Denise Goldberg's blog

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Camera misbehavior

Let's see, I'm heading to Death Valley in a couple of days to hike, to absorb the landscape, to capture images.

And yikes! Sunday I grabbed my camera and headed out for a walk. Luckily I attempted to take my first photo not too far from my front door because that attempt came with a very unpleasant surprise. My camera, used just 2 weeks prior - cared for (and not dropped or mistreated) - chose to be in a permanent state of misbehavior. I pressed the shutter. I heard the sound of the mirror flipping up, then nothing. The shutter was locked down. No photo. No apparent way to release the shutter. Hmmm...

I finally discovered that I could re-enable the shutter by removing and replacing the battery plus turning the camera off and back on again. The battery flip alone didn't "fix" it, and turning the camera off and on alone didn't "fix" it either. It was Sunday, so no one was home at Canon technical support.


I convinced myself that I would be OK on vacation with G9 and my S90. But then I thought about the sand dunes, and sunrises, and I knew I wanted an SLR that would play well with my graduated ND filters. I started looking. But oh! it was still Sunday; serious looking would need to wait until Monday.

Monday morning I called Canon technical support, still hoping that they would tell me I had inadvertently selected a setting that would lock the shutter. Nope. It's time to send my 40D in for service. It's now on the way to Canon's factory service center in New Jersey. Fingers crossed that what is needed is a reasonable price. Assuming that I go ahead with the repair, I was given a 5 to 7 day turnaround. That's not too bad, other than the fact that I really planned to use the camera this week.

My other task for Monday was to see if I could rent a camera body. The rental company I've heard the most about is in California, and isn't open on Mondays. So the best I could do with them was to call on Tuesday and hope that they could overnight a body to me that day. Given that I'm leaving on Thursday, I didn't think that would work. I popped over to the Where to Rent? thread in the Digital Grin forum and found that there were two companies listed in the first post of that thread. One was the California company that I knew about. The second was Glass and Gear - which luckily for me is located in New Hampshire.

Wonder of wonders, Glass and Gear had a Canon 40D available for rent. While they do ship (rental) cameras, they also offer the option to pick up the rental camera at Hunt's Photo in Manchester, NH. I was hoping to pick up the camera tomorrow, but a forecast of a snowy day makes me think that it makes more sense to leave a bit early and pick it up as I head to the airport on Thursday. (Yes, I know, that makes more sense than making an extra trip to Manchester anyway. But somehow having it in my possession when I get ready for the trip feels more comfortable to me. It's just a Denise idiosyncracy.)

My camera is on it's way to be fixed.

A substitute camera should keep me photo-happy as I wander in just a few days.