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Kodak's LS443 Camera *or* Kodak's Greediness at its Worst

 
 
enri
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      10-03-2005
My LS443 Kodak Digital camera failed all of a sudden, with no human
intervention nor abuse of any sort after approximately 5000 shots over
less than three years

The lens mechanism wouldn't retract. This is the infamous "Error #45"
which I learned a posteriori, was a well-known common problem in this
camera.

A call to the KODAK service revealed that the camera would not be
repaired by them, that the unit was no longer in production and that
there weren't any parts available.

"Management had decided that it was not in Kodak's best interest to
repair this kind of problem in this particular camera"

They offered to replace the damaged camera with a refurbished DX7630
camera for $125.00 + $10.95 shipping plus the old camera shipped at my
expense, i.e. roughly $150 for a refurbished, an euphemism for "used",
camera available for about $250 new.

I took the trouble to find out which part needed replacement finding
out that the part in question is a plastic gear costing less than 10
cents (I know this because I worked optical production issues at
Lockheed Martin).

What emerges from this picture is the image of KODAK as a greedy
company which offered to the market a product having a design flaw for
more than $500 without doing very much about it.

The case of Iomega and its "click of death" Zip drive went to court
eroding its customer base and driving down the price of its stock.

Image buying a Honda Civic having a design flaw resulting in a
transmission problem; the company refuses to repair your vehicle but
offers a different *used* vehicle for half of the original price of
the original vehicle.

Kodak could at least had issue a warning to its customers of a
potential gear problem; the problem was known to them shortly after
releasing the LS443 to the market. If one knows that the camera has a
gear problem one would not retract its lens so frequently to save
battery power.

This is not a "lack of parts" problem, it is simply too much effort to
install the part. This "too much effort" is their own engineering
fault, and the burden for it should not fall on the consumer.

enri









 
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James Gifford
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      10-03-2005
enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Image buying a Honda Civic having a design flaw resulting in a
> transmission problem; the company refuses to repair your vehicle but
> offers a different *used* vehicle for half of the original price of
> the original vehicle.


It's unlikely that the cost of repairing the Civic would exceed its value,
or even be a large fraction of its value. You bought an inexpensive camera;
you used it for three years and 5000 shots; it doesn't really matter
whether the failure was an expensive part and you're the only one it's
happened to or a ten-cent gear that's happened to thousands of them.

Digital cameras are fragile. Since people want them small, light, fast and
cheap, things like short lifespans or trouble points on lens systems, card
doors, etc. are common.

Bummer. But I think you're shoveling too much on Kodak.

--
|=- James Gifford = FIX SPAMTRAP TO REPLY -=|
|=- So... your philosophy fits in a sig, does it? -=|
 
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Alturas
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      10-03-2005
On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 02:25:05 -0000, James Gifford
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Image buying a Honda Civic having a design flaw resulting in a
>> transmission problem; the company refuses to repair your vehicle but
>> offers a different *used* vehicle for half of the original price of
>> the original vehicle.

>
>It's unlikely that the cost of repairing the Civic would exceed its value,
>or even be a large fraction of its value. You bought an inexpensive camera;
>you used it for three years and 5000 shots; it doesn't really matter
>whether the failure was an expensive part and you're the only one it's
>happened to or a ten-cent gear that's happened to thousands of them.
>
>Digital cameras are fragile. Since people want them small, light, fast and
>cheap, things like short lifespans or trouble points on lens systems, card
>doors, etc. are common.
>
>Bummer. But I think you're shoveling too much on Kodak.


The poster mentioned paying $500, which isn't my idea of cheap. I
think Kodak pushes the "EasyShare" concept too much and people buy
into it. With most Kodak models, the photos themselves don't get top
ratings. I'd rather get the best possible lens/sensor than mediocre
photos that are easier to "share" (share with the neighbors?)
Plugging in a USB cable and browsing for a removable drive is no
hardship.

Alturas

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Alturas
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      10-03-2005
On Sun, 02 Oct 2005 21:44:08 -0400, enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>What emerges from this picture is the image of KODAK as a greedy
>company which offered to the market a product having a design flaw for
>more than $500 without doing very much about it.


http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...e+LS443+review

That and other Kodak digicams have never gotten top ratings for image
quality, so it might have done you a favor by quitting. I've been
hustled to buy Kodak models in several electronics chain stores,
knowing from online samples that they were mediocre. I'd never buy a
camera on features alone, like the hyped "EasyShare" system. I'm not
knocking Kodak's potential but there are better buys out there.

