Unrepairable Nikon D7000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by cyrus_procter, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Hello,
    So I have a Nikon D7000. It was in a Nikon soft camera case (large one) and a car backed over it. The camera itself is still in pretty good condition, but one side has clearly been "compressed". Even from the worst angle if I took a quickly glance I wouldn't even notice it was broken. The damage was sustained directly over the battery compartment, and the camera will not power on, although its like new, in excellent condition (non-damaged areas). So I sent it into Nikon Inc, and they gave me a quote, $200 to repair it. I approved it, they charged my card. I received it back this morning very excited that it would be repaired, sadly, when I opened it up, I discovered the camera in the condition I sent it along with a note from Nikon saying the camera was "Unrepairable" and that I had not been billed. I was kind of shocked to discover Nikon could not repair their own camera. I was wondering if anyone else had this experience and if there is a place that would repair it. Like I said the camera is like new, in excellent condition (its was less than 3 weeks old when it got damaged, less than 500 shutter count), even if it cost me $600 to get it repaired, it would be much better than having to replace it.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advanced!
    Skyler
     
  2. You may want to contact Precision Camera in Enfield, CT - they are an Nikon authorized repair center. Maybe they are more willing to risk a repair - then again - not many things that have been "run over' by a car tend to work...do you have insurance....
     
  3. I doubt that Nikon can't repair the camera. their reasoning behind the "unrepairable" is pretty simple - this endeavour would cost more than/similar to a new camera (and you surely wouldn't pay that amount for repair), hence - economically unfeasible, i.e. not worth the effort, etc. However, a third-party repair shop might do that - not because they are better qualified than Nikon tech, but because they have the time and motivation to play around with the thing.
    my friend dropped his 14-24mm Nikkor... Nikon said it was unrepairable, the local tech "fixed" it for ~250USD. No, it doesn't work 'like new', the zoom is pretty stiff, etc - but it is still better than keeping such an expensive lens as a paperweight
     
  4. Well, if the body shape is compromised, very likely the whole camera would have to be taken apart and most parts replaced. So it's much cheaper to just buy a new camera.
     
  5. In aviation we have a term for this - BER which stands for Beyond Economic Repair
     
  6. If Nikon can't repair a camera or lens to factory specs they will always return the camera unrepaired.
    This happened to me years ago with an F2 that to this day still works fine for me when it is used with a motor drive. It happened more recently when they didn't have parts any longer for the older lenses.
    Like others mention, someone else might be able to fix your new compact version. Or likely not.
     
  7. Thanks guys. It sounds like Nikon has a max price point, $200. If they can't fix it for $200, they don't fix it. Thing of it is, if it cost me twice that, at $400, it will be a whole lot better than paying $1200 (at the moment $1300+) for a new one. I'll do some checking around.
    If anyone can recommend a good camera repair facility, I would like to hear about it (Thanks Rich, checking into Precision)
     
  8. What Ilkka said.
    In a case like this, I really do doubt whether a metal body is an advantage. It bends. If it bends inwards, it will snap electronic boards inside at a given moment, while the outside may still look perfectly OK. And it's pretty crowded inside a camera. Shattered plastic would be far more obviously damaged, but also in fact might still ensure the inside is intact (Though, probably not when running a car over the camera).
    There's no perfect material obviously.
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The fact that this particular D7000 is 3 weeks old with fewer than 500 actuations are totally irrelevant factors. You can pick a fresh D7000 straight out of the assembly line, and if you run it over with a car, you can still damage it beyond repair.
    Of course Nikon could ask a repair person in the US to swap out most of the parts on that D7000 to repair it, but labor cost in the US is much higher than that in Thailand and you are essentially asking someone to tailor make a D7000 for you, in the US. It simply wouldn't make much sense to spend say $2000 to repair a D7000 that costs $1200 or even $1300. When Nikon tells you that they cannot repair it, economically, I wouldn't waste any more money trying to get it fixed. I am sure they would have been happy to charge you say $800 to fix it if they could.
    But if you want to check with someone for a second opinion, try Authorized Photo Service in the Chicago area: http://nikoncamerarepair.com/
     
  10. The perfect material is what the replacement value insurance policy is written on. Don't fault Nikon. Being run over by a car is almost certainly fatal for cameras.
    I'll tell you an incredible story. I had a disposable camera that was part of a project, and bought a twin to it sans film from the local lab. I was going to do a gag picture of it squashed under my Audi, so I put the dummy on the ground and gently drove so that a front tire was directly on/over it, the car tilting. It held. Nothing broke!
     
