Don’t buy a Sony camera: if it ever goes wrong, you’ll regret it

I’ve mentioned my ailing PowerBook and the ever-vexing question of whether I should get a new one or not. Here’s another one for you: if your camera is slightly broken, when should you get a new one?

We have a Sony DSC-P200. It is/was very nice indeed. Then we dropped it, trying to take a picture of ourselves. The zoom lens was out so now the camera doesn’t zoom anymore. Its focusing capabilities are now in the range of “no focus at all” to “very, very nearly in focus”.

We’d like to get it repaired. But here’s the thing. The camera cost about £200. We rang Sony and asked how much it would cost to get it repaired. £112 (or something very close) just to have it looked at, with the possibility of more costs if parts need replacing. So basically the entire cost of the camera then?

“But aren’t there other people who could repair it?” you might ask. No. I rang a camera repair shop to ask that very same question.

“Ah. It’s a Sony is it? That’s going to be a problem. They won’t sell us the spare parts.”

So only Sony can repair your camera if it goes wrong and it’ll cost at least half the price of the camera to get it replaced.

I’m thinking it’s time to buy a Fuji Finepix F30. Anyone had any experience with one of those? The ISO3200 feature looks very inviting…

2 Replies to “Don’t buy a Sony camera: if it ever goes wrong, you’ll regret it”

  1. Rob – suspect you’ll find similar things true of any digital camera – not that parts aren’t available (that’s bizarre) but generally that the cost of spares and repairs outweights the cost of buying a newer, higher-spec, warrantied machine.
    In fact, it’s most consumer electronics these days – my Playstation suffered a similar fate about a year ago, my scanner died fresh out of warranty, a Pentax Digicam went the way of the dodo… An unfortunate reality that mass production makes localised repair proportionately expensive, methinks.
    Some stuff lasts – some of my music technology dates back almost 2 decades – but digicams? I’d suspect not.
    Afraid can’t help on the Fuji camera though – have heard generally good things about them (with the exception of their infuriating use of xD cards). I’m partial to Sony, Pentax and Canon myself…

  2. I’m sure that one day soon camera repair companies will go the way of the tinker, but there’s still a few that offer the service at a cheaper prices than replacing the unit. Even if costs ?Ǭ�100 to get a camera fixed, that’s still ?Ǭ�100 less than buying a new one. I’d agree that most other electronics goods (VCRs, DVD players, etc) aren’t worth even trying to get fixed.
    What irks me more about the Sony situation is
    a) they’re stopping others from offering the service
    b) they require the ?Ǭ�100 up front just to look at the camera. Most camera repair companies will offer a free quote; Sony require ?Ǭ�100 even if you don’t decide to get the camera repaired eventually.
    All in all, won’t be buying a Sony again…

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