Nikon’s service advisory for thermal issue (white dots) during long exposures with the D810 camera

Nikon D810 camera service advisory for thermal issue white dots

The black dot means that inspection and necessary adjustments have already been made.

Nikon USA/Nikon EU/Nikon Japan issued a service advisory for thermal problem (white dots/bright spots) during long exposures with the D810 camera. Back in 2010 the D7000 had a similar issue and I am surprised that Nikon has another QA problem after the D600 spots. At least this time they offered a solution just few weeks after the camera was released.

This internal memo indicates that the problem will be fixed with a combination of a firmware update and "pixel defect compensation":

Full text of the service advisory (US version):

We have received a few reports from some users of the Nikon D810 digital SLR camera indicating that noise (bright spots) are sometimes noticeable in long exposures, and in some images captured at an Image area setting of 1.2× (30×20).

After looking into the matter, we have determined that some noise (bright spots) may on occasion be noticeable when shooting long exposures, and in images captured at an Image area setting of 1.2× (30×20).

Nikon service centers will service these cameras that have already been purchased as needed free of charge to the customer. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.

Identifying affected products
To check whether or not your camera is one of those affected by this issue, please click the Affected Product Serial Numbers link below and enter your D810’s serial number as instructed. Your camera’s serial number will be checked against those of affected products. If your camera is one of those affected, you will be forwarded to additional instructions. If your camera is not one of those affected, you may continue using your camera without concern for this issue.

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  • jb

    “I am surprised that Nikon has another QA problem”
    Really? You are? There seems to always be SOMETHING.

    • That’s why I am surprised that they still could not detect that before release.

      • Proto

        Like canon’s LCD light leak in one of them 5D’s….

        • Funny, all that black tape they put on pre-release bodies (to obscure them) might mask (no pun intended) a problem like that.

          • EnglishPaul

            They wouldn’t test for something they know about and have built a feature in camera to take care of. They know the sensor will heat up and exhibit noise and have LENR to solve it. They tested LENR and it works.

            • I think all the folks griping about the thermal noise issue are griping because LENR doesn’t work if you can’t replicate the correction exposure (e.g. if you don’t have the time, or if the scene is changing) and that it’s a regression in performance compared with the D800/E. I don’t have a dog in this fight, I was merely commenting on the 5D Mk III light leak issue which seems to have been the kind of issue that might not occur during pre-release testing (because the test units are carefully built, and covered in black tape when in the field).

            • EnglishPaul

              I understand your point Tonio but LENR was also a feature on the D800/E and if I recall correctly my D7000/D90 as well. It’s just a limitation of using the in camera noise reduction that you need to be able to have double the exposure time. Also the noise reduction function produces a dark frame which maps the hot pixels on the sensor rather than any details of the scene itself so it is unaffected by the scene changing per se. Like you I’ve no dog in this fight, I’m a happy D800 user, I just think it’s unreasonable to call out a manufacturer for something that is just a function of how the camera operates and for which there is a built in solution.

            • “regression in performance compared with the D800/E” is what people are upset about.

              And since it is now acknowledged by Nikon to be a flaw in the camera, it’s kind of silly to argue that LENR is the answer.

            • EnglishPaul

              Having seen a report re the D800E versus the D810 I accept what you’re saying. Nikon are saying that despite tweaking the firmware this could still occur and that LENR is to be used in those cases.

      • This seems to be strongly correlated with the firmware. I would be hesitant to say that there are certain bit errors in the consumer released firmware as opposed to pre-production and/or test models.

        Even a small change in the consumer based firmware right before release may have had unexpected results as we see here. It may have been a tweak to the base ISO or perhaps a tweak to the image pixel pipeline.

        Who knows, whatever the case, Nikon cannot afford to lose revenue this year around. In addition, the D600 class action took a sizeable chunk of operating profits. I’m sure they are getting on it ASAP due to fearing another class action.

        • Jan van Riebeeck

          this is becoming a habit and nikon has already preceeded its reputation with the left-focus issue of the D800, oil spots on the D600 and now this. next, they’ll confirm a right-focus issue or the camera switches off automatically after 10 mins of recording with the D750 that will be released. and now they want to save face by providing customers a with a free service to rectify the problem??? the “problem” should not have been there in the first place, nikon!!!

          • Eric Calabros

            Every company wants to save face by providig customers with free support services, whats wrong with that? I’m happy that Nikon now has a face of Response Quickly

          • I don’t have a problem with Nikon acknowledging and fixing an issue.

            The way the D600 oil spot issue was handled was utterly egregious, with long silence, followed by quasi-denial, followed by an inconvenient repair process and some customers getting free upgrades on the sly. (I’ve never had a problem with oil spots on my D600, but I got a free shutter replacement anyway.)

            I wish Nikon were more like Fuji or Canon and treated their cameras as computers, providing feature upgrades in firmware long after selling us cameras, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

            • Jex

              Wait, you want to buy a computer with 2GB RAM, that can be firmware upgraded to 8GB RAM? (Canon buffer magically increased 4x by firmware)

              Or you want your camera to have BSOD like windows and bugfixes instead of 1 firmware that just WORKS?
              (Canon 5D series have 30+ firmware updates, Canon pro cameras always have a bugfix within first 6 mths – 1DX only took 1 mth!)

