10/28/11 298 W, 1 I - + 7 - 3 When Cameras Die

Why was Mikey carrying only one camera at yesterday's two-alarm fire downtown? Or, rather, one camera body but two lenses? That's 'cause my other body's in the shop. Last week, while conveniently on vacation, my Canon 40D DSLR stopped working. The problem, based on the error message and subsequent research, is likely the shutter mechanism. DSLR cameras have a limited shutter life. Mine is rated at 100,000. My actual number of clicks is just over 60,000. That was found via this nifty third-party program called EOSInfo. (Other brands indicate same right inside the camera!)

Did my shutter really die at just 60,000? According to this third-party database site, that's close to what they've recorded as "average number of actuations after which shutter died." Next commenced the mental acrobatics of decision-making. Repair the camera? Replace it? Upgrade? This took a solid day of solid thinking. Below are the results. (One person read somewhere put the per-click cost at two cents, given the current cost of Canon DSLR shutter repairs.)

First, took the 40D to the camera shop. Repair cost estimated around $250. (Conveniently, the prize award of my second place IAFF Media Award, learned about two days later.) Next, promptly (hastily?) bought another body, a gently used 50D found on eBay. That latter has a higher ISO setting than my 40D, which will help with night shots. Hopefully, will help greatly. And they use the same batteries! The 50D arrived yesterday afternoon. Finally, my third body-- a well-used Rebel XT-- will be relegated to reserve status slash camera for the Missus. My fourth body, another Rebel XT, died in December and was replaced by the 40D being repaired. Got that? What a pain... but still a less-expensive hobby than some others.

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