Coolpix 4500 - starting to degrade in quality after heavy use

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by niemeyer, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. niemeyer

    niemeyer Guest

    Is it possible that a NIKON Coolpix 4500 can face a decreasing
    precision of the pictures over time in function of the level of use?
    After 3 years of use pictures have started to become a little bit
    blurry and we were wondering if some of the mechanical parts are
    showing signs of wear. The yearly output is 100,000 high-res images
    saved on alternating 2gb flash cards.

    Thanks for any comments on this,
    Niels (Brussels, Belgium)
     
    niemeyer, Jan 23, 2006
    #1
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  2. On 23 Jan 2006 01:24:19 -0800, "niemeyer" <>
    wrote:

    >Is it possible that a NIKON Coolpix 4500 can face a decreasing
    >precision of the pictures over time in function of the level of use?
    >After 3 years of use pictures have started to become a little bit
    >blurry and we were wondering if some of the mechanical parts are
    >showing signs of wear. The yearly output is 100,000 high-res images
    >saved on alternating 2gb flash cards.
    >
    >Thanks for any comments on this,
    >Niels (Brussels, Belgium)


    Image Resolution has nothing to do with anything. 300,000 cycles of
    the lens focusing mechanism, driven by a very small motor with a
    plastic worm gear to move the lens elements...gives you something to
    think about.

    I agree that some of the mechanical parts are showing signs of wear,
    if when the lens is extended, you can move it significantly without
    effort, That means, move it at all.

    Lg
     
    Lawrence Glickman, Jan 23, 2006
    #2
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  3. "niemeyer" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Is it possible that a NIKON Coolpix 4500 can face a decreasing
    > precision of the pictures over time in function of the level of use?
    > After 3 years of use pictures have started to become a little bit
    > blurry and we were wondering if some of the mechanical parts are
    > showing signs of wear. The yearly output is 100,000 high-res images
    > saved on alternating 2gb flash cards.
    >
    > Thanks for any comments on this,
    > Niels (Brussels, Belgium)



    I'd expect some loosening up after 300,000 images, and perhaps the focus
    lock is not as effective as it once was. May be the lens is becoming
    slightly decentred.
    With that high throughput I assume you're using the camera in time lapse
    mode to record something like a construction project? Do you need to use
    the focus mechanism?

    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK
    http://www.megalith.freeserve.co.uk/oddimage.htm
     
    Malcolm Stewart, Jan 23, 2006
    #3
  4. "Lawrence Glickman" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > if when the lens is extended, you can move it significantly without
    > effort, That means, move it at all.


    The lens on the Coolpix 4500 is totally enclosed.

    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK
     
    Malcolm Stewart, Jan 23, 2006
    #4
  5. On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 10:59:04 -0000, "Malcolm Stewart"
    <> wrote:

    >"Lawrence Glickman" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> if when the lens is extended, you can move it significantly without
    >> effort, That means, move it at all.

    >
    >The lens on the Coolpix 4500 is totally enclosed.


    How does it focus? Is there not a motor to move the elements?

    I'll look at the 4500 at Steve's Digicams.

    Lg
     
    Lawrence Glickman, Jan 23, 2006
    #5
  6. niemeyer

    niemeyer Guest

    Thanks Lawrence and Malcolm for your comments so far. It turns out that
    I slipped a bit in the calculations - it is the total volume so far
    (after 3 years) that has reached 100,000. The objects photographed is
    coins and over 5 days or so 4000 pictures are taken - repeated 8
    times/year. The camera if mounted in a special apparatus (with built-in
    lightning) and focus is at work for each object.

    Thanks, Niels
     
    niemeyer, Jan 23, 2006
    #6
  7. On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 10:59:04 -0000, "Malcolm Stewart"
    <> wrote:

    >"Lawrence Glickman" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> if when the lens is extended, you can move it significantly without
    >> effort, That means, move it at all.

    >
    >The lens on the Coolpix 4500 is totally enclosed.


    OK, so it is enclosed. Nevertheless, I think that 300,000 focusing
    cycles has taken its' toll on the focusing mechanism.

    There may be plastic parts in there that have worn thousandths of an
    inch, but that is enough when all the excessive tolerances are added
    up together.

