Fuji FinePix E900 #2 Dying

My Fuji FinePix E900 camera is dying again. Or rather the replacement one is dying. The first one died under warrantee but Fuji refused to replace it because it had dust in it. Turns out a lot of them die that way and they have started replacing those. This one lasted slightly longer than the original (~1.5 years vs ~9 months) and is out of warrantee now. Fuji’s repair manager told me that the cameras are considered throwaway’s and not expected to last. A great many other people have reported this problem and Fuji did replace some of their cameras if the camera was under warrantee so their warrantee coverage is not consistent. Annoying.

The cause of the problem is a fundamental design flaw, common to many brands of cameras that use lens barrels that extend outward and then retract back into the camera. That sucks dusty air in through the cracks when the lens barrel opens, the dust settles and then when it closes the dust stays inside in the gears. Eventually this causes failure the gears to break or lock so the lens elements can no-longer move and the barrel freezes in place with a “ZOOM ERROR”.

Ideally the camera lens barrel would not suck so much air in and out, have filters or use stored air. All are possible. The new lens that are coming out the labs in the near future might do away with these protruding lens barrels. That would also make the cameras mechanically less complex.

I strongly recommend buying cameras with weather seals and possibly even waterproof for every day use. These are becoming more and more common and should hopefully be more durable lasting for longer.

By the way, several people have noted that the warrantee replacement E900 cameras they got got worse battery life. That is definitely the case with mine as well. At first I thought it was just my batteries getting older but careful testing showed that it is indeed the second Fuji camera sucking more power and draining the batteries faster.

Since my second E900 is now dying I’m looking into a replacement. Suggestions appreciated. Today I’ve been reading about the Olympus Stylus 1200, the Olympus 1030 SW and the Pentax Optio W30 for a pocket camera. All appear to lack the manual controls which I really like having – no camera computer gets it as right as my experience, especially with more interesting shots. Unfortunately most modern cameras don’t have manual shutter speed, aperture and other controls. Finding a weather proof / waterproof pocket camera with manual controls is proving to be a bit challenging.

Also see:
FujiFilm Bad Choice
Fuji FinePix E900 Review Part II
Fuji FinePix E900 Review Part I

1/27-Now Outdoors: 36°F/7°F Overcast today, many sunny days recently, 4″ snow, bit of sleet and hail, the ground hog did not see its shadow.
Farm House: 55°F/49°F Down to 24 round bales – more coming, 1 load of 45 square bales received last week
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/54°F Coat hooks, bedroom bookcases

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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16 Responses to Fuji FinePix E900 #2 Dying

  1. Mark j. says:

    I noticed you had bought a fuji scanner despite your bad experience with fuji service and support. Why?

  2. LJB says:

    I like my Canon. It’s a few years old and never had any trouble with it. It has fewer pixels than the one my brother got a year later but it works for my needs. If you want more info let me know, I’ll go find the camera and read what’s printed on it.

  3. Hi LJB, I would be interested in knowing what camera you have. I had a Canon A-1 (old film camera) for about 20 years and was very happy with the quality. I have not used a Canon digital camera other than trying a few out in the store.

    Mark, the Fuji ScanSnap was the only Macintosh double sided sheet fed scanner I could find and the small size pulled me in. I’ve been pleased with it. No troubles so I have no idea if Fuji is dishonorable about that or if it is simply a matter of different service managers being better as someone suggested on the cameras. Hopefully I’ll never have cause to find out…

  4. LJB says:

    Hi Walter. The Canon is a PowerShot A70. I happened to have a folder in my Canon Image Browser program called “Very first pics” so I know I started taking pictures in July 2003. In fact, some lovely pictures of frogs in the frog pond I had when I lived in Maine! It has 3.2 Megapixils and I suspect a similar version is going to be larger or whatever the descriptive word is. It has a 10x zoom, can take short movies (limited by disk storage I think), and has various automatic features plus a Manual mode. I’ve recharged and reused the same two sets of 4 batteries the entire time I’ve owned it. A friend had recommended this camera for its ease of use and moderate price tag, considering my needs which did not include creating magazine ready artwork type files. Hope that helps! I think I’ll go upload a frog picture on my farm blog. *g*

