Losing the plot

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Postby sirhc55 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:43 pm

gstark wrote:
sirhc55 wrote:I don’t believe the cameras are ”shoddy” per se Gary but I do believe that Nikon have not embraced the electronic side as well as others.


Chris,

Four cameras purchased over a period of about 30 months.

Each suffering at least one fault.

One DOA.

Four returns to Nikon/Maxwell for rectification.

Six faults thus far in those four cameras.

Add to that other issues that I've seen or experienced, outside of my immediate household, such as the focus issues, or the spontaneous flash.

What word would you choose over "shoddy" ?

:)


Gary - shoddy as per the electronics as it would appear that your major faults were attributable to this :wink:

In the old days the major problem might be a moth eating the focal plane shutter :lol: :lol:
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Postby terminator on Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:53 pm

Sounds like Gary`s mind is made up.
5D for Christmas perhaps?
Go for it I say!!!
Sometimes we all just need a change and a fresh start.
:wink: 8)
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Postby DaveB on Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:06 pm

I meant to comment on this one first time around:
gstark wrote:One member recently reported that he had a fuse fail on his D70. That entailed a repair bill of about $100.

For a fuse!

I was flabbergasted to read that one.

I'm not surprised at all. Consider that the technician needs to:
  1. Diagnose the fault.
  2. Open up the camera and expose the PCB with the failed fuse.
  3. Desolder by hand the tiny surface-mount fuse, and replace it.
  4. Reassemble the camera.
  5. Re-test it.

    Oh, and
  6. Repeat until it's actually fixed. ;)

Ok so the last one's facetious, but the rest of it does take time and skill. How much do you think the technicians should be paid?
Of course when designing the camera, making the fuses easily accessible would help by reducing the work involved in b and d...
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Postby Nnnnsic on Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:20 pm

I've got to agree with Dave on this one.

A fuse isn't in the same location nor does it have the same ease of replacement on a D70 as it would be on a speaker or a part of a car.

It may be expensive for a fuse replacement, but as a programmer, if you were presented with some code that had one faulty line or statement, you too would be charging whatever your hourly rate was to work out what the problem was.
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Postby Matt. K on Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:15 pm

I've just noticed that the rubber covering on my D200 is coming adrift down near the battery cover area. It's starting to slip upwards and is going to to cause a problem eventually. The camera is 7 months old. I think it took 12 years for the same problem to appear on my Nikon F2. Is this what we are talking about?
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Postby sirhc55 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:56 pm

Matt. K wrote:I've just noticed that the rubber covering on my D200 is coming adrift down near the battery cover area. It's starting to slip upwards and is going to to cause a problem eventually. The camera is 7 months old. I think it took 12 years for the same problem to appear on my Nikon F2. Is this what we are talking about?


A rubber slipping off is always a problem :lol: :lol:
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Postby Glen on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:00 pm

Spot on Matt.
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:11 pm

DaveB wrote:Of course when designing the camera, making the fuses easily accessible would help by reducing the work involved in b and d...


Exactly.

A fuse should be user replaceable.

Cars come with a user manual - in many cases one that is less comprehensive than that which accompanies a Nikon camera. Those user manuals include diagrams highlighting where the fuses are located, and a wiring diagram that describes each fuse, its rating, along with replacement instructions.

USually there is a warning that if, after replacing the fuse, the problem persists, you should take your car in for service.

The same proncipal applies to my stereo amplifier, my bass amps, and a myriad of other things around the house.

Should I call the electrician to replace a fuse in the powerboard of my home? How long will I be waiting for him to turn up? :)

No. The design is, very simply, and as you've alluded to, flawed.

In a very major way.
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:17 pm

Razor wrote:One point that hasn't been raised so far is that there is another stakeholder on Nikons agenda. Don't leave retailers off the equation!


An almost excellent point.

Most people I know would be happy to pay a premium if they were dealing with a knowledgable salesperson. Someone who could guide them as to the best purchase to suit their needs, and then perhaps perform some post-sale mentoring.

Service, in other words.

Good luck in finding a store that encourages this sort of attitude. They used to exist. Today they're few and far between.

A sad state of affairs.

We actually discussed this point when the forum first started, and if anything, the situation today has deteriorated.
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:19 pm

Dave,

DaveB wrote:In my business we do a lot of work modifying digital cameras (primarily for infra-red use). Admittedly many of the cameras that customers send to us are not new, but of the last 4 D70 cameras we've received, 3 have been DOA (even though the customer swears it worked fine when they shipped it). Due to a few factors I have a very low opinion of the build quality of the D70. I apologise to any D70-lovers out there (especially given the original name of this forum) but there it is.


