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Rick, Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 1722
Experience:  I'm a photographic equipment technician with over 25 years in the business
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I have a persistent problem which has occurred with two different

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I have a persistent problem which has occurred with two different lumix GX7 cameras; I know it's a mechanical fault but I'm trying to work out why it's happening and if I'm the cause. The problem is a "sticky" rear control dial - at first it will intermittently act as if the dial's being turned left when it's being turned right (so, for example, it dials in negative exposure comp when it should be doing positive), then the problem will get worse until it's happening all the time (so both left and right input both act like left input). Pushing in the dial works as normal. My first GX7 developed this problem after I'd had it about a year; I sent it in for repair and the top plate was replaced, which cured the problem. After four months the problem recurred, so I sent it in again, another new top plate, this time the fix only lasted three months then the dial gave up again. At that point I gave up; I'd bought the camera reconditioned with only six months warranty, so it was costing too much for repairs and parts. I also had a second GX7 that was working fine.
Last week, after owning the second body about eight months, the rear dial on that one started showing exactly the same symptoms, and today it got really bad.
I've done some research on the Internet and can only find one other instance of this problem; I assume if it was a common problem with the GX7 there'd be more people complaining about it? Four dial failures across two cameras seems a bit much to be chance, and the next common factor is me. Could I somehow be doing something to these cameras? I work my cameras quite hard (carry them everywhere, either in a camera bag or in my hand.) Although I try to protect them they do get exposed to the elements (cold, occasional bit of rain) but my previous Panasonic cameras (a G2 and GF1) had the same heavy use for three years, I still have them and they work fine (and the rear dials on those cameras took heavier punishment because they're the only control dials on those models.) I realise this is all a bit vague, but anything you could suggest would be welcome...
The problem is a design flaw in the GX7. They replace the defective part with a new one with the same design flaw. Most of them will last just long enough to be out of warranty before they go bad again. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this problem, (other than parts replacement). It's a kind of designed obsolescence which has become a common practice in the camera market today. About the only thing you can do is take it up with Panasonic directly, or, purchase a different model with a better design.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did wonder. I can work around the dial problem for most key functions, so I think I'd rather live with it than have to do without the camera while it's being repaired, then wait for it to go wrong again once I get it back. I like everything else about the camera enough to put up with the fault.
If that's a good option for you then I really wouldn't invest more money in another repair.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Better to save money against a replacement I think. Thanks for your help, that's the question answered for me.
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