  11. although its like new, in excellent condition (non-damaged areas).​
    Those two statements are mutually exclusive. When you run over it is NOT like new, it is like SERIOUSLY DAMAGED. You can pay $20,000 and drive a brand new car off the lot have a truck hit it and if nobody will repair it even if you pay them $19,999 what do you do? Buy a new car or new camera.
    Actually if you give me $2000 I will repair your camera. Secretly I will just buy you a new one and pocket the difference in cash but you seem to really want your camera repaired rather than buying a new one so I thought I would offer.
     
  12. It's not the price that Nikon caps the repair at, but the work needed. My Nikon D200 underwent a Class B2 - Minor parts replaced for $250 last summer. Class C repair is major parts replaced, and is probably upwards of $500 on a D7000. If they look at the camera and decide that 90% of the camera needs to be replaced, from the body itself to the sensor, to most of the circuit boards, then they won't fix it. I don't know why they quoted you $200 for a crushed camera, as that is probably a B1 repair, which indicates a general adjustment and cleaning. Maybe some lazy tech didn't actually look at the camera and assumed it was a standard, "My D7000 isn't taking good pictures" nonsense repair (i.e. someone that bought a camera that was too much for them, and there was an issue with the camera being "defective," which was actually just someone that doesn't understand how the camera works. I am sure they're getting a bunch of those right now).
    Here's a decent post about how it works.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=10746644
     
  13. If you bought it using a credit card, then have a look wether its insured... , if so just use the camera as an expensive paper weight , and get a new one on the insurance...
     
  14. If it was run over by a car, then there is a 99% probability that the metal chassis has been distorted, even if you can't see evidence from the outside. If that's the case, it is simply not economically to repair. It would require a rebuild from the ground (chassis) up. A DSLR is a precise optical instrument that requires tight tolerances and very precise alignments to deliver sharp images. If the very foundation of the camera is damaged and misaligned, it makes no sense to attempt a repair as the cost of parts and labour would approach or exceed the cost of a brand new unit. Just as a uni-body car is often written off after what appears to be only a minor collision, this one too is also sadly toast. :(
     
  15. A bit off-topic, but I have to ask...how did your camera get run over by a car? It was obviously not hanging around your
    neck:)
     
  16. Insurance? Your homeowner's all risk policy might cover this loss with deductible.
     
  17. I dropped and smashed my D7000 and had the entire top piece replaced, it came in at $226 with tax, before I sent it off I emailed them to get a rough price with a picture of the damage. I'm sorry to hear this Skylar i know how you feel.
     
  18. Thanks for all the input. However the camera was not mine, I picked it up cheap for the accessories (battery, charger) and figured I would give a shot at having it repaired.


    While I understand that it may not be repairable what gets me is how could Nikon quote $200 and go from $200 to unrepairable. I mean if it had went from $800 to unrepairable, that makes more sense. I know, I'm rationalizing about something I have no clue about. I'll get a second opinion from several other repair shops just to cover my bases, not expecting anything though.
    The fact that this particular D7000 is 3 weeks old with fewer than 500 actuations are totally irrelevant factors.​
    They are relevant factors because if the camera was beat up, the LCD was all scratched up, it had 200,000 shutter count, and the cost of repair was $1000, then it wouldn't make sense at all now would it? Just go buy a new one. However if the camera is brand spanking new off the assembly line, damaged and it costs $1000 to fix it, to return it to brand new state, then that's $200 (or at the very moment $300) less than a brand new one.
     
