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Thread: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

  1. #1

    Default Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    i'm curious to know about the durability of DSLRs and lenses. approximately how many photos ( shutter count ) would be taken before a DSLR dies off totally ( shorter life than PnS? )? let's just say 1000d.

    same goes for lenses - is there any lifespan for it? assuming it'd always be well handled, and kept in air-tight cabinet after use.

    still thinking whether to step into the dslr world. currently playing with LX3, f200exr, 870is. back in my army days i played with my unit's D40x. felt it's quite hard to use ( in terms of getting my desired output ) even when using AF. i'm really bad at using MF because sometimes thru the viewfinder it's hard to justify if it's 100% sharp. how do you guys solve this problem?

    yep i know about the costs involved. haha. actually already quite poisoned.. don't know what to do now.

    i'm pretty much focussed on portraiture ( although you wouldn't see them in my portfolio, prefer to be anonymous ) .. so any good tips to recommend? i always strive to shoot under good natural lighting..

    my portfolio ( all shot using PnS! ) can be found here anyway - all comments welcome.

    http://fotologue.jp/randomystique .
    Last edited by savager; 16th March 2009 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Sometimes manufacturers quote a reference number for the expected lifespan of shutter units. It is like a mean time to failure. Some people might be lucky to get to use the camera for much more number of actuations, some will not, but on the average it will be pretty close to the number quoted ( with large enough sample pool )

    * different cameras and models can of course have different expected lifespans. The professional bodies will be more durable in that respect

    Here is an interesting link for your reference.
    http://olegkikin.com/shutterlife/

    Lenses are pretty long lived as long as you take care of them.
    Of course the electronics can occassionally fail.

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 16th March 2009 at 02:59 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Sometimes manufacturers quote a reference number for the expected lifespan of shutter units. It is like a mean time to failure. Some people might be lucky to get to use the camera for much more number of actuations, some will not, but on the average it will be pretty close to the number quoted ( with large enough sample pool )

    * different cameras and models can of course have different expected lifespans. The professional bodies will be more durable in that respect

    Here is an interesting link for your reference.
    http://olegkikin.com/shutterlife/

    Lenses are pretty long lived as long as you take care of them.
    Of course the electronics can occassionally fail.

    Ryan
    erm, now so sure about the latest generation of lens (kit one especially)... but i did own a nikon 80-200mm that was design with the flex cable secured using glue... obviously it is not a so good idea as glue is bound to fail over time... which it did.... and it became totally useless even the glass is in good condition.... hope lenses now dnt use glue to secure... anything secure with glue is bound to fail over short period... even my nokia 6300 cover drop off just pass warranty period...
    life is but a dream...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    i'm curious to know about the durability of DSLRs and lenses. approximately how many photos ( shutter count ) would be taken before a DSLR dies off totally ( shorter life than PnS? )? let's just say 1000d.

    same goes for lenses - is there any lifespan for it? assuming it'd always be well handled, and kept in air-tight cabinet after use.

    still thinking whether to step into the dslr world. currently playing with LX3, f200exr, 870is. back in my army days i played with my unit's D40x. felt it's quite hard to use ( in terms of getting my desired output ) even when using AF. i'm really bad at using MF because sometimes thru the viewfinder it's hard to justify if it's 100% sharp. how do you guys solve this problem?

    yep i know about the costs involved. haha. actually already quite poisoned.. don't know what to do now.

    i'm pretty much focussed on portraiture ( although you wouldn't see them in my portfolio, prefer to be anonymous ) .. so any good tips to recommend? i always strive to shoot under good natural lighting..

    my portfolio ( all shot using PnS! ) can be found here anyway - all comments welcome.

    http://fotologue.jp/randomystique .
    i believe most ppl with DSLR own PNS as well... the thing with PNS is about convenience.... but the DOF sucks big time.... i hope technology regarding extended DOF in PNS will improve over time... now it is still far far away from what a DSLR can offers... so to me, the DOF is the key reason why an DSLR is impt to me... PNS picture are just way too flat for me...
    life is but a dream...

  5. #5
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Basically, with SLR's you have a quite LONG lifespan as the shutter is the only item which you may need to replace.

    With DSLR's, other than the shutter which may require replacing after say 50,000 or 100,000 shots (depending on the model), there is also the concern of the sensor lifespan. With the current age of digital photography, I've not heard of sensor deaths prematurely YET.

    And with lenses, most of the older manual ones are long lasting, able to even outlast some of the users. But with current age, the trend of using digital enabled lenses has brought on another set of problems, such as focusing motor failure, etc...

