was a good purchase. I probably wouldn't think this if they didn't fix this problem for free.

It has to be said... (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762231)

In the past week, four major camera makers have quietly published service advisories admitting their digital cameras are dying.


Has Netcraft confirmed this?

hmmmm.. (1)

redsoxunixgeek (893384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762255)

SHould have bought an HP camera....

Re:It has to be said... (0, Redundant)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762578)

They went a step further and said that Sony is dying.

Thank you Amazon (2, Informative)

ehiris (214677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762260)

When I just recently bought my camera from Amazon, I read reviews on a few of the Canon cameras which were explicitly mentioning that some of the models were very sensitive to high temperature and after failures you couldn't get them fixed because the warranty specifies that it won't cover any damage due to Arizona-like temperatures and high temperature fluctuations. I followed the reviewer's advise and finally decided on the SD400 which doesn't have that problem. It's a good thing that they are now admitting to be at fault. They probably noticed the sales on those models taking a big dip and this is the only way to eliminate the cameras which are stuck in inventory.

Consumer Reports: Repair History of 186,900 users (4, Informative)

NXIL (860839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762265)

CR says that Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and Olympus have the *fewest* problems. Pentax (sounds like a tampon brand), Konica/Minolta, and Toshiba are the least reliable, with Vivitar being the absolute least reliable. In absolute numbers, about 2.5% of Sony digicams needed repairs, about 10% of Vivitar cameras did. From the survery: "Based on 186,900 reader responses to our 2005 Annual Questionnaire about digital cameras bought new between 2002 and 2005. Data have been standardized to eliminate differences linked to age and usage. Differences of less than 4 points aren't meaningful." For autos, CR's surveys have been dead on, at least for me....every car I have had has aged and been as reliable as they predicted it would be, even down to individual systems (cooling, electrical, etc....) But, yes, for all you statisticians out there, I know that is completely anecdotal, as "n" is very small in my case....I keep my cars a long time....

Re:Consumer Reports: Repair History of 186,900 use (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762472)

I own the Olympus E1 and all I can say I never wanna buy another camera that is not this well made and made with quite the quality control. This also goes for the better Zuiko lenses. Now my Canon D30 was also pretty well made but the regulral Canon lenses where platic toy like in quality and feel. My 50mm f/1.8 shattered into several pices when my camera fell of a step. That was maybe 5 inches of the ground. The front element went off like a rocket.

Re:Consumer Reports: Repair History of 186,900 use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762495)

A link is worth a thousand quotes

Consumer Reports rocks (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762636)

I subscribe to exactly three online services. One is my NNTP provider, another is my mail provider (nice to not be tied to one ISP), and the last is Consumer Reports. We can buy a huge variety of goods today, but the one thing that's hard to obtain amidst the deluge of marketing is greliable, trustworthy information about products, and Consumer Reports does a pretty good job of (a) providing product class overviews and recommending what to look for, and (b) providing objective evaluations of large numbers of products.

Just my Luck.. (3, Interesting)

ShaolinTiger (798138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762269)

I'm in Malaysia and I own a Canon Powershot A70...

And I had the CCD problem, it started about 6 months ago...first the backgrounds went slightly pink on bright shots, then it went a little fuzzy, then it went totally mangled and I couldn't see anything at all.

So I paid to get it fixed, it wasn't cheap...now they are saying they will pick the tab?

I wonder if I can get a refund...

read the links. (3, Informative)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762394)

I wonder if I can get a refund...


Sony says that if you've already paid, to contact one of the listed service centers.

I just had a digital camera die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762293)

I just had a Kodak digital camera die. In the middle of my vacation in Mexico, of all places. Basically, it had an intemittent problem where it would only take a picture of blackness or of distorted colors; I could temporarily resolve this problem by pressing on the lens. I did this until the thing holding the lens broke; at which point I was still able to take pictures for a day or so until the camera finally gave up its ghost.

My solution? I got a cheap 35mm camera for $10 to take pictures my last few days in Mexico. Once I came back to the US, I bought, for $100, Kodak's newer camera with the exact same design, more megapixels, more convenient self-timer and 3-picture burst, and one more mode for taking pictures.

I may even be able to repair the old camera; it acted like as though a connection was giving out.

That's why I love film (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762315)

WARNING: Pro Film Rant

My 35mm SLR has never given me a problem. For any one looking to give up digital and buy a real camera I recomend a Pentax zx50, I love mine. It's going on 8 years old; I've dropped it, banged it, sat on it, left it on for days at a time, and it still works. The thing I like most about film is that it doesn't have a delay. I hate geting a picture set up, snapping the 'shutter' and then waiting, only to find out that the camera took the picture a second too late.

