I have noticed recently that my D40x seems to be overexposing just a bit. I will be correcting this, of course, but I am beginning to wonder: Is my trusted digital beginning to to stagger?
I know that, unlike the mechanical film cameras, digital cameras are not designed to last forever and can only be used for a certain number of activiations. I have no idea how many shots I've taken with the D40x; I have been careful of her but I have had this camera for several years now.
Incidentally, I did have preventive maintenance on this camera about four or five months ago.
IMHO, I wouldn't assume that this overexposing is a symptom of your camera wearing out. Any chance that this symptom coincided with the preventive maintenance service? If so, the technician may have accidently tweaked something. You might take your camera back to the shop that did the work and let them know.
"I know that, unlike the mechanical film cameras, digital cameras are not designed to last forever and can only be used for a certain number of activiations." Obviously, no camera is made to last forever, but many Nikons come close! There were plenty of mechanical Nikon film SLRs that ended up in repair shops. Personally, I had to have my 1960s Nikkormat FTn's shutter repaired when it had no more than a few thousand shutter activations at the time of failure. Second, the mechanical SLRs were built to a price point or sometimes to a given number of shutter activations, just like today's dSLRs. True, today's dSLRs are vastly more complex in terms of electronics, but their basic shutter mechanisms are more similar than not to those in film cameras and both have proven to be very reliable. I do believe that the ease of seeing digital results and the lack of film/processing costs result in much higher numbers of dSLR shutter activations than most film SLRs, however.
Bottom line is that our D40x's are very reliable and should serve us well for tens of thousands of image captures! Hope that you can get that metering issue resolved so that you can continue to enjoy yours!
Nikon user for 40 years. F-Ftn, F3, F4S, F90, F100, D5100, D700
If you are curious about the total number of shutter releases on your D40X you can download Opanda IExif2.3 for free at www.opanda.com . Use Opanda IExif 2.3 to open a jpeg image created in the camera. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
> digital cameras are not designed to last forever
True literally. At least these days we upgrade them before they would otherwise wear out.
> can only be used for a certain number of activiation
This is no more true of a D40x than it was of an FM2n. Both have a design lifetime: the amount of use that the shutters will bear before they simply wear out and are no longer mechanically accurate, etc. And in fact, the D40x and the FM2n have about the same design life: 50,000 cycles. You're more likely to get close to that limit with a digital body, but in fact the mechanical lifetime is about the same. For perspective, 50k cycles is a 36-exposure roll of film every single week for 26 years. Here's a digital perspective: I shoot more frames than most amateurs, partly because I do a lot of sports and partly because I shoot a lot. I fairly often end up squeezing a D3 for 9 fps, something you literally cannot do on a D40x (2.5 fps, right?). Even with that, I am averaging about 20k frames per year. I see a lot of amateur bodies that do 3-4k per year. 4000 frames is still 75 per week, every week, and at that rate 50k won't be approached for > 10 years.
Even when the lifetime does get up there, it doesn't turn into a pumpkin. Eventually, like a car with an odometer at 150k miles, something will fail, and then you decide whether or not it's worth fixing. Replacing a shutter costs about $400, pretty much regardless of which body it is - my FM2n needed a new shutter years ago and that cost about $300, about $400 in today's money. A close friend had a D3 shutter replaced a year or two ago, and that cost $425. On a D3x, of course you'd replace it and go on. On a D100 (which is presently worth maybe $200 in toto) the usual reaction would likely be to either buy another used D100 or get a D3100 for slightly more than that $400.
> Are we coming to the end?
Judging by your comments over the past few years, I'd guess you are not one of the sort to be shooting with wild abandon, and I'll guess that your D40x probably has under 10k frames on it. And in that case, you're not only not coming to the end, you may not really even at the end of the beginning, to paraphrase Winston Churchill...
If you have Photoshop (or, I think, Elements), do File -> File Info; then go far right and look for the Advanced tab. Click that, then look at Schema, then aux:ImageNumber. That tells you the number of cycles since shutter replacement.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!