  19. Last summer my SB-800 flash fell out of my pocket and got run over by an Oliver Row Crop 66 at an antique tractor show. It looked pretty smooshed. I sent it in to Nikon, and they sent it back saying it too was unrepairable. I found a used SB-900 on e Bay for $350. I keep it in its pouch, fastened to my belt. I've learned my lesson.
    Kent in SD
     
  20. I have appox. $25k worth of equipment and the insurance cost for repair or replacement value no deductible costs me $90.00 a year. Bodies, glass, lighting and filters. You might want to think about it. Pretty cheap considering.
     
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Skyler, as Michael Freeman points out, when a camera is rolled over by a car, the chance is that the frame is deformed. The shutter is such a delicate part that it will need a new shutter anyway. Therefore, whether the original shutter has 0, 500, or 150K actuations makes no real difference. In fact, it will require so many new parts that the original, pre accident condition makes little difference.
    Personally, I wouldn't bother to fix a D7000 if the repair cost is as high as $800. I don't believe that a camera that requires such an extensive repair will ever be as good as new. In the US auto insurance industry, if a car is damaged in an accident such that the repair cost is over 80% of the value of the (undamaged) car, they'll consider it a total loss beyond repair.
    I hate to say this, but IMO any further attempts to get more repair opinions will only be more waste of money for shipping cost or driving cost as well as your time. I just hope that you didn't spend a whole lot to pick up someone else's damaged camera.
     
  22. The body has been "compressed" around the battery compartment plus it won't power up. Replacing the chassis if it's crushed and whatever broken electronics inside it, see pictures here:
    http://mansurovs.com/nikon-d7000-review
    is a wee bit expensive.
     
  23. You can sell it on ebay as a spare parts camera. Or if you're handy, disassemble the top and back LCD and other parts that are 100% OK and sell those.
     
  24. Before you do anything else, run the camera past an independent repairman. His charges will be lower and indies will usually at least consider things like straightening a bent chassis instead of fitting a new one. In general, it is not at all mysterious that a camera is pronounced unrepairable - most repairpeople will flatly refuse to give any estimate before they see the camera in question.
     
  25. David, I am sorry but Shun is correct. Bending a chassis back comes with a whole host of other issues. First, you have to make sure the lens mount is completely parallel, and still directly in front of the sensor plane. Plus, you have to make sure that all of the compartments such as the battery compartment, the flash area, the areas that house the top and rear LCDs, etc. are all true. This is impossible for a camera repairman to feasibly do. You could strip the body down, build a large skeleton system around it, and put it on a chassis bender for a motorcycle, but it would be cheaper to just buy a new chassis. Then, the shutter, despite it being a low shutter count, is probably crushed or broken by the bending of the chassis, along with whatever damage came to the sensor. So, replace those as well. No way are the LCDs and the circuit boards not cracked, so replace those as well. The flash is probably gone, so let's get rid of that one too. What mechanical and electrical parts do you still assume are not destroyed inside the camera? By now, you've already replaced at least 80% of the D7000, plus the labor costs. As mentioned already, there is no way that it will cost less than $2,000 to fix this $1,300 camera, so why even try? The OP took a gamble on a crushed camera and lost out. Chalk it up as a lesson and move on. Pete's idea is the best one; he might as well see if a local repair shop will buy the camera from him for parts, or sell it on eBay as such. What little of it still functions can go to band-aid a mildly hurt D7000, but the OP's camera won't make another photo.
     
  26. The ideal solution for such situations would be that Nikon, Canon, any camera manufacturer for that matter, offer an exchange for a fixed amount for a refurbished model. A $400-500 fee along with the damaged camera, in exchange for a refurb would be fair in lieu of attempting a repair.
     
  27. Skyler,
    I can't get over you saying it's in "excellent condition", when Nikon is saying it's "Unrepairable". You crushed it with your car. It's not in excellent condition. It's dead!
    I'm sorry, but I rarely feel sorry for people that do not take care of their stuff. Were bad guys chasing you and the camera fell out and you ran over it or some crazy scenario? Probably not...
    Your best bet is to take it to some local repair shop (there are plenty of talented techs out there) that could possibly fix it; I doubt it would be for $200, but you never know.
    You should be a little more mindful of your sh*t and not run it over. Lesson learned the hard way.
     