I know, I'm trolling, and I'm off topic. But FILM BEATS DIGITAL ANY DAY! HAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHA

Re:That's why I love film (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762341)

Apart from the fact that film loses quality as it ages, is expensive to process, offers far lower resolution than current top-of-the-line digicams, is generally far noisier (particularly at similar ISO sensitivities) than a digital SLR, and - well, a bunch of other reasons I can't even be bothered to point out.

Re:That's why I love film (2, Interesting)

hh1000 (303370) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762373)

I recall when it was considered a feature that certain SLRs would still take pictures if the batteries were dead. This was considered a must have for photographers in tough conditions such as war zone. Now batteries are like crack for digital cameras, they freakin need it all the time.

Re:That's why I love film (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762413)

Three words for you: rechargable lithium-ion batteries. Admittedly, digital cameras still treat them like crack, but at least it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Re:That's why I love film (1)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762378)

what kind of out of date rant is this? my 350D has no such problem of "delay", sounds more like the action of a point and shoot style consumer camera more than a digital SLR, or maybe based on early experience with the very first DSLR's

but, yea... i like digital photography because it's allowed me an improved learning curve. ive learned things with my digital that would've taken me years with film and probably saved me alot of time/money/effort in developing costs.

so... i like digital.

I wish Canon would admit the e18 error (3, Interesting)

cshay (79326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762340)

Instead of product recalls, they went right on shipping cameras with serious flaws in their retractible lenses. The result? A class action lawsuit: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/canon_c lass.html [consumeraffairs.com]

Pretty cool effect, actually (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762361)

Wonder if you can do a photoshop plug-in to do that. And glad I bought a Nikon, after many years of holding off.

Sometimes ya win.

SORNY? (4, Funny)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762391)

Were these SONY or SORNY products? Perhaps people should be buying Magnetbox digital cameras and TV's. /obscure, simpons.

My DV cam is on the list ... how to test? (1)

inflex (123318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762398)

I noticed my DV cam is on the list, DCR-HC15E, the question is, what sort of deterioration should I be looking for? Maybe it's just me but I could swear that the quality of the video I get out of the unit these days appears less than what I originally was getting when I first bought it and that was /before/ I read about this story. Perhaps there's a way to accellerate the process of failure (if the weakness is there).

Incidently, living in a hot humid environment here too (North Eastern Australia)

trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13762400)

So anyone who posts saying sony's product quality is crap is a troll??? I think there is some validity though...

My camera doesn't seem to have a problem (2, Funny)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762406)

Of course its sensor comes in the form of Fuji Velvia 100, Agfa RSX II 100 and Fuji NPZ 800 film that I load in it according to the circumstances.

Re:My camera doesn't seem to have a problem (1)

cei (107343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762486)

Well, your NPZ 800 will display more heat-related issues than your 100 ISO films, in theory, but that's another matter entirely.

a70 troubles (1)

Coleco (41062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762456)

My Canon a70 started going glitchy a few months ago.. purple lines and what have you.. talking about moisture.. oh yeah, I live in Vancouver.

It's great they've admitted it and are fixing them.

Maybe apple should follow suit and fix the scratched nanos.. I don't own one but I've witnessed the problems with those things first hand.

Better than a class action lawsuit I guess.

Ruined picture (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762497)

A friend of mine took a picture of his ass, and the entire middle was all messed up due to bad pixels, as if somebody put TNT up his ass. We complained to Sony, but all they did was post it online to scare off further complainers. It worked pretty damned well.

I have one of the cameras affected (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762587)

A cannon A 60, and I had some of the same problems described in the article. IE when I took a picture all I saw was black(some gray lines). However, I seemed to have "fixed" the problem by giving my camera a good, hard smack on the side. That was about a month ago, and while I don't use my camer everyday, it seems to be working fine, just took it to Prague and got some amazing shots from the castle.

Other symptoms also related to this defect? (2, Interesting)

pjkundert (597719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762608)

We have a Canon digital ELPH SD100; excellent camera, and very sturdy (survived several rough week-long back-country expeditions with no problems).

However, lately the camera has developed strange circles in some of its images, especially in certain lighting conditions, or certain atmospheric conditions that we have not been able to really pin down. Most of the time, the images are clear.

The circles or rings seem similar to what you might get with dust somewhere in the lens system near the focal plane; the each circle covers perhaps up to 1/10th of the image area, but many of them are smaller, and some dimmer than others. The next time we use the camera, they don't appear at all!

Could thse perhaps be explained by condensation on the inside of the CCD's window, which only appears in certain temperature or atmospheric pressure situations?