I think you're helping to prove my point. :)
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:22 pm

gooseberry wrote:Don't want to bring up all those 35FF vs DX arguments, but just curious Gary, what creative options does 35FF give you that DX does not ?


Difficult to quantify, but just get any FF body, mount a 16mm on the front, and then wander off and play.
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Postby Razor on Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:42 pm

gstark wrote:An almost excellent point.

Most people I know would be happy to pay a premium if they were dealing with a knowledgable salesperson.


Most people I know would be more than happy to use this convenience, get advice and take a look in person - and then buy it whereever its cheapest. I did it this way too...

Complaining about a products shortcoming it fair enough but we need to look at the issue from all angles.
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Postby Nikkofan on Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:58 pm

Yes, well, as Gary said, I have experienced this little glitch with the focus on my 17-55 on the D200 which I have never had on my D70.

Unfortunately, I am pretty tied in to Nikon now, having made a few significant (for me) investments in their stock and can't really at this stage foresee switching to anything else - although Padey keeps trying to talk me into looking at the Fuji's, which take Nikon lenses (so far, I've resisted, but in the future ... )

But the thing is ... what do we do about it? Like many others, for me, it's the Bridezilla Season now and I can't stop to send my gear back for fixing for a couple of weeks, or months, or whatever (especially if it has to go back to the factory in China from whence it came) - besides which, I LOVE the 17-55 and don't want to work without it, even for a wee while. Mind you, the 85 f/1.4 is pretty comforting ... (love it, love it!)

My solution - and Nikon probably love consumers like me - is to put up with it and just pull back the focal length to slightly under 55 and take the shot then. But it's pretty damn irritating when I consider how much the lens costs! How many others are doing the same? This is a disgraceful situation - shame on you, Nikon!

After my last experience with a faulty Benro ballhead and getting the situation remedied, I decided I would probably go down the way of avoiding Grey Imports, out of necessity and sticking to Australian-warrantied items and the professionalism (????) of Nikon Australia. But it sounds like it doesn't matter if they're Grey Imports or warrantied items ... Nikon just DON'T CARE ...

I'm depressed .... :cry: .... where's that Fuji number ? .....
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Postby georgie on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:13 pm

I feel for you Gary and agree with your sentiments 100%. I think you are perhaps like me also expressing frustration at a wider problem that I have felt for a while now with all merchandise. I feel that quality is down and service is even worse.

All too often we are getting rubbish products with crappy service. Recent examples for me include;
- Panasonic Plasma TV
- Nokia mobile phone
- Phillips razor
- LG fridge

If there were one off problems you could deal with it but it is the time, effort and money it takes to get a product replaced/repaired that is really draining.

Going back to your original post Gary, I wonder if this is a time to revist April Fools day, but for real.
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Postby beetleboy on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:17 pm

gstark wrote:Difficult to quantify, but just get any FF body, mount a 16mm on the front, and then wander off and play.


I'm yet to see a FF camera that can handle a 16mm lens without some pretty hardcore falloff in the corners!

Anyway..!
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Postby sirhc55 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:36 pm

Back in early 2000 the firewire board on my D1 failed. The camera was a couple of months old. Took it into Maxwell and the MD allowed me into the repair area as they checked the camera. Was repaired and returned in about 3 days.

The D1 was their first SLR digital and I actually owned the 3rd unit to come into the country consequently I was treated like a VIP - how things have changed. . .
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Postby DaveB on Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:03 pm

gstark wrote:A fuse should be user replaceable.

Cars come with a user manual - in many cases one that is less comprehensive than that which accompanies a Nikon camera. Those user manuals include diagrams highlighting where the fuses are located, and a wiring diagram that describes each fuse, its rating, along with replacement instructions.

USually there is a warning that if, after replacing the fuse, the problem persists, you should take your car in for service.

Cameras are not cars. Nor are mobile phones (for example). I don't think that fuses in these things will ever (whoa, strong word there) be user-replaceable. Because of size constraints they're surface-mount devices (about 1x1x2 mm in size) soldered into place. That's on all makes of digital camera that I'm aware of, not just Nikon.
The power input on these things is from Li-Ion batteries (not a car alternator or 240V mains) and the failure rate of the fuses is simply not going to be the same as the devices you mentioned. If it is then there's a serious design problem.

The fuse is there to protect the guts of the camera from more-severe trauma which would introduce more repair cost. But it's not going to be the same as replacing a fuse in your car. Don't be fooled because the same word ("fuse") is used in each case.

Again, this is not a Nikon-specific design issue. Personally I've replaced a few PowerShot G1 fuses in the past. I'm just bringing this up to clarify that it's not an avenue of complaint that I think you can sensibly level against Nikon. There are enough other complaints to make that I don't think you should feel short-changed... ;)
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:32 pm

DaveB wrote:Again, this is not a Nikon-specific design issue.