  28. [[The ideal solution for such situations would be that Nikon, Canon, any camera manufacturer for that matter, offer an exchange for a fixed amount for a refurbished model. A $400-500 fee along with the damaged camera, in exchange for a refurb would be fair in lieu of attempting a repair.]]
    Canon already has this. It's call the Canon Loyalty Program. You send them any broken Canon camera and they give you a good deal on a refurbished one of your choice. Example: Refurbished 7D from the Canon Store is currently $1359. By using the Loyalty Program you can get a Refurbished 7D for $1087. Refurb 60D currently $800, becomes $640 with the Loyalty Program.
     
  29. Sridip, if you had read the post you would know its not my camera....I just picked it up cheap for the accessories and thought I might have a shot at getting it repaired. I've owned countless high end video cameras, DSLRs and other expensive photo\video equipment that I have taken everywhere from Tibet to Venice. I am professional and my own gear is very well taken care of. The only time I've ever had to send in a product for repair that was directly my fault was shooting in the desert, a dust protector broke and I had to get the shot, but the client paid for the internal\external cleaning bill.
     
  30. You only mention it wasn't your camera when it was damaged in your third post, not your first one.
    Odds are who ever gave you the initial $200 quote didn't notice the deformed body either.
    Sort of like, my car won't start, looks like the battery is dead. When the reason is the engine is almost seized from running out of oil, and the started motor can barely turn it over. One is a $200 repair including the tow, the other is a $5,000 engine rebuild or replacement.
     
  31. I think it is simple. You run it over with a car, it's rooted
     
  32. The question I have after reading this story is, I think, the same question the OP must have had:
    What is the value of a repair estimate, charged to his credit card no less, that was clearly so wrong that one must wonder if anyone really looked at the camera in any serious way prior to charging for a repair that could not be done.
     
  33. Well, as the saying goes, "that sucks". However, modern cameras are not very good as wheel chucks. As others have already pointed out, a myriad of problems can result from such a traumatic event. If you had a laptop run over by a car, it would be about the same. It doesn't matter how "new" it is. If you drove a new car off the lot and it gets totaled (like the camera) -- it ain't "like new."
    So, suck it up, and get another one, and never, ever, leave a camera where it can be run over by a car. Around your neck or in a bag around your shoulder are the places for it.
     
  34. Initial estimates are just that. Not too much stock should be put in them. They are based on a relatively cursory inspection.
    I at one time worked in the auto body business.
    I have seen cars that had relatively little external damage get totalled because of hidden damage which only showed after inspection. Sometimes after repairs had begun, usually at the stage where dismantling in preparation for repair had begun, the extent of actual damage made itself apparent, and a new estimate had to be prepared. That usually meant a large increase in repair cost, as hidden damage is often structural. It often resulted in a repair being revised into a total by the insurance company.
    So it's not surprising to me that a low initial estimate can end up being revised dramatically upon actual inspection by the repair person.
     
  35. I think that people hear "run over" and think OMG, this idiot put his camera on the Indie 500 track and picked up 1000 pieces.

