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August 26, 2014

Nikon D810 Service Advisory

D810-CU_125.jpgNikon issued a Service Advisory last week for the brand new Nikon D810.

The advisory warned that the D810 had a problem where, "noise (bright spots) are sometimes noticeable in long exposures, and in some images captured at an Image area setting of 1.2? (30?20)."

The problem is limited to the initial Nikon D810 cameras released worldwide. The problem was discovered and a fix put in place for D810?s released later. Nikon offers a serial number check point to see of your camera is affected by the spot problem.

Some Nikonians members have reported being able to duplicate this white spot problem by shooting at exposures longer than about 20 seconds, where small, white, long-exposure noise spots will appear in the dark areas of their images. Other Nikonians have reported not being able to cause the spots to appear. Below is a sample of the white spot problem in an exposure of 30 seconds and at 100 percent pixel-peeping level:


While this problem does affect photographers who regularly take long exposures, such as for star trails and certain other time exposures, for the majority of photographers this is not a serious problem. Images with normal exposure times from the Nikon D810 usually do not exhibit any sign of this problem.

Darrell-Young_200.jpgAccording to Nikonian author Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell), "Having long exposure noise is a common problem for all digital cameras, which is why Nikon gives us the Long exposure NR (noise reduction) function. In fact, most members report that once Shooting Menu > Long exposure NR is enabled the problem disappears or is greatly reduced."

If you are concerned that your style of photography will be affected by this problem, it may be a good idea to send your camera in to Nikon, at their expense, to have the image processing system recalibrated. Nikon says the turn-around time for the repair is about 10 to 14 days. If you are currently using your camera heavily and do not have time to send it in immediately, you can wait until a more convenient time. A Nikonian member contacted Nikon and was informed that a service advisory lasts at least as long as the warranty of the camera and often longer. Therefore, during the warranty period of the camera, at the very least, fixing this problem will be a cost free process. If you are not seriously affected by the spot problem you may have some flexibility in choosing the best time for your camera to go in for service.

A general firmware update will not fix this problem because the camera must be connected to a computer at Nikon to recalibrate the image processing system during firmware installation. New firmware is installed as part of the recalibration process, with a firmware number of C 1.01.

Your Nikon D810 may not be affected due to being a camera outside the serial numbers Nikon provides at their checkpoint. Also, if your camera has firmware version C 1.01 installed and has a black dot inside the tripod socket, your D810 has already been recalibrated, even if it is within the serial numbers having the spot problem.

Darrell Young is currently working on his newest book, Mastering the Nikon D810, and he has praise for the quick reaction by Nikon:

"They are to be commended for issuing this service advisory very quickly after the problem was discovered and providing cost free relief for affected Nikon D810 owners."

Posted by flashdeadline at August 26, 2014 11:36 PM

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