Nikon D800 locks up?

Can you spot the problem?

I have noticed that the Nikon D800 locks up and the only way to reset it is to take the battery out. This happened to me several times while shooting with different lenses. Has anyone experienced this issue? I have not seen this problem being mentioned anywhere online.

On the above picture you see that the camera is turned off, while the LCD screen is still on.

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  • My D700 locks up sometimes too. The low battery icon shows even though it’s fully charged and the camera turned off. I had to take out the battery to resolve it 🙁

    • Nau

      same here d700 on very low battery locks up not and then
      seems to be happening only Tamron lenses tho

      • Nau

        now and then*

    • Ruslan

      I confirm that too. It happens rarely on my D700.

    • Well I had the problem recently with a D800 with a Battery pack. After I removed and replaced the battery pack every thing was fine. The battery pack was about 49% and the in cmaera battery was about 98%. I was pissed!

  • Erik Pauwels

    I got a same issue with my D200 this week, I isolated the problem to a battery problem. Does it happen with another battery or when the battery is fully charged ?

  • gma44

    I had a partial lock up where the ‘two button format’ and ‘the two button reset to default’ both stopped working. I removed the CF card and then the battery with no effect. Finally I took the lens (24-70) off and remounted it and the all the buttons started working again. The lens was working perfectly when it happened and the problem has not re-occured.

  • I haven’t had any such problem with my D300s, D60, or D800, thankfully.


    • jason

      never had this problem with d700

  • Steve Starr

    I’ve had a few Sandisk cards fail to write and hang up in the cameras. Sandisk replaced them. There is some freeware that allows you to test your cards and shows a graph of where the cards may hang up and stick. Running it takes forever though on large cards but may be beneficial to use to check your cards. Sandisk customer support also said there are some pirated cards that are labeled as 32 gigs and are really only 4 or 8 and they cause problems as they will show as 32 gigs, but only write as 4 or 8 due to some hack they did to them.

    • I used two brand new 64GB SD+CF Sandisk cards

      • JForhan

        What mode were the cards in?

        I use a Transcend CF and SanDisk Extreme SD. No issues so far in overflow mode with the SD being primary. Though I have only taken about 400 or so shots.


      • Admin — I mentioned a similar problem I’ve been having with the D800 when writing to or reading from a card. I thought I was alone. I have noticed (at least when shooting/writing to card) that the green “writing” light on the back stays green and the top menu does nothing for 10+ seconds sometimes, even after shooting only one image. It’s not a typical buffer writing issue, because the camera won’t do a darn thing while this happens. No menu, no playback, no change of settings on the top screen, and no shooting additional images. If I wait, it jumps out of the loop eventually, but one time it was taking long enough that I tried taking out the battery. That seemed to solve it, but I wasn’t eager to keep trying that.

        My original set of SD/CF cards I used when I first got the camera are full and in holding and I’m using all new cards. I do think my issue has been less pronounced (non-existent?) since I’ve been using different cards. I’ve also seen problems on playback, specifically when I try to zoom. The lag is often in excess of 5 seconds. Again, seems to be minimized with my all new set of cards — same type of cards (16gb Class 10 300x Sandisk SD). Every time it’s happened, I’ve had an SD and CF card in camera.

        I do wonder if it’s bad blocks on the cards, in which case Sandisk may replace them under warranty.

        Is your problem similar in any way to above?

        • Shasta_D

          I’m having the same problem on mine. After 1-5 shots taken, when I try to do an image review, I get a black screen and the green LED lit. It does not break out of the look for me. I have to power it off to reset it and then it’s back to normal.

        • No, mine locked up for more than 10 seconds – I had to take the batteries out to reset it. I can try with different cards and see if it will happen again.

    • Steve do you know if this info is published anywhere by Sandisk?

  • Gary

    My D7000 has always done this. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything and my battery doesn’t seem to drain too quickly.

    • Daniel

      So as mine!