  5. LJB, I look forward to seeing the frog pictures. Any chance of getting to see original without the downsizing that Blogger does to photos? That would be great. Manual mode is something I’m very interested in and the 10x zoom sounds great. That would be very handy to have. -WalterJ

  6. Hi Walter, We’ve been very pleased with our Cannon Power Shot SD1000 Digital Elph for a pocket camera. It has 7.1 mega pixels, 3X zoom lens, does movies and you can manually control many features. I found a review covering all the beels and whistles here:
    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/
    powershot_sd1000-review/ (you’ll probably have to copy & paste)
    Hope this helps!

  7. LJB says:

    I will email you directly the full size picture although I do recall that I cropped the original picture. I can email you something uncropped but it won’t be a frog! Preference for what is in the image? Animal, vegetable, miracle? *g* If you are ever over this way, I would be happy to let you handle the camera and the software to get a feel for it.

  8. I’ll be taking a close look at the Canon cameras. Hopefully my E900 will last until I figure out what new camera to get…

  9. Anonymous says:

    U should file suite against fuji-film in yor local small claims court. U would win. If for no other reas than they wouldnt show. Then u would have a judgement against them and all inventory and dealers in your state. They would payup then. U could get the costs plus court costs. Or do a class action suit and strike it rich. They shouldnt treat people like this.

  10. Anonymous says:

    You should check to see if the big box stores offer a warranty plan on their cameras. Some of them give a three year coverage plan for not too much more. They will usually replace the item when it breaks.

  11. Normally I avoid the extended warrantee but maybe on the cameras which see a lot of heavy use this would be worth it. I’ll look into it.

  12. Visitor55 says:

    Hi Walter. I’ve lurked on your blog ever since your original post on the E900, when I was looking for an unbiased and independent review of the camera. I bought it based on your review and initial satisfaction.

    It’s really a sad commentary on the state of customer service and business in general in this country that you’ve had all these subsequent problems with Fuji.

    I’m in the process of looking for a newer camera also, although I haven’t had the problems you have run into. Two cameras that might be worth checking out are the Canon Powershot G9 and the Panasonic DMC-FZ18K. I keep reading excellent reviews on both.

    The Canon G9 seems to be the choice of many professional photographers for a second camera. The Panasonic also seems to get alot of good reviews, but it’s definitely not going to fit in a pocket.

    Good luck with everything. Here in NYC we don’t get too many opportunities to see a whole different lifestyle or such an interesting family like yours. What we do get is too much traffic and a whole lot of aggravation, but that’s part of the attraction for a blog like yours , I guess.

    Stay well.

  13. Thanks, Visitor55. I’ll check into them. The G9 sounds interesting. I have seen one review of it.

  14. Kevin says:

    Walter – I’ve had a Cannon Elph SD200 (3.2 MP) for 3 or 4 years now. I got it mostly because it’s so tiny, but it’s performed flawlessly. Ive checked out some newer Cannon models and they seem pretty good.

  15. salmonpoetry says:

    i’ve had a series of Canon cameras- most recently the new SX100 model- and been happy with them all. i heard though that the G9 has the same dust-sucking problem but you can get it cleaned, at a very high cost, and it is needed every 6 months or so.
    unfortunately planned obsolescence is the way of today- nobody knows how to fix things anymore and they’re actually designed to prevent you from fixing them.
    you can see a good educational critical clip on planned obsolescence at http://www.storyofstuff.com

  16. It’s really sad that companies consider cameras to be disposable. Our current camera is a Panasonic and two of the settings quit working a few months ago, although it is barely two years old. Takes great pictures, but I really think a $400 camera should last more than two years.

    I have a 26 year old K-1000 that is still taking excellent pictures!

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