Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Le Nikon est mort! Viva le nuthin'...

My much beloved Nikon CoolPix 950 is on its last legs. Recently, it developed the "red screen of death" - a "system error" message that appears on the LCD screen, while the camera groans, shudders, and attempts to focus. I've been to several Nikon support groups online, and there are many folks with the same problem. If you're lucky, you can reset the camera, but if you're not, it means sending the camera in to Nikon for repair. Everyone has the same story: $146.13 for the repair (not including shipping) to get your CoolPix back in working order.

But is it worth it? The camera has a big 2.1 megapixels and a 2x zoom. For not much more than the price of repair, I can have a new camera with a whole lot more going for it.

I did some research (and spoken to friends who love their digital cameras), and I decided to go with a new camera, the Canon A620. I'm not a good photographer, but I love taking pictures. It's weird to be without a consistently working camera. (If I'm lucky, I can get Old Paint to work for a few minutes here and there before it starts making horrific noises and freezes up.)

Money is very, very, very tight right now, so, loathe as I am to shop there, I opted to buy my camera at Best (evil) Buy. They're doing an 18-month interest-free deal this week for Best Buy card holders. I have a Best Buy card - I got it years and years ago, so I could buy my TV on the interest-free plan. I bought my Nikon there the same way. So, on Sunday, I go into Electronics Hell to make my purchase.

And fail.

Apparently, Best Buy has decided that I don't use the card enough, and they closed my account. The smarmy clerk told me I should have been using it more often. If I wanted the deal, I would have to apply for a new credit card.

No way, Jose. Last thing this girl needs now is to open a new credit file. Ones that already exist? Fine. Whatever. But I'm not getting a new card.

So, no new camera for me. :-( I know, it's only 300 bucks, but, for non-profit girl, here, that's a whole lotta cash these days.

I will start squirrelling pennies away to buy my Canon. Just don't expect any new photos out here for a while.

Sign me bummed,



Claire said...

The upside is that by the time you've saved enough cash, you'll either be able to buy the same camera for a lot less or one for the same price with a lot of new/better features. Just since I was looking around xmas, prices have come down a lot with new models arriving on the scene.

Definitely not worth the cost to repair your old camera since I've seen new ones for that price with 3-4 megapixels.

It does suck though. Your red screen of pain is one of those things that leaves me reluctant to invest in a digital camera.

Washington Cube said...

I had been saving extra pennies for either the Nikon D90 or D50, with extra lens, and then after I got the money saved, I realized I wanted to save the money over itself, so I've got an account left once I get the camera. Right now I am working on the "over" money and praying nothing comes up to dip into it. As for expensive repairs, this is our world, isn't it? Why fix it when it's cheaper to buy new.

Merujo said...

Claire - it's true, the prices will surely fall for the model I want by the time I have enough cash. The Nikon has served me well, but it's just not worth the repair costs... My father had some GREAT old 35mm cameras, and I think they were sold at a yard sale after he died. At the time, I didn't know enough or care enough about photography to want them, myself. Now, I regret it. Digital photography is good for a creative dilletente like me. I admire people with outstanding skills with a nice film camera. (And now that I'm working for an organization where Photography Is King, I appreciate it even more.)

Cube - Ahhh, a D90... a D50... Sasquatch and I were looking at those the other night. He really wants one. I'm such a horrible klutz, I'd be terrified of buying one and then dropping it. I'd better stay lower end...

murison said...

We've had a Canon Powershot S330 since November, 2002. FanTAStick camera -- we've been very happy with it. Sharp pictures, good color, solid build. It even survived a 6-foot fall -- yes, a full *six* frikkin' feet -- onto a solid concrete curb (at the Monkey's Faux Coronation, http://www.alpheratz.net/gallery/InauguralParade2005/ ). Way better than a Timex on the "keeps on ticking" front. I've not had the pleasure of using a Nikon, but I can vouch for (and recommend highly) the Canon S series. Well worth the (not obscenely much) money and then some.