| Friday, November 04, 2005
| PHOTOS FINISHED: FAULTY CHIPS MAKE DIGITIAL CAMERAS USELESS
|Electronics companies are quietly offering to repair more than 80 models of digital cameras, camcorders and hand held computers because of a faulty imaging chip than can render the camera useless.
The chip, which is used to convert light into an electronic signal, is apt to fail in hot and humid environmments, according to the companies. When a chip fails, the camera will show black images or distorted colors in the viewfinder or LCD display and in any print or digital output.
The defective chips was used in an unknown number of cameras, camcorders and hand held computers sold during the past three years by Sony Corp. Canon., Konica Minolta Holdings Inc., Ricoh Co., and Olympus Corp. While Sony said they stopped manufacturing the chip last year, some cameras containing it may still be sitting unsold on dealer's shelves.
The cmpanies are promising to repair products if their chips fail and have postal notices listing models that contain the chip on their Web sites. But because the chip fails only some of the time, none is issuing a broad recall -- and there is nothing consumers can do it they have a model containing the chip but it has'nt failed. The tactic resembles what consumer advocates have dubbed silent recalls in teh auto industry -- fixing the defect only if a customer complaints about it.
The repair offer comes just before the industry's biggest selling season. Digital-camera makers get almost half of t their US$32 billion in annual sales from Christmas gift giving. If handled poorly, the repairs could have a negative impact on camera sales, said Chris Chute, a digital camera analyst at International Data Corp., But with consumer alerts and repair offers coming well before December, there is time to smooth over any hard feelings, he said.
IS YOUR CAMERA MODEL ON THE LIST?
A list of models the camera makers will repair for free if an electronic imaging chip goes bad.
*SONY CD MAVICA*
MODELS: Handheld Computer PEGNZ90/G and PEG-NZ90/H.
MODELS: certain models beginning with CCD-TRV,DCR-DVD,DCR-HC,DCR-IP,DCR-PC,DCRTRV,DCR-VX.
Sony Professional Camcorder models:DSR-250 & DSR-250/P, DSRPD150,DSR-PD150P,DSR-PD170 & DSRPD170P,DSR-PDX10,DSR-PDX10P.
* KONICA MINOLTA *
MODELS: DIMAGE 71 and & 7Hi, DIMAGE A1,DIMAGE Xi,Xt and X20, DIMAGE S414,DIMAGE F300.
* FUJI FILM FINEPIX *
MODELS:A303 with serial numbers beginning with 3JA4 and 3JA5; model F410 with serial numbers beginning with 32A1, 32A6, 32A7 and 32A9; model F700 with serial numbes beginning with 33Ao and 34A1.
* CANNON POWERSHOT *
MODELS: A60,A70,A75,A300,A310, digital IXUS V3, Digital IXUS II, Digital IXUS IIs, Camcorder models MV600i, MV630i,MV700i,MV730i,MV750i,MV51, MV51MC, MV61 MC, ZR60, ZR65 MC, ZR70 MC, ZRB0, ZRB5, ZR90, Elura 40 MC and Elura 50.
* NIKON COOLPIX *
MODELS; SQ, 3100, 5700.
* RICOH CAPLIO *
MODELS: RR30, 300G, G3, G3 Models M and S, ProG3, G4,G4 wide, 400G wide, RX.
* OLYMPUS CAMEDIA *
MODELS: C-5050 ZOOM, C-730 ULTRA ZOOM.
(Source: Wall Street Journal/ Gary McWilliams/CHICSUNTIMES)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 10:57 AM