As you may already know, we recently reported the thermal issue with the Nikon D810 when using long shutter speeds and we immediately reported the issue to Nikon, as soon as we confirmed that all camera samples we’ve handled so far had the same problem. Since opening a trouble ticket with Nikon, we have received communication from Nikon USA that Nikon engineers were investigating our image samples and that a follow-up with details would be provided, once available. Looks like Nikon USA has officially confirmed this issue today (here is the original advisory published earlier at Nikon Japan). There are good news – Nikon has issued a service advisory, so every Nikon D810 owner will be able to get it repaired. Nikon will implement a firmware update and adjust the camera sensor to take care of the problem.
UPDATE: The Service Advisory is now effective worldwide!
To check if your D810 is affected, Nikon has provided a dedicated page where you can input the serial number of your camera (European customers can click this link). Simply type the serial number in the input box, then hit the button right next to it. If you are affected, you will be asked to proceed with the service repair.
To all new Nikon D810 cameras that are rolling out of the factory, Nikon is applying a new fix to “tag” cameras that have been repaired. You will be able to visually see which camera has been repaired by looking at the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera:
If you see a black tag inside, your camera has already been adjusted. If you just see the silver bottom, then your camera needs to be serviced.
Here is the official Nikon D810 Service Advisory information:
To users of the Nikon D810 digital SLR camera
Thank you for choosing Nikon for your imaging needs.
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.
The official version in Japanese was a bit lengthier and contains more information:
To users of the Nikon D810 digital SLR camera
Thank you for buying Nikon products.
We have received complaints from our customers regarding an issue where bright spots might appear in images at long exposures, or when images are captured in 1.2x crop mode using the D810 digital single-lens reflex camera.
We have confirmed the issue with bright spots appearing in images captured in 1.2x crop mode and when photographing long exposures. Customers who already purchased the camera will be supported by our service organization. We apologize for the inconvenience this issue might have caused you.
How to check if your camera is affected
In order to check whether your camera is affected, please click the below “Serial Number Check” link, where you will be able to enter the serial number of your D810 camera. Based on the serial number entered, we will provide instructions on how to send your camera to a service center. If the page shows that your camera as not affected, it does not need to be serviced and you can use it with confidence.
It should be noted that even if the serial number entered is confirmed as needing repair, if the black circle identification mark in the tripod screw hole of the bottom of the camera body is already there as shown in the sample image, it means that the product has already been inspected and adjusted for this phenomenon, so you can use it with peace of mind.
Black circle: inspection and adjustment identification mark
If you have a D810 digital SLR camera that is affected, please consult with our service organization. We will implement a firmware upgrade and perform adjustments on the imaging device in order to improve this phenomenon. With this repair, the occurrence of bright spots is reduced when images are captured at 1.2x crop mode or when long exposures are used.
When you need to improve sharpness and resolution of the captured image, even after the above-mentioned repair, bright spots might appear when shooting at slower shutter speeds than 30 seconds. If you set “Long exposure noise reduction” value to “Yes”, you can further reduce this phenomenon. Thank you for your understanding. To offer products that will satisfy our customers in the future, we will continue to perform further research at our company.
[How to apply for service]
Instructions on how to apply for service will change by country
Once your camera is received in the service center, we will perform the repair within one week. There might be further delays due to large volume of customers, so we are asking for your patience.
We deeply apologize for this inconvenience to our loyal customers.
In regards to our company, we are willing to do what it takes to achieve perfection and to improve the quality of our products in the future, so we ask for your continuous support of Nikon products.
Looks like most cameras shipped at launch are affected (mine certainly is), but I am sure all new units shipping from the factory will already have this firmware and sensor fix implemented. Please note that the above issue is not critical for most photographers and only affects those that shoot at long exposures without LENR (Long Exposure Noise Reduction) turned on.
Kudos to Nikon for quickly acknowledging and taking care of the issue. We are glad that we reported this issue early on and we thank Nikon for listening and working together to come up with a working solution.