In a recent announcement by the Nikon camera company, they will no longer ship replacement parts to individual or retailers that are not already certified by Nikon to do repairs. Nikon claims that due to the increasingly complicated technology in cameras it is more effective for business to operate this way. Does Nikon really want to destroy DIY repairs?
This new policy mainly hurts local mom-and-pop camera shops. With this new policy in place, repairing a Nikon camera without a certified retailer requires owners to ship their cameras back to Nikon and pay for the replacement parts, labor, and shipping.
According to tech blog Hot Hardware, “If you depend on your camera for work… having to mail your camera in to be fixed will cost you more than just the price of the repair: lost business shipping costs, and time lost waiting for the Postal Service to shuttle the camera back and forth.”
For Nikon this is a profit-making dream. However for DIY proponents, this may affect business.
Repairs Universe, a DIY and replacement part specialty company, states that “repairing an electronic device can often prove tricky, and a delicate touch and the right tools are needed.” However, the company is confident that with the proper instructions (including manuals and video tutorials), DIY repair is absolutely possible (even for Nikon).
Ifixit, another DIY-expert states that, “A major manufacturer limiting repairs to only their own approved repair shops doesn’t bode well for the future of camera repair in general. The more barriers to repair, the more likely people are to trash their broken stuff instead of trying to fix it.”
Is this the future of DIY in our country? What happens when more and more companies start following suit with Nikon? What if all of your Apple products could no longer be fixed outside of Apple stores?
This will only serve to make people lazier in the long run. When someone sits down with an electronic device and figures out how to repair it himself/herself, it is an accomplishment. However, soon people will no longer try to fix their own devices and pieces of technology if they’re not ‘certified.’
As the technology that surrounds us becomes more and more advanced, people will understand it less and less, till there is a point where the only people who understand technology are the people who sell it to you. Then, you just have to take their word for it that they actually fixed the problem or that something is even broken in the first place.
HotHardware.com is encouraging people to sign an online petition to stop Nikon from enacting this policy. If you are someone who loves DIY and feels that you should be able to fix your own camera please sign the petition.