Sunday, April 3, 2016

OT - camera problems

My father was a great believer in Murphy's Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong). I can't count the times I heard him say, in response to some problem, "That's ole Murphy at work!"

We recently returned from a month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was our first foray south of the equator. Needless to say, a lot of preparation was involved. I practiced with both lenses I planned to take, packed and repacked my gear, and agonized over what else to carry or leave behind.

Taking the Nikon D750 was never in doubt. It's my only camera (besides the iPhone 5s), and a big reason for travelling to that part of the world was to capture some of the incredible landscapes. Imagine my surprise and consternation when, two days before we left, Nikon sent me an email saying my D750 might be prone to a shutter problem discovered in July 2015 (here's the technical advisory). Just send it back and we'll fix it and return it in two weeks or so, says Nikon. Murphy at work again.

I hadn't seen any evidence of the shutter problem (shading of a portion of images) and I didn't have time to rent another camera, so I crossed my fingers and set off with the D750. Back home, none of the images I've reviewed so far show any shutter issues, so it seems I dodged that bullet.

But Murphy wasn't done yet. During the trip the D750 locked up three or four times. An "Err" message appeared in the control panel and none of the controls worked. I had to remove the battery for 30 seconds or so, then put it back, to restore operation. And of course Murphy made sure it happened at least once while I was trying to shoot in a hurry and therefore made me miss some shots.

I've had camera problems before but, really, very few. My brand-new Pentax K-5 had obvious optical problems right out of the box; Pentax swapped it for another that I used for years with no problems. My venerable Canon Rebel never had a problem so far as I can remember. It's disappointing, then, to have the rather expensive D750 throw one actual and one potential problem at me in the space of a month. It's now on its way to Nikon. Let's hope they can fix it, and declare a long-lasting truce with Murphy.

[Update: I got the D750 back and all seems OK. The only glitch, which took a few days to discover, is that the time and date had been reset to sometime in 2014. That confused me and my Lightroom catalog until I figured it out. If you've sent a camera in for service, you might want to check that before you do a lot of shooting.]

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