Make no mistake I’m a big fan of digital photography. After I purchased my Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n which is a 14 megapixel full frame camera, I even sold off my medium format equipment because the quality of this camera under the right conditions exceeded my 645 film camera. Unfortunately, Kodak, like too many other companies these days has crappy quality.
I purchased this camera new in October of 2004. In May of 2005, Kodak announced they were discontinuing this camera along with all their other professional digital cameras. Seems they weren’t making any money selling $5000 cameras. October 2005 rolled around and my warranty expired. Ever since I had the camera I noticed that pictures with a definite horizon in them always came out crooked. I thought maybe the shape of the body was making me hold it crooked, but even when I used the grid lines in the viewfinder I experienced the same problem. Something I should have checked before the warranty expired, but it turns out the sensor was never aligned properly so even when the camera is level, the picture comes out about 1 or 2 degrees off. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s certainly noticeable.
The next month I started having sporadic problems with it during photoshoots. But I could never duplicate the problem or figure out what set it off. Since it was out of warranty, I didn’t want to send it back to Kodak and have them not be able to recreate the problem. So I lived with it in frustration. Fortunately for me, it only seemed to fail during my shoots, and I never lost any clients work from the problem. Finally, earlier this month it failed for good, and I started doing research online about it. Seems a lot of people have had problems with this camera’s main circuit board failing.
When I called Kodak to inquire about a repair, they gave an estimate of $800-1500 to fix it. I explained to the technician I had read online that a lot of the circuit boards had failed and asked him if he knew what component was failing and had Kodak fixed the cause of the problem, or could I expect the repair to only last a year or so? He replied that there were any number of failures that it could be. That gave me a lot of confidence in their product.
I did end up sending it in after debating whether I should cut my losses or not, but since Nikon hasn’t introduced a full frame digital camera, I figured I didn’t have much of an option at this point. I received the camera back today, but the paperwork included with it didn’t say what the final repair cost was, so I have to call them tomorrow to find out what the damages are going to be to this month’s profits. Whether it’s $800 or $1500, I doubt I will ever be buying any Kodak products ever again. Kodak in their marketing of this camera said “It’s the last camera you’ll ever need”. Yeah, right.
P.S. Found out the repair was $1200.