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Old May 23, 2012, 3:16 PM   #7
JimC
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
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Most of the time, I've done it the other way around (early adopter of cameras I've bought).

For example, I can remember buying an Epson 3000Z just as it was introduced. I did the same thing with Nikon Coolpix 990. Interestingly, that model had the same kind of supply issues as the Nikon models we're discussing, as demand was very high when it was introduced, and it was very hard to find one. You'd find them used on Ebay months after their introduction for more than the retail price of them at the time, because dealers couldn't keep up with demand. lol

I did the same thing with a little Konica Minolta KD-510Z I bought, going with a Japanese camera from an Ebay Seller, because it was available earlier than the Minolta G500 (identical camera), despite the potential problems with going gray market.

I was also an early adopter of a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (that I still have), and I still use what appears to be the 108th Sony A700 off the line in the first production run for the U.S. market, getting my hands on one in September 2007. lol

There's a very good chance that I'll be an early adopter of the next full frame model Sony releases as an A850/A900 replacement, too.

Another way to look at it is that cameras in that first production run are probably going to be inspected closer for issues. For example, My Sony A700 has not had any problems at all. Of course, I have updated it's firmware as it's come out. But, I did that for feature enhancements versus bug fixes.

But, the opposite can occur, as sometimes first production runs do have issues that are not discovered until later that may require a trip back to the manufacturer. Look at the Nikon D70 as one example of that, where it ended up having some electrical issues causing a symptom that became to be known as BGLOD (Blinking Green Light of Death).

We've seen similar issues with other camera models from a variety of manufacturers, where they ended up having issues that were not discovered in testing. Sometimes the issues show up earlier, sometimes they may not cause problems until many months later; and there's really no way a manufacturer can test for all potential issues.

The well known Sony sensor debacle is an example of a major problem causing problems with lots of cameras later, when sensors quit working (sometimes years later), with humid environments causing accelerated failure rates, resulting in the recall of many thousands of camera models with the issue from Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Casio, etc.

There are pros and cons to any approach. But, one way to look at it is that you'll enjoy the benefits a newer camera with more advanced features if you're an earlier adopter.

Of course, whether or not you really need those advancements is another question entirely, as my older cameras can still take good photos. Heck, my wife even uses an old Nikon Coolpix 950 that I still have from time to time, and the photos it takes are just fine for her needs (even though it's only a 2 Megapixel camera model). ;-)
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