      • Spy Black

        Actually, Nikon did the right thing this time by acknowledging the issue and acting upon it immediately. This is what they’re SUPPOSED to be doing. I don’t know why everyone is getting bent about this. Any unforseen number of problems can occur releasing a new product, but as long as a manufacturer acknowledges it and effectively addresses it, no big deal, really.

      • Kurt Story

        Perhaps somewhere during production, Nikon found the issue and decided it was too minor to delay the release date and decided to fix it for those who see the problem? My D810 is supposedly affected, but I have yet to duplicate the issue.

    • Everyone makes mistakes and can be forgiven but this is becoming a catalogue of failures. No backup camera for up to four weeks or more. Will Nikon pay for the rental?

      • EnglishPaul

        The issue doesn’t arise unless you shoot over 10 secs with long exposure noise reduction turned off?

        • That’s not what Nikon say.

          • EnglishPaul

            It is the situation though. Have a look on Photography Life website. This isn’t a QC issue. The solution is built into the camera. Only if you need to do long exposures over ten seconds and can’t wait for the LENR frame is this and issue.

            • TheShepherd

              Nope… ‘Long exposure’ is being used for damage control, it is not referencing a limitation of effect.

              Take a look at the surfing marketing images Nikon released at announcement, specifically the low light fireside and tent shots.. those are simply high iso (where the real issue occurs) but they are not long exposure, and they are absolutely plastered with hot/white pixels – like millions of them.

              This is nothing more than the result of the gain tweaking Nikon did to achieve ISO64. They just slid the range down. ISO100 of the D800 became ISO64 on the D810, and ISO12800 became ISO6400, but with some unintended side effect of hot pixels at altered gain settings.
              The supposed ‘fix’ is even worse, as it will be addressed through pixel remapping, so essentially throwing away millions of pixels (ISO dependent) of higher ISO detail.

            • akkual

              Nope. Every sensor produces hot pixels in long exposure and high ISOs. You do not see them normally, because they are filtered out by the software. If you take a long exposure as RAW and remove all the noise cancelling in post processing software, you will see them.

              Some pixels are stuck permanently already from the manufacturing line and those are marked in the camera firmware, since they would show up on lower ISOs and fast shutter speeds too, where the software noise cancelling isn’t necessarily used. The marked stuck ones won’t even show in RAW as hot pixels, since they are not written to the memory card: near by pixels are averaged to compensate them. My D90 had one red that wasn’t marked at the factory, it showed up in JPEG with faster than 1s shutter speeds. With 1s and longer exposures, the software filtered it always out from JPEGs (no matter what the settings were). I sent it to service and they masked it out.

              Since the sensors do not have “white pixels”, these white ones are most likely caused by malfunctioning software (or manufacturing such high pixel density sensor results in RGB clusters of hot pixels?). But the bottom line: they are there on every sensor, and need to be filtered by the software.

              The range thing doesn’t seem to be the case, since D810 has more dynamic range at ISO64 than D800 has at ISO100 according to dxomark. Further, the dynamic range at ISO100 – ISO6400 is pretty much the same for both cameras.

            • ninpou_kobanashi

              The other thing about noise is ambient temperature. You get craploads more noise when it’s hot, compared to when it’s cold. I always thought it was funny when running across Canon’s sample “low noise” pictures taken next to icebergs (^_^). Marketing geniuses!

            • RBR

              It’s obviously a QC problem if it needs fixing.

            • EnglishPaul

              I don’t see this as a QC issue. As posted above ALL sensors exhibit this behaviour. If it was a QC issue then LENR wouldn’t clear it up as it does. LENR becomes active in exposures longer than 1 second so it’s no surprise that noise is present in 10 second plus exposures with LENR disabled

      • HF

        Is your work focussed on long exposures? Otherwise you don’t recognise it at all or could use LE-NR to get rid of it easily (takes twice the time but works).

        • Ahmad Al-Joboori

          Then they should mention in the camera specs minmum shutter speed 10s 🙂

      • Global

        This is not a product failure. This is a small thing, with an annoying solution. They should just make a firmware update. But maybe they didn’t have time yet to write one that is more accurate than using external measuring devices.

        I think Nikon would have been wise to offer a “half-measure” solution via Firmware — and a “full-measure” by sending in, until they could solve it totally by firmware.

        At least people wouldn’t feel annoyed to send it in…

    • neversink

      I’m not surprised either. but it seems that it doesn’t really matter what product comes out, there always as to be a fix up the road for some technical glitch. apple always has to fix there newest OS, Microsoft has all sorts of problems, Android phones are full of security holes.
      I long for the old days of film, when new models of camera came out every eight to ten years. And there were no hot pixel issues, no left focus issues, no sensor dust issues, no AA filter, no software upgrades and no discontinued software. Oh yes, and no internet to bitch about Nikon!!!!!!

    • Wade Marks

      This is hardly a major QA problem…a very minor problem that doesn’t even affect the majority of users. Before Nikon released their advisory on it, most people never noticed, never cared, and went on to praise the camera.

      The remedy is simple…and the problem is minor. Nikon did the right thing in owning up to it. So what’s the problem?

    • fjfjjj

      Ermahgerd! Nerkern derfercts!

  • I am really *****-off now. Camera will be gone for 2-4 weeks!

    • It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t had to send a D800 off two years ago. I drifting into the sceptic camp of not buying a Nikon until they have tested on other customers. Glad they are able to save money on not having a proper testing and QC departments though! Ahhhhhhh!

      • KubaWer

        I send back my D800 after 2 months of use..

      • ninpou_kobanashi

        Please. Early adopters pay in multiple ways. Just bend over already.

    • n11

      So you own a D810 and are having long-exposure bright pixel issues?
      Or you just trolling with your comments?

  • doge

    Maybe in another 4 or 5 years they’ll finally release a camera with no issues at launch.

    • saywhatuwill

      They already did. The Df.

      • stormwatch

        Of course the Df is with no issues, except it has no featuers.

    • benji2505

      … and the world is a disk.

    • Ian Lindo

      I can’t really think of any camera on the market that has no issues or had none at launch. Some are less apparently. This issue for example, seems far less obvious considering that many people don’t do the type of shooting to even have noticed it.

  • Nokin

    Problem solved.

    Just don’t buy any Nikon stuff in the first few months!

    • Eric Calabros

      That applies to all camera makers

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      Just don’t buy any NEW stuff in the first few months!

  • KubaWer

    Where is the link to check serial number? 🙂

  • JXVo

    “pixel defect compensation” presumably means they ignore the output of affected pixels when processing the data to make an image file….thus effectively deleting those pixels?

    Whew! Glad I did not pull the trigger on one of these yet. It sure paid off to wait on the D800 too. Bought mine about a year after release – no left focus issues and it has been by far the best camera I ever had.

    • Yes, not resolving the original problem at all and giving inferior results. Brilliant! Not happy!

      • Eric Calabros

        Still no body in sensor industry has resolved the original problem, you shoot long exposure, you get hot/white pixels. they just make software solutions to hide it in final output. in this case, Nikon forgot to implement that software, or did it inadequately

    • most likely the hot pixel algorithm looks for pixels with values above ~254 that are surrounded by darker pixels or something to that effect.

      • ZoetMB

        Which means that you can’t use the camera to shoot stars or very small light scatters on water at night or anything like that, correct?

        • No. Point sources of light take up more than just one pixel. The algorithm takes this into account. I would also think that the Nikon Scene Recognition System comes into effect here.

          For even extremely small point sources of light there is some local light falloff from the source. Thus the camera can probably distinguish to some extent a ‘star’ from a hot pixel but not the other way around to the same effect, due to the hot pixels appearing either in some place after image processing or in close but random proximity to each other.

          • fjfjjj

            What in the name of photography is “local light falloff from the source”?

            “Can distinguish A from B but not the other way around” — That’s a nonsense phrase.


    • Global

      The Nikon D810 is a GREAT camera. Just because it has a little noise in very long exposures in x1.2 crop mode doesn’t make it something to worry about, unless you regularly use that function. It is a bit annoying to send a camera in though.

      Nikon normally solves these small firmware things with firmware updates, for every camera. The D600 fiasco has just made everyone really sensitive. The hassle of sending a camera in to Nikon is a bit bothersome as well & will only remind people that D600s are being sent in for exchange to D610s.

      Its bad PR that Nikon requires this to be sent in-house.

      If they released the update as firmware, no one would care.

  • Alexandre Mensi

    I called my Nikon Service Depot and luckily it takes 15-20 minutes. I’m NPS, I don’t know if it count for something for this issue.

    • JFH

      Did they say what the fix was? Have you tested it since? Thx.

      • Alexandre Mensi

        They said the fix was only software. I don’t know why it’s not released to the public though?? I did not test it yet but they showed me the difference. Personally, I had never noticed the white spots because I didn’t have a chance to do long exposures with the D810 yet.

  • John Martinec

    I’m returning mine for a refund. Luckily I waited a little before buying mine and I still fall under the retailers return policy. Can anyone confirm if they already have the black dot and/or if their serial number does not fall under the repair? Thanks If so, what retailer did you purchase from (US only)

    • mrterrabyte

      What’s wrong with yours John? Or are you just one of those incredibly annoying customers who return ‘just because you can’?

      • John Martinec

        Nikon indicates, based on my serial number my camera is defective and needs repaired. I will not, ever, send a camera to Nikon for repair in the USA. Since I fall under the return period of my retailed, it will be sent back for a refund. Why, you may ask I will not send it in for repair….well it goes back to the D800 AF issue. I had to send my camera to them 3 times to get it right. That is unacceptable. The first time, they fixed the outer focus points, but then the middle focus points were way out of alignment. The second time, the camera came back with all focus points in perfect alignment, but the camera was so filthy inside, it looked like someone deliberately threw dust and hair inside because even a lifetime of shooting without cleaning would not result in the amount of debris inside that camera. It went back a third time and they cleaned it. Now do you understand? Probaly not because your answer is a typical fanboy answer. In addition, when I want to upgrade down the road, why would someone want to purchase a defective used camera when they can purchase one defect free? Understand now? Probaly not, you will probably have some smart fanboy reply as to why I should hold on to my camera. Its my choice. Is there anything wrong with my choice? No…Just like there is nothing wrong with those of you that decide to do nothing with a defective camera. BTW…do you own a D810?

        • mrterrabyte

          I wouldn’t say I was a fanboy really…considering you’ve gone from D800, to D800E to D810…the same camera more or less…

          However…I have to say, no I don’t really understand…I’d firstly be waiting 6 months for a huge amount of cameras to flow out of the manufacturer (any manufacturer)…and dare I say it, perhaps a couple of iterations of firmware update…there’s always teething issues in new products…I don’t think that’s fair, just or right…These products should be practically perfect…From memory Thom Hogan had issues in his flagship D3x out of the box if I’m not mistaken…I waited a year before I bought mine f’rinstance, but I digress…Should you hold on to your camera? Errr have you actually tested for whitedotitis? Do you shoot long exposures?

          So, no, I don’t own my d810 as yet…will wait the aforementioned several months. Nothing wrong with your choice except a store has to go through an unnecessary refund process, new camera issued, let alone all the time you’ll spend organising the above…when you could be shooting.

          • John Martinec

            Listen…Im not trying to bash you or anything. Just understand I don’t want a defective camera. Period. You are right about new products. Every electronic manufacturer rushes things out the door in order to try and maximize profits. You think Nikon would have learned its lesson after the D800 AF issue and the spots on the D600 and resulting class action lawsuit. No…they push a camera thoroughly untested. Hey, the retailer has to understand, this is the cost of doing business. The only reason I purchased from them was because of their 60 day return policy. I wanted to make sure my camera was perfect, in this case it is not. Yes…I shoot a lot of long exposures. I shoot a lot of night and early morning city scales which require a longer exposure. I deliberately use even longer exposures because my city is surrounded by water and like the impact a long exposure has on the water. As you can see, I like to have the latest and greatest, so I often sell my camera when a new one is available. I don’t want this impacting the resale value. I will get another D810 once the new ones are confirmed to be fixed.

            • Daryl

              Mine is flagged as well and is still within the return period. It is going back with a replacement from the retailer but not sending it to Nikon.

          • Ms.KrystalMeth

            I have the only Nikon D800 they built right. I never had the issue of focus..or green screen, which had to do with YOU going in and doing your own white balance..heaven forbid! There are tons of bitcher and moaners…in the world today. Someone looked at me the wrong way attitude. SOOO…i am going to send it back..and demand a full refund. Calm down Gurls!

            • mikeswitz

              We must be sharing the same D800. No focus problems, no white balance problems although the camera taught me to shoot with more care. Maybe there is more than one good, out of the box D800 out there.

        • TheInfinityPoint

          John, similar experience here. I had an old AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 I sent in for various repairs, (mount replaced, new AF-S motor, etc.). First time it came back the rear element was scratched (!!) and the aperture ring was not installed correctly (f/2.8 via electronic aperture control was really only giving me f/4). Sent it back and they fixed everything. A few weeks later the AF-S motor gave out, so it went back a 3rd time. I’m just running up to the 6-month mark of their repair warranty, so here’s to hoping it doesn’t break again soon.

          • John Martinec

            Thats what I’m talking about. I have no faith in their repair process.

            • JTK3

              I have used Nikon West for repairs to cameras and lenses including impact damage from a fall (D2x), lens sheared from the camera mount due to a drop (24-70/D3) as well as routine tuneups. I’ve sent my D810 in as it’s an early serial# thanks to NPS. I’ve always had my problems resolved speedily and the first time (pre-NPS membership) – the 24-70 was repaired good as new and the D3 checked and returned to me in one week (I live about 80 miles away and drop off my equipment in person). Nikon has never done wrong by me in the repair department.

        • ZoetMB

          Which Nikon depot did you sent the D800 to?

          • John Martinec

            Melvile, NY…heck I even had to find the VP of customer service on Google+ and hound him to get it done right.

          • John


        • neversink

          I’m not a fan boy but I have only had good luck in Melville except once. My 17-35 f/2.8 got stuck wide open and diaphragm couldn’t stop down. They repaired it and after about a year, the same thing happened and they had to repair it again. Had work done on my D4 recently and no problem. However, if I purchased a new camera with the problem, I would return it. One good reason to buy at shops that offer 30 day- no questions asked returns.

        • Ms.KrystalMeth

          You poor thing. You should go over to Canon. They Need you. Canon…We Build Cameras like it was 2008.

          • John

            Is that the most intelligent answer you could come up with? I guess I’m expecting too much from a 7th grade education. You should go find a video game forum and you can argue what system has better graphics. PS4 or XBOX One. You would fit right in.

            • Ms.KrystalMeth

              Poor John..My Ed U Mo Cation got you to answer. Think about it.

      • dclivejazz

        There’s no way somebody should be expected to keep a defective camera and deal with Nikon’s repair process if they have the option to return it. If it was me, I would return it rather than send it in for repair in a heartbeat.

        Certain retailer’s return option is one reason people buy from them in the first place. At least this camera has a genuine defect and it’s not just being returned because of buyer’s remorse, or because he might rather have a D750.

        Now, if Nikon keeps having QC issues on new cameras and the onslaught of returns to these retailers prompts them to stop carrying Nikon, then there’s a bigger issue, but it wouldn’t be because customers are making rational decisions.