Full list of affected cameras (5, Informative)

achurch (201270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13762631)

. . . just for the hell of it: (includes Japanese models as well)

Digital still cameras

  • Canon:
    • Digital IXUS V3, Digital IXUS II, Digital IXUS II2
    • IXY DIGITAL 320, IXY DIGITAL 30, IXY DIGITAL 30a
    • PowerShot A60, PowerShot A70, PowerShot A75, PowerShot A300, PowerShot A310

  • Fujifilm:
    • FinePix A303 (serial 3100****, 3101****, 3JA4****, 3JA5****)
    • FinePix F410 (serial 3100****-3105****, 32A1****, 32A6****, 32A7****, 32A9****)
    • FinePix F700 (serial 3312****, 3313****, 33A0****, 3402****, 34A1****)
    • FinePix S2Pro (serial 310110**-310115**, 320000**-320008**, 330000**-340001**)

  • Konica Minolta:
    • DiMAGE 7i, DiMAGE 7Hi, DiMAGE A1, DiMAGE F300, DiMAGE S414, DiMAGE Xi, DiMAGE Xt, DiMAGE X20
    • Digital Genba Kantoku DG-2, DG-3Z, DG-4W

  • Sony:
    • DSC-F717
    • DSC-P2, DSC-P7, DSC-P8, DSC-P10, DSC-P12, DSC-P31, DSC-P32, DSC-P51, DSC-P52, DSC-P71, DSC-P72, DSC-P92
    • DSC-U10, DSC-U20, DSC-U30, DSC-U60
    • DSC-V1
    • MVC-CD250, MVC-CD400, MVC-CD500
    • MVC-FD100, MVC-FD200

Digital video cameras

  • Canon:
    • Elura 40 MC, Elura 50
    • FV40, FV50, FV300, FV400
    • IXY DV3, IXY DV5
    • MV5i, MV5i MC, MV6i MC, MV600i, MV630i, MV650i, MV700i, MV730i, MV750i
    • ZR60, ZR65 MC, ZR70MC, ZR80, ZR85, ZR90

  • Sony:
    • CCD-MC100
    • CCD-TRV106K, CCD-TRV107E, CCD-TRV116, CCD-TRV118, CCD-TRV128, CCD-TRV218E, CCD-TRV228, CCD-TRV228E, CCD-TRV318, CCD-TRV328, CCD-TRV418, CCD-TRV418E, CCD-TRV428, CCD-TRV428E
    • DCR-DVD91E, DCR-DVD100, DCR-DVD100E, DCR-DVD101, DCR-DVD101E, DCR-DVD200, DCR-DVD200E, DCR-DVD300
    • DCR-HC14E, DCR-HC15, DCR-HC15E, DCR-HC16E, DCR-HC18E, DCR-HC20, DCR-HC20E, DCR-HC30, DCR-HC30E
    • DCR-IP5, DCR-IP5E, DCR-IP7E, DCR-IP45, DCR-IP45E, DCR-IP55, DCR-IP55E
    • DCR-PC101, DCR-PC101E, DCR-PC101K, DCR-PC103E, DCR-PC105, DCR-PC105E, DCR-PC105K, DCR-PC106E, DCR-PC107E, DCR-PC108, DCR-PC108E, DCR-PC115, DCR-PC115E, DCR-PC120, DCR-PC120E
    • DCR-TRV14E, DCR-TRV16, DCR-TRV16E, DCR-TRV18, DCR-TRV18E, DCR-TRV18K, DCR-TRV19, DCR-TRV19E, DCR-TRV22, DCR-TRV22E, DCR-TRV22K, DCR-TRV24E, DCR-TRV25, DCR-TRV25E, DCR-TRV27, DCR-TRV27E, DCR-TRV27PK, DCR-TRV33, DCR-TRV33E, DCR-TRV33K, DCR-TRV33PK, DCR-TRV38, DCR-TRV38E, DCR-TRV39, DCR-TRV40, DCR-TRV40E, DCR-TRV50, DCR-TRV50E, DCR-TRV147E, DCR-TRV240E, DCR-TRV250, DCR-TRV250E, DCR-TRV255E, DCR-TRV260, DCR-TRV265, DCR-TRV265E, DCR-TRV340, DCR-TRV340E, DCR-TRV361, DCR-TRV460, DCR-TRV460E, DCR-TRV461E, DCR-TRV740, DCR-TRV740E, DCR-TRV840, DCR-TRV940, DCR-TRV940E, DCR-TRV950, DCR-TRV950E
    • DCR-VX2000, DCR-VX200E, DCR-VX2100, DCR-VX2100E

Professional camcorders

  • Sony:
    • DSR-250, DSR-250P
    • DSR-PD150, DSR-PD150P, DSR-PD170, DSR-PD170P, DSR-PDX10, DSR-PDX10P

Other products

  • Sony:
    • Clie PEG-NZ90
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