Jan 25, 2010

Recommendation for Kodak P850 Digital Camera Repair

My favorite camera - a Kodak P850 point-and-click machine with lots of cool features - took a calamitous drop of three feet onto concrete a few weeks ago, and I spent another week or so debating what to do about the non-functional camera. The device was four years old, and it had long served me well, so I was reluctant to march out and spend another $400-$500 on a digital camera that met my primary needs: professional quality images and ease of use.

But at the same time my other camera options were not sufficient for my needs, and let's face it: learning a new piece of technology is a royal pain in the derriere.

After searching the Web for simple solutions (hint: there are none), I found myself at the Kodak troubleshooting pages. This interactive guide eventually sent me to the homepage of the authorized Kodak digital camera service center, a company called United Camera in Chicago. I grumbled at first, thinking this would be a multi-week odyssey in slow parcel post shipments and/or finding out that the camera could not be repaired at a reasonable price.

Alas, my fears were unfounded. It took a mere six days from leaving Toledo via Priority Mail ($5.82) to reach United Camera to be shipped via UPS back to me. That is all - a round trip of less than 150 hours, and the $165 to repair my camera was well worth the cost. United Camera cleaned the entire device, made sure all functions worked as designed, and even tested the camera's image-making capabilities in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings.

So I wholeheartedly endorse the fine work and helpful personnel at United Camera. I am simply amazed that I can ship a broken machine hundreds of miles away and get it repaired so quickly.


Anonymous said...

Dude you spent 165.00 to get your camera reset, that's why it wuz so fast. Sorry to tell ya!

historymike said...

Uh, actually anonymous "dude": the circuit board was damaged (see repair bill) and the resetting and reprogramming occurred after the circuit board repairs. The fall jarred loose something on the PCB, and there is no simple "reset button" to fix the camera.

Also: even if I wanted to reset the camera, I can only do so when it is operational, as this is a standard menu item. There were also some gear problems, as you could hear a whirring from the camera's lens motor when you turned it on, but the gears did not engage after being knocked about.

Finally: even if this was a simple reset, it still was much cheaper than shelling out $500 for a comparable camera.

microdot said...

We are just little tech idiots...we can only know so much and the time to acquire the knowlege when we are doing something else???
165 spent in lieu of buying a new camera is money well spent.
In November, I got married in NYC and through some newly acquired familial connections, I was able to get through security at NYC City Hall and meet Mayor Bloomberg and get inside the inner sanctum.
Out side, we wanted to have the wedding party photographed on the steps and a friendly security guard took all the cameras and snapped away... when he went to use my 5 year old canon....he dropped it and it bounced on the stones...
It was dead...I couldn't fault the guy for his intentions and he felt bad...I was able to get a few fuzzy picks off the camera...but I just went out the next day to Adorama and got a better machine on sale...it was a blessing in diguise.

PGupta said...

I agree - it is so much simpler to pay $70-100 to get a camera repair than buy a new one for $300-400. Any camera less than that has TERRIBLE quality.

I'm sorry you had to spend $165 though! When I had camera issues I found that United Camera was actually kind of pricey, I ended up using Teleplan Camera Repair - they were so much cheaper!

jim said...

Given the low resolution and slow click-to-pic speed (and yes I know about holding the button half-way down) and other ancient technology in the now discontinued P850, I was amazed you just didn't invest that $165 in a new Minolta or Canon. I agree the P850 takes great color pictures ... when the subject will hold still and there is enough light and and so on and so forth.

Today's amusing moment: Kodak Support telling me there is no repair manual for the P850 because the repair technicians go to school and are trained so they don't need a manual. I was still laughing when I wished the poor gal a happy day and closed the chat.