Does the Digital SLR "wear-out"?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by kristinpia, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. I recently bought a new Canon 40D, and before I go off rapid shooting I have a concern... Does the camera ever wear-out from taking pictures over time? For example, do digital cameras have a certain amount of photos that they can take and then the quality diminishes? Is this true for memory cards as well? Also, does the rapid shooting hurt the camera? Especially when the red light is on processing one picture, and I take another one right after? Please help me as I am new at this and I love my 40D and want to keep it in good condition! ~K
  2. The mechanical systems (shutter, etc.) are subject to wear over time and can eventually wear out. The quality of the images should not diminish over time - e.g. the sensor isn't going to wear out. There is no problem with taking a photo while the previous one is being written to the card. Dan
  3. As with any mechanical devise it can and will wear out. The mirror and shutter in this case are the most likely followed by the buttons and switches. This is not unique to digtal, any camera film or not is subject to wear. The quality of the photo should not suffer just due to wear but sensors and the electronics that support it can also fail causeing all types of image problems. But it will be clear when that is happening. No about your fear of wearing out your camera....the 40D is rated at 100,000 shutter cycles. That is a heck of a lot of photos and unless you are a pro taking 100s or 1000s of photos everyday, you will get tired of the camera and ready for a new before it "wears out". BTW, shutter cycles is how folks rate a camera. Many high end models have shutter counters to show the total cycles over the life of the camera. It like Miles on a car or Hours on a Heavy and Farm Machinery. Jason
  4. The batteries will wear out after a while, and you will need to get new ones. But that probably wont happen for about 2 or 3 years. I expect that after taking an extremely large # of pictures, that the shutter mechanism would wear out. Memory cards do not "wear out" in the classic sense of the word. But they do have electronic cells that can experience "hardware failure" due to any number of causes. In that case, the FORMAT operation will fail, and that indicates a hardware failure. In that case, just toss the card, and reload a new one. Modern CPU Auto-focusing lenses have minature motors inside them, which provide the hi-speed focusing. Its conceivable that these motors could wear out from lots of AF use. But probably not anytime soon. Probably not for a long time.
  5. Forgot to answer the memory card question. All flash memory also "wears out". It comes down to how many times it is writen too, cleared and writen again. The number of times depends on the quality of the card, but they all have a life cycle. I have no idea how many cycle they are rated for, most of I have read is about thumb drives, but they use the same technology. bottom line is....go ahead and shoot like crazy all you want, that is what the camera was made for and what you pay for! Enjoy, Jason
  6. A common failure is that the unit takes a tumble or bump and the cost of repairs exceeds buying another used unit. Or the unit gets some water damage or a few buttons get wonky. In some old P&S digital units that are real old I have on drains the replaceable AA batterys like mad; like a capacitor now has alot of leakage. With another unit the screen works; but I cannot erase the card or images from the camera anymore.
  7. The less you use it, the longer it will last. In terms of cost, every time you press the shutter you should put aside 1/4 cent to pay for the replacement when it fails.
  8. "The quality of the images should not diminish over time - e.g. the sensor isn't going to wear out. " Sensors can wear out. I have had this happen in a P&S and I know of someone else that it has happened to. When the failure occurs deterioration is rapid. In my experience the camera was working fine for several years with no deteriotion in image quality. When it failed it took about 10 shots where the images increasingly looked like mush before total failure occured. The failure was due to a manufacturing defect that cause part of the sensor to corrode. The bottom line is that dust, corrosion, heat, etc can cause electronics to wear out, though normally they wrok fine up until or near the point of total failure. I have also had a memory card fail and bought one that didn't work to start with (which was replaced by the vendor).
  9. Everything can wear out in time even the so call solid state electronic device. They typically wear out by many ways include tiny mechanical fatigue in those micro connections (from thermal expansion). Those circuit can also break open by microscopic electron migration. Flash cards (memory) also has a built-in re-write-able limits. Some 10 thousand times and some much longer. There is also electrical vesrion of run-over-by-a-bus type accident in the quatum mechnical world (ie: static discharge, glitch induced latch up and etc). IMHO, new DSLR last a lot shorter than a properly maintain old mechnical film camera.
  10. "The failure was due to a manufacturing defect that cause part of the sensor to corrode." Right. That was not in the nature of the sensor. It was - as you point out - a MANUFACTURING DEFECT. A non-defective sensor won't have this problem. I guess that when you come down to it _everything_ "wears out" eventually - entropy is just SO hard to defeat... Dan
  11. Yes they wear out, but you should get several years ~5-6 of moderate use from it.
  12. I've seen a lot of point-and-shoot sensors experience some wear over time. Increasing amounts of noise began appearing on my images, sometimes pixels would die and produce either black or red splotches on my pictures.

    I haven't had a DSLR sensor fail like this, though. From my experience (as a camera salesman), if it occurs in a DSLR, it occurs straight out of the box. And if it should happen to you, take it back to where you bought it, exchange it for another one, and you're good to go.
    A) DSLR sensors are not easier to manufacture than P&S sensors, but they ARE easier to manufacture precisely. So DSLR sensors are a good deal more robust.
    B) Ever burn ants with a microscope? Sensors are basically the ants, and the lens is the microscope. Since, for live preview on P&S cameras to work, the shutter has to stay open and continuously expose the sensor to hot light for extended amounts of time, this decreases the lifespan DRASTICALLY. The lens bakes the sensor under pinpointed light. However, on DSLRs, the sensor spends a VAST majority of its life protected from light by the shutter (unless you have a newer one with live preview, and rely on it to take your shot). The truth is exposing your sensor to harsh light for extended periods of time does damage it. And over time, you'll begin seeing the effects of it. But on a DSLR, the sensor very rarely is exposed to the same kind of conditions as that in a P&S.

    As far as the lifespan of shutters go, they, for the most part, have become very reliable. 40D's shutter is rated for 100,000 actuations, the D300's is rated for 150,000, the D3's is rated for 300,000. After that many pictures, odds are it's time to upgrade anyway.

    Taking pictures while more are being written to the card doesn't impact anything. Because the images don't go straight to the card. Once the picture is taken, it's then stored on the camera's on-board buffer, and then written to the card. So while you're burst shooting, the buffer is filling up, while it's copying the previous pictures to the memory card. That's why cameras are rated for rates like 6fps for 70 images or so. You can shoot at 6fps, but once you get to that 70th picture, the buffer is full, and needs time to copy pictures to the card before it can continue.

    And the memory card's age or wear won't change the quality of the written image. They don't really "wear" in the general sense; they either work, or they stop working. No real transition. But if you get a good, reliable brand, format the card regularly as opposed to deleting individual images, and don't put it in any extreme climates, you'll get at least years out of a single card.

    But the good ol' days of the tank-like film SLRs are over. Cameras today have more in common with computers than they do with their film counterparts. But that's a good thing to keep it mind. If you dropped your computer from a couple feet, it's toast. Your camera may be a little more robust, but not much. DSLRs these days do require a good deal of babying.
  13. As the xxD line has progressed, the number of actuations of the shutter that the device is designed for has gone up. That is one reason for buying a xxD as opposed to the Xxx/xxxD bodies. In general, the more costly the body, the more use it is designed to take before wearing out. The weak points of these things, just as it is for coffee makers and other electric gear, is that the switches often go before the other parts do. Most of this stuff will last for long enough that by the time it fails, the camera will have been obsolete for a long time.
  14. thank you all for the help!
  15. The best thing to happen is to have it wear out; perfect reason for an upgrade!

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