Alturas

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Ron Hunter
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      10-03-2005
enri wrote:
> My LS443 Kodak Digital camera failed all of a sudden, with no human
> intervention nor abuse of any sort after approximately 5000 shots over
> less than three years
>
> The lens mechanism wouldn't retract. This is the infamous "Error #45"
> which I learned a posteriori, was a well-known common problem in this
> camera.
>
> A call to the KODAK service revealed that the camera would not be
> repaired by them, that the unit was no longer in production and that
> there weren't any parts available.
>
> "Management had decided that it was not in Kodak's best interest to
> repair this kind of problem in this particular camera"
>
> They offered to replace the damaged camera with a refurbished DX7630
> camera for $125.00 + $10.95 shipping plus the old camera shipped at my
> expense, i.e. roughly $150 for a refurbished, an euphemism for "used",
> camera available for about $250 new.
>
> I took the trouble to find out which part needed replacement finding
> out that the part in question is a plastic gear costing less than 10
> cents (I know this because I worked optical production issues at
> Lockheed Martin).
>
> What emerges from this picture is the image of KODAK as a greedy
> company which offered to the market a product having a design flaw for
> more than $500 without doing very much about it.
>
> The case of Iomega and its "click of death" Zip drive went to court
> eroding its customer base and driving down the price of its stock.
>
> Image buying a Honda Civic having a design flaw resulting in a
> transmission problem; the company refuses to repair your vehicle but
> offers a different *used* vehicle for half of the original price of
> the original vehicle.
>
> Kodak could at least had issue a warning to its customers of a
> potential gear problem; the problem was known to them shortly after
> releasing the LS443 to the market. If one knows that the camera has a
> gear problem one would not retract its lens so frequently to save
> battery power.
>
> This is not a "lack of parts" problem, it is simply too much effort to
> install the part. This "too much effort" is their own engineering
> fault, and the burden for it should not fall on the consumer.
>
> enri
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Perhaps you should have bought a Rolls Royce. They will always make
parts for any car they ever made. Of course this COSTS. After 5000
pictures, you should be ready for a new camera with current technology.
Nothing lasts forever. BTW, I can't buy 'design flaw' is this case
since it is a part that failed. Parts wear out. Lots of MY parts are
wearing out, should I complain to the designer?


--
Ron Hunter http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Ron Hunter
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      10-03-2005
Alturas wrote:
> On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 02:25:05 -0000, James Gifford
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> Image buying a Honda Civic having a design flaw resulting in a
>>> transmission problem; the company refuses to repair your vehicle but
>>> offers a different *used* vehicle for half of the original price of
>>> the original vehicle.

>> It's unlikely that the cost of repairing the Civic would exceed its value,
>> or even be a large fraction of its value. You bought an inexpensive camera;
>> you used it for three years and 5000 shots; it doesn't really matter
>> whether the failure was an expensive part and you're the only one it's
>> happened to or a ten-cent gear that's happened to thousands of them.
>>
>> Digital cameras are fragile. Since people want them small, light, fast and
>> cheap, things like short lifespans or trouble points on lens systems, card
>> doors, etc. are common.
>>
>> Bummer. But I think you're shoveling too much on Kodak.

>
> The poster mentioned paying $500, which isn't my idea of cheap. I
> think Kodak pushes the "EasyShare" concept too much and people buy
> into it. With most Kodak models, the photos themselves don't get top
> ratings. I'd rather get the best possible lens/sensor than mediocre
> photos that are easier to "share" (share with the neighbors?)
> Plugging in a USB cable and browsing for a removable drive is no
> hardship.
>
> Alturas
>
> ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
> http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
> ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----


Then replace the LS443 (one of Kodak's better efforts, BTW) with a nice
new Canon DSLR for about $1500, and then complain about IT.
Sigh.


