2.26.2020

A progress report on the repair of my wayward Panasonic Lumix S1R camera. Good news, bad news. As ever....

Photo: Kriston Woodreaux. In "Every Brilliant Thing" at Zach Theatre.
Shot with a reliable S1, not the jinxed S1R....

You might remember that I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a camera that stopped working two months into its time here and had to be shipped back to Panasonic for repairs. The camera in question was an S1R that I bought as "new" from B&H Photo & Video; an authorized USA dealer. My local store handled the logistics of getting the camera out and back to Panasonic. I was pleased when I got a phone call today, less than two weeks from the time we shipped it out, telling me the camera was ready for pick-up.

I was less pleased when I read the repair report. The repair people replaced the 47 megapixel sensor as well as the main PCB. That's a lot to repair in a two month old camera that's never been subjected to any abuse, weather or even stern looks! But, okay. Panasonic did the repairs quickly and got it back to me quickly. I was willing to believe that we'd dodged a bullet on this whole deal....until I took the body cap off the camera pursuant to putting on a lens and then testing the body.

I never got as far as putting on a lens. There! Right in the middle of the sensor was....wait for it......a big, juicy fingerprint. Yes, on the cover glass of the sensor. Big as day. Didn't need a magnifying glass to see this one!!! I was....shocked, pissed, and in a state of disbelief since the sensor is the whole reason for existence for a digital camera; right? 

Q.C.? Not a chance. No one could have missed that. It was just an atrocious oversight. Have I made a grievous error in embracing the Lumix S1 series of cameras and lenses? I hope not but this ain't the way to sell seasoned pros on a whole new camera line that is supposedly aimed at professional and advanced users. In all the time I've used digital cameras I've never put a fingerprint on a sensor. Neither has anyone at our local repair shop.

How can Panasonic and their representatives make this right? 

What would you expect? How would you handle this?