Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Technical life expectancy.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South East Asia (currently)
    Posts
    18
    Real Name
    Henk

    Technical life expectancy.

    Now I have a question on life expectancy of my camera. As mentioned in my previous post I make my pictures with a Nikon D90 camera with an AF-S Nikkor 18-105 mm lens. I have the camera now for something like three years, made numerous pictures and I am very happy with the results.

    Travelling through South East Asia I use my camera under almost extreme conditions. One moment in an aircon hotel room and the next moment in the outside with temperatures up to plus 40 degrees Celsius, bumpy rides on busses and cars and shaking planes and as said in another post in usually very dusty and humid environments. I try to protect my camera from all these impacts as much as I can (as far as possible).

    What are your ideas about the technical life expectancy for my equipment in this case ? Are there any indications that tell me that my camera is ‘dying’ or do I have to just wait until the moment the equipment fails? What would be the ‘weak’ parts ? Should the technical life expectancy be expressed in number of pictures of just in years of age of the camera ?

    Appreciate your comments.

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    6,294
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Hi Henk, I usually look at these things from as practical viewpoint as I can get. First, I ask questions as you are doing here and I search the web forums for what others have experienced. Next, I make sure that if there is any maintenance procedures that should be done to avoid issues. I keep an eye out for any abnormalities that might indicate a problem is cropping up. If I find that there is a 'typical' failure that occurs, I research how likely it is to occur and what it will take to address that issue (usually before I make the initial purchase). If this is all indicating that I don't have any issues then I keep on using the camera.

    BUT - I also keep my eye on what the current offerings are so that if the camera dies unexpectedly AND it won't be cost effective to repair it, I have a pretty good idea what I will replace it with and what, price wise, is a good value. For anything that I use on a regular basis, I don't want to be boxed into a corner with having to make an uninformed purchase decision on short notice.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,231
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfaboy View Post
    Now I have a question on life expectancy of my camera. As mentioned in my previous post I make my pictures with a Nikon D90 camera with an AF-S Nikkor 18-105 mm lens. I have the camera now for something like three years, made numerous pictures and I am very happy with the results.

    ~

    What are your ideas about the technical life expectancy for my equipment in this case ? Are there any indications that tell me that my camera is ‘dying’ or do I have to just wait until the moment the equipment fails? What would be the ‘weak’ parts ? Should the technical life expectancy be expressed in number of pictures of just in years of age of the camera ?
    Hi Henk,

    The principle criteria (which many people tend to obsess about) is shutter count, you should be able to find this in the EXIF data of your images. The image numbers cycle through four digits (e.g. 9,999 then to 0000), so you need to look a bit further.

    Shutters are expected to last say 100,000 activations, less for cheaper models, more for models further up the range, I don't know the official figures for the Nikon D90, but I have a D5000 (with probably the same shutter mechanism) and I am in the high 40,000's after 2.5 years.

    Yes, just wait for it to fail

    The other thing that may have a life expectancy is the battery, only so many charging cycles before they lose capacity. Charging cycles isn't counted for us, so only experience will tell, these will usually degrade slowly, so you have time to buy another when you notice you get less shots out of each charge.

    Cheers,

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South East Asia (currently)
    Posts
    18
    Real Name
    Henk

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Both answers are very useful. The information on shutter count gives me a good yardstick and also the other information gives good starting points to do further research.

    Thanks a lot !

  5. #5
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    I can only think of three issues (two already mentioned):

    1) Shutter life (mirror life). Avoid rapid fire shooting if possible. It's so easy to run up the shutter count with this method.

    2) Battery life. Turn off all the battery-draining processes (beeps, etc), and set the LCD time on to minimum in order to reduce the number of draining/charging cycles.

    3) Humidity. In SE Asia, the high humidity can wreak havoc on metal parts, and lenses are more apt to grow mould (fungus); keeping the camera dry is important. Desiccant might be useful.

    Glenn

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South East Asia (currently)
    Posts
    18
    Real Name
    Henk

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    The latter (desiccant) is a very useful tip which I should follow up. Humidity here wrecks many things in daily life, from carpets to cloths to even metal parts of furniture. It’s unbelievable.

