what to do, what to do?

My dSLR, a four-year-old Canon Rebel XT, has started to malfunction. First, it was the Err 99 in the beginning of February, but that was remedied with a different lens. A few weeks ago, it started overexposing my pictures — it’s been doing that inconsistently, but more often than not, I have to drop the EV to get a decent picture. I emailed Canon several days ago to see if they might have any quick, at-home fixes. After a brief exchange, they suggested I send the camera in for repair. I got a quick quote on their website, and it’s going to cost me about $150 (although, there is a very small chance they will exchange it for a new or refurbished camera).

I paid $400 for the camera on Boxing Day 2007, and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to get it fixed, or just let it be. There are other factors to consider. I’m quite definitely picking up a Lumix LX5 at some point (I actually bid on one on eBay last night and didn’t win), to use for daily pictures over my dSLR. And when I’m out taking pictures, I usually use film anyway. I’d also hate to not have a digital camera the two weeks it’s getting repaired (okay, I know, this is small beans). On top of all of that, I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with the camera. I’ve never loved it, just mostly tolerated it. More often than not, I was slightly annoyed with this or that about it (or really, with images from a digital camera in general). Given all of this, I’m not sure if I should try to save my very well-used camera. I’m also wondering if I’ll replace it with another dSLR.

Hmmm. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do yet, but I’m at least pretty sure that given the state of my Rebel XT, the Lumix LX5 will be arriving much sooner than initially expected. I hate hate hate that things are not made to last these days, or more accurately (based on The Story of Stuff), made to break. Boo. First it was my lens and now this. Oh man, lately, when it rains, it pours. I think I’ll have to figure out what to do within the next week or so.

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5 responses

  1. Getting your camera checked out might be less expensive if you find a store to do it? Looks like this place in Hamilton will do a free evaluation at least:
    http://camtechphoto.com/

    Considering how much your camera is worth, I would think that repairing it would be the wiser option. I don’t think you will be happier with a small digital camera… If you are unhappy its images, you will probably be horrified with the Lumix’s images. I think that mostly digital is made tolerable by post-production combined with lens anyway, and is not an in-camera affair. If that makes sense.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm

  2. Thanks for the link, Kristen! I’ll definitely check it out.

    I wasn’t entirely against repairing it. I was thinking of letting it be for now, getting the LX5 and then later down the road, getting the dSLR fixed. I don’t expect to be happier with a different, smaller digital camera — I think I’ll get similar images to the ones I’ve gotten. The smaller camera is merely meant to complement the dSLR and also for convenience. I agree with you about digital images. Personally, I rank just about all digital images in a category below that of film. I’m sure you do too :)

    March 18, 2012 at 2:06 am

  3. After reading your comment and thinking about it a lot, I think I will definitely get the camera fixed. I don’t love the camera, but it’s been with me through 4 years and I do have some affection for it, if that makes sense. And of course, no compact camera can ever best an SLR.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  4. it’s a hard decision. honestly the reason that i did go for a compact camera like the canon s95 was because i didn’t want to feel torn between my film and digital camera. when i pick up my canon, i know that it’s a totally different animal, and i’m just using it to document, and it’s not the way i see things in my eye at all. when i pick up my film camera or any SLR, i really am trying to record the way i see things, and i didn’t want to choose digital over film more often than not. however, this does mean that periods of time go by, like these last two months, where i am totally not doing photos that i like at all! but that’s mostly because my photo lab that was 5 blocks away closed. they would process and scan my film and upload it to the internet for $4!! i will never be able to replace them.

    anyway, i understand your conflict.

    March 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

  5. That’s exactly what I do too — my digital camera is used mainly for documentation and the film camera is for more artistic purposes. I feel bad using my dSLR for documentation, which is why I’m getting a compact. I feel bad using such a powerful camera for such purposes. Really, I think I should’ve gotten a compact camera sooner, but oh well.

    Have you found a new replacement photo lab?

    March 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm

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