I accept that.

But it doesn't make it right.
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Postby gstark on Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:44 pm

Razor wrote:
gstark wrote:An almost excellent point.

Most people I know would be happy to pay a premium if they were dealing with a knowledgable salesperson.


Most people I know would be more than happy to use this convenience, get advice and take a look in person - and then buy it whereever its cheapest. I did it this way too...


Actually, I'd be surprised if you did. Can you state that you found a salesperson (as distinct from some turkey who merely takes orders) who was able to explain to you the differences between different camera models?

One who understood the reality of the differences in camera specs, such as megapixels, and how they actually related to picture taking?

One who truly understood the term "crop factor"?

Somebody who actually knew how to make an image?

:)

Complaining about a products shortcoming it fair enough but we need to look at the issue from all angles.


Actualy, my initial post was making a comment on the way the quality coming from one manufacturer appeared to be in a state of serious decline.

Nobody seems to, at this stage, challenged this observation..
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Postby Aussie Dave on Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:22 am

A very interesting topic and some extremely valid points raised by many.

I can see where Gary is coming from and the fact that NIKON used to stand for something that was built well, was backed up by technical professionalism and was revered as the benchmark for all camera manufacturers to strive towards.

In the age of digital, it is a completely different story. Nikon attempt to play off there long-standing "brand name" when really they are, like all their peers, running like hell to keep up with the ever-moving age of electronics.

Should Nikon bite the bullet, produce cameras that are again "bullet-proof" and will last for 20+ years....in the knowledge that in <5 years, their peers will be bringing out their latest models which will have all but a few loyal Nikonians moving to another camp ? Unfortunately, in reality, this is never going to happen.

Nikon are only doing what every other electrical manufacturer around the world is doing. They are manufacturing products to last the life span they want....not the life span we want. In order to do this, they cannot make cameras that will last for many years. There's simply no point....and it is us that dictate this...by running out and upgrading to the newest offering as soon as it's released. How many of us here have already jumped from the D70 to the D70s/D80/D200/D2H/D2X/D2Xs ??

On a side note - how many people here have had to get a VCR unit repaired recently, only to be told it's cheaper to buy a brand new one with extra features than it is to repair the old one ?? This is only going to become much more common....

For some people, this upgrade is essential, however the manufacturers are not stupid (I feel some people may disagree with this :lol: ), they know that buyers want to upgrade. Buyers are rarely satisfied and are always on the lookout for the next best thing....and this doesn't just pertain to cameras. It's human nature. For manufacturers to stop manufacturing products in this fashion, the buying public need to stop upgrading the way they do....IMHO !

Getting back to Nikon's QA. Yes, it should be better.
Should they stand behind their products worldwide and support grey-market in Australia? I think they should.
A camera from Hong Kong should come from the same factory as one from Australia (am I correct ?). If this is the case, should it make a difference where you purchase the camera ?
Soon they'll bring out the regime that if you buy your camera in Victoria you cannot have it fixed in NSW....a bit ridiculous but so is the warranty they offer.

I still think Nikon make great cameras. Most of us here chose Nikon because of it's ergonomics and how it felt in our hands.
Were we wrong ? I don't think so.

And, I agree that Nikon Aus should watch this space. So should Canon Aus etc... :)
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Postby phillipb on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:03 am

Some good points made here by Aussidave.
True, Nikon can't be too different from Canon for economical reasons, but then why not have two levels of warranties, 1 general warranty where you buy grey and get what we have now and 2 where you buy locally and get pro level support. At least then there will be a good reason to pay for the premium.
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Postby Laurie on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:07 am

i havent kept up-to-date with this thread, but i intend to read it all.
i am a little worried about Nikon after reading the first post.
i was not into photography at all until last christmas, and then bought my own camera and went SLR straight away, was about to buy the Canon 350D when a friend suggested Nikon because of their superior glass! about 10 minutes later i bought the d70s! this was with about 2 months of research into the canon range and atleast a month with the mindset of I'm getting a Canon
i am glad to say i love Nikon and at every moment have been hocking their wares (friends, family, etc)
i prefer to buy the best equipment for the particular field that, that product is in. when i bought the Nikon, i had no idea how popular it was, all i heard about was Canon.
if Nikon can pull their sockets up, tuck in their shirt and straighten their tie, they can really kick some Canon Arse.

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Postby Razor on Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:16 am

gstark wrote: Actually, I'd be surprised if you did. Can you state that you found a salesperson (as distinct from some turkey who merely takes orders) who was able to explain to you the differences between different camera models?


