panorama software,virtual tour software
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2006-08-17
#1

My Nikon Woe

Well I finally got a D70s DSLR and I love it! Well - loved it.  Around a month into my ownership of this brand new cam, whilst carrying it in the NIKON bag I paid extra for a button snapped off.  I couldn't believe it - the af/m button on the front of the cam left of the lense simply snapped at somepoint.

The problem was that I was about to go on a major shoot and needed the camera as a point and shoot (not for panos). The camera was unuseable becuase the button base ring was not setting on either Af or M so I used a tiny bit of superglue on the end of a pin to stick the broken button to the ring which allowed me to use the cam.

I contacted Nikon support and they were very helpful. THEN i got the bill. Since I stupidly tried to fix it I am now not covered by the warranty and its costing me 140 pounds MINIMUM to get this fixed. I'm furious as I know I tried to fix it but it was either that or a 600 quid trip went down the tubes.  Nikon are also saying that I'd tried to open the cam as a screw on the base was missing - something I had not done or knew nothing about. I'm happy to admit what I needed to do to sort out the probs I had with the workmanship on this cam but to add that in has really annoyed me.

I'm now three months into my ownership of this cam and its been away for three weeks and will cost me the minimum of 140 pound to fix a 2cm button which broke in a Nikon bag.

I'm really hacked off with it. I know (now) I must have violated the warranty but has anyone got any suggestions?  I don't mind paying for any probs with the glue (a tiny amount applied with a pin!) but to be charged for everything else seems harsh  - esp when the nice man I spoke to said he'd have done the same!

Argghhh.

Prob just one of those things...


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2006-09-01
#2

"A 5D has the same life span as a D70??  Spend 2000 on a body and it only lasts for 100,000 exposures?  That's appalling! "....LOLOLOL..........no offense just had a laugh for a moment.

100,000 exposures is A LOT..I mean AAAA LLLOOOTTTTT of exposures. Most still, portrait and wedding photographers wouldnt shoot this many in a year or even two years. So we have to put this into perspective. Panoramic photography is different. We shoot thousands more exposres than these kind of photographers.

There are major differences in these two cameras. The D70 is not in the same league as the 5D. For one thing the 5D has a magnesium alloy body with that is "environmentaly sealed". And it is a full frame sensor at 12 mp.

The canon 5D is what you would call a "pro level camera targeted to the semi amature or semi pro photographer". The Mark II at $8000 is built like a tank and is meant to be serviced for replacement parts. Even a $1000 service bill would be worth paying for this kind of camera. And you can get good warrenties for this kind of thing.

The D70s is strictly a consumer level camera. Mostly due to its plastic construction. It is only a $700 camera. I wouldnt think things are built as robust for that price.

To be clear the shutter can be replaced.  I really meant it costs too much and you may as well get a new one...but that is up to the owner.

I had a quote of $300 for a "re build" of the camera from a nikon service company in Miami. When the shutter is toasted there are other things in the camera that need service as well. At this point you should have the re build done or else you will just be wasting your money. Its a total re build or get a new one kind of thing.

I tried to find an "official" shutter rating but could not. I did find it somewhere a long time ago when I bought my first one. A search at Nikonians.org revealed everything from 50,000 to 150,000....LOL.......But I swear I read it was 150,000 but I cant see how that is really true due to what others have said regarding the time before failure. It seems most experience this at around 50,000 to 60,000 exposures.

But the question is "how many exposures do you really take per week/month"?

In my case I use 3 bracket sets and shoot 6. Thats 18 exposures per node shot. If I take 2 seperate sets of the scene at different exposures then thats 36 exposures per scene ( 2 nodes of the same scene). A lot of my jobs require up to 12 panos per tour but most are around 6 nodes plus stills. I shoot about 5 to 10 jobs per week. So I would say on average I shoot about 10,000 exposures per month. But sometimes I shoot about 15,000 depending on the number of jobs and the amount of exposures per job.

Now I should say that I do overshoot for my jobs. BUT I have never....never had to go back and re shoot a job. This is the reason....get the shots while you are there. Besides sometimes you can't re shoot a job. You have only one chance to get it right. And a re shoot means lost money and time...somthing I prefer to avoid.

So for me the life span of a D70s is about 8 months. My first D70s lived for about 35,000 before the shutter failed. However I had only one and had to change lenses twice at each job. The camera became very dirty inside and some "stuff" got into the shutter mechanism which caused premature failure. Otherwise I could have gone to 50,000 before failure. I also was using an air bulb to blow off the mirror and CCD.....very bad thing to do. The shutter has very fine "leaf bumpers" that absorb the shock of the shutter opening against the camera body on the inside. If you use air these can become "ruffled". When the shutter opens against these it causes trauma to shutter and eventually knocks it out of whack hence the failure. By the way "failure" means the shutter will "lock up" when activated at slow shutter speeds. As the problem gets worse you will finally get lock ups about every 5th exposre no matter what shutter speed. At this point your shutter is very near death.

