Saturday, March 08, 2008

Camera in the shop

I took my camera into the shop this morning. The Commander Mode has stopped working. This means that I am not able to trigger my flash when it isn't attached to my camera. Boo!

If you don't care about cameras, especially Nikon, you can stop reading now and just remember that I won't be taking many new photos for a while. (My lovely wife has a camera she uses for her research at school that she said I could use, bless her soul).

I don't know if they will be able to fix my D70s. If the firmware is the problem they can probably fix it by re-flashing it. If the hardware is the problem then they there is a good possibility they can't; they stopped making the D70s a couple of years ago and I don't know how may spare parts they have. My Blacks extended warranty says that if they can't fix it, they'll replace the camera with an upgraded version since the D70s is out of production. I don't know what I would upgrade to (given a choice):
  • D40x/D60? - No camera body motor which precludes auto-focusing on my 50mm or my 105mm. This is a deal breaker for me. It also takes SD cards instead of CF, so I would need to buy all new media.
  • D80? - Same SD issue. Only syncs with the flash up to 1/200s while my d70s syncs up to 1/500s.
  • D200/D300? - Ideal since either of these are in my upgrade path (if I were to come into money), but they still only sync up to 1/320s. If I had to give up my beloved D70s, I'd push for one of these (the D300 of course :) ).
Another option I have is to continue to use the D70s without the Commander Mode and buy a third-party remote flash trigger. I could go with a cheap trigger ($40 Cactus trigger, made in China, spotty performance) or I could go with the Rolls Royce of wireless triggers ($400 - ouch). The problem with this option is that I can't use TTL metering with the flash but that may be ok as I am leaning more toward manually setting the flash level. I haven't made up my mind about going this route.

So ya, I'm kinda bummed about this. The guy at Blacks said I should expect a wait of 3-6 weeks. That seems like a long time.


the Doug said...

Dude that stinks!!
The D70s is kind of neat in that it synchs so high. I have a D40 with Cactus triggers. For most of my stuff they seem to work really well. I have an old (like 30yr old) Vivitar 283 and it works great. If you score a D200 or a D300 out of this I'll be super jealous. I've caught myself eyeing D200s on ebay (as if I had money to pump into a new camera).
I hope they get it sorted for you quickly.

Richard Siemens said...

Thanks - I suspect I'll end up with a D80 if the D70s is a write-off, but I'll push for the d300 :)

George said...

3-6 weeks is a long time to go without your camera. I've probably gone that long without taking a picture... but at least the option was there. If you need some alone time with a Nikon, i'd be happy to lend you mine for a few days.

Otherwise, I guess you have lots of time to dedicate to cooking and baking lots of goodies! I'd be glad to help out as a taste tester ;)

As for a replacement camera, if you can't finagle a D300 (good luck!), I would stick with your D70s and get a remote trigger. You know how to work with your camera - better to stick with something you like that has known limitations than to get something new that may or may not be an upgrade.