Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I am pushing close to having covered 1,000 assignments this year and I have been wondering who would wear out first, my camera or me. Today halfway through a ride-along with San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department my camera let me know it had enough. At just 140 frames into the assignment I had what is best described as blowout with my camera.

It was back in may of 2007 when I had my first shutter malfunction with a Canon 1D Mk II. The shutters are rated for 250,000 cycles (exposures) and with the dreaded ER 99 message I was relegated to a backup camera. Today without any warning or error message I noticed a strange highlight creeping across my picture frame.

I shot some test frames of anything and saw an unusual shadow. That feeling of dread spread over as I pooped the lens off set the camera on the “bulb” setting to take a look at the shutter. Hanging in the middle across the sensor as a lone shutter blade, not a good sign. In technical terms the camera is hosed and will head off to a Canon repair facility some time in the future. Back at the office I exchanged my new paperweight for the spare canon body and went off to my next three sporting events.

I did the math and it seems I made it to nearly 1,500 assignments before the shutter snapped again. I am heavy on the motor drive so figuring a couple hundred or so exposures per assignment and I might have been pushing the 250,000 limit on the shutter. There is nothing worse than a blowout on assignment. Hopefully I will get it repaired soon and be back in action. Then it will be back to who last longer, the camera or me. My money is one the camera.


JonnoB said...

If it turns out the camera is unfixable, maybe you could spring for that new one you blogged about a while back?

Mike McLellan, D. Min. said...

I particularly like the one at the bottom of the current blog. Black and white, nice use of shadow. I can feel the angst.