Nikon facing potential class action lawsuit due to D600 sensor oil issues

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, February 17, 2014 at 4:54 PM EST


Shortly after Nikon's D600 hit the market as one of the most affordable full-frame DSLR options, users began complaining about issues with dust particles on the sensor. While each lens-change operation potentially allows dust to enter the camera and settle on the sensor, it usually takes a while until specs become visible in images taken at small apertures. And of course, with a brand new camera, there shouldn't be any issues at all. With the D600 there apparently were.

Nikon's initial reaction was to advise customers to visit their local Nikon service centers to deal with the spots. Usually when having a camera sensor professionally cleaned, dust spots should disappear. With the D600 though, they kept coming back. At some point, it became evident that the specs were in fact not dust, but oil that was spilled onto the sensor from the shutter mechanism, which pointed to a faulty shutter unit.

Oil spots decreased somewhat after a few thousand exposures, but professional photographers relying on the D600 were left in a lurch: though Nikon recognized the issue with a service advisory in February of 2013, the oil spots returned after service for some users. Eventually, rather than replace the shutter mechanism and continue manufacturing the D600, Nikon decided to simply introduce a new camera with a modified shutter: the D610.

This angered some D600 users, who felt betrayed by the company whose products they had invested in. In the wake of these events, US law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein is now preparing a class action lawsuit against Nikon, asking unhappy D600 users to participate. Over at the law firm's website there's a contact form that D600 users experiencing the issue can use to participate in the lawsuit.

Whether this lawsuit – should it ever be filed – will have any success is questionable, though. With the introduction of the D610 at least some D600 users were able to upgrade to the new model free of charge. It is still unclear whether this option will be made available for all D600 users, but if so, it could make the suit a moot point. And it shows that Nikon is at least trying to solve the issue to its customers' satisfaction. Of course, even if the lawsuit does succeed, it is questionable whether the those D600 users who didn't participate will benefit from it at all.

(via PetaPixel)