    Lg
     
    Lawrence Glickman, Jan 23, 2006
    #7
  8. On 23 Jan 2006 03:17:10 -0800, "niemeyer" <>
    wrote:

    >Thanks Lawrence and Malcolm for your comments so far. It turns out that
    >I slipped a bit in the calculations - it is the total volume so far
    >(after 3 years) that has reached 100,000. The objects photographed is
    >coins and over 5 days or so 4000 pictures are taken - repeated 8
    >times/year. The camera if mounted in a special apparatus (with built-in
    >lightning) and focus is at work for each object.
    >
    >Thanks, Niels


    Fine, Niels. Thanks for the correction, but I don't think it makes
    much difference. No metal gears are used in these cameras AFAIK.
    I've never come across one that uses metal gears, because they would
    need to be lubricated, or oil-impregnated to begin with, and in hot
    weather or freezing weather that could cause a problem.

    In the old days of mechanical cameras and film, it was customary to
    have the lubricant removed from the cameras so they could operate at
    sub-zero temperatures. And then re-lubricated during the warmer
    weather.

    Now to avoid all of that, things have gone to plastic. And believe it
    or not, plastic wears. I have a laminating machine here with plastic
    gears, and I can see for myself how they wear. Even though they are
    nylon, they wear. Not enough to harm my laminating machine, but when
    we are talking about focus, we need very high precision and accuracy.

    If it is worth it to you, take the camera to an authorized Service
    Center, but expect to pay some money. They can replace the parts that
    need to be replaced if any. Or it might be less expensive in the long
    run just to replace the camera with a new one.

    Certainly with having to record such things as expensive coins, you
    cannot settle for blurry images.

    Lg
     
    Lawrence Glickman, Jan 23, 2006
    #8
  9. niemeyer

    niemeyer Guest

    Thanks, Lawrence, for your informative answer! We'll consider whether
    to send it in for repair or upgrade the a new model.

    Niels
     
    niemeyer, Jan 23, 2006
    #9
  10. niemeyer wrote:
    > Is it possible that a NIKON Coolpix 4500 can face a decreasing
    > precision of the pictures over time in function of the level of use?
    > After 3 years of use pictures have started to become a little bit
    > blurry and we were wondering if some of the mechanical parts are
    > showing signs of wear. The yearly output is 100,000 high-res images
    > saved on alternating 2gb flash cards.
    >
    > Thanks for any comments on this,
    > Niels (Brussels, Belgium)


    I think the camera could be OK, but the owner may be suffering from
    upgraditis, a well-known affliction that we all suffer from at times. It can
    strike without warning when passing a photographic shop.

    Dennis.
     
    Dennis Pogson, Jan 23, 2006
    #10
  11. niemeyer

    tomm42 Guest

    niemeyer wrote:
    > Thanks, Lawrence, for your informative answer! We'll consider whether
    > to send it in for repair or upgrade the a new model.
    >
    > Niels


    Neils,
    I not so optomistic about the camera, the Nikon D2X I believe is listed
    as maximum cycles at 100, 000 cycles. So for a 4500 you are way over
    it's useful life. I would send it into Nikon as there are no cameras
    like the 4500 made any longer. Be prepared to have Nikon tell you that
    it is no longer repairable or there are no parts available as they
    haven't made this camera for 2 years. Cameras don't last forever, this
    one sounds like it earned its keep.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Jan 23, 2006
    #11
  12. niemeyer

    Tony Cooper Guest

    On 23 Jan 2006 03:17:10 -0800, "niemeyer" <>
    wrote:

    >Thanks Lawrence and Malcolm for your comments so far. It turns out that
    >I slipped a bit in the calculations - it is the total volume so far
    >(after 3 years) that has reached 100,000. The objects photographed is
    >coins and over 5 days or so 4000 pictures are taken - repeated 8
    >times/year. The camera if mounted in a special apparatus (with built-in
    >lightning) and focus is at work for each object.
    >

    I'd be interested in seeing an image of your "special apparatus" for
    photographing coins. Especially if it's one you constructed rather
    than purchased.

    I spent some time last night trying to figure out the best
    distance/lighting for photographing some gold dollars and 2 1/2 dollar
    pieces. The gold dollars are very tiny, and detail is important.

    I purchased a new scanner, and it isn't producing the same sharp
    images that my previous scanner did, so I'm trying going back to a
    camera.

    This is a bit off-topic for this group, but I noticed that if I scan a
    gold coin with just the scanner top (which is white) behind the coin,
    the resulting image is a completely different color than if I scan the
    same coin with a sheet of red construction paper over the coin. The
    latter images are much better, but still not good enough.








    --


    Tony Cooper
    Orlando, FL
     
    Tony Cooper, Jan 23, 2006
    #12
  13. niemeyer

    niemeyer Guest

    Tony, write to Philippe Elsen (philippe.elsen AT elsen.be) at Jean
    Elsen & ses Fils s.a. in Brussels - he might be able to help you with
    more information on the device.

    //Niels
     
    niemeyer, Jan 24, 2006
    #13
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