Friday, September 4, 2009

My Nikon D60 Life Lesson

I just sent in my Nikon D60 camera to be repaired at Nikon's Melville New York Warranty Service Center. So, I am now without my Nikon D60 camera, which in my opinion, is good and bad. Good in the sense that I am hoping Nikon will repair my camera OR replace it with a better model (um, D90 upgrade, please - i'd say give me the Nikon 700, but that's a big leap - i can always dream, right?). The bad is that now I am sans a SLR camera which prohibits me from building my photography portfolio! grrr, NIKON!!

So what's wrong with the camera?

A few things... For one, the sharpness and quality of the photo is decent, nothing to rave home about (even though most of my photos on this blog are from the camera); but "decent" is not good enough, especially for the price I paid for the camera ($800, which included a 18-55mm and 50-200mm lens).

After testing the camera, I realized the results I was getting was not a product of me, rather something was wrong with the camera's functions and perhaps even the lenses. So after testing the camera with several apertures, I realized the "sharpness" of my photos degraded after stopping down the aperture (i.e. F-8 to F-11 to F16 to F22). I know, how can that be? I don't know, that's why I've sent my camera to Nikon in hopes they will answer the same question. Sad thing is, the lack of sharpness was not the only thing happening when I stopped down -- the resolution and coloring also worsened. WTF was my reaction! and btw, the best sharpness occurs at F/8 -- um, without saying more, lets just say - this is not acceptable from a Nikon camera.

There are other issues with the camera, but I will only name one more so this review doesn't seem like I am "venting" -- the results differed when you use the same settings in Auto Program Mode (i.e. F/4 at 1/25 second) vs. using Aperture Priority set at F/8 (camera registered same setting at 1/25 second, but the color came out slightly different; and yes, strobe lights were used so nothing on my end was changing) vs. using Shutter Priority at 1/25 second (camera registered F/4, but the quality was blurred and a noticeable color difference occurred from the auto program mode). I have included the photos of my test below.

Mental note, test your camera on a fixed object during the "return" period to make sure you get your desired photo results, or else, you'll be stuck like me with a $800 camera that you don't like. Its a hefty sticker price for this type of "lesson".

Needless to say, I have buyers remorse and am determined to get the camera fixed. I sent it in on Friday (today) and they should be receiving it on Tuesday/Wednesday. So lets hope they give me a new and improved camera without much hassle and within a reasonable time frame. If anything, this will be a test to see how Nikon's Warranty Policy holds up.

camera background:
In haste, I bought the camera to replace my stolen Canon 40D and sort of as a "lets try out Nikon" and if I don't like it let's return it. I knew within the first few hours of using the camera that I was not a fan of the camera, and it may be because I got accustomed to my Canon 40D. So why then, did I keep this camera? I kept it because I thought, maybe I should just try it out for longer and perhaps it will grow on me? Wrong. Lesson learned - go with your initial reaction, which was to return the camera; or otherwise, you'll be regretting the decision down the road -- which, to no surprise, I am. After keeping it for more than 90 days (beyond Costco's return policy), I realized I truly was the schmuck. I thought Karma would come and bite me in the A$ because I used the camera and should not return it. Well, next time, I should just adhere to the rules governed by the retailer and just return a camera if I don't like it. Til this day, you'll hear me "cursing out the camera" for its mediocre results.

So what are the life lessons here?
1. Don't buy a camera in haste; do your research on cnet (click here for the D60 review)
2. Follow your initial gut reaction (isn't this almost always the case?)
3. Test your camera within the return period, it may not be YOU who is doing the bad work!
4. Buy products from your favorite vendor and you will not be disappointed; in my case, I should have went back to my Canon product (which, after this recent episode, I may); also, probably should have gone to B&H or Adorama to buy the camera and get some professional advice vs. Costco!
5. And perhaps, it doesn't pay to be a "good person" (i.e. should have returned the camera during the 90 day period!)

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