Saturday, April 24, 2010

$150 repair...Or not

Ok, so maybe you want to write to me on this one and tell me why it may not be a good idea. 

I got a call from the camera shop with a repair quote.  They recommended I send it to United Camera for repairs.  I asked if they personally recommended this place and they guy said yes, that he had just gotten his personal camera back from being repaired.  The best news?  It would only cost $150 to replace the SD drive, not $230 from Nikon.  Cool!  Only, I would have to come pick up my camera and handle the shipping, etc, myself because they are in the process of moving their shop.  No problem.

I nearly bolted out the door to get my camera in my hands again.  Working or not, I miss it terribly!  Upon arriving home, I *had* to inspect it again.  Surely it couldn't need to go in for repairs.  Could it?  So I came up with an idea to "fix" it myself.  (Don't cringe, it's not that bad).  Ready?  Here ya go:


See, what is going on is the camera card will not "lock" into position.  You can, however, hold it in position.  Which is awkward, to say the least.  So I thought, how about a place holder?  I folded up a piece of paper, held it over the card, and shut the door down on it.  Now the paper holds the card in place by gentle pressure.  Is this a bad fix?  If so, tell me why, because if I'm going to send it off for a repair I should do it now rather than later.

Yes, this does work.  I have taken pictures with it and they *seem* to record just fine.  Will it work consistently?  That's my #1 concern.  So I guess I'll take as many pictures as possible to try it out for the next couple days.


My 8 GB memory card does have a chip, which is what I originally thought went wrong with my card slot (that a chip had gotten down inside somehow).  Mitch did suggest that I discontinue using that card.  *sniff, sniff*  Ok, good point.  Better to replace it!

FYI:  I used my old (now back-up) camera, a Canon PowerShot A630, to take the picture of my "fix" above.


  1. so HAVE you tried a different SD card in your camera? That would be the first thing I'd try - even if you have to politely ask your neighbor/friend if you can check with their card if you don't have an extra.

    And I think your fix is a good idea - Maybe see how well it records the next, say 100 pictures, or the in the next month before you decide if it needs to be sent in.

    A good semi-permanent "holder" may be a piece (or two) of that self-adhesive Foamie stuff kids play with. Just trim it to size, and stack on top of itself if necessary.

    One other thing you can try - did the camera place try blowing out the slot with canned air or an air hose? When I worked at the WM photo lab, we had an air hose for blowing off negatives - and it can be surprising how a little dust can interfere with electronics.

  2. I say go with it until it doesn't work any longer. That's just how I do things though, I make them work until I absolutely have to fork over the money.

  3. I don't know anything about cameras except point and shoot but IMO if the "holder" works..I'd go with it.

  4. Oh, and will it matter if it is under warranty or not? Seems you haven't had it long, but maybe I'm just remembering wrong.

    If you are really dissapointed with how quickly it wore out you could always write Nikon and tell them so. They may offer to fix it for you or at least give you a free accessory or something. Never hurts.

  5. The first thing I did was inspect my SD card and try a different one. I thought about the adhesive foamie stuff...I worry about ruining the door, but wonder if the SD slot has to be replaced, is the door considered part of that. I can't tell by looking at it. But whatever I do, I don't want to ruin my door, so I'm being careful about that. I certainly don't want it to be MORE than $150 later because I was arrogant. :) It doesn't have a warranty--Nikon stopped manufacturing and selling the D80 after they came out with the I bought mine used on ebay and couldn't even buy a Mack Camera warranty (which I highly recommend). In the end, even if I have to fork over $150, I'm STILL getting an awesome deal on the camera overall. But I am going to see if we can just hold out and not fix it now...maybe even a couple years?? Then I can "upgrade" to a used D90 or something cooler, LOL. :)