Nikon claims that the greenish D4/D800 LCD screen is more accurate than the D3s/D700

Nikon's response on the green cast present in the D4/D800 LCD screen is that this is not a defect. According to emails from tech support, the D800/D4 LCD displays are more accurate and set to have a better colors reproduction. The display color temperatures in the older D3s/D700 models were slightly higher which made the images to appear somewhat bluish. In other words, the problem is not with the D4/D800 but rather with the D3s/D700 - the new Nikon cameras have a more precise reproduction of white and colors (as defined by the sRGB color space) visible to the naked eye when compared to earlier models.

There is a separate thread on the NR Forum for D4/D800 issues reported by readers.

Images credit: Benjamin Brolet

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  • DMT

    Oh, and because some folks are still having trouble grasping this:


    • C-41

      If the NEFs are perfect, then what’s your problem?

      I don’t know what kind of pro cares more about some stupid preview than the end result… Probably one relying heavily on the tool than their own technique.

      • philip

        if you are metering and fill light in any office ,school or over a zillion florescent
        light situation including the white house.. it would be a bit more valuable to not have to see green cast thats not really there…. One of the reasons we dont do hallucinogens while covering news events

        • BartyL

          “One of the reasons we dont do hallucinogens while covering news events”

          Speak for yourself.

        • his dat

          There is a fix…


          • Everlast66

            The first thing that comes to mind when i hear canon is toy grade plastic and black sticky tape …

    • E6

      @DMT after reading your long 2x comments couple of times over – and maybe that is just me – but I still fail to see if the colour cast is an issue for “you”. Your comments drifted so close to being “Yes” then made a turn about. Could you just make a more definitive answer please?

      I have to side with C-41 here. There is no way you could make any meaningful preview on that 3.2″ screen. Hack I would even take the ipad previews with a pinch of salt if it was not properly calibrated.

      Considering you have such an extensive 30 years of experience shooting, of which I presume a lot are on film, I am surprise you are so worried about what the 3.2″ screen shows.

  • dbas

    So is the lock-up that forces us to remove the battery a “user error” too?

    • @dbas, the only lock up I saw on my D4 was one that I did validation testing for. I read on a BLOG somewhere, about all the different CF cards which were tested, and it was noted that the Kingston 16GB 600x UDMA cards would cause an error. Since I had these cards, I thought I would confirm the bloggers claim; and he was right! There are many cheaper CF cards out there than Kingston and I suspect those cheaper cards are the culprit behind the lock-ups users have seen. Today, two brand new 32GB Lexar 1000x UDMA7 cards and two Sony 32GB XQD cards came by way of USPS from the guys and gals at B&H. I will be unloading the Kingston 16GB cards if they don’t work with the D800 I will be getting. As for the speed of the Lexar cards vs the Sony XQD, the XQD runs circles around the Lexar CF cards, which I am not sure why at this time. The Lexar are actually rated at 150MB/s vs the Sony at 125MB/s, but the difference is substantial. It must have something to do with how CF works vs XQD or maybe Nikon just optimized the D4 for the higher bandwidth technology.

  • DMT

    One problem is assessing light source mixing ratios at high ISO when unable to shoot tethered (like at events), as well as when “dragging” the shutter. Another is for ADs, editors and others to be able to assess color when reviewing images with you (again, when untethered on location). Working with multiple bodies at the same time (common for pros) should not mean dealing with inaccurate colors on some of the bodies. Knowing that what you see on camera is how it will look on the computer is a basic, fundamental pro feature; confirmation ahead of time in the field is very important in some situations. Reliably being able to demonstrate directly to clients what you are doing on the camera (brides with white dresses, not green, for example) has appeal for some professionals as well.

    Again, lack of understanding does not minimize the issue for others.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Just got my D800 today.
    And it has NO green tint on the LCD whatsoever.
    Color is the same as on my D4 display.
    Will compare to a D3 tomorrow, don’t have one around.

    According to the sticker on the box, the manufacturing date was April 12, 2012.
    So obviously not one out of the first batch they used for the pre-ordered ones.

    • Joaquim Prado

      It was regular order or NPS order?

    • Foolishcfo

      Who did you get your D800 through? I received my grip, just no camera…

  • CB

    An online store in Switzerland sent out 4 D800 cameras today. They have another 266 on order…

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    I had one on pre-order through NPS in the UK but didn’t receive that one (Did get my D4 though).
    I’m currently in ShenZhen, China, walked into a random camera shop to get a replacement lenscap and they had 2 sitting on the shelf…
    I assumed they were empty ‘display’ boxes but I aksed anyway and both were sealed, brand new, for sale. They said they had 5, sold 3, these 2 had been sitting for a week or so.
    Shop owner said they could get D800’s and D4’s within 24 hours, no problem.
    (And they’re not ‘grey’ HongKong models, all the paperwork is in Mandarin, no English 🙂

    Since I’m gonna be posted in China for at least another year, I figured why not…
    At least the warranty will be China, not UK so that’sprobably better too.