Hehe.. no offence but you're not leaving anyone out of your rant :p
I went to Harvey Norman and had a look at DSLR's. The sales guy was pushing the 400D and seemed to know a bit about its features. Pity I didn't like it....


gstark wrote:Actualy, my initial post was making a comment on the way the quality coming from one manufacturer appeared to be in a state of serious decline.

Nobody seems to, at this stage, challenged this observation..


That is a tricky thing to determine mate. As mentioned, I have no issues with my D80 - in fact I am impressed by its quality. All reviews I read about it indicate that it is a notch ABOVE comparable Canon and Sony offerings!

Also, happy customers don't make a fuzz - it's the ones that are unhappy who speak out loudly about it which can lead to a distorted perception by others. I know three people with D70/D70S and upon a quick check I found all three are happy and had no issues with their camera.

I can appreciate that dealing with other forum members who have D70 quality issues could lead to the the view that things generally are in a bad state. Maybe Nikon really pushed their capacity when the D70 was taken up well.

Nikon service agents would know if there are general quality problems or if a particular model is prone to issues beyond the 'normal' return rate.
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Postby gstark on Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:06 am

Razor wrote:
gstark wrote: Actually, I'd be surprised if you did. Can you state that you found a salesperson (as distinct from some turkey who merely takes orders) who was able to explain to you the differences between different camera models?


Hehe.. no offence but you're not leaving anyone out of your rant :p
I went to Harvey Norman and had a look at DSLR's. The sales guy was pushing the 400D and seemed to know a bit about its features. Pity I didn't like it....


What did he know of the features of the D80? Knowing the features is one thing. Understanding the camera's operational procedures and constraints is an entirely different thing.

What you're saying suggests to me that Canon's product training for salespeople might be correctly targeted. Perhaps Nikon has fallen down in this arena too?

The question though was not whether he knew the features, but whether he knew how to properly operate the camera. As I have pointed out, these are two entirely different things.

As I think I noted earlier, this specific topic was canvassed some two years ago, and I see very little change in the consumer marketplace.

My expectation from a professional camera salesperson would be that they can pick up any camera and describe to a potential purchaser, not simply the features, but correct operational techniques.

Again: any camera!

gstark wrote:Actualy, my initial post was making a comment on the way the quality coming from one manufacturer appeared to be in a state of serious decline.

Nobody seems to, at this stage, challenged this observation..


That is a tricky thing to determine mate. As mentioned, I have no issues with my D80 - in fact I am impressed by its quality. All reviews I read about it indicate that it is a notch ABOVE comparable Canon and Sony offerings!


With respect - and I'm asking this question to find out, and not to try to belittle or flame you - but how much experience with Nikon products do you have?

My comments need to be taken within the context that I have tried to present them - as a very long time Nikon user. As a very loyal, long time Nikon user.

As a person that Nikon needs to, in all reality, be doing very little in order to win my future business.

But that minimal effort should not include what I'm percieving as a significant deterioration in product quality, and a similar significant deterioration in the quality of the service being offered by Nikon to its customers.

It is this, and their arrogance in failing to listen to long time users, that is pissing me off.

So, rather than spending very little to retain my custom, they're going backwards, and in serious danger of losing it.

And again: I have seen a large number of other long time users move away from the fold.

It is that leakage of business that they really need to pay attention to, because it represents significant sales. not just bodies, but also high quality glass.

I think it's fair to say that a large number of members here enjoy a better than average income. They're also often technically adept, and the very nature of the topics covered in this forum suggest that they would also be serious advanced amateurs, perhaps verging towards the profession.

With that in mind, these same people also must represent high value customers to the camera manufacturers: bodies costing Au$2K or more abound, and many members also have several lenses each costing in excess of Au$1500.

This household maintains a significant investment inoNikon product, and I daresay this is true of many other members here. Somebody stated earlier in this thread that we represented maybe $100000 in sales to Nikon.

I would suggest that this is significantly understating the situation, and that a sum closer to a half million dollars would not be too far off the mark.


Also, happy customers don't make a fuzz - it's the ones that are unhappy who speak out loudly about it which can lead to a distorted perception by others. I know three people with D70/D70S and upon a quick check I found all three are happy and had no issues with their camera.


Please see DaveB's comments as to quality and service impressions.

And again, please review my comments within their context: while a long time Nikon user, I've personally experienced six faults within the last four Nikon cameras purchased, and each one of those cameras has had at least one fault.

This is the experience of just one customer, purchasing four different cameras, and three different models. I shudder at the thought of what an ordinary consumer, with no particular loyalty to Nikon, might think with these sorts of numbers.

With the camera that's currently in for repairs, it happens to be one of over 45 in the repair shop with exactly the same problem!

Maybe Nikon really pushed their capacity when the D70 was taken up well.


Or they downgraded their product quality. Niether represents a satisfactory outcome, however.
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Postby tasadam on Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:47 pm

I have just finished reading all of this topic. Every post.

Aussie Dave wrote:Nikon are only doing what every other electrical manufacturer around the world is doing. They are manufacturing products to last the life span they want....not the life span we want. In order to do this, they cannot make cameras that will last for many years.
You are correct here, but for the wrong reasons.
I believe it is not because we will run out and upgrade - certainly there is an issue with features and ever-improving technology that warrants an upgrade now and then - for some.
I bought the D70 because we had an F80 and I liked the ease of use / familiarity.
I passed it on to my wife and now have the D200 for myself.
I intend to have the D200 for a long time. It does more than I need it to, and the D70 does enough for my wife, apart from the smaller screen at the back. Not worth upgrading for.

Back to the point, I believe the real reason why this lack of quality has become apparent is due to manufacture cost.
There was a post about the D200 vs 5D. I read with interest until another post correctly posted the $ difference between the D200 and 5D.
Then, the D200 stands well.
If it did cost twice as much, would you buy it? If it cost twice as much, it would need to have some serious quality improvements, if the fears are realized from what people are alluding to in their posts here.
But then you would be looking at the price of a D2X. But then you would have to expect to pay more for it if the same "improvements" are to be made there.

I am not implying that quality improvements will double the price, only using double as an example. Certainly, though, quality improvements will increase the price and it is up to companies (in this case, Nikon) to make such decisions on the level of quality of the cameras they make.

Life expectancy of a camera may be due to the forecast improvements in technology that will leave the current range outdated. They then base the decisions on build quality etc on that forecast so they can make and release newer models. It was happening before digital really took off - look at the F80 and models similar.

Another issue is the Made In... sticker - labour is cheaper in certain countries, and as long as they DO stick to the quality expected of them by Nikon Head Office, then I don't see this as such an issue, and indeed a fair and reasonable cost saving strategy.

If Nikon are going to keep their competitive edge, they have to remain cost competitive.
If Nikon want to remain in the market, they need to have a product consumers can trust to do the job it was purchased for.

With a few exceptions (most noticeably D70 BGLOD), I believe they are achieving their goals of pricing a product fairly and building it to last as one might expect for its price.

When one person experiences a heap of problems with a brand, one can quite rightly lose faith in that brand. I know, I've been there. Our first digital was a P&S Olympus that failed 3 times in the 1st year, was replaced by them and that one failed once as well. For a camera that cost nearly $1000. Not acceptable. But I know 5 other people that have this camera and all have no problems. It was just my turn for some bad luck.
It happens. The problems mentioned in the original thread are another example of your turn for bad luck. And yes, 3 weeks is too long for a repair. But then so is 6 months - which is what I waited to get my hands on my new D200. Now that was unacceptable.

Perhaps to summarize all the threads, it would seem that some of us would like to encourage Nikon to lift their game a bit.
As for local warranty of grey market, I will sit on the fence, too hard basket for me.
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Postby Razor on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:13 pm

Good points tasadam...

Gary, I am a DSLR newbie by all means and accept your opinion that Nikon quality is not on the same level it was 20-30 years ago.

Nikon tries to produce what many people will want to buy. The market directs the course... by buying D40, D50, D70 and D80's and by upgrading as soon as the next model comes out we customers encourage the design of cameras that have 3-5 years life expectancy.

I am sure elsewhere you will find customers disgusted by the quality of their Canon 300D, 350D, etc...

My dad is a big believer in Canon. Back in the days he had up to three (heavy) Canon film bodies hanging from his neck and loves the idea getting a Canon DSLR even though he's never tried one. Customer loyalty is very important in this business and I realize it must have taken a lot for you to have come to the opinion that you now have about Nikon. Maybe it is time for you to switch to Canon, Fuji, Sony, Pentax.....
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Postby phillipb on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:23 pm

Lets not forget that the DSLR market is still young and there is still a bit of a frenzy to get new models out there. Maybe in a few years time it will be more settled and Nikon may start to concentrate a bit more on customer service again.
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Postby Dargan on Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:44 pm