        • John Martinec

          Couldn’t have said it better. No remorse here. I will buy another D810. IN the last 6 years or so I owned a D90, D7000, D800, D4, D800E and now a D810. Well until a new one arrives. Heck, if the D750 is good, I may get it for a second body and/or for shooting low light/action. The D810 will be my primary body.

    • Global

      Serial numbers 30027** (2700s) are affected for sure.

      There may be others affected.

      Personally, I have the D810, and I’ll be just getting a quick fix at Nikon. I’ll probably wait 1 month, though, to make sure they get the logic right. I don’t think its something that needs to be rushed.

      This is a very small issue, considering it only affects images taken in 1.2x crop mode and at very long exposures with NR settings a particular way. Changing any of those gives you normal pictures.

    • Global

      Which retailer did you use that has a 60-day return period by the way? I quite like that philosophy. Very generous.

      • John


  • saywhatuwill

    I don’t even need to look it up to know my camera is affected. I saw it the first day I got the camera. What I’m pleased about is Nikon didn’t let this explode into some panic messages on the internet and for people to use it as cannon fodder to put the camera down. As much as I’d hate to part with my brand new camera I’ll send it in to get it fixed.

  • Wondering why this only affects 20×30 mode?

    • saywhatuwill

      Because you wouldn’t see it otherwise. It looks like a stuck pixel that’s not a different color, just white. If you’re taking pictures of stars this could be a problem since you’ll discover a new star that nobody else can see.

      • Yeah but that has nothing to do with 20×30 mode, why would you not see it also in 24×36 mode?

        • saywhatuwill

          I saw it on regular 24×36 mode and taking regular photos; not long exposures.

        • Good question, since 20×30 is a crop, it may have something to do with the way the image is processed through the pixel pipeline.

      • John Martinec

        They will name the new star NIKOND810.

        • Ms.KrystalMeth

          Oh snap Nikon…is the New Nikon D820 coming very soon? lol

          • saywhatuwill

            Most likely they’ll make use of their “specifications might change without notice” instead.

          • neversink

            Nah… they are going to call it the 810.1

    • JonB

      You misread. It affects long exposure AND 1.2-crop mode, according to the release.

  • onasj

    Since Nikon’s US website serial number checker is broken, I used other channels to determine that D810 serial numbers #3005435 AND HIGHER are fixed (need no service), while #3005434 and lower require service.

    • It worked fine for me but I first had to log into my Nikon USA account

    • Linz W.

      You’re so clever, thanks for doing that!! …I thought the site was broke too, turns out they’re using website and cookie data to ‘hold’ the serial you enter, I’d made a typo and wasn’t able to enter another until I went and deleted nikons cookies and website data.

    • John Martinec

      Ummm my serial number is higher than 3005435 and according to the Nikon link is impacted by this.

      • NFan

        The magic number is #3005884. Anything above this not affected.

        • John

          No sorry…mine is about 1000 higher and it is impacted.

    • neversink

      I’m not a fan boy but I have only had good luck in Melville except once. My 17-35 f/2.8 got stuck wide open and diaphragm couldn’t stop down. They repaired it and after about a year, the same thing happened and they had to repair it again. Had work done on my D4 recently and no problem.

    • NFan

      The magic number is #3005884. Anything above this not affected, including it. Anything below probably is. It is a guess made on entering random serial numbers.

      • Wrenched

        My 810 was flagged with a serial 6406. Nikon sent a prepaid courier slip right away – it will be in their hands tomorrow.

  • KT

    Great, that means there will be plenty of barely-used refurbished D810 bodies flooding the market by early 2015, from all the panicked customers returning their newly purchased cameras. Could potentially save me a few $100s if I decide to go with the D810 instead of the D750, Bring it on

    • sperdynamite

      I already got one open box from B&H for 2,800. Let the ‘internet commenter’ crowd return their probably perfectly good cameras. Works for me.

      • KT

        Really, did the D810 already drop that far in the open-box market? or is that a special employee price? That price would have been good even for a D800E

        • sperdynamite

          I was just lucky. I did see a couple other OBs at 2900ish later on. I think 800es are going for around 2,600 now.

    • EnglishPaul

      Yeah lots of people returning perfectly working cameras. Turn long exposure noise reduction off, take a long exposure and then cry faulty when there’s noise on the image. Sheesh.

    • John Martinec

      You’re welcome. I imagine these returns will be available before 2015, so save hour dollars!!

    • JTK3

      I’ve got 3400 shutter actuations on my D810 and it’s heading in for the Service Advisory, then coming back to me. It’s a terrific camera (and I haven’t noticed the problem although I haven’t shot within those parameters yet). Still got D3s/D3/D300s bodies that aren’t going anywhere – but after using the D810 I would get another in a heartbeat and I can’t imagine you will be disappointed if you don’t wait for a D750, unless a high continuous shooting rate at full res is a requirement for the work you do.

  • Aldo

    fail…. sigh.

  • Harry

    The bright side of the D600 issue fallout is that they have realized that its not just Level1 issues (ones that can cause endangerment such as battery heating et al) but also other issues (ones that can interfere with the main function of the product) that needs to be expedited. While this is unfortunate, it is at least gratifying to see that Nikon is trying to pull its sock up and handle the issue as quickly as reasonably possible.

