Monday, March 24, 2008

A cautionary tale about Fujifilm FinePix cameras.

We have owned both the Fujifilm FinePix F10 and and the Fujifilm FinePix F30. In July 2005 we chose the F10 because of its superb low-light capabilities. However, in November 2006, not long after the warranty expired it failed with spots in the optics. These "splodges" show up worst against a blue sky and only appear when the zoom is in use.

Comparing the cost for fixing the F10 and the trade-up deal that Fuji offered, we traded up to the F30. This new camera was still under warranty when it failed in a similar fashion to the F10. It was repaired and returned with us only having to pay for recorded delivery. A few months later the repaired unit failed, again, in exactly the same way.

We are extremely careful with our cameras and always close the camera after shots so I do not believe that this fault is caused by misuse. When the camera is not faulty we are very happy with the quality of the resulting pictures and the use and features of the camera but we are extremely annoyed that two cameras should have failed in similar ways three times.

As we had a holiday booked we could not afford to be without the camera for the repair period, even though the turn-around is fairly quick. Despatched on a Monday the camera is usually back in our hands the following week but since we use the camera most weekends even this much delay is quite annoying.

So, we set off to Greece with a faulty camera and finally, on the last day of our holiday, it occurred to me that we could hide the defects by holding the camera upside down thus putting the sky in the unblemished lower half of the frame. Not only was this a little awkward to use but it meant flipping every image; which is a tad tedious. However it is a small price to pay compared to the amount of photo editing I shall have to do on all the other spoiled images.

On our return we sent the F30 off for repair and were told that the problem was such that the "accidental damage" would be repaired free of charge but that our 3-year accidental damage cover was now void. What a rip-off: 3-year cover that expires the moment you use it!

To make matters worse, the camera that Fuji returned to us was an A350 that belonged to someone else. We don't yet know where our F30 is.

8 August
Still waiting for my camera and it now transpires that Fuji Superwarranty are holding it hostage until I return the one THEY sent me in error. I have been attempting to return the A350 since I received it but they have not supplied the means to do so although they keep promising they will. Since I am in the centre of London, it cannot be that difficult to get a courier to call by and collect a small packet, but so far it has not happened in two weeks.

Quite why I am being inconvenienced because of their mistakes, inefficiency and ineptitude is beyond me.

Moral of the tale: If you rely on your camera, make sure it is not a Fuji that needs regular repairs.

11 August
Finally, I have a camera.

Fuji have supplied me with a brand-new Finepix F40fd as compensation for the hassles and presumably because my F30 is still lost. The bag that I have been awaiting for so long to return the camera sent in error arrived in the same package so the other owner will be reunited with their camera shortly.

All is forgiven ....??? I'll let you know.

November 08
Brand new F40fd has failed already. Back to Fuji, more postage costs for repair.

May 2009
Failed again, same issue. Finally totally fed up - went and purchased a Canon PowerShot G10.
F40fd back to Fuji once more.


Finnie Family said...

Hi Murray

The problem is that somehow you've got dirt on the cmos/ccd sensor inside the camera. A common problem on dslr's (and easily dealt with) but should not happen on a compact camera. My advice would be to always stick with Canon or Nikon, but especially Canon (the auto rotate option is very nifty!), never had a problem yet.



hate_spending$$$_though said...

I have that same model of camera and it's giving me the same black spots during zoom. Tried to search google about it to come up with a solution (though all of my friends have been saying "just buy a new Canon") . . . and lo and behold, I find someone went through the same ordeal with the same suggestion. Haha. Thanks for sharing your story! Looks like I have to go shell out some money for a new camera.

Anonymous said...

I have the same camera and the exact same spots in our sky pictures. It's really annoying.

kerbear135 said...

I am having the same problem too! That's why I found this website, I was trying to find out how much it would cost to fix it. Who did you send the camera too for repairs?

Murray said...

I sent them all to Fuji in Milton Keynes in the UK. The details are on the Fujifilm web site.