Like Tasadam, I have just finished reading all the posts to this point in this thread. I have owned a Nikon FE2 and agree with a key point in the original post of Gary's that the quality is distinctly different in my D70 and now D200 that I own. I would expect it to be though, for a number of reasons. The shorter expected life cycle for products that has already been mentioned, is common to many products today. The features on my FE2 were less than that of the D200 and the D200 is a much more complex piece of equipment. Which would I rather use, the D200 I think. Having said that I do not expect faults to arise such as rubber dislodging mentioned by MattK in a semi-pro body. I guess there are many examples that could be used, I was initialled surprised that NIKON spray painted the D200 logo on the body on a $2K plus camera body but then any manufacturer today is caught in a balancing act between manufacturing cost, features and a competitive price point in the market. The saying 'caveat emptor' counts for much more nowadays than it did in the past. On balance I am still happy with the NIKON purchases I have made and my key reasons after 12 months research before purchase in both cases have been loyalty to brand (FE hangover), ergonomics and investment in existing lenses. If I was a professional though I would probably change my mind because of the issue of service mentioned by Gary, CANON seem to have a much better profile in the photography community, which is unfortunate for us who own NIKON equipment.

The second major point noted was the need for an international warranty for a globally traded and produced product. This is simply common sense and really NIKON need to centralise their repairs in regions and make logistics work for them in the new markets of today. When delivery from HK is only three days it may make sense to honour international warranties. Even if the product were slightly dearer it would be a significant selling point. I know it affected my decision to purchase a SONY as my first digital camera. It would be a major positive change for the new NIKON team and establish a positive start here in Australia for them. After all the major reason for gray imports was the outrageous pricing of previous domestic offerings when all of us could see prices elswhere on the net.

This is the sort of topic that could go on forever but in essence I agree with the theme, service and quality have changed in modern products, but so have consumer expectations. Take your pick.
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Postby jethro on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:07 pm

Where to from here? Lets gut lenses next. Some great points have been discussed and in all fairness have come to say that nikon is to say shit? I don't think so. Evolution of a new technology is by todays standards ifar to quick. I work on the old addage give it 12 months and see what happens. Maybe this has gone out the door with cameras. use them abuse them break them. Buy another!
Maybe go back to film with the tried and trusty! Iv'e genuinely thought about it, but only for a fleeting moment.
Maybe 5 years down the track things may be better. Once again I'd doubt it.
Planned obselescence may be a shorter time frame.

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Postby Onyx on Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:19 pm

I think I can foresee Gary's next camera purchase probably won't be a Nikon.

I've read maybe 2 out of every 3 posts as I skimmed through this long thread, and one issue I don't think has been touched on - maybe because it's not salient, but it's that of country of manufacture.

One could argue till they're blue in the face that Thailand and/or China has the same quality control and production standards as Japan - but IMO the main reason Nikon decided to shift production away from Japan and build dedicated factories in these third world nations are due to the potential cost savings in manufacture. Could it be we're seeing these shortcomings being manifested in these all too frequent product failures?

I too have suffered and continue to suffer a negative overall ownership experience with my D70. First it was shutter failure, then BLGOD. And more recently the internal flash fails to fire. I had put it down to me being unlucky; but I've been around here long enough to know that there are a handful of others in the same shoes that share my Sony luck. In fact, I dare say I know of not one person with a D70 that has never had a fault with it.

Now where's that Canon brochure?
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Postby phillipb on Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:47 pm

Onyx wrote: In fact, I dare say I know of not one person with a D70 that has never had a fault with it.


I know I'm going to regret saying this, but I've never had a problem with my D70.
There, I've just put the mocker on it :oops: expect the BLGOD soon.
Then again, I still only have about 2800 actuations.

And on my 1666 post too, that has to be an omen.
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Postby Alpha_7 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:59 pm

Gasp, only 2800!! Get out there and take some photos..
Quick before it does BGLOD. :lol:
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Postby Yi-P on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:27 am

Oh my, 2,800 or 28,000??? :shock:

2800 actuations on a DSLR is brand new condition!! :shock:


By the way, I just receive the quote from Nikon service, for fixing (replacing it as quoted) the focusing screen on my F80. They quoted $160 for this fix. Bit too ridiculous, by adding another few bucks can get me a used one... Tho the camera had some value to me for being my first owned SLR, so I have to gulp and take the fix... my wallet hurts :cry:
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Postby moggy on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 am

The parts are cheap, it's the labour costs which are the killer. I put my D70s into Nikon yesterday for a quote and they have just emailed it to me, new shutter assembly $90, labour $330 plus consumables for a grand total of $436! :( What do you do? We need to get a Nikon Tech as a member of the forum to give us good deals on repairs. :)

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Postby Glen on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:46 am

Bob, that is a vast improvement on previous times, I know many who have waited 1 to 2 weeks for the quote.
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Postby phillipb on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:58 am

Yi-P wrote:Oh my, 2,800 or 28,000??? :shock:

2800 actuations on a DSLR is brand new condition!! :shock:


By the way, I just receive the quote from Nikon service, for fixing (replacing it as quoted) the focusing screen on my F80. They quoted $160 for this fix. Bit too ridiculous, by adding another few bucks can get me a used one... Tho the camera had some value to me for being my first owned SLR, so I have to gulp and take the fix... my wallet hurts :cry:


No, you read right, 2800
By the way, I'm selling some stuff on ebay, among them is a Nikon N80 in mint condition with a 35-105 lens, at the moment it's gong for $200
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Postby beetleboy on Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:27 am

I've been keeping (fairly) quiet thru this as I carry a family trait of blind-loyalty!!

