D300 dead/hot pixels... mountain or molehill??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdxflint, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #1
    I got this D300 a bit over a week ago, and have been slowly exploring it's functions and how it produces images as compared to my older D50. I was playing around with some high ISO settings, and just took some shots around my office. These weren't anything I'd really offload to my computer, so I was zooming in fairly closely on the camera LCD screen (really good, BTW) and suddenly this "gleam" in the blackness of the old minolta in the photo attracted my attention. I zoomed in on it, and on the LCD screen it became clear it wasn't a specular highlight, but was a small cluster of pixels displaying white or some combination of colors that looked white on screen.

    I started looking around at other shots, and took a few exposures in total darkness on manual (lens cap on) to see what else showed up. I saw three "hot" spots, so I began going back and looking closer at previous images, and wherever there was dark, I could find them - but they plainly were more visible at ISO 400 and higher, much less noticeable at ISO 200.

    I downloaded the shots to my laptop to see if they showed up in the downloads - and the results I've posted here. The first shot is a tight crop of a small portion of the original image, shown also. The three areas I'm talking about should be visible in the lower left and upper right sections of the cropped image.

    To be honest, they really don't show up unless I'm practically pixel-peeping, but they are obviously stuck or dead pixels, or whatever they're called with sensors.

    The question to all of you is: What would you do? I might be able to exchange the body (if they have another one, and would do this) or have it sent to Nikon for warranty repair. It might be hard to demonstrate what's wrong without some sample images being sent with the camera. Also, I don't know if this is considered enough of a defect for them to "fix" and may be something common on higher density sensors. I just don't know. But, my little old 6.1 MP D50 has been, and remains flawless in this regard.

    Here are the images shot at ISO 3200

    Cropped version - should be able to see the three "hot" areas.
    [​IMG]

    Original (non-cropped) version.
    [​IMG]

    Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I'm a bit on the fence here... so thanks for some reasoned opinions. -phil
     
  2. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #2
    I've got some hot pixels on my DSLR (the less exciting D60) too, and I wouldn't bother with an exchange, etc. (After looking into this myself when I got my camera, I think the right term is "hot" pixels—at least if they behave as mine do—they have a black point that's too high, so they show up brighter than surrounding pixels in dark shots, but are otherwise fine.)

    It's sort of like dust, if you know you've only got a few specks and know exactly where to look for them, it's pretty easy to remove them from any images they might affect. In my case, I know it's probably less than 5% of my photos that would be affected (most of my photos are outdoors in good light), and even then you really have to go hunting for those pixels to see anything.

    Even without fixing those spots, I doubt you'd see anything on a print.
     
  3. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #3
    If it's new and you have the option of exchanging, I'd say go for it. However, hot pixels may still develop on the sensor over time; it's a fairly common thing. I have several on my D300 (though not as concentrated as yours seem to be), and I process most of my stuff through Adobe Camera Raw, which automatically detects and fixes the artifacts left by hot pixels. Then again, at smaller print sizes they're barely noticeable, if at all.
     
  4. pdxflint thread starter macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #4
    Thanks for the replys. It's a Nikon refurbished unit, with a 90 day Nikon warranty and the option of a 5-yr Mack warranty if I buy it within 30 days. Since it is an "official" Nikon product from an official Nikon dealer, it seems if I discover problems within the 90 days they would treat it the same as a brand new unit. I'm undecided on actually doing anything with it, or taking it back and talking to the photo store manager I bought it from.

    I'm not sure if this "defect" actually matters when it comes to producing images, but I'm not sure if it's a sign of more to come. If it would stay stable like this, I think I could live with it. But... I guess I'll just have to mull this over a bit longer.
     

Share This Page