--
Ron Hunter (E-Mail Removed)
 
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enri
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      10-03-2005
On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 02:24:56 -0500, Ron Hunter <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>> This is not a "lack of parts" problem, it is simply too much effort to
>> install the part. This "too much effort" is their own engineering
>> fault, and the burden for it should not fall on the consumer.
>>
>> enri



>>

>Perhaps you should have bought a Rolls Royce. They will always make
>parts for any car they ever made. Of course this COSTS. After 5000
>pictures, you should be ready for a new camera with current technology.
> Nothing lasts forever. BTW, I can't buy 'design flaw' is this case
>since it is a part that failed. Parts wear out. Lots of MY parts are
>wearing out, should I complain to the designer?


Go ahead and Goggle LS443 "error 45", you will find out that they
are many, many entries, suggesting that a *lot* of people had this
problem. Not to mention the large amount of LS443 cameras sold "for
parts only" sold in everyday in Ebay.

Other Kodak camera models do not show such frequent problems. In my
book this is a classical case of engineering design flaw.

Also, years and years of handling failures of optical assemblies
tells me that 5000 shots is not a large number. Typically a properly
designed gear assembly for a modestly priced Zoom lens has a MTBF
(Minimum Time Between Failures) of over 50,000 "shots" or lens
motions.

enri

 
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enri
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      10-03-2005
On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 02:26:52 -0500, Ron Hunter <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:


>> The poster mentioned paying $500, which isn't my idea of cheap. I
>> think Kodak pushes the "EasyShare" concept too much and people buy
>> into it. With most Kodak models, the photos themselves don't get top
>> ratings. I'd rather get the best possible lens/sensor than mediocre
>> photos that are easier to "share" (share with the neighbors?)
>> Plugging in a USB cable and browsing for a removable drive is no
>> hardship.
>>
>> Alturas
>>
>> ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
>> http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
>> ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----

>
>Then replace the LS443 (one of Kodak's better efforts, BTW) with a nice
>new Canon DSLR for about $1500, and then complain about IT.
>Sigh.


Are you implying that reliability lies only in the realm of *very*
expensive camaras? I suggest you review the US auto industry
reliability problems of the 60's and 70's vs. Japan auto industry.

"Six Sigma" and "Kaizan" are now common terms in US auto industry
changing our perceptions of automobile reliability forever.

enri

 
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Rob Novak
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      10-03-2005
On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 09:55:45 -0400, enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>Are you implying that reliability lies only in the realm of *very*
>expensive camaras? I suggest you review the US auto industry
>reliability problems of the 60's and 70's vs. Japan auto industry.


The usage patterns and designs of point-n-shoot cameras make them
inherently less reliable long-term than more advanced/expensive kit.

Think about it - they get thrown into purses, backpacks, and
belt-pouches to bounce around with spare change, crumbs, and your
house keys. They have nifty zoom-y lens barrels that extend and
retract with every on/off cycle and every stab at the wide/tele rocker
switch on the back. They dangle on a wrist-strap and get banged into
things. Lens barrels are frequently composite materials and extend
far beyond the camera body without the benefit of robust mechanical
support. They're a melange of design compromises that give people the
glitzy features they clamor for.

There are reliable models out there, but they're expensive. Consumers
want a pocket camera that is small, light, convenient, and not too
expensive. However, "small" and "light" don't play well with
"durable", and when you get the three of them together in the same
place, "affordable" goes out the window. Exhibit A - Leica. Sure,
they're light, fast, small, and will last forever. The materials used
and mechanical design employed are light years beyond the average
injection-molded conglomeration of plastic parts that comprise the
average consumer camera, though.

People are just not willing to pay for durability coupled with
convenience. To keep the price point low, increased durability only
comes at the expense of size and weight, which goes against the market
demand for smaller and lighter. Few want to drop the extra cash for
the exotic materials and complex tooling that allow for the latter.
--
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Bill Funk
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      10-03-2005
On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 09:45:53 -0400, enri <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Also, years and years of handling failures of optical assemblies
>tells me that 5000 shots is not a large number. Typically a properly
>designed gear assembly for a modestly priced Zoom lens has a MTBF
>(Minimum Time Between Failures) of over 50,000 "shots" or lens
>motions.


MTBF = Mean Time Between Failures.

--
Bill Funk
Replace "g" with "a"
funktionality.blogspot.com
 
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