One Sign Of A Bad Camera Sensor

My Nikon Df recently had a sensor replaced from Nikon.  Having worked for six years in the camera repair business, I already knew it was the sensor. So I sent it off to Nikon knowing it would come back with a new sensor.

To my surprise, Nikon said the camera just needed a sensor cleaning.  With reluctance, I approved the cleaning and within two business days, they came back and said it was actually a bad sensor.

As a member of NPS (Nikon Professional Services), you get some perks, like discounted repairs. So the price for the new CCD was not very high.

There are two reasons I am sharing this story with you.

  1. If you know your camera needs a new sensor, and the repair facility says it just needs a cleaning, be suspicious.
  2. I want you to see one of the signs of a bad camera sensor.

The untouched photo you are about to see is one sign of a bad camera sensor.


If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will notice many horizontal lines across the entire photo. This banding is a common sign of a bad sensor. Another sign would be purple, green and yellow splashes of color throughout a photo. Being that I had caught the bad sensor quick, it didn’t get to the splash of color phase.

Fortunately, I caught the sensor problem while photographing my family and my brother’s family, and not a paying client. However, the majority of the photos were ruined by the sensor.

If this were a paid client, I would have offered a second session to make up for the lost time and images.

Side note: If you run into a similar situation to me, be sure to check your bank statements. Nikon wound up charging me for the unnecessary sensor cleaning in addition to the sensor replacement.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness. (A different word is more accurate than “goodness”.) I had this happen on my D700 several years ago. Sent it in to the Nikon repair center, and they found nothing wrong. :( It only happened on a few images from one day, and haven’t seen it since. (It’s been at least 5 years.) This makes me very nervous.

    1. Actually, I found the repair receipt, it’s been 3 years. The banding on mine was vertical, and half the image had a slight magenta cast as well.

      1. It sounds like Nikon repaired it without telling you they did. I’ve seen them do that many times. Not sure why :-)

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