    Read on carefully and you'll find that generally, most sets can last well for more than 3 to 4 years. By which time, most usually move on to another newer camera.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  6. #6

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by twisted illusion View Post
    i believe most ppl with DSLR own PNS as well... the thing with PNS is about convenience.... but the DOF sucks big time.... i hope technology regarding extended DOF in PNS will improve over time... now it is still far far away from what a DSLR can offers... so to me, the DOF is the key reason why an DSLR is impt to me... PNS picture are just way too flat for me...
    hmm, if you're talking about bokeh, it isn't much of a problem to me, because i'm a photoshop geek. the important limitation is the IQ of the portrait. one look and you can differentiate two pics shot with PnS vs DSLRs. other than that is the low-light performance esp. for portraits, can't stand noise on faces unless i adjust it for artistic purposes.

    i'm hesitating because there's really a lot to buy (yah bbb) after getting the dslr. thought of getting a used d80 in CS ( felt quite heart pain after buying my lx3 for 680.. ).

    any clue on the MF problem?

    i also need some tips on improving my pics, feels there can be room for improvement but i'm hitting a wall ( been reading alot of articles here and there to improve my skills.. )

  7. #7

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Sometimes manufacturers quote a reference number for the expected lifespan of shutter units. It is like a mean time to failure. Some people might be lucky to get to use the camera for much more number of actuations, some will not, but on the average it will be pretty close to the number quoted ( with large enough sample pool )

    * different cameras and models can of course have different expected lifespans. The professional bodies will be more durable in that respect

    Here is an interesting link for your reference.
    http://olegkikin.com/shutterlife/

    Lenses are pretty long lived as long as you take care of them.
    Of course the electronics can occassionally fail.

    Ryan
    hey, thanks for the link!

    quite interesting.. but looks like there aren't enough user submissions to confirm the mean count..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    hey, thanks for the link!

    quite interesting.. but looks like there aren't enough user submissions to confirm the mean count..
    Also, at least one of the guys in flickr have accidentally clicked something like zero because of the interface...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    hmm, if you're talking about bokeh, it isn't much of a problem to me, because i'm a photoshop geek. the important limitation is the IQ of the portrait. one look and you can differentiate two pics shot with PnS vs DSLRs. other than that is the low-light performance esp. for portraits, can't stand noise on faces unless i adjust it for artistic purposes.

    i'm hesitating because there's really a lot to buy (yah bbb) after getting the dslr. thought of getting a used d80 in CS ( felt quite heart pain after buying my lx3 for 680.. ).

    any clue on the MF problem?

    i also need some tips on improving my pics, feels there can be room for improvement but i'm hitting a wall ( been reading alot of articles here and there to improve my skills.. )
    i dnt use MF on my af cam, i only use MF on my non af cam... but i hv since let my MF cam go le... hee... now with the latest dslr, exposure and af is pretty well taken care of... no need much manual input liao.. keke... i cant photoshop, so i take all my pic in jpg mode... hee...
    life is but a dream...

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by twisted illusion View Post
    i believe most ppl with DSLR own PNS as well... the thing with PNS is about convenience.... but the DOF sucks big time.... i hope technology regarding extended DOF in PNS will improve over time... now it is still far far away from what a DSLR can offers... so to me, the DOF is the key reason why an DSLR is impt to me... PNS picture are just way too flat for me...
    Actually, to correct you, the PnS cameras generally have such a large DOF compared with DSLRs, principally because they use much smaller sensors. Hence, their lenses have focal lengths of something like 5mm to achieve the same field of view as a DSLR would.
    So it's the LARGE DOF in PnS cameras which is less desirable than the thinner DOF in DSLRs!

    anyway, to the TS. I think you have taken some really good photos with your PnS cam. Keep it up! I like your silhouette picture in your 'scenery' subfolder.
    The DSLR would certainly help in reducing unwanted noise, and also generally capturing a sharper image.
    Budget something like $1100-1200 for a new D60 kit (or equivalent) with the necessary accessories (dry cab, tripod, etc) or a used D80 kit(or equivalent).
    Exploring! :)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Actually, to correct you, the PnS cameras generally have such a large DOF compared with DSLRs, principally because they use much smaller sensors. Hence, their lenses have focal lengths of something like 5mm to achieve the same field of view as a DSLR would.
    So it's the LARGE DOF in PnS cameras which is less desirable than the thinner DOF in DSLRs!

    anyway, to the TS. I think you have taken some really good photos with your PnS cam. Keep it up! I like your silhouette picture in your 'scenery' subfolder.
    The DSLR would certainly help in reducing unwanted noise, and also generally capturing a sharper image.
    Budget something like $1100-1200 for a new D60 kit (or equivalent) with the necessary accessories (dry cab, tripod, etc) or a used D80 kit(or equivalent).
    by principal yes, but by output is no.. right... hee...
    life is but a dream...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Actually, to correct you, the PnS cameras generally have such a large DOF compared with DSLRs, principally because they use much smaller sensors. Hence, their lenses have focal lengths of something like 5mm to achieve the same field of view as a DSLR would.
    So it's the LARGE DOF in PnS cameras which is less desirable than the thinner DOF in DSLRs!

