Did I buy the worst two Nikon cameras (or are they all this bad?)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Linda Sands, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. This is perhaps a good reason for not owning a Nikon camera. Canon seems to
    have a better attitude -- at least about their SLRs. (You can reach Customer
    Service on Saturdays. Even early in the evening.)

    It's worth noting that manufacturers are legally obliged to provide
    "mechanical" replacement parts for at least three years after a product is
    discontinued. The availability of parts _implies_ the availability of
    service (though there seems to be no guarantee of _that_).

    I'd suggest you get the necessary part and have an independent service shop
    fix it -- though the cost might be more than you would care to pay.

    Even better, I suggest you contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a

    By the way, the reason LocTite is not to be used on certain plastics is
    because it's an anaerobic glue -- it sets in the absence of oxygen. Those
    plastics allow oxygen to pass, and the glue won't harden.
    William Sommerwerck, Oct 15, 2007
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  2. That's REALLY BAD design. The "tongue in slot" lock is common among digital
    cameras, but the slot is usually a molded space within the camera body --
    not a fragile plastic loop projecting from it.

    I agree -- a reviewer should have caught this and at least warned potential
    William Sommerwerck, Oct 15, 2007
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  3. PS: Pardon my stupidity in not having first looked carefully at the photos.
    The "part" is a major chunk of the body, and is not easily replaceable.
    William Sommerwerck, Oct 15, 2007
  4. I was going to mention that. :)

    Not only is the "part" the camera body, but it's guaranteed to break given
    the stresses on a little tiny loop of plastic.

    Why couldn't Nikon have designed the latch better?
    Is Nikon that stupid?

    And why didn't the legion of reviewers for the Nikon Coolpix series notice
    this? Are THEY that stupid?

    Or is it just me?
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 15, 2007
  5. Thank you for this kind note. When I googled for this problem, I found that
    it's a common problem. But I had read the major reviews, e.g., dpreview,
    and I never saw any mention that this was going to be a disaster.

    The folks at dpreview pumped up the camera so much that I now look at
    dpreview with total distrust.

    How can ANYONE trust a reviewer who totally misses the fact the camera will
    be made senseless within a year of use in almost every case?
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 15, 2007
  6. I partially blame the reviewers like dpreview and Steve's DigiCams who
    never told us the camera they were touting so blatantly would be a brick
    within a year due to Nikon's poor engineering.

    I have totally lost my faith in at least the two reviewers I trusted
    - Dpreview
    - Steve's DigiCams

    I guess the next question is whether or not there are ANY reliable &
    reputable camera reviwers out there who actually test the cameras for more
    than a day or two & report accurately on such obvious mechanical flaws?
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 15, 2007
  7. Linda Sands

    Smitty Two Guest

    You know, even intelligent people make mistakes. Nikon fixed the problem
    in a later iteration of the camera, as you yourself pointed out. If
    you're so smart, how come *you* didn't see it as a design weakness
    before you bought two of them?

    Have you ever seen the show "Engineering Disasters?" Things that men
    build that are a lot more significant than a cheap dime store camera, do
    break. It seems to me you're milking this one for a lot more attention
    than it's worth. Be glad you fixed it, and get back to something
    important in your life.
    Smitty Two, Oct 15, 2007
  8. Linda Sands

    John Ortt Guest

    I doubt they were trying to deliberately mislead you. It is an unfortunate
    fact that some design errors don't show up until you have owned an item a
    while. After all the reviewer likely only had the camera for a week and if
    the problem were that obvious then everybody who bought the camera would
    have to be an idiot (which I do not believe to be the case).

    I would be more interested on whether dpreview would be willing to add an
    addendum to the review based on the new information available.....
    John Ortt, Oct 15, 2007
  9. Linda Sands

    BIC Guest


    you have just been unlucky...........or heavy handed.
    BIC, Oct 15, 2007
  10. Linda Sands

    Frank Arthur Guest

    Frank Arthur, Oct 15, 2007
  11. Linda Sands

    SMS Guest

    There are a couple of advantages to Canon. First, their designs seem to
    be more rugged, even the plastic ones. This is because Canon is more of
    an engineering company than a marketing company.

    Second, Nikon U.S.A. is really strict about not honoring the warranty on
    Nikon products purchased outside the U.S.A., while Canon doesn't make a
    big deal about it. Nikon U.S.A. won't even fix products purchased
    outside the country when the owner is willing to pay for the repair.
    It's their way of fighting gray-market goods, but it does cause problems
    for owners that have bought Nikon products outside the U.S..
    The problem is that it's not the battery door that breaks, it's the
    whole camera body that breaks. Unless the entire camera body is
    considered a "part."
    SMS, Oct 16, 2007
  12. Maybe. However, they're not so wonderful about fixing what few
    engineering mistakes Canon does make. For example, the Error 18
    problem which plagues their bottom of the line cameras:
    This has actually been a benifit to me as I've been buying Canon
    cameras that display Error 18 and repairing them. Clean out the sand,
    un-jam the lens drive gears, and it's as good as ummm... used.
    Canon is marginal at honoring the warranty on bottom of the line
    cameras. Two of the cameras I've fixed that displayed E18 were well
    within the warranty period. Both were S510's. The authorized repair
    center claimed that it was abused by the customer and therefore was
    not covered under warranty. This may have been true, but I was able
    to fix one by simply tinkering with the partly extended lens, and the
    other by tearing it apart and removing some accumulated dust that was
    jamming the gears.

    Incidentally, I own a Canon A70, S510, A40, and just ordered a new
    S5-IS. On the computer front, I really like Canon printers.
    Jeff Liebermann, Oct 16, 2007
  13. Good suggestion!
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 16, 2007
  14. SMS is right. This tiny flimsy piece of plastic holding the stress of the
    battery door is part of the body of the camera. So when it eventually
    breaks (within weeks in some cases, within a year in others - but given the
    design, it just has to break sooner rather than later) - the camera is

    Now, I wonder why Nikon didn't just put a paperclip-like metal pin in the
    camera body. It would have cost pennies (how much can it cost) per camera
    and they'd not have the ruined reputation that the entire coolpix series
    has now.

    Nobody who ever owned these coolpix cameras would ever trust Nikon again.
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 16, 2007
  15. It's a VERY common problem BIC. Google for the Nikon coolpix battery door
    latch and you'll see many people have the same problem. For every one you
    find, there are hundreds who don't know about the usenet or the forums.
    Even Nikon's own forums are fraught with sorry sad little coolpix owners.

    Look at the design in the photos of the notorious Nikon Coolpix 2100 and
    3100 series cameras. You, like most others in this thread, will have to
    conclude the little flimsy plastic loop is bound to break under almost ANY

    Did you actually look at the pictures?
    Jeanette Guire, Oct 16, 2007
  16. They also won't sell parts for the repair by a third party. The one exception
    is that if you were a resident of the country you bought the camera in when
    you bought it, they will honor the warranty.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Oct 16, 2007
  17. Linda Sands

    Jeff Guest

    Or switch to Canon. Canon has had a substantial lead on digital
    technology that the others have been playing catch up with for years.
    And the ergonomics of Canon are pretty good. I'm *really* hard on
    cameras and my Canon A95 is still ticking (so's my Rebel and elph). It's
    had a *lot* of exposures clicked through it.

    Jeff, Oct 16, 2007
  18. Linda Sands

    Smitty Two Guest

    Good lord, woman, STFU already. No one who's ever listened to you drone
    on and on and on about this obscenely trivial issue you're having would
    ever want to hear another peep out of you.
    Smitty Two, Oct 16, 2007
  19. Linda Sands

    SMS Guest

    It's true, the A series is remarkably robust for such an inexpensive
    line of cameras.
    SMS, Oct 16, 2007
  20. Linda Sands

    SMS Guest

    The body is injection molded, they are not going to start adding bits of
    steel which would add significantly to the production cost. The big
    mistake they made was to make the part that is most likely to break a
    non-replaceable part.

    For all the complaints about the iPhone, at least they have no flimsy
    doors over battery compartments or memory slots. They have no buttons
    that will break after extended use.
    SMS, Oct 16, 2007
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