I have a Pentax P550 digital camera. The unit price was <300 new. It has many years of good service & I like it. Problem is that I use it a lot for backpacking & it has grit in it (it literally *squeals* as the lense extends/retracts). I need to find someone reliable that could provide cleaning/service, but don't want to spend >$80. Is this even possible?
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Re: Need reliable & cheap camera cleaning/service
Yes it is very possible. Depending on your location you should be able to find someone to do it well within that range. It can technically be done by anyone with a little know how. Though taking apart the lens has to be done very very carefully. Basically the lens can be "disassembled" enough to clean all the debris out. The next camera you get you may want to consider a waterproof model so that nothing can get in. There are also other option. Hope this helps if you give me your zip code I can assist you further in finding a professional in your area. Thank you, lee
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This is a very common problem with this model because the part is made of plastic. Unfortunately the camera must be disassembled in order to replace the part and I know the local service center in New York, Photo Tech is good at this. If the camera is still under warranty then you can either ship directly to Pentax located in Colorado or try the service center in New York. I suggest you contact them at www.phototech.com to find out price and turn around time for the repair.
Yes. The CCD chip has died and they don't tend to be cheap, but I would call around to other service centers before giving up hope. $400 seems a little steep to me, but I don't often work with Pentax units, and haven't priced their CCDs recently.
The symptoms you described are normally power related. First make sure that your batteries are fully charged - batteries that are more than a year old will frequently not accept or hold the charge needed to operate the camera. Second, check the contacts on the batteries and inside the camera. Rub them with a soft, dry cloth to remove any corrosion that may have formed on them, then recharge the batteries for several hours. NOTE: heavy corrosion buildups may require cleaning with a fine wire brush, steel wool, sandpaper, etc.
A second cause for your problem, especially if the camera has recently been dropped, is lens damage. If the battery/power steps don't cure the problem, your camera may need professional repair. If that's the case, I recommend that you take it to an authorized dealer/repair point (NOT the camera department in a chain store), and also contact Pentax customer service on line to arrange repairs. Make sure that you get a firm price, not just an estimate, before you commit to anything. The cost of a repair can approach the price of a new camera, and repairs typically only carry a 30-day warranty.
First try cleaning the battery contacts inside the camera. If corrosion is not visible or appears to be very light, rub the contacts lightly with a clean dry cloth. Heavy corrosion may require cleaning with a wire brush or sandpaper. Wipe both ends of the batteries with a cloth, reinsert them and try the camera.
If the above doesn't work, try powering the camera OFF, and then turn it back ON while holding the zoom button. This sometimes shocks the camera in working again.
If neither of these DIY fixes works, you may have lens mechanism damage or another problem that will require professional repair. You can take it to a Pentax dealer (NOT the camera department in a chain store) or contact Pentax customer service via their web site. Be sure to get a firm price, not just an estimate, before you commit to any repair. The cost of a fix can approach the price of a new camera, and repairs typically only carry a 30-day warranty.
Just a guess, but it sounds like the shutter is stuck in the closed position. Maybe you can have the camera serviced. Try to find an online film enthusiast club, such as on Facebook and elsewhere. They might be able to direct you to where you can have your camera serviced. I can tell you that the cost of that camera is about $100 used, and repair might be the same price, so it might be better to buy another one off eBay. They have MZ-50 models for sale and lots of others. Film gear is cheap these days, but repair is not cheap. Better to buy another camera. I'm sorry about your problem and hope you can resolve it. If this was 10 years ago, you'd have a warranty and could have it fixed, but these days it's just easier to buy another camera and probably the same price or cheaper to buy another used/second-hand camera than to pay for repair. Good luck to you.
Your problem is part of the dreaded A90 error code these cameras get. My camera had this last year and updated firmware cured it till this month when my wife let the battery go dead and the problem returned, but firmware update won't fix it this time around.Go to Pentax site and download new firmware for camera. Follow instructions that come from Pentax on the download to install software. Its pretty easy. These are cheap cameras as far as Pentax is concerned. They only work for about 2 years, based on other users and my experience. Good luck
This is rarely less than $150 up. If the camera is still under warranty, and no evidence of damage is there, Kodak may fix it for you. If you want to find out, take it to a local camera store that sells Kodak and have them send it away for you. If there is no evidence of dropping or water damage etc, say it just stopped working. An estimate and shipping is probably about $20 bucks. I wouldn't really suggest paying $150 for a new one, but you can get a hell of a lot for $300 (Canadian) this year. I also don't suggest that you look for the highest megapixel or highes zoom in that price range. 6-8MP max, with good build quality, sharpness and features. This photorapher suggests Kodak, Pentax, Canon. Don't buy a $300 12MP, or 30X zoom unless you've got a thing for disappointment. These cameras cannot perform.