Now this I think my situation is at the extremes. Most of you probably dont shoot this many exposures per month. But I could be wrong.....

I now have two D70's. One for panos and one for stills. This way I dont have to change lenses.....ever. So the camera stays clean and the life span is significantly increased. The exposures are split between two cameras and not changing the lens prevents stuff from getting into the camera. I have a third D70 I use for changing lenses with. The other two are my "work" rigs and never get the lens changed. The third one is actually my first camera that is now locking up continuously because it has about 60,000 exposures on it. I use it for "fun stuff.....family outings....taking beach pictures etc.

The D70s IS A VERY GOOD camera. It takes great exposures. For the price vs features it can hardly be beat. For the average amature this camera will last years.

If you are just starting out using a DSLR this is the camera to get ( or the Canon 20D....dont know about the shutter specs but it is in the same class). It has all the functions you need and a lot of pro level settings like shutter speeds up tp 1/8000...etc.

General Lee

 


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2006-09-01
#3
Quote: D70 is the camera to get ( or the Canon 20D....dont know about the shutter specs but it is in the same class). General Lee


Or to be pedantic get a d70 or 20d if they are well discounted in price. Otherwise get a d80 or 30d. Not that their predecessors have anything wrong but you might as well get the latest if you are paying for it.
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2006-09-02
#4

I wouldn't class the 20D metal body in the same class as the plastic D70. More accurate would be the 350D (Rebel XL) and D70s as both are plastic. Or even the 300D (Kiss, Rebel) and the D70.

Regards, Smooth


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2006-09-02
#5
Quote: Originally posted by Gen. Lee on September-01-2006

"A 5D has the same life span as a D70??  Spend 2000 on a body and it only lasts for 100,000 exposures?  That's appalling! "....LOLOLOL..........no offense just had a laugh for a moment.


Gen. Lee, don't really understand the laughter as my comment had more to do with the life of the camera.  As I'd said, my fathers camera survived combat photography in Vietnam and is still used by myself today.  I'm damn sure that adds up to more than 100,000 and I don't have to chuck the camera.  To me - that rates quality.

Your originanal comment stated an inability to replace a duff shutter - that equated to a very expensive disposable camera in my eyes.  If you're now saying that's not the case I'm glad to hear it. 

 


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2006-09-03
#6

HI Smooth,

Arrggg.  I really meant the 20D was in the same "price range" and is similar in functions.

Comparable would be a better word. But the canon is 8mp, metal body and a CMOS sensor so I would say its a better camera all around. Nikon makes some very good pro level cameras but I think Canon has an edge overall. I agree, get the latest model. Thanks for pointing that out Smooth...

Steiner - I hope I didnt offend you. What made me laugh is "only lasts for 100,000 exposures." because 100,000 exposures is just a HUGE amount. 99% of normal users will not reach this before the buy a new camera. The normal user should get years out the camera before the reach this amount.

 To put it in perspective the Canon Mark II is rated to about 250,000 but this is a $8000 camera. So for 1/10th the money you can get about 1/2 the shutter life of the Mark II.

But the reality is 50,000 for the D70s.

Regarding your vintage nikon. I dont know what model it is but due to its age I am sure it is a metal body film camera. I bet it is a "range finder".....right...? If it is then that explains why it is still a good camera. Range finder cameras do not have a mirror. They have a very simple shutter mechanism. Range finders are very desirable in certain situations and some of them are still very expensive.....even the old ones. They are just plain old tough guys. There are advantages to the focal length of the lenses used as well. Since there is no mirror the lens is mounted very close to the film plane. This equates to VERY sharp pictures.

About the "disposable part" - I guess it depends on how you look at what "disposable" means. First the shutter mechanism is complicated and has many delicate parts. Sometimes it can be repaired. Sometimes it has to be replaced. Depends on the damage. To me paying $300 plus shipping to replace the shutter for a $600 camera (50% of its value) means "disposable". But $300 is a lot cheaper than $600 to get another few years out of it.

If you never changed the lens you shutter would last probably 80,000 exposures. When you change lenses stuff gets in the camera...not just on the mirror and CCD but in the shutter mechanisms as well. If you attempt to clean it yourself the chances of just moving stuff around in the camera or otherwise introducing stuff is great. Self cleaning is possible and many do it. There are some good tutorials on techniques used by others. However the setup costs for this cleaning equipment is expensive...I think to get a good kit costs around $200. I can get my camera cleaned at nikon service for $45 and its done right....plus a 24 hour turnaround time.

I should also point out that extended 5 year warrenties are available for about $200. These will cover shutter replacement providing the camera has not suffered a traumatic event and give you free cleaning.

