Sent a D800 with 20'000 shots for repair, got one with 400 back

Started May 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Zlik
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Sent a D800 with 20'000 shots for repair, got one with 400 back
May 15, 2013

So, my first D800 (the one I bought as soon as it got released in March 2012), that I used for one year, had a shutter count of ~20'000. Its pop-up flash had a problem (since day 1 I think): whenever I popped it up, the camera would not fire. Pressing the shutter button produced nothing, and as soon as I closed the pop-up flash, the camera would take photos again. Resetting the menus and everything didn't help. I never really needed the pop-up flash so I didn't want to send it in for a repair sooner.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought another D800 (used, I wrote a thread about sensor dust/oil on that camera) and this meant I could afford to be without my other D800 for a couple of weeks, so I decided to send the camera to fix the issue with the flash.

A couple of days ago, I received my D800 back from Nikon. I immediately noticed that it didn't look like the camera I had been using for a year, and indeed, here are all the things that were different (newer) after the repair:

  • the feeling of the rotating wheels feel new (they "click" more than before)
  • the on-off switch is smoother
  • the painting of the af-on button is like new (mine had a scratch inside the white line of paint)
  • the plastic around the tripod hole shows no signs of wear, mine had multiple marks
  • I had GSS protection on both LCDs, they're gone

And here is the strange part:

  • I looked at the serial number on the bottom plate of the camera : same as mine. I guess they can take it off of one camera and mount it on another.
  • I took a couple of shots and opened them with exiftool: the shutter count was 398 !!! and the serial number of the photos was different !! So I now have a camera that has different serial numbers on the camera and inside the software !
  • On the technical paper that they send with the details of the repair, they say nothing about a replacement, they list a number of repairs and checks ("pop-up flash replaced", "general cleaning and checking", etc)

Has anybody experienced anything like that ? Why didn't Nikon change the firmware/software to match the old serial number/shutter count (maybe they can't) ? What are the implications of not having the same serial number on the camera and on the photos it produces ??

And why didn't Nikon just ship the 400-shot-new-D800 with its original serial number (the one that is still engraved inside the software) and say that they replaced it with another one ? Instead of stating that they made some repairs on my original body and actually shipping another !

I guess I'm happy that I got an almost new one back with 19'600 shots less, but it leaves me really perplex !

Thanks for reading.

Nikon D800
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