Nikon D600 Dust Problem

Posted November 30th, 2012 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

So, the big buzz around the internet surrounding the Nikon D600 is whether or not there is a dust problem with the sensor. To see if the D600 truly has a dust problem from the factory, I took a shot of a blank white wall today with a brand-new Nikon D600. The image below is a copy of the 92nd image from my Nikon D600. I processed the shot in Photoshop by applying extreme contrast to  highlight the dust specks. And the verdict? Yep, dust. Most of it near the top left corner, just like everyone else is reporting on the web.

Nikon D600 dust on sensor

Dust on new Nikon D600 sensor.

Then, just to be fair, I shot an image with my eight month-old Nikon D800 using the same approach. Verdict? Dust (see below).

Nikon D800 sensor dust.

Nikon D800 sensor dust.

Then, just to be fair, I shot an image with my four year-old Nikon D700 using the same approach. Verdict? Dust (see below).

Nikon D700 sensor dust

Nikon D700 sensor dust

Then, just to be fair, I shot an image with my two year-old Nikon D7000 using the same approach. Verdict? Dust (see below).

Nikon D7000 sensor dust.

Nikon D7000 sensor dust.

Yes, the Nikon D600 does have dust on the sensor as it arrived from the factory and it definitely looks like it is generally biased towards the upper left corner of the image. HOWEVER, it isn’t any worse or better than my other Nikon cameras. In fact, I haven’t purchased a dSLR camera yet that didn’t have dust on the sensor when I pulled it out of the box. The truth is that every sensor accumulates dust over time and all sensors need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Even though I clean my camera sensors, you can see that they all have dust. The key is to be diligent with your sensor cleaning regimen.

For those of you worried about the dust issue on the Nikon D600, I’m here to tell you not to worry about it. Just clean your sensor every once in a while and you’ll be just fine. Trust me.



6 Comments on “Nikon D600 Dust Problem”

  • Nikon D600 Dust - Not Impressed - Visual Adventures December 1st, 2012 8:11 pm

    […] after yesterday’s blog post on the dust issue with Nikon D600 camera’s, I asked my daughter what she thought about the […]

  • fierlingd December 3rd, 2012 9:01 am

    I did much of the same, except i only had a D7000 to test with. It was 2 years old, extensively used, never cleaned and to my surprise it was spotless… yet the same test of my D600 showed basically the same as yours.

    My issue with the D600 was that after i wet cleaned it, the issue re-appeared within 10-20 photos! . So simply cleaning the sensor didn’t seem to be much of an answer. (I also had corrupted raw image data since photo #1)

  • Eric Bier December 4th, 2012 5:40 pm

    There seems to be a question as to whether touching the senor with anything to clean it will void the warranty. My camera (d200) is no longer under warranty, and I have cleaned it successfully many times with no problem.

  • Samuel Cheng December 4th, 2012 11:50 pm

    From your test, I can see the D7000 has the worst dust problem. I also have a 2 year-old D7000, and it does have serious dust (oil) problem. I agree regular cleaning to the sensor is a good practice, but I find, with my D7000, every 50 or 100 shoots already bad enough accumulate many oil spots and warrant a wet clean. That frequency is just not reasonable.

  • Tom December 5th, 2012 10:11 am

    Comparing 2 and 4 year old cameras that have dirty sensors to a new D600 and concluding there isn’t a problem is rediculous. My take-aways from this article are: Mike, you really need to clean your sensors more frequently; the D600 dust/oil issue is confirmed; quite possibly Nikon has a problem with more than just the D600; and finally, my dirty senson would reappear after cleaning with the first few shots, like fierlingd stated above.

    Maybe the problem would work itself out over time, but I’ve decided I’m not willing to risk. I’ve moved on in a different direction and am much happier. Nikon is probably too.

  • Mike Hagen December 5th, 2012 1:58 pm

    @fierlingd – I’ll keep everyone up to date with my results.

    @Eric – As long as you don’t break it, your warranty should be just fine. Cleaning the sensor on your own is very easy to do. I’ll write an article on that soon.

    @Samuel – that could just be due to the fact I haven’t cleaned the D7000 for the longest period of time. I know a lot of photographers who clean their sensors after every day of shooting. It’s up to you to decide how often to clean.

    @Tom – Dust has always been an issue for all my cameras. Always. Even back to my film cameras, I always had dust on the film pressure plate, which caused scratches in the film. My D70 had dust much worse than my D600. Yes, dust is there, but I consider it to be part and parcel of modern photography.

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