I have had bunches of calls lately from people with broken cameras. Most have been dropped or exposed to sand or water, and some have just quit working. My customers are wondering what to do to get them repaired. So here are a few answers that might help out.
For those of you with a digital camera that has bit the dust, or more likely hit the floor, you really only have one option and that is to send your camera back to the manufacturer for repair. Today's digital cameras are so complicated and small that they can't be fixed at your corner camera repair shop.
Not many camera repair shops even exist anymore. So your best bet is to go to your camera brand Web site, look for service or support and see what they offer in the way of repairs.
Each manufacturer is different, so your results may vary. The big brands will give you an estimate before you send it in.
Next you have a decision to make: Do you get it fixed or buy a new one? If your digital camera is more than 3 years old, it is almost considered an antique in camera years, so you should probably seriously consider a new camera. You will most likely be able to get a new camera with higher resolution and more bells and whistles for less money than you paid for your broken model.
If your camera is newer than that, you just have to weigh the repair cost against the cost of a new one and bite the bullet.
Now for the really bad news: If you have a film camera that needs repaired, it's time to go to digital. You are fighting a losing battle.
Repair shops are virtually gone, film is getting harder to get all the time and the cold hard truth is the digitals do a nicer job. I know you paid a lot of money for your multi-lens setup and it's been handed down throughout the family but it's time to move on.
I feel your pain because I still have a bunch of very nice film cameras that I hang onto because they felt like part of my family, but they haven't had a roll of film run through them in almost 10 years. The good news is they make nice book ends.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer as well as a certified professional photographer.)