    To give you an idea, the camera had the kit 18-105 lens on, which as many of you know is plastic mount, the lens was entirely unharmed, and functions perfectly. Matter of fact on close inspection, it does not appear that the camera was completely run over, but just that the driver felt resistance and backed off the camera. I do think it appears that the metal frame is warped slightly, and it was cited by Nikon as the sole cause for being "unrepairable". I am no expert, I think the photos below from a novices point of view, show zero damage to the shutter box, lens mount, LCDs, flash, etc. (I intentionally put the flash up to illustrate there is no damage too it, but it does close and remain closed just fine, with zero signs of any kind of pressure being on it). Given that Nikon listed the parts necessary for repair and that no mention of the shutter, LCDs, flash, and\or sensor is listed, I find this to be very good evidence that these observations are accurate.
    A friend once had a Nikon camera fried, so just for fun we tore into it and completely disassembled the entire camera, (it was a DSLR-modeled point and shoot). Striped it of every electronic board, lens everything. I'm keenly aware that a huge amount of pressure from a large object could easily be felt internally on the other side of the camera, and that everything is really crammed in there, but I really don't see that many repair parts listed on Nikon's invoice. The primary part is the metal frame, which presumably is "bent\warped". While I listened carefully and respect everyone's opinion, I think its worth a second shot and a nominal shipping cost for one final evaluation. If it's still unrepairable, perhaps I'll talk the repair company into buying the camera from me for parts :).
    Thanks again Rich for recommending Precision Camera. They offered me a free evaluation, and they seem to be a very reputable company. I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
    00Zx8k-438381584.jpg
     
  36. And the rear
    00Zx8n-438381684.jpg
     
  37. @ Jeff Livacich
    I agree that initial estimates can and do get revised. I just wonder how often you revised an auto repair estimate after the customer agreed to and paid for the repairs.
    If Nikon feels that they need customer approval and payment in advance of performing repairs, it seems to me that they should be "looking under the hood" a bit more carefully before they charge someone for the service.
    As Ariel's link shows, these repair charges are grouped into catagories - they are not specific to the actual repairs being made (unlike your auto repair example). In the OP's case, the repair was more expensive, so Nikon gives the money back. I bet I know what happens when the repair is less.
    This is one example of why Nikon repair and customer service enjoys a relatively poor reputation.
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A couple of years ago I took my 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1 to Nikon El Segundo (Los Angeles) for repair. It was mounted on my D700 on a tripod but a gust of wind blew it over, and the lens hit hard rock. For two months I thought everything was working fine, until I tried manual focus and the focus ring was very stiff.
    Since I was there in person, the clerk took a look at the lens and told me that they needed to replace the helicoid. Minimum repair cost was $450, but if they opened it up and found more serious damages, it would be $550 or more. Because it was face to face, everything was very clear and I declined repair on the spot. That lens is working perfectly fine as long as I use AF, which is what I use almost 100% of the time anyway. Later on that year, I bought version 2 of that lens and to this day, I still own both. I considered that I had applied the repair cost towards a better lens.
    When you ship something to Nikon for repair, there will always be a return shipping cost regardless there is actual repair or not. (Roughly $15 or so in the US.) It makes sense that Nikon verifies that your credit card is valid.
     
  39. However the camera was not mine, I picked it up cheap for the accessories (battery, charger) and figured I would give a shot at having it repaired.​
    It might just be me but this leads me to suspect the original owner may have indicated Nikon would charge ~$200 to fix it and so you bought the camera thinking it a great deal.
    Enough people here have tried to explain the logic behind Nikon's refusal but you're unwilling to realize that a camera RUN OVER BY A CAR can be damaged enough to be rendered useless, despite whatever visual flaws exist in your crime scene photos.
    You need to let this one go and put your energy and tenacity back into photography.
     
  40. If the metallic frame is bent, as it seems, chances are the sensor is off alignment. From a non-initiated point of view, it seems fixing that camera possibly involves dismounting the whole camera, replacing the Mg-alloy frame (possibly cheapper than rebending it into position), mounting the electronics and then check for the optical alignment.
    Can it be done? Yes. What would be the cost of that? I dunno, $700 if nothing else is broken? Also, you wouldn't have the certainty that the camera performed as new after such an expensive repair.
     
  41. Disregarding all the above reasons to either repair or junk the camera, if it were me even if the camera was repaired I don't think I would ever trust it again to perform as new. And if you can't trust your camera, what good is it?
     
  42. Dan, the original owners were a rich couple who could care less, they went right out and bought a new one, and basically wanted to give this one away. Thanks for the advice. Thankfully I have plenty of time to put my energy and tenacity in photography and see if I cannot produce a usable camera out this too :).
    Shun, and if your 70-200 had both AF & MF damaged in the fall making it an effective paper weight and nothing more, would you have attempted the repair then?
     
