Saturday, February 09, 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 on our holiday 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.

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