Life Span of Digital Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Phil, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Phil

    Phil Guest

    For a camera that is looked after fairly well what is the life span to be
    expected. Apart from physical signs of use do parts fail or wear out

    I have a couple of cameras and my old Kodak DC280 doesn't seem to focus as
    well as it did and a few other issues that niggle me. A shame as it has
    always been a good little camera for the few snaps I used it for.

    Phil, Jan 15, 2004
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  2. Phil

    Shaun Lowe Guest

    My old Kodak DX3900 purchased back in November '01
    is still working fine, aside from just one stuck pixel. I think
    I shot nearly 10.000 photos with that little thing.


    Shaun Lowe
    Shaun Lowe, Jan 15, 2004
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  3. Phil

    Proctor Guest

    I have a Kodac DC-120 I bought in 1998 that has taken a few thousand shots
    and always stored well and treated like gold. Looks and acts like new. The
    only probelm is it seems to have some dirt or small particles inside the
    lense visable with magnifing glass. I don't know if it can be taken apart
    and cleaned. Cost around $750.000 new now worthless I suppose. Still works
    great. Takes macros all the way up to touching the lense itself with cheap
    Tiffen closeup lens set. I would say other than dropping one should last
    quite a long time.

    Proctor, Jan 15, 2004
  4. Phil

    jriegle Guest

    Hi Phil,
    We use a DC280 at work. Ours has 2,500 shots on it, but it is possible the
    counter got reset early in its career so it may have more. Our works just
    fine. How many shots does yours have? IIRC, I paid $800 (or was it $900?)
    for it in Oct of 1999. I sold it to my employer after upgrading.

    We also have a DC215. It got dropped onto concrete. The battery cover latch
    got sheared off and the aluminum cladding is loose. we have to put a zip tie
    around to keep the cladding down and the batteries in, but it work fine

    jriegle, Jan 15, 2004
  5. I would think the life span of a digital camera would be like any
    other camera. it depends on the quality of the components. If the
    camera is well built and the electronic components are of good
    quality, including the sensor, then it should last as long as the
    photographer. Outside influences usually end the useful life far
    sooner. Influences such as being dropped, left in the sun, Left out in
    the rain, dropped in water...and the list goes on.

    No camera is bullet proof. digital, film, point and shoot, or
    pro, some are better designed and built than others, but still none
    will last forever if used a lot. Devices fail whether mechanical or
    electrical. The more devices in a camera the more likely one of them
    will fail The photo sensor is really a grouping of millions of
    individual devices on one large substrate. Hence the likely hood of
    one failing is greater than for a simple device. Manufacturing
    techniques have improved greatly over the years so today's sensor
    elements should have very long lifetimes after the initial burn in
    (often called infant mortality)

    Sensor sites fail due to impurities in the substrate, impurities
    introduced during the manufacturing process, and handeling as well as
    mechanical influences. Again, unless shoddy manufacturing techniques
    are used to save money, or cut corners to save time, there is no valid
    reason for a sensor element (pixel) to have a short life once past the
    burn in.
    As long as a camera is able to function properly and meet the
    photographer's needs then there is no need to upgrade just because the
    camera becomes classed as obsolete.

    For the point-and-shoot crowd there is absolutely no reason to throw
    out the old when something new comes along unless the old doesn't meet
    their needs, or they have outgrown the old which is pretty much the
    same thing.

    For the true photographer who's primary interest is the photograph
    there is no need to change equipment as long as the old meets their
    needs .

    We are at a stage in the development of the digital camera where the
    technology is evolving rapidly. The larger the market the more it
    drives the changes and the more it makes those changes possible.

    Digital photography is unique in it allows the technically inclined to
    work with the hardware and its features to capture an image and in
    addition it lets that segment also manipulate the images as is done in
    the dark room but with far more latitude without having to mess with
    the chemicals and space for said dark room. For lack of a better term
    the "gadgeteer" who has to have the latest and greatest equipment for
    taking the photos and the latest and greatest hardware and software
    for manipulating those images.