  43. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, and if your 70-200 had both AF & MF damaged in the fall making it an effective paper weight and nothing more, would you have attempted the repair then?​
    Skyler, that is a completely hypothetical question. If my 70-200 were damaged to an extend such that it is completely non functional, and the repair cost is like 70% of the replacement cost (buying another used one in similar, pre-damage condition, not buying a brand new one) or higher, I would much rather bite the bullet and buy another undamaged lens. As I wrote earlier:
    Personally, I wouldn't bother to fix a D7000 if the repair cost is as high as $800. I don't believe that a camera that requires such an extensive repair will ever be as good as new.​
    Essentially Miguel Martinez, Ted Raper, and I are saying the same thing: when a product requires such an extensive repair, I don't believe it will ever be return to excellent condition. That is especially true for cars. When a car is seriously damaged in an accident and then repaired, the structure might not be completely sound any more and it could really be dangerous should it get into another subsequent accident. For cameras, at least you don't need to worry about safety, but I would never trust that camera any more.
     
  44. Of course its a completely hypothetical question Shun, everything we have discussed on this forum concerning the broken camera has been hypothetical, has it not? I've weighted everything everyone has to say, I find that $10 for a second opinion is a reasonable investment. I accept the fact that it may not be 100% functional. I am encouraged, though, that after suffering major damage, that your lens still works excellent, so much so that you still use it to this very day. Obviously you trust it, or you wouldn't still own it, so there is hope that lenses\cameras that sustain major damage can indeed still function properly, in your case, even without repair.
     
  45. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Skyler, unfortunately, you made the wrong assumption. I wouldn't consider my 70-200 suffered "major damage." In fact, as far as I am concerned, there was no damage since I don't care about manual focus at all on that particular lens. It took me 2 months before I had manually focus it and then I realized the problem.
    By then version 2 of the 70-200mm/f2.8 was introduced and I tested a sample and was really impressed. So rather spending $500 to fix the early version, I bought the 2nd version and have never used the old 70-200 again in over a year. However, since I do a fair amount of camera and lens testing, I thought that I might as well hold onto the old lens for comparison purposes. If I need to sell it some day, I'll make a full disclosure to the buyer. If someone else also doesn't care about manual focus, they can benefit from buying my lens and save a couple hundred dollars. I think that really beats paying $500 for a fix that is not really necessary.
     
  46. If you get a new camera to replace this, immediately buy a rider insurance policy on your camera equipment. It is only about $ 1 for every $ 100 of value covered. Are you sure that the auto policy will not cover this accident.
    DaveO
     
  47. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you get a new camera to replace this, immediately buy a rider insurance policy on your camera equipment. It is only about $ 1 for every $ 100 of value covered. Are you sure that the auto policy will not cover this accident.​
    According to the OP, the damaged D7000 was someone else's camera and was damaged by its original owner. The OP on purpose bought a damaged camera apparently at a very low price in an attempt to benefit from that. I don't think any insurance he may have would cover this situation, ever.
     
  48. Having insurance for the new (replacement) camera isn't an issue and is a good idea. Even if the original owner's insurance of some sort covered this, you'd still have the issue of deductibles and the fact that upon appraisal, it was "totaled." The company would write a check for whatever amount might be appropriate under the terms of the policy and not get into trying to repair it instead. I suppose someone could try to pay a repair facility to repair it but it seems likely to be a money sink. Lots of people repair/restore items for fun or hobbies that wouldn't otherwise be economical to fix. I suppose you could let the facility off the hook for it actually functioning correctly after they get finished and pay as long/as much as you want.
     
  49. Exactly what happened with me now!I I send my D7000 to Nikon Mellsville NY, it was charged,I paid with my credict card 300 dls and after weeks waiting for it , I received a letter from Nikon saying,beyond repair... and nothing worked after a complain only a refund of the money I paid...Shame on Nikon!
     

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