Monday, September 6, 2010

In fact, they DON'T build things like they used to, at least at Nikon

I just threw my third Nikon Coolpix digital camera in the kitchen garbage can. It was one of our family take-along cameras. Took the rechargeable battery out and tossed it in there right on top of last night's cassarole scraps. After using Nikons since the mid-1970's, I'm done with this brand.

This little red point and shoot camera suffered the same damage as the other two similar Nikons, broken rear screens. It ended its usefulness to me not by being dropped, not from a sudden impact, not from freezing, boiling, radiation, or bad thoughts. Its screen simply broke as I carried it in its protective, soft foam-insulated case to a family gathering.  Just like what happened to the other two (different models purchased over three years apart).

The cost of repair being too high in comparison to purchasing new, I'm once again electing to fill my local landfill with busted electronics and left to consider acquiring another eventual candidate for disposal under my kitchen sink. 

There are ten old film camera Nikons sitting on my collection shelves right now. Any one of which has withstood some harsh shooting environments over many years. I've done weddings with one, photo-journalism with another. At no time did I every worry that these cameras could be damaged by simply holding it. Nikon enjoyed a well-earned reputation for heavy-duty reliability. That ended when I shut the cabinet door under my sink.

Here's the part where I rant like an old guy. How did this happen? How did Nippon Kogaku go from the top of the mountain of photographic status and preference to the pits of crappy commodity hell? Money. 
Welcome to the global marketplace. Over six billion people on the planet and only one country and perhaps six manufacturing facilities in that country are producing goods just barely functional enough to operate but made by enough exploited labor to generate scads of profit for the eventual marketers of those products.

(Sigh) We're all to blame, including me. We want too many things too soon to pay for better things that last. I bought those disposable little Nikons 'cause I wanted a good camera cheap. And I wanted the name and the nostalgia of the brand. Well, I guess you can't have it all. Proved that.

I still need a small digital camera to take to personal events. I'll buy a used one for now. I'll save my money, do my research and buy a better camera that I intend to keep and use for a very long time. My wife's pocket-sized digital camera is a Canon. It has been dropped, frozen, jangled in her purse and soaked with rain. It's never failed to work. I'll start there. Hopefully, whatever I end up with won't wind up covered with potato peels and coffee grounds again.

2 comments:

  1. Lol I have the Sam problems my 104 year old box brownie soldiers on even using a teaspoon as a winder and she does nice shots. My 2mths old Japanese plastic lasted as long as it took to take it out of the box I returned that. They replaced it with.. Another broken camera.. Still new on box.. I give up. I a sticking to my ancient old ladies for photography

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  2. I have only one digital camera that has survived for more than a year - an "ancient" Canon 8-megapixel from 2008. All others have suffered sudden deaths (even stored in their cases) and been recycled. On the other hand, I have many cameras older than my grandparents that still work just fine.

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