My Camera Goes To The Hospital

I’ve written, on more than one occasion, about my camera and the obsession I have for taking pictures. I’ve taken over 6,000 since getting my Fujifilm Finepix S602Z. In fact, Sunday is the first anniversary of its purchase. Which brings us to today’s little quandry and journey.

Sometime in the last month, my camera developed a very small problem. One pixel, the smallest photo element it resolves, became stuck in the on mode. So, in every picture, there is one miniscule red spot. If I didn’t tell you about, you would never see it within a picture. Since I post process nearly every picture in Photoshop anyway, it was easy to work around. Still, once I noticed it, it was tough to dismiss.

I discovered the problem is February, and since the camera has a one year warranty, I wasn’t too worried. That is, until I couldn’t find my receipt.

I called Bangalore, India (I didn’t know that’s where I was calling at the time) to speak to Circuit City’s support folks. About 10 days later the receipt appeared in the mail, having been mailed from an office in the states.

I wanted the camera for my Chicago trip. Unfortunately, after I returned, I forgot all about the camera’s illness. Yesterday Helaine asked when I was sending it in, and I got a box to prepare it for shipping today.

When I went to finish the project I noticed the one year anniversary of the purchase is Sunday. I couldn’t get it to the repair depot before Monday! A quick phone call verified my concern… If it wasn’t in today, forget the warranty.

So, early this afternoon, I hopped in the car and drove to Enfield. Connecticut is a very small state, but I live in the far south and Enfield is all the way north – over 60 miles in each direction.

I found Precision Camera Repair without too much trouble (only one wrong turn). It is in a low slung building in an office park, across from Enrico Fermi High School. I parked at the end of the lot and walked past one glass door with an arrow pointing to another glass door. Looking inside the first, I saw men, sitting at work benches, working on cameras. Curled tubes on each bench probably supplied compressed air. This is demanding work where dust… and bad eyesight, aren’t very helpful.

Once inside the lobby, I looked into an office with four women sitting in separate cubicles. The cubicles met at a center point – sort of like the spot where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. A young woman in the back section saw me and stood up to walk my way. She was pretty, and was made more so by the fact that she was wearing a formal dress… as if she were going to some nighttime affair.

It would later turn out that she worked a second job, as a deejay. She was at job number one, but dressed for job number two.

She took my camera, typed a few pertinent notes into a computer, and gave me receipt. She said they’d mail it back to me.

Meanwhile, for the next 15-20 business days (why can’t they just say 3-4 weeks?) I will be without my camera. I still have an older Casio QV-2000UX – but it’s just not the same.

There is a way to check the status of my repair, using their toll free number. Like a sick friend in the hospital, I will call to see how my camera is doing.

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