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I think my Nikon D40 has a sensor defect

I noticed yesterday this nasty bright green dot and line in recent photos from my Nikon D40:

Nikon D40 Sensor Defect?

Crap.

Just to be sure, I did some more test shots tonight with my other lens, and it’s definitely there.

It doesn’t seem to be dust on the sensor. After some quick Googling, I found this guy, who had the same symptoms on a D40, and returned it under warranty as defective.

The D40 has a 1 year warranty on parts, so I guess I have to figure out how to get warranty service on it. Any pointers or ideas?

Update: Nikon’s Knowledge Base has an article about “banding” – vertical lines appearing in high contrast areas of photos. I don’t think that’s what this is – my line is green, has a bright dot on it, and always appears in the same place. Hmm…

Update 2: A ha! Here’s a Nikon KB article on “defect pixels”, that says if they appear consistently, you should have Nikon evaluate your camera. Bingo!

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19 thoughts on “I think my Nikon D40 has a sensor defect

  1. Dude, that sucks… but is sounds like it is fixable. I wonder if you can get the new one before you send in the old one. When the pearl on my blackberry died T-mobile sent me a new one in a special box and I just put the broken on it it and sent it back. They did include a funny little note that said in all capital letter. Send this back in 5 days or you will own 2 blackberry’s.

  2. Definitely NOT banding (unfortunately). Looks like a blown sensor for sure. If Nikon’s warranty repair is anything like Canon, you’re in for 4-5 weeks without a camera. You’ll have to send it in, and then play the waiting game.

    After sending my 40D in after 3 months, I was kicking myself for not buying the camera at Best Buy with an extended warranty. Oh well =)

  3. Looks like Amazon has a return window of 30 days, so no luck there. Off to Nikon it is, I guess!

    I really hope I get it back by the time I go to SXSW the first week of March, or worse, by the time I go to China in April…

  4. I had the same problem with my D50 after my warranty ran out. Cost me nearly RM950 (about USD300) to have the sensor replaced at the Nikon Service Centre. They repaired it in a week.

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  6. Murphy says:

    My D40 has the exact same problem! I took in to Ritz Camera and they sent it off to Nikon. It is less than a year old and under warranty but Nikon is saying I must pay the $187 to repair it because they say the camera appears to have been dropped. I never dropped it and do not believe there were any scuff marks or anything on the body that would suggest it might have been dropped or mishandled. The Ritz customer service repair person is calling Nikon today to follow up but I’m worried about the outcome of this. I’m glad I found your site to see that others have experienced similar problems. How did your problem get resolved?

  7. @Murphy I filled out an RMA request on Nikon’s support website, then sent it in to them for evaluation. They repaired it (replaced the sensor) under warranty, no cost to me except what it cost me to ship it to them. If Ritz is giving you a hard time, try dealing directly with Nikon. Sounds like they might be trying to rip you off.

  8. Murphy says:

    Josh – Thanks for the reply. Turns out Ritz is going to be the “good guy” and cover the cost of the repair which Nikon still insists, based on their findings, was caused by some kind of blow to the camera. Anyway, like you, all I have to do is pay the cost of shipping. Fortunately, Ritz noted no damage to the camera body on their own repair sheet so, at the end of the day, I’m glad I took it in to them and didn’t send it straight to Nikon… Have you had any problems with your camera since the repair?

    Joe Murphy

  9. Pingback: Fallo en mi D40 - NikonistasFORO.com

  10. Found this via google search after just discovering a defect photosite on my D50. It only appears on long exposures of 1/10+, but causes a bright dot and a green band running the length of the frame much like yours.

    No warranty on the body anymore, so I guess I’ll have to live with it.

  11. david bell says:

    I have a D40 i have had it for about 9 months now and i have a problem with lighting. it seems like the metering is not working right. camera was never dropped been in its case for 2 months haven’t used it. i am not sure what i can do to get it fixed.

    I don’t have the reciept anymore. not sure where it is now moved since buying the camera.

    got any ideas.

    thanks
    david

  12. C Wilk says:

    I experienced the “bright green dot with a line running down the frame” problem in every shot that I took of my nephew’s championship football game about a month ago. I’ve only had my D40 for 7 months, so it was still under warranty. I found your site after googling to determine what was causing the problem. I sent the camera to Nikon before Thanksgiving and just got it back yesterday. They replaced the sensor and loaded new firmware v1.12. I love the pictures from my D40, but now I’m concerned about overall Nikon quality.

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  14. Vanessa says:

    This is an old post but glad I found it. Wow. Glad to know not the only one. I’ve had my Nikon D40 for one year and 3 months bought brand new. Started seeing the blue line and dot maybe 4 or 5 days ago. I’ve been experimenting with different settings more, maybe the poor thing is under strain?

    I Don’t see lines when I use the auto setting icons on the dial, only when I use P to program and especially when I go into settings to use portraiture. Good thing I’m not in business and had clients. This sucks. I wonder if Canon users have this problem. I don’t think you should have this problem from a camera that is only a year or so old.

    My goodness I have analog automatics that I used for 10 years before they died. Dropped (even in snow) many times kept on ticking. I haven’t even dropped the Nikon once and it’s freaking out.

    These cameras cost too much money to have such problems inside of a year or two. There is no excuse for this. On the bright side guess it was better to see the defect in Nikon before I go professional than after. Top it off, the warranty is one year. –Well of course it is.

  15. Does the D40x have the same problem? I’m getting worm shaped spots and round spots in my sensor…at least 50 total in one image. I had the sensor replaced back in March 2012 and I’m getting the same spots again!

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