Help Save Local Camera Repair Shops – by Jonathan Jacobs

Jonathan JacobsWhen he isn’t surfing the web in an attempt to find the next great viral video or meme, Jonathan Jacobs is the head of marketing for Digital Natives Group, a digital agency based in Armonk, NY. The Natives exist to help brands and businesses immigrate to the brave new digital world. When not sitting behind a glowing screen, Jonathan can usually be found gallivanting around the nearest park with a camera strapped around his neck or a book clutched tightly in his hand.


We all know that life happens. Whether it’s a coffee stain on a white shirt, a broken glass or sleeping through a morning alarm, we all get slowed down by one of life’s little speed bumps. Unfortunately, as photographers, we know that life sometimes happens to our cameras as well. A scratched lens, E18 error or image sensor defect befalls our most loyal companion at some point. What’s important is that when these things do happen, we have a shop to bring our camera to for repairs that is local, reputable and professional. Unfortunately, these shops may soon become hard to come by if certain big-name manufacturers have their way.

Companies like Canon, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic, among others, want to stop training third-party technicians in camera repair and cease providing them with the up-to-date equipment necessary to fix our digital cameras. This would mean that, for even the least complex issues, instead of bringing your camera to the nearest shop, dropping it off and getting it back 24-48 hours later, you’d have to package your camera up and ship it to a faraway facility where you may be without it for two, three…as many as six weeks! Photography savants and professional photographers alike know that living without their camera for six weeks is, in most cases, practically going six weeks without…living. Further, everyone would be required to pay whatever price and wait whatever amount of time they were told to, as a lack of smaller repair shops would mean that the manufacturer facility would have a near monopoly on the camera repair market.

Thankfully, there is still time to make a difference. Phototech, a chain of camera repair shops in New York City, is sponsoring a petition to send to camera manufacturers to tell them that this practice is unacceptable to photographers. Companies like Phototech, which has been a part of the NYC community for 54 years, know their clients need better service than a cardboard box, a shipping label and an automated answering machine. They even go the extra mile, providing clients with loaner equipment to use for the few days their camera is being repaired so that they’ll never miss a photo.

So, what can you do? Visit and sign the petition, pledge a Tweet and tell your friends. Because next time life happens to your camera, the Knicks won’t postpone their game, your family can’t cancel their vacation, and models won’t stop from coming down the catwalk, you’re going to need a place like Phototech.


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