    • That was my first thought too.

      On the other hand, as an active member of this site, and dedicated user of a Shakycam, I’ll volunteer to do QA because it’s clear that it needs improved! 😛

      • Harry

        LOL. agree. I did read that the D7000 had this issue and such oversight for a 3K product is not acceptable. Almost wonder if the QA they have inherently understands the product any more. Like any other company, I tend to think that Nikon wanted to cut costs and replaced experienced folks.

        • Hehe, if I did QA, Admin would have to install a red hotline just for me.

  • Mark

    I’m confused – can you just do the FW update yourself, or do you need to send it in? The way it’s worded it sounds like you can do either.

  • Raymond Dunham

    Why couldn’t they do this for my D600? Oh yeah. Its just “Dust”..

  • B Spencer

    Bummer. Guess I’ll have to send it in. I do a lot of night work. I saw this the first time I was taking night shots:

  • Eno

    At least Nikon learned to respond to user complains now…

  • My camera is allegedly effected, but I don’t see anything.

    15s 1.2x both dark frame and “relatively dark” scene.

    • HF

      I saw it in longer exposures only (20s and up), nothing serious. Using LE-NR or Capture NX-D with “Edge Noise Reduction” and “Astro Noise Reduction” got rid of it.

      • Are you the same HF who keeps posting on my blog?

        You’re full of great tips! Thanks!

        • HF

          Yes, indeed. Will wait until the majority sent their D810 in and will then let it be fixed. As long exposure noise reduction fixes it quite effectively it is not urgent, as I don’t care whether I have to wait 30s or 1 minute (I guess only 0.1% of my pictures are with long shutter speeds).

          • I’m shooting too much at the moment to send anything in!

            • Same way I feel.. I can’t part with that camera for more than a couple of days.. Besides I don’t notice anything strange with my images when I do long exposures at night.

  • whisky

    i’m also impressed by the +ve change Nikon is attempting through customer service. keep it up Nikon … 🙂

  • jackarm

    I recall this problem with my D7000. The Nikon firmware update I downloaded allowed me to re-map the pixels and clean up the sensor output. When I got my AW-1, I was surprised to see this feature included in the set-up menu. It works. I wonder why the AW-1 has this as a native operation and my D800 does not.

    • megadon357

      The V1 also has this as a menu option.

  • Alvaro Montes

    Hello from La Paz, Bolivia (S.America).
    Could anyone be so kind to guide us on a procedure to test wether we have this thermal issue on our sensors or not?

    I am writing from Bolivia (no Nikon authorized dealer, let alone authorized service center) and would like to make sure my camera has the problem.

    I have checked my serial number with Nikons US web site and it says my camera should be shipped for repair.

    Before I go through the trouble of shipping it to the US and back, I´d like to make sure I have the problem.

    Thank you very much for your Help!


  • Seems to pay to wait until bugs are ironed out, pretty frustrating for anyone experiencing this, hopefully Nikon will rectify this quickly for those affected.

  • Kurt Story

    Nikon says my D810 is one that is affected, yet I haven’t seen anything
    at ISO 10,000 and 13 seconds. I may hold off to see if there is a
    firmware fix, rather than be without a camera for a couple weeks or more, esp. if there’s a big customer rush on this issue.

    • Yeah, I don’t see anything either. Surely nothing like the examples I’ve seen. My serial is supposed to have been effected too.

  • Kayneeezy

    Checked my serial number and mine is affected.. Won’t be sending it back anytime soon.. Have money to make with it.. cant go 4 weeks without my primary camera..

    • neversink

      Do you not have replacement insurance for these problems. I wonder if my insurance covers such issues. How about back-up camera bodies? Photography is an art, but it is also a business.

      • Kayneeezy

        I have 3 camera bodies, 5100, 7100 and 810.. I shoot with two cameras at a time 810 and 7100.. I cant use the 5100 anymore even casually it doesn’t feel right..


    The Nikon Empire strikes back (again)!!!!

  • Hightower

    Besides my D810 checked other Nikons (D600/7100) and one Canon 650D (don’t shoot me 😉 … and surprise, surprise ! Every cam shows more or less some “hot pixels” with higher settings (ISO and long exp.) at 100% view … sure, every manufacturer does pixel software manipulation to fix bright dots in your pics … after this firmware update future white dots will be blackened 😉 Don’t try to find every little “defect” of electronic products – you always will find something, because these complex products are never 100% free of something … that’s why at least one firmware update is coming for every new product (yes, even D700 😉 – just go out and shoot …

  • Robert Mossack

    It find it kind of amusing how people react to these things. Nikon drags their feet, like with the D600 oil spot issue, people get (understandably) pissed at Nikon’s denial of the issue. With the white spot issue on the D810, Nikon is right on the ball and jumps on the problem immediately, and people still get equally pissed. It’s a no win situation. It seems many cameras from any of the major manufacturers can have bugs upon initial release. This is why I am never an early adopter, better off waiting for the inevitable bugs to be worked out first before I decide to lay down my cold, hard cash.

    • Guest

      That’s easy to explain:

      – D4/D800/D600 issues => people lost confidence in Nikon.
      – Nikon reacts immediately to D810 “starlights” issue => people still skeptical.
      – D870, D880, D890 with no issues (the year is 2025, Nikon is a Canon subsidiary) => people think: ok, maybe we shall give Nikon a chance.