    anyway, to the TS. I think you have taken some really good photos with your PnS cam. Keep it up! I like your silhouette picture in your 'scenery' subfolder.
    The DSLR would certainly help in reducing unwanted noise, and also generally capturing a sharper image.
    Budget something like $1100-1200 for a new D60 kit (or equivalent) with the necessary accessories (dry cab, tripod, etc) or a used D80 kit(or equivalent).
    haha.. thanks for the appraisal. that scenery shot was taken in NZ during my army days last time, using ixus 800is. had to say it was good timing.

    think different people got different likings. my personal favourite is "the kiss" shot under Abstract folder. that was one of the photos which inspired me to capture things with more feel and creativity.

    equipment aside, any comments on how to improve my pictures? feel there's always room for improvement no matter what.

    i'll certainly be purchasing an used set as i wana limit my damages in this hobby. haha..which is how this thread came about, asking about the shutter count and stuff.

    i was thinking of getting a used 1000d (trade in my LX3, should I? ), cos it seems that canon lenses can be obtained at cheaper rates compared to nikon systems.. and also heard d40 has a lot of limitations. minimum must get d90, which is totally over my budget.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by twisted illusion View Post
    i dnt use MF on my af cam, i only use MF on my non af cam... but i hv since let my MF cam go le... hee... now with the latest dslr, exposure and af is pretty well taken care of... no need much manual input liao.. keke... i cant photoshop, so i take all my pic in jpg mode... hee...
    talking about jpeg vs raw ( yeah the same old 1 argued to death ) again.. to me there's really little point in using RAW, since there are already in-camera adjustments like NR, barrel distortion to the JPEG. if i were to shoot in RAW, still have to spend a lot of time editing the picture, and sometimes it turns out less desirable than the original jpeg. that's why almost everytime i shoot in jpeg, if not jpeg+raw ( but normally i'll dump the raws after looking at the jpgs )

    a show of hands : who still uses MF on their DSLRs? what's the advantage over it? don't see the point using it..

  14. #14
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    a show of hands : who still uses MF on their DSLRs? what's the advantage over it? don't see the point using it..
    For instance shooting macro, in situations where AF doesn work well, and in certain interesting lenses where there is just no AF function (yet) ..

    Ryan

  15. #15

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    For instance shooting macro, in situations where AF doesn work well, and in certain interesting lenses where there is just no AF function (yet) ..

    Ryan
    Yep, the TS-E and MP-E lenses are the two specialty lens types from Canon that is currently being produced without autofocus.
    5D Mk II | TS-E 17L | 17-40L | 24-105L IS | 35L | 85L | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 100L Macro | 580EX II

  16. #16

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    For instance shooting macro, in situations where AF doesn work well, and in certain interesting lenses where there is just no AF function (yet) ..

    Ryan
    oh okay. that means only when you guys are left with no choice, then use MF right? if not no point using them?

    and yes, just remembered another point that's stopping me from getting a dslr - the ttl viewfinder. i don't like the feel of sticking my face to the camera, and to me it's harder to frame like this. i can see better with "live view" instead.

    what are your opinions on the viewfinder?

    the shutter sound feels good though..

  17. #17

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    oh okay. that means only when you guys are left with no choice, then use MF right? if not no point using them?

    and yes, just remembered another point that's stopping me from getting a dslr - the ttl viewfinder. i don't like the feel of sticking my face to the camera, and to me it's harder to frame like this. i can see better with "live view" instead.

    what are your opinions on the viewfinder?

    the shutter sound feels good though..
    After using view finder for awhile, I find myself not so excited about "live view". Is easier to follow your eye than to follow your hand when comes to frame a picture.

    Anyway, I am still a newbie, but this what I notice.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    hmm.. okay thanks for the input. curious to see more comments!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by savager View Post
    hmm.. okay thanks for the input. curious to see more comments!
    Just to comment further, I am not saying "live view" is not very useful.

    For macro, in some situation, it maybe easier for you to move your hand or your tripod, than to move your body to the object. Another situation I know, if you are traveling and alone, it is easier to ask someone (or anyone) to take a picture of you using live view, if this person is not familiar with taking photo using view finder.

    I won't say is an absolute must to have a "live view", but it has its usefulness.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Durability of DSLRs and lenses.

    yup, for still objects i'll definitely use tripod.. so live view is definitely needed.

    anyway i just found the usefulness of manual focus in reality. tried to take pics of my baby closeup in macro mode ( on my lx3 ) just now, but couldn't get the focus somewhat. it went to the background instead. MF is definitely good in tricky situations.

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