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Russell H.
Russell H., Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 11203
Experience:  Working with digital cameras & questions for nearly 8 years.
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I have a Canon EF film camera and engraved on the back is the

Customer Question

I have a Canon EF film camera and engraved on the back is the word DUMMY. Is this a preproduction model? I've just had it serviced in Edinburgh. It had a faulty board, so we had to canibalise another EF in order to get it fully operational. The camera is undoubtedly genuine. Serial number is *****
*****@******.***
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Digital Cameras
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

Your question is very interesting and puzzling. Apparently you have a working camera, but anything stamped with 'DUMMY' should really be a non-working demonstration or display or model camera. For instance, this one:

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/dummy-camera-of-CANON-EOS-7D-and-CANON-EF-50mm-f-1-2L-USM-This-is/1180209_1796237392.html

Perhaps your camera was repaired before you obtained it, by swapping onto it, the outer case of a model camera, and it was done without observing (or without caring about) the 'DUMMY' inscription ? that might explain this oddity.
Russell H. and other Digital Cameras Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Perhaps you would like to see pictures of the camera? I have three. It appears in all respects to be an original, working camera and the repairers found nothing extraordinary about it either - just a faulty electronics board which was replaced by canibalising another Canon EF. I spoke to my son who is a knowledgable amateur, and he suggested that it was found faulty at time of manufacture and was utilised as a demo camera only to the trade - thus saving the expense of repairing it at the factory! Sounds a little far-fetched to me, but I think it was a working camera from the start and eventually developed a fault.

The body of the camera is metalic. The paint finish shows very little signs of use, so I suspect it has been lying about unrepaired for nearly 40 years until I acquired it from Canada about a year ago. It's a puzzle. My son says I am lucky to have found something marked DUMMY that could be repaired and will be useable. Perhaps he is right. But I prefer to think it was a preproduction model intended for demonstration purposes to the Trade, and when it developed a fault it is fortunate it was not scrapped...

***** *****

Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Pictures would be of interest.

Your son's explanation is admittedly plausible.

A question that occurs to me: it was bought used, and apparently in very good shape for a camera that old, I gather. So, did it come with the defect that had to be repaired, from the start?
If so, it may have seen very little use (and/or been assigned as a DEMO/DUMMY model) for decades as a result of the fault being original or very early.

Thank you for the good rating, and feel welcome to return at any time to ask another question here at JustAnswer.com, in any one of our numerous categories.