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 7 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 :-)

  2. Hi Scott , my Canon 750 d had banding, spent 3 years putting up with the problem, trying to hide the lines. Mainly showed themselves when stacking and processing my astro pics. In the end I found out that it was the sensor and got my money back from Currys from my extended warranty, minus the £120 I paid for it. Gutted that this was a fault from new. The sad thing is i’ve got loads of good data with these lines hiding in the back ground is there any way of editing them out? Would really appreciate your feed back . Thanks in advance Steve Parker

    1. I’m not aware of any way to remove these without it being obviously Photoshopped.

  3. Hello, so i have got a problem with my nikon d7000, i have had it for a long time and really enjoy it. But during a shoot i began to notice an area of overexposure in the images. It has a consistent shape, and swapping lenses didnt help. Interestingly it doesn’t show when i take videos. I am really confused and any ideas or hints will be appreciated.

    1. I seem to have something similar with my Canon D70. Like a light leak. Just started this week. White flare coming across the shot from right to left.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu