iFixit just posted a teardown of the brand new Nikon D5100 DSLR. iFixit gives the D5100 a score of 2 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair). And it’s not hard to understand why once you look at how many bits go into making a DSLR, including the “4 billion screws that hold the device together”.
Thom Hogan also picks up on the complexity of a modern DSLR, questioning whether such complexity is warranted:
Reducing parts volume doesn’t necessarily make for a less capable or durable device. In some ways, it’s better because the device can be more easily repaired should something happen to a part. But parts reduction also forces designers to think strongly about function. No features that only 1% of the users will ever try: you’ve got to make sure that the parts you do use actually perform the functions that everyone needs done.
Most products these days are quite simple when you actually open them up, typically consisting of circuit boards and buttons. DSLRs happen to be one of the most complex and tightly packaged products around. These things are so complex inside, makes you wonder how they even work so well! Or break-down so rarely!