Faulty New Nikon D80

  ened 06:56 21 Dec 2007

In August I purchased a camera from, an online retailer which also runs a chain of shops.

I have started using the RAW format all the time and have noticed a slight blemish in the same place on all pictures, but most noticeably on blue sky.

I have checked back and, looking closely, it is there on all the early pictures as well.

I contacted the company who have written back to say that I am too late for anything except a repair.

I do not want this mainly because this particular firm (according to the financial press) could be closing it’s doors any day – and if they were in the (probably long) process of repairing my camera I would then have nothing.

My view is that as it was there from the beginning (I have tried different lenses), they should replace the camera. I don’t really want a £650 camera which has had a major component changed like that.

I would like an opinion as to where I stand from a legal point of view.

Also some suggestions as to the sensible way to proceed - one of their shops is only 15 miles away and they do seem amenable to dealing with stuff bought online.

  exdragon 08:01 21 Dec 2007

I suppose you've made sure it's not just dirt on the sensor, have you? Or is it obviously not that?

I had my sensor cleaned professionally, then never changed the lens I put on but still managed to get some dirt on. This would be quite possible if you've been changing lenses, no matter how careful you are.

You could ask the store to look at it and see if they will send it back to Nikon as it's still under warranty.

  hssutton 08:52 21 Dec 2007

Almost a certainty that it's dirt on the sensor. I use eclipse fluid and Digi-pads for cleaning the sensors on my Canons. click here

click here

  iscanut 09:27 21 Dec 2007

I am no expert on consumer rights, but surely you have a 12 month manufacturers guarantee and that you have registered with Nikon. If so, perhaps you should contact them, not the retailer.

  hssutton 09:44 21 Dec 2007

Dirt on the sensor is not considered as a fault, although Canon on occasions have offered a one off clean during the first year.

Dirt on the sensor is one of the "hazards" of owning an DSLR. Eventually requiring the owner to "bite the bullet and do a "self clean"

Most owners find the first sensor clean to be a very daunting experience, but thereafter find it to be childs play. Care however must be taken and the correct materials used, otherwise the sensor could be damaged (actually the Low pass filter in front of the sensor)and could be quite expensive to repair.

If you decide to do your own sensor clean read the following two links

click here
click here

  hssutton 09:47 21 Dec 2007

Oh! forgot to mention, if it's only one small dust spot this is easily removed in image editor, most photographers would either "Clone or Heal" the affected area.

  Kemistri 11:36 21 Dec 2007

I agree with hssutton.

However, since consumer rights were queried and not answered, I will give a hypothetical answer. If your camera - at less than six months old, since you bought it in August - had developed any emerging fault, the seller has a legal responsibility to provide a replacement or arrange a repair. The product is deemed to have had this hypothetical fault at the time of its purchase and it is up to the seller to prove otherwise if he wishes to contest your rights. In the eyes of UK consumer law, you have no contract with the manufacturer - any warranty offered or implied is in addition to your rights. Your contract with the seller and it is his responsibility to organise any necessary repairs or deal with the supplier or manufacturer as necessary. Beyond the six-month period, you still have a right to redress, though those rights are slightly different and I won't go into them here.

If you want to find technical advice about cameras, click here

  ened 13:18 21 Dec 2007

Well several points have been raised and I have found it relatively easy to remove the mark with the clone tool, as has been mentioned. I don't think this is really the point.

The fact remains this problem was present when I purchased the camera.

I have had a Canon 300D for a few years and I had not realised DSLRs were susceptible to 'dirt on the sensor' - if that is what is causing the problem.I certainly never had this problem with the Canon.

What does concern me, however, is making an attempt at cleaning it (there are instructions in the manual) and cocking it up.

I would then presumably have lost my rights. Also suppose it is not dirt? I have to say it doesn't look like dirt, more of a transparent smudge.

I have telephoned the company concerned and been told that if they send it away this will take at least six weeks.

That is not acceptable to me - neither do I want a refund, but a camera which works properly without having to edit every picture I take. It wasn't particularly cheap either.

As I said I had never realised dirt on the censor was a risk and in any case it was there at the start. I feel I want a replacement.

If anybody thinks I am being unreasonable please tell me - but tell me why.

  cycoze 14:40 21 Dec 2007

Invest £7.99 in a Blower from somewhere like Jessops click here

Your manual should tell you how to lock the mirror up, use the blower to try and shift any dust, be careful not to put the nozzle into the camera, an inch away is safe so you do not touch anything inside like the sensor itself.

If it does not get cleaned via that method then have the shop it was bought from clean the sensor for you with a recognised swab method.

If it cannot be cleaned and turns out to be a problem with the sensor then as above it is under warranty and should be replaced or repaired.

As above, sensors on DSLRs are prone to dust, always try to change lenses in a dust free environment, having a blower handy to give a couple of puffs each lens change is a good idea.

  oresome 14:44 21 Dec 2007

The unreasonable part, especially from the retailers viewpoint is that the camera, even when repaired, is now unsaleable as a new product.

No doubt if you had spotted the defect in the first few weeks, the retailer would have exchanged the camera and the manufacturer would have accepted the product back as an out of box failure. The retailer would have still made his profit and the manufacturer would have stood the loss, reselling the camera at a reduced price.

Providing the camera comes back as good as new, I don't see that you have any cause for complaint in accepting a repair.

I do think it's reasonable to ask for a loan camera of similar quality if the repair is to take as long as 6 weeks.

If you have doubts as to the retailer remaining solvent during this period, ask the manufacturer if you can deal direct, but then I wouldn't expect the loan camera to be offered.

  iambeavis 15:19 21 Dec 2007

Take some shots of a well lit, plain white surface using different apertures. If the spots change from well defined spots (at small apertures) to smudges, similar to grease stains (at large apertures), then the problem is dust on the sensor.
I had dust on the sensor of my D50 from the instant I took it out of he box - thankfully my D300 is clear (so far).
The best thing I've found for cleaning the sensor is a foot pump, of the type used for an inflatable bed,using the technique outlined by cycoze.

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