Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another D90 hot (pixel) story

I bought a D90 kit online from Adorama Camera last month. First off, the manual bag was torn. It looked like it wasnt packed right, OR it was repackaged after use. I was living with it.. until the next day when I removed the LCD plastic cover to clean the LCD with a brush, and it was *scratched*!!!

Now I was sure I needed to return it. So I got in touch with Ms. Helen Oster (their cust svc ambassador), who was very polite and agreed to have it returned. I returned that one, and bought a second one from them for the same price since I didnt want to wait for a 10 day exchange cycle.

Guess what: the second one arrived clean, with the manual bag only partly damaged (still not intact), BUT with one bright green hot pixel in lower left corner visible even at ISO 200 and fast shutter speeds!!! I contacted Adorama again, and even this time Helen offered to exchange it. And while we were discussing that, a new one developed.. within 2 days of purchase!!

I also talked with Nikon Cust Support and they are asking to look at it under warranty, BUT I will have to pay the forward shipping. WHY????

I am pissed. I know it is pixel peeping, AND I love the camera otherwise, AND I can use a software (Capture NX2 or Lightroom OR Photoshop) to auto map them out, but why cant Nikon have better quality control and reject sensors that show hot pixels even at ISO 200 in bright conditions? Why must we have to pay extra for software fixes for hardware faults?

I agree hot pixels may develop with time and use and environmental conditions. But right off the box?? How bad is their testing?

If I didnt love the camera otherwise, I would return it for a full refund.

Good luck guys!

P.S. I must commend Ms Helen Oster for being courteous through this whole episode and for suggesting alternatives. However now its like a lottery game.. no one knows if the 2nd replacement will be better or worse.. only NIKON knows. Funnily enough, in the Rebel XSi I owned before, I never noticed any hot pixels.. not even at 1600 ISO. And with the D90, I could see the hot pixel right there in a normal day light shot.


  1. I will not get into the details of my D90 hot pixel experience since it is not much different than yours and several others I have read about. My 90s is currently showing 80+ very noticeable hot pixels at ISO200 a 10 seconds. I thought my D80 was bad with 4 or 5.
    I too am extremely upset. This will be my 3rd D90 returned.

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  3. How is your replacement turned out ? I returned a perfect d5000 to get a d90. This was lastweek , abot 50 pics later I see hot pixels in at iso 200 for 1/30sec exposures.

    And I was assuming that nikon may have fixed the hot pixel issue given that it has been around for a long time.

  4. I gave up and sent my D90 to Nikon to have them mapped out. I maxed out at buying 8 D90s and returning 7 for one reason or another including most for hot pixels. After having them mapped out on the latest purchase, I was extremely happy. Since then a couple of them have cropped up during extended use. I look at so many night images on the net and many of them have any signs of hot pixels.

  5. I to have the same hot pixel problem. I am sending my D90 back for the third time. I have asked Nikon for a new D90 body. Wish me luck! This camera is just 20 days over a year old so the warranty is no longer...But they may fix it anyway..

  6. Glad (or not?) to know that I'm not alone with stuck pixels on my new D90! Second D90 from same store, 2 bright red dots visible to the eye without magnification on my computer screen at 200 ISO. As our host says, I also really love this camera, but am so disappointed with this major problem. I am not one to spend time fixing each photo I take, and should not have to, especially with a new camera.
    I also have an Olympus E620 - a delightful DSLR that, when still brand new, developed some stuck pixels. Brilliantly, the Olympus DSLR's come equipped with a Pixel Re-mapping system built into the camera's menu! (ARE YOU LISTENING, NIKON?) Just like performing a sensor clean, you perform a pixel remapping and in several minutes those stuck/hot/dead pixels are gone. I've only had to use this feature once on my Olympus, but why can't Nikon include this technology on their cameras? I would think that it would save them a lot of money and keep more customers satisfied.
    After much internet research about this problem, I believe that Nikon has put out batches of D90's without testing the sensor for this problem. Definitely a lack of quality control.
    So, I will return my 2nd D90 and will not try for a 3rd from the same store. I just hope they won't charge me a restocking fee - I haven't touched the manual, or opened any other items other than the body, the battery and the lens to test this. And it was actually the store manager who opened it for me. If they won't refund my money (it's only been 1 week), I am actually tempted to exchange it for the Canon T2i, but I know in my gut that the D90 takes better photos, especially in low light which is vital to me. Perhaps the Canon plus a fast prime lens will do the trick? Something tells me it's just not the same.
    What to do, what to do?!



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