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China to Nikon: stop selling your D600 here

The D600 and D610.
The D600 and D610.

When Nikon announced its D600 back in 2012, it was hailed for breaking new ground in pricing for a FF dSLR. Retailing at just $2100 at release, the D600 was, at the time, far and away the cheapest FF dSLR at that time. Oh, yes, and it didn't skimp on photographic capabilities, either. Unfortunately, the joy was short lived as reports of oil and dust spots appearing on the sensor started hitting the Internet.

Now, Nikon is facing the wrath of the Chinese government.

According to Nikon representatives, the company received an order from the Chinese government to stop selling the D600 in that country. The impetus for the edict: undercover footage of Nikon dealers refusing customers refunds and/or repair services while blaming the dark spots on dust and smog. The Chinese government also ordered Nikon to recall all D600s in China.

The expose was brought about by World Consumer Rights Day, which is March 15. For Nikon, this is just the latest blow to prestige brought about y the D600.

Initially, Nikon took a wait and see approach to the problem of dark spots on the sensor. Testing the D600, Nikon determined that the oil was coming from the shutter mechanism but, upon further testing, noted that the problem went away after a few thousand shots. In early 2013, Nikon issued a product advisory and advised customers to send their cameras to local Nikon service centers for cleaning. Many people sent in their cameras but not all of the problems were cured.

Result: rather than fix the problem itself, Nikon stopped making the D600 (faulty shutter and all) and decided to launch a new camera, the virtually identical D610, which used a new shutter that doesn't have any of the oil problems. In time, reports started coming in of D600s being sent in for repair work not being fixed, but replaced with D610s, instead.

This got a lot of people upset.

Recently, Nikon announced that it will be offering, for free, inspection, cleaning, and shutter replacement services for D600 owners, regardless of whether the original warranty has expired or not. For many Nikon shooters, this is an 'it's about time' moment as many had long felt that Nikon was almost brushing aside customer concerns about the D600.

Needless to say, stay tuned for further updates on this one.

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