    • it’s a common issue? my D7000 just started doing this after a year of using it…

    • DG

      My D7K has never done this, after 15K pictures and 1.5 years.

    • Calibrator

      It could be SD-card related. Did you update to the latest firmware?
      I had a similar problem with Sandisk cards but not since updating the camera.

  • neversink

    What do you mean, Nikon won’t fix it. That sounds fishy to me… Did you purchase grey market? I wouldn’t think you would do that. Did you ask them why??? I am curious.

    We never had problems like this with film cameras!!!! I’m thinking of going back to film and just not tell my clients. The problem is, most of the custom film labs went belly up!!!!

    • neversink

      Oops…. Forgot to ask. Do you think you might be shutting off the camera too soon while the buffer is still working??? Or do you think you just bought a lemon??? I never experienced this with any of my cameras…..

      • no, I did not turn off the camera

      • Turning off the camera will have no effect on the buffer being cleared. Nikon DSLRs will keep the camera on and functioning until the buffer is clear and the card is finished being written to. Taking out the battery is a different story, obviously.

    • Film camera the we’re computer based absolutley had this problem. Mechanical ones occasionally lock up to the worst Ive experienced was a manila 645 afd2 that through more errors than any digital ceramic ever thought too

      • F5 Forever

        Umm. What?

  • It does not happen to my D800 because FU*** BH has not delivered it yet!!!

    • Jeffrey G Bank

      Ha ha He he he ha

    • hq

      +1. I paid for my D800 full on Feb 7 at 3am, and no sign of delivery. 🙁 I hope they’ll ship as soon as they re-open.

      • Calibrator

        That’s awfully nice of you – giving the store a two month interest-free credit…

  • Jayne

    My D90 locked up after I had it several months. Took it back to where I ‘d purchased. They sent it in and after that no problems since! It was a known problem discussed widely on Internet.

  • I’ve already had this issue with my D4 – only once so far but hoping its a firmware issue that will be resolved in an update.

  • Bjorn

    I had it happen fairly often on my d700. It was a battery issue. One of my batteries died in some weird way. The battery as nearly new. Solution was as simple as to use the other batteries.

  • Every Nikon I ever owned starting with a D1 in 1999 at some point or another has done this to me. IDK if it is memory card that does it, low battery, humidity, or what. I am so use to Nikon camera doing this at random, that I am use to it.

  • seb

    I had the same with D800

  • Birder Bill Whiteley

    I’ve had this happen once on my D7000 with latest firmware. It never happened before until I placed another 8GB Sandisk on slot 2. I had to remove the battery to solve the problem.

    Good news is, tried as I did, I could not make it happen again.

  • This happened on my D3s once recently. Like you, I took the battery out for a few seconds to resolve the issue. Once I re-inserted the battery, the camera was back to normal. It’s only happened once and I’ve had no trouble since.

  • I have the same problem on D700..
    Only at very low battery.
    I think it´s the memorycard..
    This happens some times..
    I only turn the camera off,- and on again..

    That´s it..

  • peteee363

    i never let my batteries get below 1/4, and it has never happened on any nikon digitals i have owned. d2xs, d300, d40x, d700. but it did act wierd when i had high file counts, when it would change folders. when doing high speed sports, and shooting in the hight hundreds of shots, it would act wierd, but never locked.

  • Twice, on D7000, which turned out to somewhat common. I returned it.

    On D300 w/Tamron 200-500mm lense. My mistake. I upgraded Firmware A but not B. Once I updated B, all was well.

  • Shah

    Nope never.

  • shivaswrath

    this isn’t normal….for any camera….my D700 and D3 have never done this.

    you guys are making me thank the lord I cancelled my D800, with the AF issues, LCD issues, and this…

    • Lord Beau

      Me, too. I’ll stick to my D700 for now.

  • Robyn

    This shit is normal, happened couple of times on my D90. No biggie, just remove the battery and reload it.

    Yeah but if you ordered a D800 from B&H before 9am est on 7th you should definitely cancel your order, as its a big ticket item.

