Nikon D4 Repair Experience – June 2012

So, I figured I would start a blog entry of the (so far) short life of my D4 and its repair experience.  I am not a member of their “professional” service, just a guy who spent a lot of money on a camera body.   I will update this as the experience unfolds.  Hopefully it will not grow too long!  As background, I got the camera April 30 and a couple weeks later, a CF pin bent with a brand new card.  I limped along on XQD only for a couple weeks and then was able to take it for service.

Update: I’ve got the camera back.  The gory details come in after the cut… read more if you wish!

  • June 4, 2012:  Took camera to Schiller’s to allow them to help with repair.  Their service manager was very polite and she advised that they would send it in to Nikon, work to try to get warranty coverage (see below for more), etc.  Camera was sent to El Segundo facility sometime during this week.
  • June 18, 2012:  Nikon opened the service ticket.
  • June 25, 2012: (3 weeks from start).  Schiller’s noted that they can see that the camera has been received by Nikon, but has no other info on the camera as of yet.
  • June 28, 2012:  No change in status which means that apparently Nikon has not updated the case or performed any diagnostics or repair work.
  • June 29, 2012:  Tweeted a tweet about it.
  • July 2, 2012:  Contacted by a Nikon service rep who is looking into the issue.  Progress!!
  • July 3, 2012:  Service order is now in “estimate accepted” state with $0 cost. And, now I have the repair case number so I can see status myself.
  • July 6, 2012:  Service order is still in “estimate accepted.”  Original customer service case is marked as “Solved” however.
  • July 8, 2012: Sometime over the weekend, status switched to “parts hold.”
  • July 9, 2012: Advised that the main PCB was being replaced and part was to arrive today, after which repair would be expedited.
  • July 11, 2012: No new updates, but I did notice that the “received date” and “parts hold” status date has changed to 7/10/2012 instead of 6/18/2012.
  • July 12, 2012:  Got a UPS tracking number and it is supposed to arrive at the dealer today.
  • July 12, 2012:  Final update, picked my camera up at Schiller’s.  Nikon service replaced the CF slot, cleaned the sensor and updated the camera to current firmware and lens database.

And, some thoughts:

The problem is pretty obvious and probably easy to fix (it looks like the card module is, well, modular).  It should not require much diagnosis.

  • It seems that there is no way for a dealer to get anything more than an automated status or inquire as to when something will actually be looked at/fixed.  This could help with decisions such as to cancel the repair and send it in later, etc.
  • My last Nikon factory repair experience was  extremely unsatisfactory.  I sent a 28-70mm f/2.8 lens AF-S in some time in Spring 2011 for repair of the focus mechanism.  I knew that it was not under warranty, so receiving the bill was not a problem.  The problem with the experience is that it was on “parts hold” for almost three months.  This was not even remotely communicated to me beforehand, or during the event.  I understand that during this time there were disruptions to their business, but those disruptions should be very well cleared up by now.
  • On the other hand, I have had good experiences with the authorized repair company “APS” in Chicago.  They do very good repair work and turn things around quickly.  They have made significant repairs to my D700 twice in the past couple years (main board fried, mirror box/shutter replacement), each one taking no more than two weeks including getting parts and shipping both ways.  However, in this case they can’t repair a D4 yet (apparently too new) and so I had to go with Nikon repair services.
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One Response to Nikon D4 Repair Experience – June 2012

  1. mcwheely says:

    On a side note, this is why local camera stores rock. While I had to do some of this myself, they took care of the shipping both ways and all of the paperwork. That means a lot when you have to deal with something that’s broken and have a day job where you can’t easily go to the shipping place, set up shipping with insurance (very expensive on a $6000 camera!), etc. You are not going to get that sort of service from a generic mail order place. I have also noticed that a lot of their accessories are either similarly priced or just a little bit more than the online places, and some stuff is cheaper (both Think Tank and Crumpler bags, among other things).

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