    Thanks ....

  7. #7
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,318
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    There is a neat free download programme out there (sorry, forget its name) that will tell you the number of actuations for your camera just by dragging a recent picture into it. I dont think standard Nikon software will give you the number of actuations and for some reason they choose to make it unavailable for quite a few common programmes to read.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    There is a neat free download programme out there (sorry, forget its name) that will tell you the number of actuations for your camera just by dragging a recent picture into it. I dont think standard Nikon software will give you the number of actuations and for some reason they choose to make it unavailable for quite a few common programmes to read.
    Interestingly, Canon have traditionally encrypted the info on 1 series cameras (state secrets - need to know etc) - but will happily tell you if you ask whilst it's at a service centre - and now on the 1Dx they're revealing it - to the nearest 1000.

    I've never understood that one - would have thought making it easily accessable would be a godsend to stop folks selling a worn-out camera as "low mileage".

    /end-gripe-of-the-day

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,918
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halfaboy View Post
    . . . What are your ideas about the technical life expectancy for my equipment in this case ? . . . Appreciate your comments.
    My ideas about the technicalities of life expectancy of any camera no matter what breed or design are very, very simple.

    If the shot is important to you, carry a second camera (and lens)
    If the shot is really important to you (like it means putting food on the table) carry a third camera and lens.
    If the shot is likely irreplaceable and not getting it means that it will cost you if you do not make it, then carry a fourth camera (and lens)


    I have had two digital bodies go down within 5 shots – the first had about 160 shots up the other had over 50,000 – on the other hand I have a Minolta 303b and that has never missed a beat and I reckon it has had in excess of 200,000 shots put through it (and that’s film, which cost money to shoot so we didn’t shoot machine-gun style) – and it works without any batteries, too.

    I understand you would like an answer such as: “your camera ‘technically’ should be OK for 100,000 shots but because of the humidity you should look at about 75,000.
    But seriously, thinking of this matter, as if you are an Actuary, is NOT the correct focus – (pun intended).
    Tell my much loved Brother-in-Law, who ran 400m at National Level, trained nearly every day and was (“they” said), “as fit as a fiddle”, that he was ‘technically’ expected to live to a ripe old age – he dropped dead, after his morning swim, aged 58.

    WW

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,604

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    My Canon 40D suffered shutter failure last year.

    UK repairer charged £140 (inc vat and postage) to replace shutter, mirror and general clean/recalibration. So if you have a decent camera, shutter failure shouldn't be regarded as a total disaster.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South East Asia (currently)
    Posts
    18
    Real Name
    Henk

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Bill, sorry to hear about your brother in law. I also like sports and I usually say that exercising does not extend life expectancy but generally it improves the quality of life.

    After going through all the answers above I got a good idea where to look at -for and where to think about.

    I am impressed by the quality of all the answers. Some answers must have cost the authors considerable time to write. Thanks all for all your efforts. Greatly appreciated.
    HB

  12. #12
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,318
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Try exif reader or exif viewer free downloads. (I cant remember which it is as I am about 200 miles from my main computer), but it will provide the info you require.

  13. #13
    UKDivemaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hampshire UK
    Posts
    337
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    I was aware of the shutter life expectancy but what about the sensor? Does sensitivity degrade over time?

  14. #14
    William W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Sraylya
    Posts
    3,918
    Real Name
    William (call me Bill)

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by UKDivemaster View Post
    I was aware of the shutter life expectancy but what about the sensor? Does sensitivity degrade over time?
    Yes.

    A common sensor degredation is an "Hot Spot" or "Hot Pixel".

    I wouldn't sweat it too much that the sensor will be generally degrading, though - other things will go bung, first I would expect.

    WW

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    127
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: Technical life expectancy.

    You can use Opanda Iexif to get the shutter count information.
    Main site is -
    http://opanda.com/index.html
    and can be downloaded - for free and free to use -
    http://opanda.com/en/iexif/download.htm

    It gives all sorts of information about the file, as well as the shutter count.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •