Home Photography Best & WORST repairs: Canon vs Nikon, Sony, Fuji & Olympus

Best & WORST repairs: Canon vs Nikon, Sony, Fuji & Olympus

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Which camera companies have the best and worst service? How are you breaking your cameras and lenses? Do Tamron & Sigma have decent service?


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  1. The toughest treatment I personally gave to camera gear was a fall of several meters or many more feet over easy rock (grade 5.2). Two vertebral bones were survived by an old Nikon D50 with a Nikkor D f1.8 50mm (no worries, I just spent a weekend in the tyrolean mountains, perfectly restored – the story itself, when it happend I did not find it funny) . The photos I had taken on the way up were perfectly usable. No misfunction of any kind, I only guess the optical performance of the lens was not improved.

    Another spectacular thing was slipping down several hundred meters over icy snow in the French prealps. I was carrying an Olympus 7x zoom compact camera made around 2002. To check the then ghastly looking face wounds (nothing serious) I took selfies – no problem. The only damage gearwise was that somehow the photos from the way up were partly damaged. I don't remember the manufacturer of the sd card, likely to blame.

    The only broken gear was a slip from a rock. As it happened I was carrying an Olympus 510 and a waterproof Pentax compact. Both screens were near dead, the Pentax instantly, the Olympus after several weeks. I continued using both cameras. Last week I took the Olympus with its long tele zoom lens to the school were I do multimedia workshops – now fear of kids mistreating my toys. Except for the screens both camera work fine. The autofocus of the Olympus – I remember how well it performed during the (unbloody French) bull-fight ten years ago – documented in the clip "morley bull" on my youtube channel. The kids did not get a single shot in focus, I myself only 2 of several. Does it have a programmed decline for people like myself who never throw their gear away?

    The breaks – after the slip I wondered, because i seemed trivial to me. One day later when everything was swolen, it hurt. So my guess, it might have broken relatively sturdy consumer gear of any brand as well.

  2. I've only ever had to use Sony for one lens repair, about 4-5 years ago, and they were indeed awful. Hopefully they're better now – they were still the red headed step child of the camera world back then…

  3. I am not surprised by the score of Olympus at all, as they are known to be a bit higher end brand in Japan. Something classier, something like the Mercedes amongst car companies. It holds true mainly in Japan, but the side-effect of this turns out to be a better customer service for the rest of the world too

  4. I have a Nikon D5500 which I let fall and I sent it away to be fixed .I live in Ireland but it had to be sent away to England to be repaired. It came back but was still not focusing correctly . I only discovered this a few months after the incident and it was sent away again to be fixed . I let the guarantee run out and it cost again . This was about €150 each time , So it has cost me €300 so far and it is still not correctly repaired . I cant really send it back yet again as it would cost me too much . The problem is not there all the time but only some time , meaning that most of the photos are great but not all .

  5. Sony is really bad,i can attest to that. Best of luck to you if ur equipment model is prone to breaking down. I had a point and shoot serviced (within warranty) due to a stalled lens cover, they returned with a sensor leak in the middle.and in less than 6 months the autofocus stopped working. Sony said they can no longer service it since the repair will be more expensive than buy a new one. I was only able to use the camera for a year, minimal to moderate use. This was around 2015. Meanwhile, i have 3 canons since 2016 all are working great, no breakdowns.

  6. Customer Service and Camera reliability are two of the MAIN things to me when buying, for that reason alone, I will never ever buy another Nikon, and if I was given one free, the first thing I would do would be to sell it – Quickly, before it broke!
    Regarding your poll, were you able to find what percentage of the warranty repairs were NO FAULT FOUND as far as the manufacturer was concerned?

  7. I once got a used Olympus Tough for my birthday as a kid. The camera died after 3 weeks. My father sent it to the Olympus repair service here in Germany. After 2 weeks they sent a new camera, even the current model at that time. They said the repair service wasn't able to repair my camera, but who cares if you get a new one. This is the best experience i ever had with a customer service. (But be aware this was like 13 years ago)

  8. I have been use 3 camera, 2 pocket and 1 mirorless.
    1. Casio Exilim Z-110 in 2006. It trouble in 2008? forgot. I got it to official service center. They replace the shutter. The camera is arround 2 million IDR in 2006 and the repair in arround 200K IDR. After the repair it still fully functional till now aka 2019.
    2. Canon Ixus 230 Hz. I buy it in 2012 arround 2 million IDR. Somehow in 2017 it does not show the picture. The menu still ok, but in photo mode, it just black / blank. I sent to Canon Service Centers. They says the optics was the problem. Unlike the experience with Casio, the spare part was none. Even if it was exist, the price also near as 2 million IDR. In 2019 the Ixus still blank.
    3. Canon EOS M. I buy it in 2014 for 6.3 million IDR for the most expensive kit (2 lens + flash + many bonus). In 2016, I want to take my photo using tripod. I put my face masker (like in hospital masker) in tripod. The wind was blowed so hard, and with my master it hold / block the wind and eventually losses and the camera felt to conqret. At first I don't think it broke. I just keep making photo. Untill a few month, I just realize that the right part of photo was a bit blur. When I switch the lens to 22mm, it just fine. So my 18-55 lens that is broke. I go to same Canon Service Center. In 7 days they repair the AF of the lens. Somekind like black barel. It cost 1.8 million IDR. In 2019 it still ok. It has been 4 times or more reset the file names number. A few months ago using Magic Lantern it show 80 thousand usage.

    That's my experience in camera service. I really do hope miracle make my Ixus to not blank again.

  9. I have had experienxes with both Canon an Olympus repair Services.
    From Canon, i needed to repair a lens (efs 17-85 is) with a flat cable not working correctly and i've paid around half the value that the lens cost new at the time (somewhere near 300€) for a known issue with that lens…
    With Olympus i have had 2 repair services. The first one under warranty. The second one was due to a very random failure that affected the screen and that i forgot to mention on the first repair. Since it was random and only happen from time to time, when i've notest it again, it already had passed the warranty time (for some weeks). I've contacted Olympus (in Portugal) and they asked me to sent the camera to them. After analysis, they foud a problem that could be solved but would tale some time to solve due to parts that they needed to ask from Olympus headquarters (i presume that those pieces would come from japan). Instead of putting in a wait list they just offered a new camera (same model, EM-1). When they asked me if it was ok for me to receive a replacement, i've asked them if they could replace the old camera for the new model EM-1 mk2 and i would be able to pay the difference from the new model to the old model. To my surprise they not only accepted this trade, but also they have done it for free of charge. So, i got the new model (EM-1 Mk2, New with 2 years warranty) as a replacement of the old model that i reported a random failure after the legal warranty period.
    Not in my best dreams i would think thst this was possible… Due to that, now i am considering to buy another olympus camera as a backup (em1 mk1 or em5 mk2) and use all the acessories that i had from my old camera. Fantastic service from Olympus Portugal.

  10. Another thumb up for olympus, From the time they received my camera in the repair department in Portugal it took them less a week to repair and send it via FEDEX outside my door, For sure they care much about their customers!

  11. My son's Olympus E-M10iii's sensor got "stuck" in the dust reduction mode at start up. Could hear and feel a high frequency buzz/hum and camera would not function, other than turning on. Sent it in for service and experience was excellent. They confirmed arrival, replaced sensor, alerted me of shipping/tracking info and sent it back within a week – complete with a repair sheet and cleaner than new. Camera is operating spot-on since repair. Very happy with Olympus service.

  12. multiple panasonic cameras i own have never had any repair issues or warranty, only ever had issues with my tape based handycam from sony, HDR-HC9 with 4 different faults in 18months. I yelled at them before they were going to fix it the fourth time, demanding they replace it and eventually after yelling enough about my lemon of a camera, they replaced it with the latest model!

  13. Problem with Sony is that no matter how great their cameras are, the product knowledge of the person receiving the products for repair is very little. I felt like talking to a layman who knows more about hifi than cameras. He didn't even know what damage or what parts of the camera are for, let alone writing the problems down. Lots of explanation need to b done and there are further miscom between him and the technician. Granted that was almost 7 years ago.

  14. Tony, I have had repair experience with Canon and Sony. Canon services is right in line with your findings. But Sony was a disaster! I had to send my a6000 three times and it was never totally fixed. Let me explain: first time was sentó to warranty because the pop up flash did not fire. Flash was fixed, but all photos taken were over exposed no matter the settings (even manual). So I sent it back and they fix the problem, but then all photos taken on any of their auto modes had the wrong white balance. Sent it back a third time. They claimed the problem was fixed but it was not. So I gave on Sony equipment all together!

  15. I've been a Nikon Pro Services (NPS) member since about 1993 and I've actually never had a bad experience with them. Sure, some repairs have taken longer due to a parts hold, but I have no NPS horror stories. Quite the opposite, Nikon has treated me quite well. I dropped my D700 a few years ago and what Nikon did for me was incredibly generous.
    I have to say though, I live in NYC so I'm driving distance to Nikon HQ in Melville, NY. Being an NPS member and also submitting repairs in person makes a huge difference in most cases. I'm more likely to get a break over and above the NPS discount, or to chat with a repair technician about my repair, and sometimes I even get an assessment of my repair on the spot which means no waiting days for an estimate. And shipping is one way back to me so that speeds things up.

    Tony, you might want to publish your data. You talk about sample size and outliers… in the spirit of full disclosure it would nice to see the data.

  16. I love my Sony's but thanks for drawing attention to this – I seriously wish that Sony would clean up it's act when it comes to repairs and it doesn't help their 'Consumer Electronics Company' stigma at all when calling up Sony support and having to send my camera out to a 3rd party outsourced repair centre that also fixes LCD TVs and Playstations. They need to take Cameras more seriously in the repair sector and move their operations in-house if they truly want to beat Canon, because right now Sony Cameras are amazing and have great features, but people don't trust them.

  17. Back in 2012, I bought a used Nikon D60 from B&H. It worked well for a few thousand photos (I shoot 50k photos/year), then it just stopped working. No error messages on the back screen. I took it to my local, independent camera store. They said it would probably be 6 weeks and $150 to send it back to Nikon. It ended up being 12 weeks and $300 – twice the amount for both items! I could have bought another D60 body for that much but I couldn't have known until it was repaired. The lens, 18-55mm kit, was sent back with it, with the purpose of making sure it was okay too. Maybe that's why it cost so much and took so long but, the lens barrel had a wiggle to it when it went back and still had the wiggle when it came back. Disappointing. I soon bought a new D5300 from B&H. In less than 4 years, it racked up 195,384 on the Shutter Count. It's always worked great and now serves as a backup to my Pentax K-1 (which I _LOVE_).

  18. Volume of cameras too made important results. Canon Nikon Sony sold more than Olympus. However, in my country Olympus was useless. No service center. Another important factors' reliability durability of cameras

  19. Glad to hear Olympus users have had good experiences. After decades of shooting Nikon gear, in the past year I've shot Olympus bodies and a mix of Olympus and Panasonic lenses almost exclusively. Really enjoying them, no issues so far.

  20. Olympus for a life by their current customer service.

    Got my camera broken on the job (a vehicle ran over it, on soft soil) and the E-M1 and 40-150 PRO combo suffered so that the mount bent.
    As professionals requires backups, I continued normally as I have three bodies with me and 40-150 PRO got replaced by a 40-150 R one as the second 40-150 PRO was at studio.

    Called Olympus on the site as it was monday morning and explained situation, Olympus sent a DHL carrier on the site (I was middle of nowhere on the job for next week) and the carrier arrived couple hours later to pick-up the "box" with necessary papers to fill AND a loan unit of a 40-150mm PRO lens! As we were on the camp sites, best I could do was the wrap the camera in a T-shirts and place it inside a custom made cardboard box.

    On tuesday morning Olympus engineer called that he has the camera in front of him, done the preliminary checking and that the repair cost with the parts and job is 65 €. I said that I accept it and requested if he could calibrate the lens to check that it ain't in worse condition and he said that is their standard.

    On wednesday morning I received a call from a DLH that my package is on transit and they need the address where their carrier can leave it. I explained that we are in middle of the forest and there is no way that I can get on location where is the road address, but told that as we are on the military camp that there is a this road that has a military police next to it, that I allow carrier to leave the package on them.
    On afternoon I got a friendly runner to bring it to me with his bike. Gave a few power bars for him for driving the ten kilometers in forest….

    And that was years ago, and when Olympus announced their PRO service when E-M1 II was released, I didn't think second longer to pay for it.

    They did swap the mounts on both, body and the lens, sensor was cleaned, lens was checked and calibrated, new lens hood was given and the camera top plate was changed because few scratches.

    It took three full days from Sweden to Portugal and back, my work didn't interrupt than for few hours really when I used the 40-150 R on the day time, and then I kept going with the loan unit that I returned few days after getting home, that as well through a DHL carrier.

    For ten years I worked with Canon, and while their service was best on the industry for the parts availability and simply because everyone shot with Canon so you got likely free loaners from friends and colleges, the Olympus just put everything to shade that what Canon had ever made. With Canon it was that you send the product with your own cost, you wait few days for report, you pay the repair and then you get the gear back. Typical was about a week or at least on the second week.

    But this is the difference being a professional, not a consumer. You get always the extra mile in service. As I know that if I would had sent the Olympus 40-150 R for Olympus, it would have taken 2-3 weeks as it was the worst season time, but I could have requested a loaner for repair time and likely it would have been a silver 40-150 R! And I would have needed to mail the lens to Olympus myself (free postage, but drag myself to postal office etc).

  21. My older Pentax D30 had only a couple thou pix, and they couldn't get parts locally, Ricoh sent to an outsource and repair was about the same as replacement… My last Pentax…The magnetic shutter control was faulty and apparently why they offered it for only a couple years…

  22. good job on this video. great work. i know it took a lot of effort and time to make this and a lot of people including myself highly appreciate it. here in the philippines, fuji repair services are fast. the lcd of my x100f broke down (also due to dropping) and was repaired within a week. but the costs were very high as the parts are all assembly. meaning if one tiny piece of hardware breaks down, a huge chunk needs to be replaced (ie if you fall down and accidentally scratch your elbow, your entire arm needs to be replaced). fuji also only gives 1 year warranty opposed to canon and sony's 3 year warranty. lastly, canon's and sony's have been more sturdy and reliable in long term use at least in my experience as ive been using them far longer than my x100f. thanks!

  23. I don't know about Oli or Fuji, but Canon or Sony repairs in Moscow, Russia are done by the same entity (Kopiya Moskva company) …Their service was one of the reasons to switch to black and yellow label.

  24. I'm a current Canon CPS user, and have sent my cameras/lenses in for checkups several times, and repairs a few times. The ONE TIME the repair was going to take longer than Canon's committed return window time for CPS, I received a call that they'd overnight me a body to fill in until mine was back in my hands. As much as I wish they'd have new tech, the fact that their service is amazing is one of the things that's keeping me a fan.

  25. I just wish i could be guaranteed if i send off my 24-105L that it comes back with a much tighter zoom ring and doesn't just flop to max zoom when pointing down and min zoom when I hold the camera up..

  26. I've never seen any camera have mil-spec or IP rating. That is expensive to test to that level, but it would be nice. I took my camera to the Canon center in Costa Mesa, CA, and I will tell you they have it all together. Very responsive and repaired my camera even though I was ripped off on the internet with a broken, used camera. My camera is top notch today.

  27. Gotta say I'm surprised with the popularity of panasoni'c M43 cameras for video that you didn't get more feedback on a video platform. For me that would have been an interesting comparison to Sony as both are large japanese consumer electronics companies with relatively small imaging divisions.

  28. For me when i work in photography shop the most horror story are with Sony by FAR and the second olympus. It's funny how US vs canada service are different. The first are Canon and second pentax for my part. Im not wanting to thrash brand or things like that. (in fact i use Olympus and nikon gear) it's just to add a little feedback from canada (quebec) serving.

  29. Hi. Does DSLR camera have any power sugre protection inside the body? I am just curious. For example, let's say I bought a new lens to my DSLR, but with damaged electronics. I put it to the body and …. the camera is damaged. It is possible?

  30. i just sent my 5d mk4. they said it was drop damage. the camera was never dropped. my estimate went from 450 to second estimate of 670…i was shooting when the camera just died. but boy they push the upgrade option…this camera is 1.5 yr old. they also said to high shutter count and mirror out of adjustment…sounds more like a scam to me

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