Again...the D70s is a very good camera. I have three of them as I have said. I know several wedding photographers and an old school guy who has been a portrait photographer for 35 years who use the D70s for all their work.

I like it because its cheap...it dont worry if I trip and drop it in a pool or over the sea wall. It does the job for what I need. However as I have gained experience and knowledge I would pick another camera for other kinds of photograpy other than panoramic work.

The D70s and now the D80 are perfect cameras to begin learning with. They are affordable and offer all the simple and advanced features any beggining photographer will need. Like the rest of use as you gain experience you will eventually be dreaming of a new Canon Mark II for christmas...LOL

If you intend on printing out your images larger than 8x10 or will be shooting for high quality print ad work then look for more megapixels than 6. For internet work this camera is perfect.

Sorry for the confusion about the shutter.

General Lee


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2006-09-03
#7

No offence taken Gen. - typical example of crossed wires. I'm looking at purchasing a 5D so I'm naturally keen to explore it's strengths and weaknesses. Thanks for the in-depth reply.

Cheers

Steiner

 


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2006-08-18
#8
Ooh and it just occured to me, should have put you take the retailer to court if you are unhappy not nikon so it may get more complicated actually. hmm
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2006-08-18
#9

I'm just generally appalled at their level of 'support'.  I saw a Coolpix 5000 on ebay - which was 'untested' and going for not much. I ocontacted their support and said Id bought the cam from ebay and had no warranty and I just wanted to see how much it would be, maximum, to fix it.  They said around 60 pounds. SO i bought the cam for 35 thinking 'sweet' - a working Nikon 5000 backup for less than 100 pounds.

Sent the cam off and then got a bill for...140 quid.  Apparently the person 'got the wrong model number'.  This was after I spoke to him on the phone, described the problem and was told 'um sounds like your camera has a problem' - great!

Won't be buying Nikon again and feel annoyed that I turned down the chance of a Canon 30d for the D70s.

Thanks anyway all.

 


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2006-08-19
#10

I use the D70s. I have two of them and ordered a  third yesterday. Why you ask.....because they are cheap......camera body only costs around $600. You can get a refurb for even less.

These cameras were made for the average consumer. They are not pro level cameras. The shutter is only rated to about 100,000 exposures. When the shutter wears out its time to throw the camera away as this can not be repaired....well the whole mechanisim can be replaced but what for....just get a new one.

I am not surprised at all to hear your focus button fell off....LOL. It is impossible to find a NON grey market camera. Atleast in the US. All the camera suppliers carry grey market models because they can offer very cheap prices that beat the brick and morter stores. These companies will say "it comes with a US warrenty". Well that doesnt mean its not grey market. All it means is they are selling a warranty with the price. A NON grey market will say "Made in Japan" and not "Made in Thailand". IF you find one made in Japan it will prob cost over a thousand dollars.

Which brings me to another point. ALL nikon service points are private businesses contracted to do Nikon work. A lot of them are less than professional. Thats why they say one cost and then charge you higher on the bill. They are in it for the money not customer service.

I have already worn out the first one I bought. It went to about 90,000 exposures before the shutter began to fail. I serviced it and that didnt help. It still locks up.

I have a very busy photography business. One D70 generates thousands and thousands of dollars in profit. I use them sort of as disposable cameras. I have the CCD cleaned a couple times and by then its time to throw it away and get a new one. They last me about 8 months before this happens. But it only cost $600....or less

If you want something on the pro level that should last years you should probably get a magnesium body Canon. Among other great things Canon is well known for the robustness of their cameras. Nearly all adventure/combat photojournalists use canon for this reason. The grey market problem is not near as bad and you can actually find a non grey market canon.

I have  canon 5d on order now. This will be my still camera that I will use for high quality print work in advertising. I will continue to use the throw away D70s for pano work. I find myself in all kinds of locations....hicking on golf courses, crawling around pool decks, climbing flights and flights of stairs....its only a matter of time before the camera is bumbed, dropped or suffers some kind of "environmental accident". So I figure why invest a lot of money into a camera that is very likly to become disabled at some point. I am on my Third D70s in only 18 months. But that is becasue of the volume and kind of work I do.

Otherwise the D70s is a great camera. I am teaching my 12 year old daughter to use one of the disabled ones now. IF she drops is or whatever no worries. It has lived its useful life.

Besides where can you get a good DSLR for $600 bucks. Remember this IS NOT A PRO LEVEL CAMERA. If you need pro level get a canon.

General Lee

 

 


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2006-08-19
#11

Very nice advice and I def wont touch Nikon with a ten foot barge pole.

Mind you - I do think that 1200 dollars for a cam which doesnt last a month before it looses parts and then takes over a month to fix is a bit much!

I'll bear your comments in mind next time I buy a cam - its a shame as I really liked the D200!

Ta

F


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