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.
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