Sony Digital Camera Short Life

Finally, my old point-and-shoot digital camera died and I'm no longer reviving it. For a hefty repair fee of Php6,250, I'd rather buy a new digital camera. Digital cameras, after all, are becoming even cheaper.

You could now buy digital cameras now at a third of their price 5 years ago. And these are popular name brands, by the way.

Camera Lens Damage

Five years - that's how long my trusty old Sony CyberShot DSC-S40 digital camera has served me, particularly for this blog's images. It has undergone 3 major repairs at the Sony Service Center, two of them under warranty.

But this time, the quoted repair fee was just too much. I suppose I'll be comparing digicams soon for a new replacement.

The camera's problem as mentioned by the counter girl was "light retrace" or something like that and the camera lens may have been damaged. Here's an image that shows an indication of the problem. You'll notice the horizontal lines that show up on the image.

The above is a picture of a Giant Lantern (parol) that was taken during an exhibition at the Giant Lantern Festival 2010.

The first time this happened was when I used the camera's zoom feature to zoom in to one of the giant lanterns when it was all lit up. All the succeeding photos then had the horizontal lines.

As I'm reading the Canon's Camera User Guide, I see this caution:

"Do not aim the camera at bright light sources (the sun, etc.). Doing so may cause malfunctions or damage the image sensor."

Around the internet, some photography hobbyists and experts claim the above statement isn't true and that the caution is meant to protect the user's eyes and not the camera. Nonetheless, without any other plausible explanation, zooming in to the brightly lit giant lantern was probably a mistake.

My learning? I should have just walked closer to the giant lantern to take the picture.

Quality of Digital Cameras (Point and Shoot)

Even with name brands like Sony, I'm beginning to question the quality of digital cameras, especially the point-and-shoot ones like the Sony CyberShot DSC-S40. I get the feeling that they're really not designed to last long - in this case, 5 years. Or am I asking too much?

Although this digicam has been to many places and used extensively for my blogging needs, it has never been abused. I even bought an extra camera belt case for it. It surprised me though that I had to have the digicam repaired on the second year.

The year after that, I had to have the digital camera repaired again. Fortunately, Sony's extended warranty of 3 years covered these repairs (yup, no cost to me).

The third repair was for a physical damage on the camera housing - and that was beyond the camera warranty. I have to admit that that one was my fault when I dropped the unit. The camera cabinet being plastic (strange that they don't LOOK like plastic), a piece chipped off.

Point and Shoot digital cameras cost much less than the big-ass DSLRs or Digital SLR's, but still, am I asking too much for their quality?

Go ahead, post your comment below!