    This group is most affected by the changes in technology, most
    benefits by it, provides most of the driving force behind it and
    bemoans the how their equipment becomes obsolete shortly after

    So, to my way of thinking, the vast majority of us can expect a very
    long useful life out of our cameras as we don't care if they have been
    replaced by something better or not.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, Jan 16, 2004
  6. Phil

    Proctor Guest

    Ya, that's what I figured. However I just now applied a single wipe with
    dry cleaning cloth that must have generated a static charge( Sub-Zero dry
    weather here now) which emediately brought something else to the top of the
    inside of the lends that looks even larger than any of the other particles.
    I am thinking it might cause problems with the close macros I have had so
    mush good muck with.
    Proctor, Jan 16, 2004
  7. Phil

    Proctor Guest

    Phil. How would the counter get reset by the way. I have always wondered if
    that was possible. I have almost 4k on my DC-120. I never thought I used it
    much either.

    Proctor, Jan 16, 2004
  8. Phil

    Jerome Bigge Guest

    My Canon Powershot A10 had a "problem" approximately
    after taking 15,000 pictures. Something broke inside the
    lens housing so that it only worked at the "wide angle"
    setting. Perhaps some sort of aperture control failed.
    It would overexpose at telephoto, but WA was OK.

    It's the "mechanics" that wear out, which is also true
    for film cameras too.

    Jerome Bigge
    Member, Muskegon Astronomical Society
    Author of the "Warlady" & "Wartime" series.
    Download at ""
    Jerome Bigge, Jan 16, 2004
  9. Phil

    Phil Guest

    Taken 4954 shots with 2586 flash. I paid £380 ($690) and about four years
    ago. Also Paid around another £150 for bits - case, extra compact flash
    card, spare batteries, mains adapter Perhaps reading this NG makes me more
    sensitive to end results and I am expecting more than the camera can give!

    Phil, Jan 16, 2004
  10. Phil

    Phil Guest

    Tried it but still keeps the counter as it was.
    Phil, Jan 16, 2004
  11. Phil

    Proctor Guest

    The 4800 must be different than the DC-120. I have internal memory and get
    no message. Just get report of available space when power on reminding me of
    my failure to insert card. I like the ability of being able to move the
    shots from memory to card right in the camera unlike the new DX-6490 I just
    bought(Going back as soon as it gets warmer than 5 below outside here) I
    think I mentioned I hate those little SD cards and wish they never changed
    from CF. oh well. on to Canon or another Nikon I guess.

    Proctor, Jan 16, 2004
  12. Phil

    Peter Guest

    I have a DC200 with 91208 shots at the moment (it's a once every 15
    minutes webcam). So if you don't break the thing by carrying it about,
    it seems to last :)

    Peter, Jan 16, 2004
  13. Phil

    jean Guest

    I sold my DC240 after close to 5000 pics, my cousin has it now and it still
    works fine. My Coolpix 995 was stolen and had also taken close to 5000
    pics, when the cops found it, it was still working. I sold my Coolpix 4500
    with more than 5000 pics and it was still like new. I know one guy who has
    a Kodak DC 240 with over 20,000 pics taken, the rangefinder will not follow
    the zoom position but aside from that it's still working fine.

    jean, Jan 16, 2004
  14. Phil

    David Chien Guest

    11000+ images on FujiFilm 40i since 2000. No problems. Still works
    great. Solid as a rock.
    David Chien, Jan 16, 2004
  15. I used to attend the big fly-in at Oshkosh Wisconsin each year. I
    went a week early and worked as a volunteer, then through the fly-in.

    With something like 14,000 aircraft and nearly 750,000 spectators it
    was easy to shoot at least 10 36 exposure rolls a day. That is 360 X
    7 for a total of 2500 just for the one week. Add another 1000 for the
    week of preparation for a total of 3500 for the week. With digital I
    could easily double that ... Although even at 2500 for the week it
    becomes work, to frame each shot, get the pertinent information, (I
    used a lot of microcaset tapes) and index each roll.

    With digital I get about 60 to 65 jpg images per 250 meg CF card.
    With half meg cards that is roughly 120 images, or 3 half meg cards a
    day. Double that and you are talking 6 cards a day, or 3 Gig per day
    and 21 Gig for the week.

    The average amateur will come no where near that 200,000 frame
    shutter life, but many a working pro will in a few years. Plus the
    camera may be operated in a much more hostile environment.At my current rate it would take me 15 to 20 years and I'm no working

    I used to have my Nikon shutters cleaned and recalibrated every two
    years. They were usually pretty good, but every once in a while they
    would be off a bit.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, Jan 17, 2004
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