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Kudos to Nikon November 13, 2006

Posted by dorigo in internet, personal.

Nikon has always been a premium brand for photographic equipent and optics. The reputation of a company in such a competitive business is usually a big asset which takes years to build – and to evaporate. There are instances in which companies are drawn by the competitive market to lower their own standards, and still live on their own reputation for quite a while before blending in the aurea mediocritas of global standards.

Not so with Nikon – as far as I understand. Indeed, their optics are superb – but they cost a fortune. Their new line of digital SLR cameras is also excellent, and Nikon has indeed created a standard there – along with Canon, in truth.

Two years ago I was hooked by the new D70, a digital SLR with several strong points, a 1/500th second flash sync, great white balance options, and the ability to use all original Nikon lenses – even non-AF models – among them. I bought it in the US (saving some buck with respect to the european market), and have been happy ever since…

Until this spring the camera started to exhibit a problem. The memory card led started to blink, locking all operations. At first this was an intermittent problem, but it got worse and worse, until I could not turn on the camera any longer. A visit to the D70 forum in  www.nikonians.org was sufficient to find out what was going on: the phenomenon had even gotten a name of its own, and a ominous one: BGLOD, for “blinking green light of death”.

Nikon offered to service all cameras exhibiting the problem free of charge, but I had to be in the US to benefit of the service. Last month I brought the camera with me, and I sent it to their servicing site following the posted online instructions.

I got back the camera today (Donatella brought it back from the US, since I had left before the camera was back). I must say I was extremely pleased: not just for the packaging, but for the careful and detailed description of the operations performed.

Nikon solved the BGLOD problem, but did not stop there. They upgraded the firmware on the camera, cleaned the body thoroughly – the camera appears brand new now – changed the viewfinder, which was not perfect anymore, and cleaned the CCD! All of this free of charge, in the time they had promised, and with a online site telling me in real time the status of processing of the order and then of course package tracking.

Kudos to Nikon! Their equipment is not cheap, but they are maintaining high standards in their service as well as in their merchandise.

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