Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nikon D300: Not Tough Enough

I’ve just returned from a successful descent of the Pahang River in Malaysia from Taman Negara to the Sea. We covered a distance of 339km in seven days.

On the third day of our expedition, my D300 died. It was about 10am. We had hauled our kayaks up a steep riverbank the previous evening. Space was tight and I snapped on my 10.5mm as we prepared to launch our kayaks. The shot above was the only one taken that morning just before my D300 fizzled and died. I turned it off and on and the top LCD briefly came to life, and then went blank. Uh oh.

As the official expedition photographer, I was mortified and embarrassed. Of all the SLRs carried by members, mine was the newest, the toughest and best protected from the elements in my watertight, crushproof, shockproof Stormcase. The other SLRs carried were a D200, D70 and a D40x: and they all survived the trip stuffed into drybags. I think what made a difference was that none of the others changed lenses, which may have helped resist the high humidity conditions along the river.

I must say that my faith in the weatherproofing, ruggedness and durability of the D300 has been shaken. Anyway, my D300 is going back to Nikon with my report and we’ll see what they have to say.

7 comments:

Joe said...

Gaah! That ust have been frustrating. I presume you had a backup.

Kenneth Koh said...

Only my Ricoh GX100 point and shoot in an underwater housing. It was my fault to assume the D300 was indestructible.

Bang said...

What an absolute shame, Nikon. My condolences. Hope the warranty covers.

Richard Vanek said...

Very ineteresting. Tell us what Nikon has said.

Kenneth Koh said...

Apparently, my D300 is working fine now. They don't know what went wrong.

I sent Nikon all 3 of my batteries today at their request. Nikon said that the battery that was in the D300 when it died was very weak. After shooting only 84 frames, the battery indicated 14% charge remaining.

I told them that even though I changed the battery, that still didn't revive my D300. I don't think testing all of my batteries is going to tell them anything. I suspect some kind of short circuit.

Anyway, I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if they can give me a replacement body.

nyxx88 said...

It may not have been due to the lens changing. Quite a number of people have experienced D300 sudden deaths. Me included :(.

Ken said...

Yup, I think this is a case of what has become known as DBS (Dead Battery Syndrome). Anyway, I think Nikon has corrected it in a firmware fix. I have not had another incident of DBS since. I hope your camera is ok.