DSLR Reliability

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mike Lees, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Mike Lees

    Mike Lees Guest

    I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    for some 50 years or so.

    My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    even replacement.

    Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.

    Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    --
    Mike Lees
    To reply to sender, remove 'nogo' from the address.
     
    Mike Lees, Jun 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mike Lees

    Charlie Self Guest

    Mike Lees wrote:
    > I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    > for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    > DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    > to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    > even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    > of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    > Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.
    >

    I have a Pentax *istD. No returns to maker. One upgrade of firmware,
    easily carried out. Approaching 5000 shots and the only problems so far
    have been with the camera user, not the camera. I'm delighted with it,
    and when Pentax develops a 12 MP or higher version, I'll almost
    certainly go there (after which, I'll stop, as for my purposes, much
    over the 12 MP mark is not needed).
     
    Charlie Self, Jun 14, 2005
    #2
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  3. In article <6owre.16112$>, Mike Lees
    <> writes
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    >for some 50 years or so.
    >
    >My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    >DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    >to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    >even replacement.
    >
    >Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    >of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    >Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.
    >
    >Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    Hi Mike,

    I have had an EOS 10D for about 2 years. My daughter has had a 300D for
    about 9 months. Neither of us have had the slightest problem with the
    cameras, and indeed have had complete satisfaction. I have not met
    anyone who has had a problem with either camera.

    It is easy to get a distorted impression from comments on newsgroups.
    Lets say that out of a thousand buyers, two have a problem. They write
    and complain, or ask for help, on usenet. Long discussions ensue, and
    the impression of a major problem is created. Meanwhile, 998 happy users
    get on with enjoying their cameras and don't complain, so you don't hear
    about them.

    If you are in the UK (and from your address I guess you are) then the
    consumer legislation gives you reasonable protection against buying a
    lemon. The key is to give any purchase (camera or indeed any other item)
    a good workout as soon as you get it, to make sure it works according to
    spec.

    One problem I have seen mentioned is some tendency to exposure errors.
    Two thoughts here. First, no camera can be assumed to give spot on
    exposure to suit every photographers taste in every circumstance. It may
    be necessary to set a small amount of exposure compensation as a
    standard. I know, for example, that when I use my 10D for
    photomicrography I have to dial in about +2/3 stop compensation - it is
    working in stopped-down metering mode, and with long exposures. Once I
    worked this out (which took a couple of minutes) I had no further
    problem. For normal use no compensation is required. The great beauty of
    DSLRs of course is that such feedback is virtually instantaneous; using
    a film body the feedback was very slow.

    The other thought is that many buyers of DSLRs have moved up from much
    less sophisticated cameras, often using colour neg film which is
    extremely tolerant of exposure errors. They have thus never had to learn
    the basics of exposure measurement, and get taken by surprise when using
    the DSLR (or indeed if they shift to reversal film) - both are much less
    tolerant of exposure errors. Simple things like recognising a back-lit
    subject and applying the necessary compensation have to be learned. For
    such people, a good book on the subject is probably the best idea; I
    recommend "Perfect Exposure" by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz, David &
    Charles, ISBN 0 7153 0814 9. Mine is from 1999, and deals with film, but
    it is possible that there may be a later edition. In any case, the
    principles are valid for any medium.

    David
    --
    David Littlewood
     
    David Littlewood, Jun 14, 2005
    #3
  4. Mike Lees

    [BnH] Guest

    To start, how many rolls have you burned during your 50 years of taking
    photos using film ?
    If you were like my friend that shoot around 1 roll / week during his 10
    years of photography .. then you might be shooting around 2500rolls ?
    that's around 90k frames ? and that's IF you shoot every week 1 roll.

    now .. .many newbie DSLR users have surpass your mileage within only 9
    months :) ... so its quite acceptible why those camera break down very fast.

    For you I think just buy one that you like ... if you use Nikon glass in the
    past , just grab the D70s.
    If you use Canon FD glass, you can choose either 20D or D70s or E-300 etc as
    the EOS body can't take in FD glass anymore [without an adapter that is]

    For me, I would go for the 20D if I was not a Nikon shooter.

