"Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

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rapick
rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
"Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Many times in threads about the pros and cons of buying/using old camera models, the 'end of customer assistance'/'end of spare parts availability' argument is raised.

In my understanding, manufacturer shall (or should?) provide servicing of the camera (lens, etc.) and availability of spare parts for repairs for 10 years.

Is this correct?

Does this come from legal obligation, or 'industry standard', or voluntary manufacturer's policy?

when the 10-years period starts? The date of 'end of production' should logically apply. But what about if the manufacturer never declared it? And if they terminate their whole business?

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

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Rapick
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 14,920
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
1

rapick wrote:

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

It could be, and some do that.

The rest of your questions probably have numerous different answers depending on governmental jurisdictions.

markyboy81 Senior Member • Posts: 2,775
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
1

Samsung is one example of a company that has stopped producing cameras. I believe that they no longer offer any service for existing cameras, so I guess they carried on offering some support for 3 - 4 years after the announcement (or lack thereof)

I had some Samsung kit before finding out they were going under and then after the news I carried on buying as there were some great bargains to be had. The lenses will probably be good for a long time to come and when the camera bodies fail I'll try my best to source replacements. Once it becomes financially prohibitive to carry on I'll have to concede and move systems.

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OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,598
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Right to repair is a pretty new concept for household goods.     I don't know if any cameras are included.   Just washers, refrigerators, dryers in the EU for example

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49884827

Washers, dryers and fridges used to be designed to last a lot longer than they are now.   Legislation became helpful for us consumers.

If I remember correctly there were Nissan cars that were being rendered unusable after three years when fuel tank filler tubes were breaking and Nissan was not making any replacement parts.   So now there is legislation requiring car manufacturers continue making repair parts for some number of years after the last model is sold as new.

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,052
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
1

Consuners should do their research to determine if a product is obsolete and support is no longer available.

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Unus Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

What I want to know is how long NIkon supports its product in the US. They cracked down on 3rd party repairers the other day, so only they can repair the cameras.

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WillF Regular Member • Posts: 291
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
2

I only know that with Canon it was about seven years after end of manufacture when  they told me "we don't service that model (S100) anymore"

-Will

Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 2,013
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

I'm sure availability of part varies by jurisdiction.

In California, I had a device repaired which was just under 7 years old. The way this was handled, I got the impression that it was California that mandated support for 7 years, but else where in the US, I might have been out of luck.

I've definitely heard 7 years with regard to California before. That would be 7 years from original sale to me.

I really wouldn't expect much past 4 or 5 years.

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Unus Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

WillF wrote:

I only know that with Canon it was about seven years after end of manufacture when they told me "we don't service that model (S100) anymore"

-Will

How do they expect to stay in business with an attitude like that?

Just imagine if I took my 2013 Toyota in for service and they were like "sorry, we don't service that anymore." They would be sued out of existence.

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Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 2,013
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
10

Unus wrote:

WillF wrote:

I only know that with Canon it was about seven years after end of manufacture when they told me "we don't service that model (S100) anymore"

-Will

How do they expect to stay in business with an attitude like that?

Just imagine if I took my 2013 Toyota in for service and they were like "sorry, we don't service that anymore." They would be sued out of existence.

Servicing cars is a regular thing, a major profit centre, and generator of traffic to the dealer.  Totally different thing.

They want you to bring your 2013 in so they can try to sell you a 2020 instead. They can always rip you off with the service price if you don't buy the 2020. Either way, they win big.

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OpticsEngineer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,598
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

I once bought a Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer and when I called HP customer support to get it working the support technician exclaimed he couldn’t help me with it because the model was more than six months old. I ended up just throwing it away. Model 550C if I remember correctly. All it could do was print a test page Couldn’t communicate with a computer at all

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photonut2008 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,973
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

rapick wrote:

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

Not really. Labor costs will almost certainly make it uneconomical to fix an old camera even if you have the parts, compared to just buying a generation or two newer model. OTOH, a camera like your D700 is cheap enough these days that you could just throw the broken one in the trash and keep shooting with its very cheap replacement which is what I do with my Samsung S7 phones now and I would do the same with my D800 (though I just spent $460 having my D800 disassembled, cleaned, and generally restored, which is still half of what replacing it would cost me).

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rapick
OP rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

WillF wrote:

I only know that with Canon it was about seven years after end of manufacture when they told me "we don't service that model (S100) anymore"

-Will

It would be interesting to know if the owner of a let's say Canon EOS-1D X would receive the same reply...

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rapick
OP rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
1

sybersitizen wrote:

rapick wrote:

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

It could be, and some do that.

The rest of your questions probably have numerous different answers depending on governmental jurisdictions.

So you are suggesting that to have my 8 years old Nikon, Canon or Sony serviced / repaired depends on whether I live in Switzerland or Swaziland?

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rapick
OP rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

HRC2016 wrote:

Consuners should do their research to determine if a product is obsolete and support is no longer available.

The problem is to know this information in advance, possibly before buying that product.

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Richrf
Richrf Contributing Member • Posts: 725
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

As a practical matter, I've run into manufacturers who simply don't respond, even if a product is technically under warranty. You just have to depend upon manufacturers with good track records to stand behind their products. But once they are gone, it's gone unless someone tries a class action lawsuit.

Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 16,476
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?
3

rapick wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

rapick wrote:

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

It could be, and some do that.

The rest of your questions probably have numerous different answers depending on governmental jurisdictions.

So you are suggesting that to have my 8 years old Nikon, Canon or Sony serviced / repaired depends on whether I live in Switzerland or Swaziland?

Of course. There are two separate factors; the first is that consumer rights are determined by each country (or, as in the European Community, by associations of countries) so whether you are entitled to free repairs depends on the country. The second is that regardless of legal rights the makers can choose to establish repair centres in places that are commercially worthwhile to them; and they don't choose to set them up everywhere.

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rapick
OP rapick Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

OpticsEngineer wrote:

I once bought a Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer and when I called HP customer support to get it working the support technician exclaimed he couldn’t help me with it because the model was more than six months old. I ended up just throwing it away. Model 550C if I remember correctly. All it could do was print a test page Couldn’t communicate with a computer at all

Hewlett-Packard used to be a serious brand, around 50 years ago: in 1985 they repaired (changed internal battery) my HP-21 'scientific' calculator, bought in 1975.

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WillF Regular Member • Posts: 291
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Unus wrote:

WillF wrote:

I only know that with Canon it was about seven years after end of manufacture when they told me "we don't service that model (S100) anymore"

-Will

How do they expect to stay in business with an attitude like that?

Just imagine if I took my 2013 Toyota in for service and they were like "sorry, we don't service that anymore." They would be sued out of existence.

It's worse than that, the S100 had "service advisory"* posted for manufacturing flaw many of them had.  *not a "recall", you had to wait till it failed before they'd fix it.  Mine failed as per the flaw, which is when I learned that didn't service it any more.  They did offer me 10% off a new camera as part of their "customer loyalty(stupidity) program"

What me, bitter?

-Will

Wingsfan
Wingsfan Regular Member • Posts: 349
No
3

My camera becomes obsolete when one of two things happens:

1. It breaks and is not repairable

2. My skills as a photographer exceed the capability of my camera

So far I have had #1 happen to me one time when the screen on my xz-2 cracked in half and it wasn't repairable and the camera was out of production.

and with regards to #2, I'll be dead long before that ever even comes close to happening

All kidding aside, regarding parts availability, it usually costs far more to fix an older camera then it would just to buy something more up-to-date.

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