Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nikon Needs To Take Action, D800 AF Issues

On Monday (July 23, 2012) Thom Hogan wrote a brief article about why he has changed the conclusion of his D800 review, from recommended to not recommend. Thom wrote that blog post after collecting data on the reported AF sensor misalignments in the D800 (left points not focusing properly while the centre and right points are).

Having followed Thom's blog for several years now I can tell you that he does not make such statements lightly, and was the result of a broad user survey, no doubt including several thousand people. I am not a D800 user (I have a D700), but this AF issue is something that bothers me, because I have a lot of money invested in Nikon equipment. If future cameras keep having these issues I might switch brands when I decide to upgrade. Yes Nikon has a fix (Nikon service centres are fixing the AF alignment problem), but why should I have to fix a new camera? Nikon as a corporation has still not publicly acknowledged the AF problem, as mind boggling as that might seem. If Nikon cannot allow itself (due to Japanese pride) admit faults with high end equipment being sold to customers, is that the type of company that I want to be buying from? I may be invested in Nikon gear, but if  Canon, who quickly acknowledged the light leak problem with the 5D MKIII's top LCD to the public, (along with a fix) is less bound by such non-sense then I might go that route. I will wait to see what the next few Nikon camera releases are like before making that kind of decision.

So at this point I want to add my voice to the increasing number of people who will say, Nikon you need to acknowledge this problem, publicly. You also need to release a list of cameras (serial numbers) that could have been effected by this issue! Why? As Thom points out that in two or three years from now when used D800's start showing up on eBay, how many people will be willing to take a risk of getting a camera with a misaligned focusing system? Some might, but they will do so with the knowledge that they might need to have fixed (I know many users that only use the central AF point, thus they might not notice the problem). My guess is, not very many people will want to cough up the money, if they know they have to pay to get that done. Now if Nikon were to issue a recall on effected cameras, thus allowing buyers of the camera the comfort of knowing they can get it adjusted without a financial penalty, that hesitation might go away.

It appears that Nikon (Europe) may be close to issuing a service advisory, according to this post Nikon Rumors.