  • Simon

    There are much more serious problems with the D800 that I find surprising Nikon Rumours has not reported such as the auto focus issue with wide angle lens unable to focus properly on the left side.

  • Bryan

    This is why staying on the bleeding edge isn’t good. Early adopters are beta testers. If Nikon is paying attention, this stuff will probably be fixed in a few months.

  • Rashad

    It is possible that the contacts need to be cleaned. Deoxit is a great product and often fixes all sorts of seemingly mysterious camera problems.

  • Chris Ni

    user’s manual p412:
    “If the Camera Stops Responding In extremely rare instances, the displays may not respond as expected and the camera may stop functioning. In most cases, this phenomenon is caused by a strong external static charge. Turn the camera off, emove
    and replace the battery, taking care to avoid burns, and turn the camera on again, or, if you are using an AC adapter (available separately), disconnect and reconnect the adapter and turn the camera on again. If the problem persists, contact your retailer or Nikon-authorized service representative.”

  • I can confirm the lockup issue. We have two D800 bodies, both with MB-D12 grips and both are locking up. My first thought was that it was related to the grip, but we are now experiencing the lockup without the grip being attached. When it locks up the card access light remains on, the top LCD is lit up, as in your photo, and the camera will not turn off or function in any way. We have tired different versions of our Sandisk CF cards and are using the Sandisk 64GB SDXC cards too. Talked with Nikon tech support this morning and this was the first they had heard of it.
    Other than this one huge issue, we have no LCD or AF issues at all.

    • Luu

      What you experience is the “BGLOD”. This happened to me one with D800 during a burst. Lexar 32GB 600x CF card was used. I ran a HDDscan test on the CF and did not see any error. I put another 5000 shutter counts without any further issue. Cross my fingers.

      • Well, we shot for five hours today and the only issue was with the D4 this time. AF worked, but the card access light was stuck on and I had to remove the battery to reset things since it would not turn off. The one D800 worked fine all day without a grip and the other worked fine with the other grip. My dealer is swapping the one grip out tomorrow, but I still an not 100% convinced that a bad grip is the only issue. Heard back from my Nikon rep and he has tech support checking on things and is getting in touch with me tomorrow.

  • Jack

    So far no problems with the D800, but have had the problem with the D4 several times.

  • rs

    This has happened to me several times with my D700 and every time it had the 24-70 F2.8 on it. I have to give it a little extra pressure when I twist it on. First shot it stops working. Take the lens off and remount or the battery out and it works again.

    • rs

      That is a little extra pressure while twisting the lens on to keep this from happening.

  • Vincent

    That’s why I keep saying Canon QA efficiency is probably better.

  • pc998

    Have been using D700 for almost 3 years and there is no such lockup problem even at very low battery level. I’ve several Tamron and Nikon lenses. Memory cards being used are Transcend 32GB CF 400x 90/60MB/s and Sandisk 16GB CF Ultra 30MB/s.

  • Bill Me Later

    I’ve never had either my D200 or D7000 have any issues being mentioned.

    My D800, well, B&H is trying to keep me from HAVING STRESS from all these issues with the camera by NOT sending it to me. They are really looking out for me….thanks B&H &(#@*@(*#*# for letting me know when I will get it.

  • Although I haven’t taken a whole lot of photos (or videos) yet, no issues so far. I’m using both the new Lexar 1000x (64GB) CF card, as well as a 600x (64GB) SD card.

  • Theodore

    Interesting – I just heard from a friend that he had two different D800s with the grips attached lock up yesterday and today. He said the card access light was on, it wouldn’t turn off and nothing worked. He removed the grip and battery and then it worked for a few shots and then locked again. A second D800 locked up after putting a new grip that he had just received on it – got it to clear and then it locked up again with the grip removed.

  • JI

    No lockup problems experienced with D70, D300, D700 and D3s over the years, with Sandisk CF cards (Extreme III and IV).
    … but many times with D7000, lockup in Playback mode only. Cannot reset by turning camera OFF and back ON. Updating firmware did not help either. Not sure if it is related to SD memory cards, but they are also Sandisk Extreme III.

  • razvan

    had the same problem yesterday during an event
    the camera doesn’t want to go to off and happend after takeing a picture, the green led that shows that the camera it’s writing on card remaining on and the only way to reset was to take the battery out.
    until now happend only once, the picture wasn’t save on the card… the af of the camer works furture, but it doesn’t want to shoot any more. removed the battery and everything went well.
    the card inside was an cf, lexar 16gb 300x, the lens was nikon 50mm 1.8 af-s

  • My D3 used to do the same. After a couple thousand D800 frames, I haven’t encountered it. Knock on wood…

  • Analyst

    Yeah this exact thing was a common problem with the D7000. It usually struck when using the new UHS-1 speed SD Cards, but can happen with other cards as well.

    I experienced it first hand with my D7000 — the camera top LCD would not turn off when you turned the camera off, and the camera would also not recognize the card in slot #2. It would only happen for me with high-speed UHS-1 cards, and not a pair of old class 6 cards.

    Nikon fixed it in the most recent firmware update for the D7000. They will probably fix it, along with other bugs, in the first update. They can’t test the D800 with every single card combination that is possible, but hopefully they can fix the most common card issues.

  • B!

    Never happened on my D2X. I hope the D4 proves to be as reliable.

    Had similar issues on Canon 10D back in the days (before I joined the dark side for good) with Sigma Lens but that was Sigma’s fault and they replaced the chip.

  • B!

    This is a brand new camera. I wouldn’t bother with warranty; I’d just return it to place of purchase. Of course given the crazy demand you’d have no camera for next few months, unless you still have a pending pre-order somewhere.

  • Mark J.

    On week two now of my D800 without a single error, lockup, hiccup or issue at all. For still being pr firmware update, it’s running much smoother than most brand spanking new DSLR’s have that i’ve owned over the last 8 years.

  • W.M.

    My D800 has also locked up but it only ocurs when using a CF card. I have used the camera with only a Sandisk 16GB UHS-1 SD card and the CF slot empty and had no problems. Which make me think it there is an issue with the way the camera handles the CF slot info.

  • Dan

    Yep, my D800 locked up this way several times when I was shooting recently.

  • icSlowMo

    This happened to my D7000 when I first got it back from Nikon from back focus “fix” I had my 16gb Sandisk extrem Pro 45mb/s UHS-1 cards in both slots. Would not turn off and did not show any cards were installed…. pulled battery and put back in and did not fix it at all… Same thing…. I had to pull both memory cards out and then the battery… Re-install battery and then install each memory card one at a time… Have shot 2000 plus pics since then with zero issues and this was with the lastest firmware so Nikon didn’t fix UHS-1 issues 100%….

  • I too had such problem.

  • Its happening to me with SB-900 Flash 🙂 Almost 10 times so far.

  • Kyle

    I rented two D800s over this last week. Did a fashion studio shoot and both cameras would constantly freeze up. Exact issue mentioned. It was pretty unprofessional looking for me to have to stop my shoot and pull a battery out. And you also lose that last photo. Tried multiple cards too.

  • I have my D800 for a week now and it locked up like that three or four times. Had to remove the battery, just like you described.
    no grip. cf and eyefi sd.

  • Did not happen here.

  • Terry Dadswell

    I remember my D300 having a similar problem when it was first released. The battery symbol would flash empty (even with full charge) and you couldn’t do anything with the camera unless you turned it off and then on again. Nikon fixed this with a firmware update soon after the problem was bothering many people. I suspect the D800 will have a firmware update shortly if this is a similar problem. I hope so as I am on the waiting list for my D800 too. In the mean time my D300 works fine though until the D800 arrives. Problems always arise and they will be solved. We just need to be patient (yes, hard to do).

  • Nikonboy

    I still have the same problem with my D300s,I must get out battery from grip to turn it off!!!

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