What is 'high hours' on a solid state camera and what can go wrong?

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noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

As the title suggests now that we've (mostly) moved to solid state cameras the old rule book re how many hours of head wear it's had can go straight out the window.

I will shortly be selling an NX5 with 180 opeartional hours on it. But does this mean anything any more? What does it really tell anyone and what would you now expect to go wrong at say 500 hours or 1000?

Thoughts anyone?

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

It probably means more in terms of the battery life than anything else. Batteries don't have unlimited life, they wear out. But 180 hours sounds trivial to me. I'd not expect any problems until the battery dies. And I still have an use the original batttery I got with my old Panasonic DX100, in 1999 (not heavily used, but must be at least 500 hours over the years)

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Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
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steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Solid-state cameras do have many moving parts. Maybe a camera that's had heavy Zoom and AF use may start to show its age, but that would be up in the high hundreds at least. Other areas to watch could be interfaces (plugs/sockets), tripod mounting thread/plate, viewfinder/LCD screen flexible wiring.

Steve

Alan Roberts
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Good points, connectors wear out, and lenses have motors and gears. My small Panasonic camera has died now because the focus servo has failed.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

I know this is 'how long is a piece of string'esque, but at what sort of hours would you expect a solid state camera to start running into any sort of issues?

I realise that begs the reply 'it depends on how it's been used, the environments, etc', but when you look at second hand cameras from TNP, Prestons, or on BBlist, Mandy, etc, you usually just get operational hours and no other context. From these arbitrary numbers you then need to try and decide their true value or potential reliability.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

I don't think we actually have any really good idea now about the life-span of a camera.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Not sure if this forum has a 'poll' option? but it might be worth running one if so. Something along the lines of;
'At what operational hours has your solid state camera developed a fault?
Options
1) 0 - 100 hours
2) 100 - 200
3) 300 - 500
4) 500 - 1000
5) 1000+

I know it won't give folks very precise info across ranges/brands, but it could give us a better idea.

Just as a point of interest, I've just sent a JVC GY-HM100 in for repair with just over 100 hours on it (over 2 years).

steve
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

The problem is that the usage and handling will have a great bearing on the various failure mechanisms. For example, a camera that spends most of its life on a tripod indoors and maybe connected to an external writer may be less prone to most of the above ailments. Compare that with one that is used say for street 'eng type' shooting or on location wildlife work where continual adjustment and frequent rig set up and tear down cycles plus the odd bouts of rough handling will, when all other things are equal, may provoke early failures. Without some background data, a population of operational hours figures will be difficult to make a valued judgement from.

Steve

noddydog
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Joined: Feb 28 2004

Hi Steve. Whilst I generally agree with this I do believe 'averages' can equally tell you something. For example you can generally say that a modern car will give you almost no problems between 0-40K miles, possibly some issues at 40K - 80K and more serious issues at 80K+. Armed with that very general information I could buy a car knowing roughly what to expect. At the moment I/we have no idea what to expect from solid state cameras regardless of their usage patterns/environment.