Loyalties aside - and I do have my own issues with Nikon gear (mirror box with D70 and getting D200 focus re-calibrated today plus a few other niggles) - I honestly don't see any other options when one has invested so heavily in a particular system. I get to use all sorts of brands of equipment thru work and I'm yet to find one that doesn't cause headf#$%s in one way or another. I'm not trying to bash Canon because I know that's not the point of this but a pro in our building bought a 1dsMkII only to have it fail a week later - I could fill this whole forum with the 2 month long repair/replacement debacle that ensued (including Canon sending his camera to a user in another country whilst he received that persons 10D!!).

Personally I'd buy a Fuji S3 if I was in the market but that's only cos it's the devil I don't know - which isn't all that wise in the long run.

I don't know the solution and I really do feel for you. I went thru the same phase with Apple products but I stuck with them and it's been marital bliss ever since.

All I know is, I'm glad you're pursuing this issue. I think something needs to be done and Nikon needs to know that we're not happy - and I'm confident in your ability to do it!
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Postby Reschsmooth on Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:53 pm

Not that it adds much to the argument, but the D200 we have had for 9 months has poorly fitting rubber on the grip side, and sticking main and sub-command dials.

The f90x which I have had for only 6 months, feels like a tank.

The Bronica, which we have had for 2 weeks (but is likely to be 20-30 years old) similarly feels very stable.

I think the problem we have is that every company which is somehow involved with electronics, is producing a new camera every few months, with additional (often extraneous) features (ie, anti-shake, sensor cleaning, coffee grinding, etc).

What this suggests is that a manufacturer feels compelled to introduce a new camera a lot more frequently to keep up with the new features.

I guess I see it as an issue of what the camera can do rather than the quality of the camera (ie, pack more features into the camera as a marketing tool rather than improve the quality of the features, both structural and electronic).

One of the things I see influencing this is that people are, arguably, less interested in taking photographs, and more interested in taking images for immediate dissemination. This is reflected in all the news shows asking for mobile phone images to be emailed to them!

Just my rambling ramblings.

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Postby meicw on Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:11 pm

Interesting to read all the points of view. Just over one week ago I traded in all my Nikon gear for a Canon 5D, 24-70 and 70-200 lenses. The reason I did this was I was fed with Nikon as well. Not for Gary's very valid concerns, but because of the company's inability to supply what I had ordered. No one at Nikon Australia seemed to know when the supply issue would improve.
As a matter of interest, the other day there were 3 Nikon Australia staff (including the new Japanese GM) in the camera store where I purchase all my gear. They were very put out that there was not much Nikon equipment on display and asked why that was the case. The manager of the store told them they couldn't get the stock from Nikon Australia, and had some very overdue back orders. The Nikon staff left the store very quickly after that.

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Postby beetleboy on Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:39 pm

Good news..hopefully that means improvements are on the way!! :lol:

[/wishful thinking]
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Postby gstark on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:01 am

meicw wrote:Interesting to read all the points of view. Just over one week ago I traded in all my Nikon gear for a Canon 5D, 24-70 and 70-200 lenses. The reason I did this was I was fed with Nikon as well. Not for Gary's very valid concerns, but because of the company's inability to supply what I had ordered. No one at Nikon Australia seemed to know when the supply issue would improve.


This is another issue I've heard before, and it's really a sad state of affairs that this happens.

Part of this has been attributed to the changeover from Maxwell to NA.

At one level I accept this as a fact.

But that doesn't make it right, nor does it make it how it should have been. Good management techniques, and proper planning, should have made the changeover a non-issue.

Instead we see issues of spare parts shortages, camera shortages in the stores .... and we know that this has been going on for a very long time: I don't think I need to remind anyone who waited 6 months for their D200 of this!

Mick,

My back-of-the-napkin calculation suggests spend by you in the vicinity of about $9000 or $10000? Am I in the ballpark?

Getting back to the point of my first post in this thread, this is exactly the sort of leakage from the Nikon brand name that I've been observing, and it seems to me to be very typical of the types of purchases that ex-Nikon users have been making, or are contemplating.