    Cancelled my NPS order, hope that helps you get yours quicker!

    • D700guy

      So THAT’S where my D4 and D800 are. Hong Kong.

      • TheInconvenientRuth

        No, ShenZhen, not HK. 🙂
        It’s only a few meters from HK, but as I said, these were NOT grey HK imports, all the docs were in Mandarin, no Cantonese or English. I actually had a look in HK last week and didn’t find any D800’s

        • D700guy

          My point is; I dont have mine. Whether they are in HK, or Disneyland, I dont care. I ordered my D4 4 months ago and my D800 3 months ago. Paid for both in full at the time, and I dont have either one. I pretty pissed off.

          • Sam

            ^ i feel your pain this is fucking rediculous

            • umeanridiculous

              … or greeniculous.

        • WS

          since you are gonna be in china for a yr, pls learn the difference.
          mandarin and cantonese are spoken dialects.
          all written chinese are chinese, but it comes in traditional chinese (hk and taiwan) and simplified chinese (mainland)

    • No D800

      Nikon has really screwed this up. Ipad 3 was delivered on the release date. Nikon should have waited.

      • cb

        4 d800’s have been shipped by a swiss online retailer. their preorder list is still more than 22o long…

      • cb

        and another 5 shipped by the same swiss dealer today… Unfortunately not to me…

  • William Moore

    Just got an email from Best Buy that was D800 has

    I preordered the second it appeared on

    I had received 4 previous emails telling me that
    It was still back ordered until today

  • D800

    bullshit from nikon, factory defect at 100%

  • As a professional theater photographer who shoots between 1500-4000 jpegs per show without the luxury of tethering to a computer, I have to say that having your LCD monitor display color accurately is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. As the theatrical lighting changes I am changing my white balance settings manually using the LCD monitor as my reference to achieve the best color. Unfortunately my brand new D4’s LCD depicts the scene much more blue than the scene actually is. This causes me to have to mentally adjust for the extra blue cast on the fly which one should not have to do with a $6k camera. My old D300’s LCD is dead on with color and I can be confident that in most cases the color will look the same on my 30″ cinema display as it does on the D300’s LCD screen…the D4 is not as accurate.

    Just because Nikon says that the LCD is more accurate does not mean that the emperor is wearing clothes.

    That all being said, the speed and functionality of the D4 is pretty amazing and I am very happy with the skin tones it produces….but having an inaccurate LCD monitor is just unacceptable for such a high end piece of equipment.

    • TheInconvenientRuth

      Sample variation?
      Compared my D4 and D800 to a D3s today. The d4/800 are identical and the D3s is ever so slightly cooler, but couldn’t describe it as a green cast in the slightest…
      We reset all 3 cameras to ‘factory default’ before shooting the same scene with the same lens (35/1.4g) on all 3. Negligible difference. If anything the D3s needed 1/3 stop more exposure.
      I think we need to see if it only affects early production models.
      My colleague has one of the first D4’s, when he’s back this weekend we’ll compare.

  • philip


    Did Nikon just say the that reason for the green look is that its more accurate –NIKON – WTF- if there is a green cast where no green exists in the scene and the LCD is providing a green cast that doesnt show up in the final image – then the LCD is obviously (IN-accurate ) ..

  • Steve

    Call to local main Nikon dealer in Singapore
    Do you have D800 in stock?
    Can you tell me when you will have some in stock?
    Can you tell me when Nikon say they will be shipping next batch?
    Are there production problems with the D800 that nobody is talking about?

    There are two kind of production problems. The kind where you cant build enough which is a good problem but you should be able to forecast based on demand from your dealers and predict a date even if its 3 months out. And then there are the kind of problem where you halt production because yu dont want to give yourself a big recall problem down the line……

    • kare

      Well the difference is unlike apple, nikon probably needs to recoup as much as they can. they can’t afford to make and store away millions of DSLRs and wait for them to be all done before rolling out.

  • DMT

    Yes, definitive evidence of production variation in the LCD would have SIGNIFICANT DIAGNOSTIC VALUE. Nothing posted anywhere online (photo evidence) or in the NPS emails has indicated that there is ANY variation in LCD color in the D4/D800. Yet, there continue to be anecdotal accounts everywhere (including above). A very small handful (like the alleged mismatched D800s in this thread) hold actual promise of being verifiable…if these users would kindly step up to the plate. But there’s nothing.


