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How long should a camera warranty last?

Fujifilm Australia has upped its camera and lens warranty to three years from one, joining top camera brands like Canon, Nikon, and Sony in offering an extended warranty period.

From May 2022, all newly-purchased Fujifilm cameras and lenses – X, GF, XF or XC models – come with a three year warranty when purchased from an authorised Australian retailer. This includes a free-of-charge repair or replacement service, and covers all accessories included in the box of a new camera or lens.

‘This is not just a big “thank you” to our customers, but also a welcome note to the many photography enthusiasts out there looking for the absolute best in their equipment and experience,’ said Shaun Mah, general manager of Fujifilm Australia Electronic Imaging. ‘We know that photography and travel come hand in hand. With this new warranty, we hope to inspire our customers to explore and unleash creativity with greater confidence and peace of mind.’

According to Australian Consumer Law, consumers have a legal right to buying goods that meet a statutory condition and statutory warranty. The statutory condition means the product must be of ‘merchantable quality’, fit for intended purpose, and match the description.

This fundamental consumer law protects buyers if they purchase a product with unmarked or undisclosed defects or are mislead. If a customer buys a faulty camera, then they are entitled to remedies such as refunds, replacements or repairs.

The warranty side is more of a grey area. Calculating the amount of time a product remains in warranty boils down to what ‘is reasonable to expect, given the cost and quality of the item’.

‘This means a consumer may be entitled to a remedy under their statutory rights after any manufacturer’s voluntary or extended warranty has expired,’ the ACCC says in a brochure.

‘The law aims to give consumers and sellers a fair go. It is not designed to protect consumers if they are careless or make unreasonable demands’.

Fortunately, photography gear manufacturers provide fairly transparent warranty terms and conditions, allowing buyers and sellers to know their rights and obligations. And, if necessary, these terms can be disputed.

So while it’s commendable that Fujifilm Australia has boosted the warranty period, a consumer may rightfully claim that certain products’ warranties should last more than a year. Especially Fujifilm’s high-end pro gear, like the medium format GFX 100S, which has an RRP of $9499.

This point is furthered when Fujifilm’s primary competitors all offer warranties that at least double a year.

It’s also worth mentioning that many camera brand warranties do not cover grey market or overseas purchases, which is another solid reason to support local authorised retailers.

Canon

Canon Australia offers the best warranty for consumers, with it lasting a lengthy five years for interchangeable lens cameras and lenses. The market leader introduced the extended warranty back in November, 2019, with then-director of Consumer Imaging, Jason McLean, stating: ‘It is time for brands in the industry to modernise their manufacturer warranties to reflect consumer expectations of quality, trust and good value.’

Coupled with its announcement was an independently commissioned ‘Consumer Warranty Expectations Survey’. Here’s a graphic that goes through the findings.

Source: Canon.

Canon calls the five-year warranty a ‘new standard’ not only in the photo industry, but among all consumer electronic brands.

Some Canon products only have a two year warranty, including fixed lens cameras, imagePROGRAF large format printers, PIXMA PRO printers, Cinema EOS products.

The warranty does not apply where damage is caused ‘by external factors’, such as normal wear and tear, negligent or improper use, liquid exposure, third-party repairs or modifications, and so on.

Nikon

Nikon now offers a two year warranty period when purchasing direct from an authorised reseller or Nikon. This covers all imaging products, from full-frame cameras to Coolpix compacts.

Like Canon, and most warranties for that matter, consumers aren’t covered if they caused the damage or it’s deemed normal wear and tear.

Nikon also provides this warning to consumers:

‘Please be wary of dealers claiming to be able to sell or provide you an international warranty for digital equipment when you are purchasing overseas. THIS WILL NOT BE A VALID NIKON WARRANTY.’

The same should also be said for grey market sellers on eBay and Amazon, who aren’t certified to offer an official Nikon warranty.

Sony

Like Nikon, Sony’s α Alpha cameras and lenses come with a two year warranty. SD cards and XQD cards are five years.

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