    =bob=






    "Mike Lees" <> wrote in message
    news:6owre.16112$...
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    >for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring
    > the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for
    > adjustment, or even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the
    > following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300,
    > etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    > --
    > Mike Lees
    > To reply to sender, remove 'nogo' from the address.
    >
     
    [BnH], Jun 14, 2005
    #4
  5. "Mike Lees" <> wrote:
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    >for some 50 years or so.


    You've got me by about 10 years<g>.

    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring
    > the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for
    > adjustment, or even replacement.


    It ain't dSLRs, it's the automagic electronic gizmos that have been passing
    for cameras since AF was invented.

    In addition to bugs in new models just after release, there's also the
    question of long-term survival.

    You can't put that much electronics in a camera and expect it to be
    affordably repairable much beyond the original warranty period. My 1950's
    Rolleiflex works fine, but I won't buy a recent camera unless it's a current
    model: consumer protection laws require mfrs to provide parts for 7 or 8
    years after the final date of sale of discontinued products, so my Mamiya
    645 ProTL and Mamiya 7II will be repairable for at least another 8 years.

    With non-AF film cameras, at least there's a chance that someone will be
    able to fix then.

    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the
    > following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300,
    > etc.


    I'm much less worried about new-product bugs (since those should get fixed
    in warrantee) than component failures 3 years out.

    Don't buy an electronic camera, digital or film, unless you can get
    your money's worth of use out of it within the warranty period. Even with
    parts availability, the labor costs may be exorbitant. Some retailers offer
    extended warranties, so you might want to consider that. (The store I buy
    from has a 5 year warranty extension that provides decreasing coverage over
    the 5 year period, but the coverage in the first two years (after mfr's
    warrantee) ought to cover failed part replacement. I hope.)

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Jun 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Mike Lees

    Mark B. Guest

    "Mike Lees" <> wrote in message
    news:6owre.16112$...
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    >for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring
    > the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for
    > adjustment, or even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the
    > following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300,
    > etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    > --
    > Mike Lees
    > To reply to sender, remove 'nogo' from the address.
    >


    I've never had to return my D30, had it since late '01. I don't use it as
    much since getting a 10D 2 years later, but I do take it along when I don't
    feel like swapping lenses. Haven't had any trouble with the 10D either.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Jun 14, 2005
    #6
  7. Mike Lees

    Frederick Guest

    Mike Lees wrote:

    > I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    > for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    > DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    > to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    > even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    > of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    > Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    Sure there have been problems reported with some models. Back focus
    issues and lock-ups with early D70s, lock-ups and cameras that were
    "dead on arrival" with Canon. I have yet to read of a case where Canon
    or Nikon left the customer on their own. What's more, I don't actually
    know anyone who has experienced any such problem - I only read about
    them on the net. Less reports about other brands because the above two
    brands account for most of the sales anyway.

    If my dslr camera body is "dead" in 3 years at my current rate of use,
    then I will have had excellent value from it and no regrets. It will
    have cost me much less than film would have over that period for the
    same amount of shooting. It has rekindled my interest in photography.
    Life is short. If you have a passion for photography, just do it. Buy
    Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Olympus (apologies if I forgot someone)
    with confidence. Extended warranty is available from some dealers at an
    additional cost - if you want extra peace of mind.

    Of course they are disposible items - like your car, TV, DVD player,
    computer, your entire kitchen and bathroom... etc. Prices for even
    good quality used 35mm film cameras are so low that any ideas that they
    retained value better have now been destroyed. The exception to that is
    only for collectables, and there must be only a remote possibility of
    "rare" digital cameras ever achieving that status.

    Have fun - and stop worrying. If you have been shooting 35mm - or have
    an expectation that a dslr will replace or supplement your 35mm
    shooting, then I do not think you will be disappointed.
     