    I would *love* for this to be true, because then I can simply exchange my D4 for a newer unit without the color cast. But this is NOT what Nikon is saying and until I see otherwise, I will continue to believe that ALL the D4/D800 LCDs look like this:

  • DMT

    The silence is deafening…

    …and that’s because *ALL* the new LCDs have the same green WB.

  • Has anybody shot a professional grey card with the D800 in the “white balance capture” mode (don’t really know what it’s called)?

    On the D700 I put the White Balance to e.g. D-0, and then held the WB button for a couple of seconds.

    I then get “Pre” on the display, after which I fill the frame with the grey card and take a picture of it.

    If the grey card is neutral when previewing it on the back LCD, there’s nothing wrong with the screen, right? It would then be close enough for quick previewing.

    If it’s still green on the other hand, and the resulted photo of the grey card is neutral on a calibrated (pro) monitor, then the screen color balance is off.

  • I’m starting to think this issue is a WB issue, can anyone watch my test to see if I did it correctly where I compare the LCD on the D800 to the Canon 5D3?

  • Mitchell

    I picked up my D800e on Thursday. The LCD is definitely set too green.
    A white cloud in a blue sky appears noticeably fluorescent lime, for example. Harms the camera as a Jpeg machine since I can’t be sure of the WB.
    Calling my retailer today…
    I think there are a few minor bugs in playback mode as well. AF issue–haven’t checked.

  • Stephen

    My D4 is in for “repair” to correct the LCD green tint. I was originally told that this was covered under warranty, then I get this response from Nikon USA (see below). I shoot RAW so the final color output isn’t a factor. But when I’m shooting on location and I want to show my customer a preview, the image just looks sickly yellow / green. It makes me sick just to look at it. I’m not even sure the fix they want to do for $30 will even be what I want, so there’s no guarantee. At least this may help others looking to into getting their LCD’s fixed.

    “I am contacting you for the Nikon Service Department regarding your
    request for an LCD modification for your D4.
    Your camera is currently on hold, pending your agreement to the fee
    charged by the service department to modify your D4. This is not covered
    under warranty. Please read the following information and respond:
    With D4, D800-series, D600 and D3200 cameras, color reproduction has
    been designed to be more faithful to the sRGB standard than that was
    possible with D3-series or D700 monitors. Monitors built into earlier
    cameras, such as D3-series models and the D700, have a slightly higher
    color temperature and tend to display colors somewhat more bluish than
    do D4, D800, and D800E monitors. Therefore, colors displayed in D4,
    D800, and D800E monitors may appear slightly yellow in comparison.

    If this is not acceptable for your use or workflow, then the Nikon
    Service department has a modification available for a fee of $30.00 to
    apply a color space change to your D4 or D800(E) camera to more closely
    reflect the LCD color output of a D3-series camera.

    If, after this modification is performed, you are not satisfied with the
    color change and wish to revert back to the original color output of
    your camera, then service will do so for an ADDITIONAL fee of $30.00.

    We are awaiting your acknowledgement that you will pay the fee for the
    LCD monitor modification for your D4. The cost is $30.00.

    Please respond,

    Nikon Service Relations “

  • Wooden Heart

    Just got my Nikon D800 back from Nikon Service center richmond Canada. I sent my camera for sensor cleaning due to some spots and at the same time I requested for a ‘modification of LCD to Nikon D700’ color space. The nikon guy told me that it will never gonna look exactly the same but ‘close’. After a week, I got my camera back, tried shooting with it side by side with D700 at default setting and I noticed that the new color display of my D800 wasn’t at all close to my D700. The thing is there’s no way for me to verify if there was really an improvement from the old screen set-up of my D800 after the ‘modification’ was done. I tried comparing my D800 camera LCD display with my color calibrated computer monitor, I can say that my new Nikon D800 LCD display appears to be very close if not 100% the same with my computer display, it was only off by a small amount but not really noticeable. But here’s the thing, most people complains that nikon D800 and D4 screens are way too off compared to the old ones, But in my own comparison of D700 LCD display VS my color calibrated display monitor, it appears that D700 was way too off. though it appears pleasing to the eye but really it was never close to my monitor display. lol, guess i’ll be sending my D700 to nikon, this time to have it calibrated according to D800 color space lol. (won’t do it don’t worry)

  • zebooka

    D700 definetly has blue-cast. So I think this statement is true.

  • Mike Maximus

    What a bunch of crap. I’m owning the d610 and d800 the d610 screen and photos are way better comparing to d800, no wonder that this 2 years old news coz is full of Nikon support crap.

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