As a photographer, I live and die by my camera equipment. When your equipment fails, it not only messes up your day, but your job! I had noticed that my Canon 5d had started to have some problems with the LCD screen and the focus. The screen wasn’t staying illuminated long enough, the camera wouldn’t focus and the buttons wouldn’t work. Then, I started to notice some problems with changing aperture and shutter speed until finally it went kaput and I couldn’t turn the thing on. Yikes. I was not budgeting for a new camera right now and expected the 5d to last for many more years. My Nikon D70 is still holding up great, and that’s much older. Granted, I use my 5d A LOT, and taken it all over the world, so I guess it was due for a little down time, but you never expect things to break.
So I spent some time online pricing out new gear. I wondered if I should switch back to Nikon or get a replacement 5d, but thought I should try and see what my options were with my existing camera. Mostly because it has been a great camera and takes great pictures. I’d hate to buy something new and find out it is just not as good. So I started to look into camera repair. I realized I am very lucky at times like this to live in New York City where there are a lot of camera and repair shops. I came across Phototech / Chrysler Camera Repair online. It received the good reviews online, so I gave them a call just to make sure they were really there (and weren’t one of those Broadway stores that sells cameras and t-shirts and takes your picture in front of the fake Statue of Liberty!). I spoke to a very nice person there and got information about their hours and locations.
When I got to their Union Square location, I realized I had walked past it many times but never realized what it was. I just had to wait a moment to talk to the guy behind the counter. What really struck me was that it was spotless it was. Having been around factories and manufacturing plants, I know you can tell a lot about a company by how clean their shop is. And this place was spotless, and big! Not what I was expecting given how small camera and camera parts are! I immediately felt better about leaving my camera in their hands. The man behind the counter was very pleasant and very helpful, but he informed me that Canon repairs are done at the location on 34th street. I wish the person I spoke to on the phone had told me that, or better yet, if they put that on their website. The man did give me an estimate of how much it would cost to repair a similar problem if it was a Nikon. So that gave me a little piece of mind as I headed over to 34th street.
The 34th street location is located across from B & H which makes it convenient. Also there is plenty of parking all around there if you are coming in from out of town. They are located on the second floor and have a much smaller shop than the Union Square location, but it is still clean and organized. I spoke to the man behind the counter about the problems and he had me fill out a little bit of paper work and pay the $15 assessment fee that would be applied to a repair if I chose to have one done. Easy enough, I thought. They give you a claim check with a phone number to call in 48 hours with your customer number. At that point, they tell you the problem and cost to repair. When I called, I founded out that my LCD screen and the computer inside had failed, and it would cost $300 to fix. I decided that was better than the cost of buying a new camera so asked him to go ahead with the repair. Then the repair guy asked me if my mirror had fallen off yet. To which I responded “No!” while thinking “oh boy, how much is that going to cost” and “Should I ever buy another Canon again”? Luckily, he told me Canon would replace it when it happens, and it would likely happen. Definitely helpful to know (and glad it hasn’t happened yet!).
I am so happy to have discovered these guys. They are truly good people to have on your team to keep your equipment running. It was my first experience with them (and hopefully my last –fingers crossed!), but if I need more repair work done, I know where I am headed. Which reminds me I have an Apple screen that failed that I should bring to them to check out! Leave your reviews in the comments section I would love to hear how your experience was with Photoset / Chrysler Camera Repair.