    Frederick, Jun 14, 2005
    #7
  8. Mike Lees wrote:
    > I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    > for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    > DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    > to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    > even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    > of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    > Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    I have been doing photography for about 40 years. In the 1990s, I was
    shooting about 50 rolls per year as an amateur, having used Canon
    multiple film cameras up through the Elan 7e. I also do photography
    at work. Then I got a D60, then a 10D and 1D Mark II. I have never
    had any problem with any camera, film or digital, work or home.
    In ten years of film I did about 5000 images, but with digital I got
    into wildlife photography and the count has gone way up, probably
    on the order of 40,000+ images per year. I also do 4x5 film on the
    order of about 200 to 400 images per year. The only issue I
    have had with digital is dust on the sensor, for which I don't follow
    the rules--I just blow it off with canned air, taking about 5 minutes
    to take test shots and confirm the sensor is clean enough.

    Roger Clark
    Photography at: http://www.clarkvision.com

    See my film versus digital at:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/film.vs.digital.summary1.html

    other digital info at:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jun 14, 2005
    #8
  9. Mike Lees wrote:
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film
    > photographer for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another,
    > requiring the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the
    > manufacturer for adjustment, or even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example
    > the following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus
    > E-300, etc.
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    As you may have guessed, you mostly hear about the cameras that have
    problems and few people write messages just to say their camera works as
    expected. So what you typically hear is very heavily weighted towards those
    with problems.

    I have a D20 and I have had no problems with it.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jun 14, 2005
    #9
  10. Mike Lees

    Frank ess Guest

    Mike Lees wrote:
    > I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film
    > photographer for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another,
    > requiring the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the
    > manufacturer for adjustment, or even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example
    > the following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s,
    > Olympus
    > E-300, etc.
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D:
    No insurmountable-in-the-field problems in 7 months (20D) and two
    months (RebXT).

    Well, none attributable to the hardware.

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Jun 14, 2005
    #10
  11. Mike Lees

    Mr. Mark Guest

    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    current
    > DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the

    camera
    > to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment,

    or
    > even replacement.


    Probably all products past and present of any kind have this issue. My
    dining room table was just recalled by Ethan Allen. I had to take my VW in
    to have a window repaired under warranty. Just today I had to have my cell
    phone replaced. That wouldn't stop me from buying a new camera. :)

    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their

    perception
    > of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    > Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.


    I have a friend who owns a Nikon D70. It takes great photos. I took it out
    for a spin a few weeks ago and found it to be quite nice. I own mostly
    Canon my self, so not everything on the D70 was intuitive for me, but it
    felt good in my hands and the kit lens was adequate, fast, sharp.

    I held the 350d/Rebel XT in the store. It's too small for me, which means
    I'd be more likely to get a 20D for myself, but the 350 would be perfect for
    my girlfriend. I shot the 20d a month or two ago. It basically works the
    way I'd expect a Canon to work. It's more megapixels than the D70 for about
    the same price which may or may not be important.

    I'd say you probably can't go wrong with any of them.


    --
    Mark

    Photos, Ideas & Opinions
    http://www.marklauter.com
     
    Mr. Mark, Jun 14, 2005
    #11
  12. Mike Lees

    Mike Lees Guest

    I would like to thank all the contributors to this thread for their helpful
    advice - like most of you have stated, the best thing is just to go ahead
    and buy.

    Thanks
    Mike Lees


    "Mike Lees" <> wrote in message
    news:6owre.16112$...
    >I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    >for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the
    > current DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring
    > the camera to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for
    > adjustment, or even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their
    > perception of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the
    > following: Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300,
    > etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
    > --
    > Mike Lees
    > To reply to sender, remove 'nogo' from the address.
    >
     
    Mike Lees, Jun 14, 2005
    #12
  13. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:

    > with digital I got
    > into wildlife photography and the count has gone way up, probably
    > on the order of 40,000+ images per year.


    Correction: I think I've done about 40,000 images with the 10D + 1 D Mark II
    over the last couple of years. I'm on frame 21,389 right now on the 1DII and
    I bought the camera last August. I don't remember how many times the 10D
    rolled over (at 9,999 images). Does anyone know how to check the
    real frame number on canon cameras?

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jun 15, 2005
    #13
  14. Mike Lees

    Drifter Guest

    On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 20:44:16 -0600, "Roger N. Clark (change username
    to rnclark)" <> wrote:

    >Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
    >
    >> with digital I got
    >> into wildlife photography and the count has gone way up, probably
    >> on the order of 40,000+ images per year.