      • Eric Calabros

        I’m not skeptical. Internet whinners are not representatives of “people” anymore. many of them even have no clue what long exposure photography is, or how sensors work! and yet expect Nikon some kind of QC perfection like it makes inspection equipments for CERN labotarory!

        • HF

          Surprisingly people don’t complain about bugfixes for IE, Windows, OSX, , Flashplayer, Java….. As I develop complex scientific software myself, I really want to see a bugfree COMPLEX software product (not a “Hello World” example).

  • Maji

    If it can be fixed using a firmware upgrade, why does one need to send in their camera for service? Or is it something that can’t be fixed with a firmware upgrade?

  • Beso

    This is both surprising and very disappointing. Given Nikon’s recent missteps on the D800, D600, etc., the continuing trend of QA/QC issues raises serious questions about my very sizable investment in Nikon gear. I am beginning to wonder if cutting my losses and looking at a different manufacturer might be a truly viable option.
    I will give Nikon some credit on this latest fiasco, however. It didn’t take them too long to acknowledge the problem and step up to the plate with free shipping. Maybe they learned something from the customer service nightmare known as the D600. Still, they apparently did not learn enough as this situation should never have occurred.
    Quite frankly Nikon needs a good internal shakeup, and a wholesale retooling of their QA/QC protocols.

  • Aldo

    This will affect me greatly when I take long exposures of my cat…

    • Arthur Tazo

      Not if your cat is all white.

    • Arthur Tazo

      Not if your cat is all white.

  • Brian

    Haven’t had an issue. I will wait to send it in. Let the rush get over and maybe send it down the road when a cleaning will be in order.

  • Sadly, the D800e I own has always had this same issue. I called it a reticulation issue. But the white spots are in the thousands, almost a small gain effect. They are removeable in post, Capture One does a better job.

    My D810 is in the serial number sequence that is requiring service, so I assume it’s more than a firmware update? It will be nice to have this issue resolved, however I would love to see a similar fix for the D800e.


  • I also wanted to add, I am surprised that some people are reporting that this is a “firmware” update, which should not required the camera to be returned to Nikon. Nikon on the other hand, level 2 tech support, claims they don’t know what the “fix” requires and to send in the camera. It would be nice to know that actual fix parameters.


    • SkyMeow

      It IS a firmware update.

      • Yes, firmware plus a hard coded fix. The hard coded fix can’t be applied in the field and without it, the firmware does no good. Finally got someone at Nikon that knows the process. It’s pretty apparent this was discovered mid life on the D800e and fixed internally, not released to the field. My D800e which was an early ship, has this same issue.

  • Wade Marks

    This seems to be non-issue for most users in most situations. And one with a very simple software fix.

    Some people are over reacting to this…

    • Beso

      So every time you plunk down $3300 you think it is okay if the product is defective? Some people may be overreacting and some people may think, given Nikon’s recent history of QA/QC issues, that new products should be fully tested prior to going to market. It is a significant inconvenience to get the problem resolved for people who have to ship their camera to a service center. Obviously this problem was avoidable and Nikon should have made sure it was. Some people are understandably upset and rightly so.

      • SkyMeow

        But this isn’t a defect. It is only a minor glitch. Happens with practically all sort of electronics with computer in it, even cars and airliners. Before Nikon released this

        service advisory, nobody here complained about this issue. After advisory released, promptly acknowledged the problem and offered a free simple fix, people started complaining over a minor issue that never had any impact on their usage. Nikon could have just ignore it, I bet it would never be a problem at all. Instead, Nikon did the right thing.

        Some people really need to be more reasonable.

        • Beso

          It is a defect. You can call it whatever you want but if it is not supposed to operate that way it is a defect. Nikon was not the first to report the problem. Consumers reported the problem and some actually returned their cameras where they were purchased because of this defect. And it was reported here by at least one consumer. Try again.

          • EnglishPaul

            Consumers didn’t report this, Photography Life reported it. They turned off long exposure noise reduction did a long exposure, post processed to emphasise the to be expected noise and made a big deal out of it. Normal users are actually finding it hard to replicate in a lot of cases.

  • Louis Miles

    Just came back from Nikon in Sydney. 45minutes.

    • Kan Z

      Please share some post-tuneup results if you could…thanks! I was about to place an order for D810 but all local stores were out of stock.

    • JFH

      What was the explanation of the fix? And how are things working now in 1.2 crop, and long exposures? Thanks.

      • Louis Miles

        No explanation. Just “That should be enough to stop any issues”, when picking it up. I must have been one of the first to bring theirs in.

  • Egami M

    is there is any way to make sure if the camera affected or not before I buy it ?

    • Egami M

      ok..i got it, looking at the tripod socket , the one with black tag is not affected

  • SkyMeow

    I have never needed to use exposure longer than 5 seconds and never used 1.2x crop (only 1.5x when I need extra “reach” while shooting JPEG), so I was thinking about just ignoring it. I don’t even see anything wrong with the pictures I’ve taken with my D810 so far.