And it is exactly this sort of leakage from the Nikon brnad name that Nikon needs to be seriously concerned about.

As a matter of interest, the other day there were 3 Nikon Australia staff (including the new Japanese GM) in the camera store where I purchase all my gear. They were very put out that there was not much Nikon equipment on display and asked why that was the case. The manager of the store told them they couldn't get the stock from Nikon Australia, and had some very overdue back orders. The Nikon staff left the store very quickly after that.


With their collective tails very firmly planted between their legs, no doubt.

I shall call the person at NA with whom I have been speaking, and draw his attention to this very instance. It will be interesting to hear his response.
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Postby radar on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:17 am

meicw wrote: The manager of the store told them they couldn't get the stock from Nikon Australia, and had some very overdue back orders. The Nikon staff left the store very quickly after that.


Good point there. I have been noticing a similar thing. If you look at the junk mail that comes in your mailbox, you get sales from Domayne, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, etc.

Lately, I have not seen one Nikon advertised in there while they advertise plenty of Canon, Sony, Oly, etc. Why advertise if you can't get stock?

How does Nikon expect to grow their market share if the chains don't advertise the brand? Those are the types of stores that a lot of people get to buy their first dslr until they know about the forums :)

This is for both dslr and P&S.

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Postby gstark on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:25 am

Razor wrote:Nikon tries to produce what many people will want to buy. The market directs the course...


I do not accept that.

At which point has any consumer - the market - been asked what features they want to see in a camera? All those who have been, please form a very short queue to my left. :)

No, it's the marketing people who decide what featureset goes into a camera, and you have a choice of what's behind doors A, B or C, with the content of those dorrs being the results of the decisions made by those marketing people.

You have no say whatsoever in terms of the featureset for the camera that you buy, except that you decide, of the various compromise packages offerred, which of those compromises best suits your needs.


by buying D40, D50, D70 and D80's and by upgrading as soon as the next model comes out we customers encourage the design of cameras that have 3-5 years life expectancy.


Why upgrade?

Because there's a new model?

Does a newer model make your current camera less functional?

Customer loyalty is very important in this business and I realize it must have taken a lot for you to have come to the opinion that you now have about Nikon. Maybe it is time for you to switch to Canon, Fuji, Sony, Pentax.....


There's only one possible option in that list, although I do need to grab a Fuji and have a play with one.

Dargan wrote:Like Tasadam, I have just finished reading all the posts to this point in this thread. I have owned a Nikon FE2 and agree with a key point in the original post of Gary's that the quality is distinctly different in my D70 and now D200 that I own. I would expect it to be though, for a number of reasons. The shorter expected life cycle for products that has already been mentioned, is common to many products today. The features on my FE2 were less than that of the D200 and the D200 is a much more complex piece of equipment.


With the shorter life cycle, and the reduction in quality, I'd expect to see a significantly reduced pricepoint though.

At this time, we're paying a premium for the digital technology, and we can see the results of this in the bulging bottom line on Nikon's P&L.

Clearly there's significant proifits being made, and these are being made due to the popularity of the DSLR market. I don't have a problem with this, just so long as build quality and customer service standards are not being thrown out the door.

But I do see issues with product quality, and I do see issues with customer service standards.
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Postby meicw on Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:13 am

Gary, Your calculation on the back of the napkin is pretty spot on. I didn't pay anything near that though because, as I said, I got a very good trade-in on my Nikon gear.

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Postby timbo on Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:55 am

Having read all the posts and coming late to the thread, I'd just like to add my name to the list of concerned and – up till now – longterm dedicated Nikon users. However, I'm even more concerned with Nikon's attitude towards their client base than the issue of quality control. So far (touch wood) in over 20 years of thoroughly putting various Nikon cameras and lenses through their paces, I've only had one failure: and that was due to an underwater housing leak. Nobody's fault but mine :oops: :oops:

One issue that really annoys me and which no-one has mentioned in this thread to date is the Nikon software issue. Software is a vital part of the DSLR system and the stuff supplied with my D70 was laughable.

I'm lamentably ignorant of what comes with the D200 but I know that if I want to shoot tethered to my computer I have to pay US$80 for Nikon Camera Control. Canon supplies this software for free, according to a Canon pro photographer I know. He also raves about Canon's dedicated service to their clientbase that includes free lens loans, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

I've tried to download a 30-day demo which according to Scott Kelby I can download from the Nikon site, but I can't find this option anywhere on the Australian site.

C'mon, Nikon... I'd really like to shoot in thethered mode, but feel like this should be supplied as a part of the package, or as a free download to registered Nikon members. Give us a break!
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