    >
    >Correction: I think I've done about 40,000 images with the 10D + 1 D Mark II
    >over the last couple of years. I'm on frame 21,389 right now on the 1DII and
    >I bought the camera last August. I don't remember how many times the 10D
    >rolled over (at 9,999 images). Does anyone know how to check the
    >real frame number on canon cameras?
    >
    >Roger


    I don't think you actually can check the real frame number but if I'm
    wrong I'd love to find out because I'd like to know the actual number
    of shots on my 10D as well.


    Drifter
    "I've been here, I've been there..."
     
    Drifter, Jun 15, 2005
    #14
  15. "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote:
    > Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
    >
    >> with digital I got
    >> into wildlife photography and the count has gone way up, probably
    >> on the order of 40,000+ images per year.

    >
    > Correction: I think I've done about 40,000 images with the 10D + 1 D Mark
    > II
    > over the last couple of years. I'm on frame 21,389 right now on the 1DII
    > and
    > I bought the camera last August. I don't remember how many times the 10D
    > rolled over (at 9,999 images).


    Have you had to replace the shutter on either of those cameras?

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Jun 15, 2005
    #15
  16. David J. Littleboy wrote:

    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote:
    >
    >>Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>with digital I got
    >>>into wildlife photography and the count has gone way up, probably
    >>>on the order of 40,000+ images per year.

    >>
    >>Correction: I think I've done about 40,000 images with the 10D + 1 D Mark
    >>II
    >>over the last couple of years. I'm on frame 21,389 right now on the 1DII
    >>and
    >>I bought the camera last August. I don't remember how many times the 10D
    >>rolled over (at 9,999 images).

    >
    >
    > Have you had to replace the shutter on either of those cameras?


    No. Not a single problem. I even dropped the 1D Mark II when I
    was in Australia in April: it slide off a bench onto concrete
    (yeah that was stupid). But not a dent on it and it
    worked just as well as before the drop. I've operated it in dusty
    conditions, rain, and temperatures as low as 14 degrees F,
    all with no problems.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jun 15, 2005
    #16
  17. Mike Lees

    Ben Thomas Guest

    Mike Lees wrote:
    > I am in the market for a 'mid-range' DSLR having been a film photographer
    > for some 50 years or so.
    >
    > My perception is, from reading various comments, that almost all the current
    > DSLR's appear to have problems of one kind or another, requiring the camera
    > to be returned to either the supplier or the manufacturer for adjustment, or
    > even replacement.
    >
    > Would the members of this esteemed group care to comment on their perception
    > of the reliability/problems associated with, for example the following:
    > Canon EOS 350D, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D70/D70s, Olympus E-300, etc.
    >
    > Your comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


    I have not had any problems with my Nikon D70, which I have used to take over
    3000 photos.

    Of course that doesn't mean there are no D70s with problems. I doubt you would
    find a single product that has no problems.

    Ben Thomas
     
    Ben Thomas, Jun 15, 2005
    #17
  18. Mike Lees

    MadHatter Guest

    When I rolled over my 300D, I noticed that the folder numbers didn't
    reset. If the other Canon cameras are the same, that should tell you
    how many frames you've shot.
     
    MadHatter, Jun 15, 2005
    #18
  19. Mike Lees

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    On Wed, 15 Jun 2005 15:10:43 -0700, MadHatter wrote:

    > When I rolled over my 300D, I noticed that the folder numbers didn't
    > reset. If the other Canon cameras are the same, that should tell you
    > how many frames you've shot.

    Have you looked at the manual lately?
    It is in there.
    --
    neil
    delete delete to reply
     
    Neil Ellwood, Jun 16, 2005
    #19
  20. "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    wrote in message news:...
    > Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:

    SNIP

    > Does anyone know how to check the real frame number on canon
    > cameras?


    There has been some discussion about that on the DPreview forums, and
    other places no doubt. If I recall correctly, the Canon Service
    Centers can read that info, and there may be some utilities that can
    display the "number of actuations". If you do a search on "actuations"
    you may be able to find a few useful ones in the mirad of less useful
    ones (maybe a better search string can be composed).
    <http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/search_new.asp?query=actuations&forum=all>

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, Jun 16, 2005
    #20
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