    But then since I don’t have much to do today, I just went to Nikon service center in Bangkok this morning. About 40 minutes later, I walked out with my D810. I checked the firmware and a new version was installed. A lady at the counter simply explained to me that it is a software update and adjustments that reprograms the sensor. Procedure involves more than copying a new firmware to SD/CF card, therefore we can’t do it ourselves. I don’t know any detail, she didn’t explain much to me.

    I don’t see why some people making such a big deal out of this. There is no hardware issue. Only software. Besides, most of us including pros who received their D810 before release date didn’t even notice this issue until Nikon released the service advisory.

  • Global

    For the record: 30027** is affected. Anyone know what the range of affected cameras are? The 3002700’s are affected for sure.

  • Ms.KrystalMeth

    This would not be happening if this camera was built in Japan and not some third world country…Thailand.

    • SkyMeow

      Where is the quality control of your brain

    • Egami M

      Wrong Ms.first world citizen

  • Quasimodo

    After the litany of new Nikon DSLRs that have been launched since the D2x with minor or major problems this is unbelievable.

    If you made it up folk would not believe it! It’s ridiculous that people still rush to buy new Nikon stuff as soon as it’s launched!

  • Eric Bowles

    You would think Nikon would develop a suitable test script for this kind of stuff. Who would test a new camera without photographing lightbulbs, severely underexposing images, etc? I can’t believe Nikon tests their cameras for normal use – how narrow minded.

    • Harry

      starts at the top. David Dentry (Sr. General Manager, Customer Experience at the time of the D600 issue) said this in a reply to me:

      “If you have any photos, preferable real world shooting, that show the problem we’d be happy to review, but it’s likely that whenever you “test” a product in unrealistic conditions you’ll find limitations.”

      It appears that he has since quit (or was let go?) Nikon to a company called Quirky (no pun intended, check his linked in!)

      • EnglishPaul

        Ironically that quote is right for this situation.

        • John

          I’m sorry, but there are plenty of “Real World” example showing the white dot problem. GO to DP Review and see for yourself. In fact, shooting a lens cap often doesn’t even reveal the problem. There are everyday type of shots clearly showing the issue on DP Review.

          • Harry

            I would agree. The definition of “real world” varies from one person to another and highly subjective. If we were to constrain only shooting under great /controlled light conditions, we wouldn’t find the creativity that we do with our photos. In the creative world (which I would like to think I am part of), there are no constraints and given that, there isn’t an “unreal” shot. Again, s**t happens. Its how (well) you react to it that matters. I have had a camera store bungle up my order. They were so apologetic and overnighted the missing shipment. I went back to them again. In this case, I think Nikon reacted within a reasonable timeframe and just wish they had for the D600 issue as well without making demeaning comments :).

            • EnglishPaul

              By “real world” I meant situations where the camera was used as directed that is with LENR on for a long exposure and still exhibits this problem. It was reported on Photography Life and they had to provoke the camera into this and then post process to exaggerate the problem. I understand what you say about creativity but we are constrained to extent by the limit of current technology. I also agree with you that it’s how they deal with an issue that counts and I think Nikon have decided to roll with this one rather than get into it with Photography Life.

      • John

        Harry…This is funny. I tracked this guy down on google+ during the D800 left AF issues 2 years ago. I was one of the ones in the first batch released in the US. Their “customer service” reps were not getting back to me after I submitted photographic proof of the issue. In addition, I had to keep after him because it took 3 tries for them to finally fix the issue. This is why I refuse to send anything in for a “repair” unless I have no other choice. My D810 is on its way back to the merchant.

    • EnglishPaul

      Exactly Eric! Let’s pull the plug out and complain that the water runs out of the bath!

  • FredBear

    Seems Nikon have gone ‘dotty’.

  • Florian

    My local Nikon Service Center told me the fix can be done without opening the camera by a simple firmware update.

    I phoned up Nikon directly just to confirm whether the fixed camera would
    be IDENTICAL to a body of the new batch. I mean, whether the only
    difference would be WHEN the firmware update was played in: BEFORE or
    AFTER selling the body.

    -> The answer was not definate, but implying there IS a difference. Now I’m confused…. Maybe the person at Nikon just was not sure?…

  • Lucho Sanchez

    The white spots appear in FX??

  • EnglishPaul

    “Although Nikon put a lot of effort into making a problem-free camera, we did discover a thermal issue that affected images at long exposures and quickly reported it to Nikon. Thankfully, it did not take long for Nikon to acknowledge this issue and offer a solution, which takes care of this issue completely. Despite the fact that a number of people were angry at Nikon for another flaw, we never looked at the issue as a serious problem in the first place, because it was only visible at very long exposures and it could be taken care of by turning the Long Exposure Noise Reduction feature on.”

    Read more:

  • Aaron Feinbrerg

    This has been on my D800 since I got it….wtf….

  • Is anyone having any luck with their website? It keeps giving me an error on the state (which is a dropdown menu choice)…

    The value you provided for the Ship-From State exceeds the maximum allowable length of 5 characters!
    Please trim Ship-From State and try again.(0)

  • Bob

    I found a comparison about D810 new firmware upgraded before&after,in a chinese website .The bright spots looks pretty obviously but solved well now.

  • qki

    The d810 is also affected with white noise at high iso and not only at long exposure. Please check my blogpost about this issue:

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