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"Dead" or "Stuck" pixels

Amateur Photographer , Nov 19, 2003; 06:37 p.m.

I purchased a Nikon Coolpix 5700 three or four months ago. Since the last few days I am noticing a "dead" or "stuck" pixel. It is not on the LCD screen. It coming from "inside". I called the store where I purchased the camera from and they said that will send it to the manifacturer for repair. Is this a common problem with the digital cameras? Can it get worse if I don't send it for repair? Can it get worse after the repair? I am trying to decide if I should live with it, repair it, buy a new camera....? I would be thankful for any advise. Thank you. DM.

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Mike Feetham , Nov 19, 2003; 07:17 p.m.

One dead pixel will not cause other pixels to "die". However, sometimes this can be a sign of a bad CCD. If you can live with one spot, and the camera is new, you may want to wait things out and see what happens.

Keep an eye on how much warranty time you have left, and look at sending it in before the warranty expires. If other problems develop, Nikon may replace the camera, instead of just fixing what's broken. Something similar happened to my 5700, and Nikon was kind enough to send me a whole new camera; shrink wrapped box and everything.

You can test the actual affected area by setting the camera on a tripod and taking a few shots in RAW format. Compare the images to see if it's one pixel, or a group. A damaged group may be a sign that something physically damaged the CCD. In this case, I would get it repaired right away.

Hope this helps!

Hyun Yu , Nov 19, 2003; 07:19 p.m.

Dear A.P.,

(I feel like Abby Van Buren!)

Some dead pixels are normal for digital cameras. Remember, you're talking about many millions of pixels and it's common to have a few dead or hot pixels here and there. Many digital cameras have menu options that will map out those pixels.

If you feel the number you have is excessive, you can certainly return the camera to Nikon for warranty repair. However, some manufactuers have policies saying that they will not repair for less than x number of dead/hot pixels.

It is generally agreed that once one starts down the slippery slope of pixel testing, it will consume and drive him/her crazy. Don't. Assuming we are not talking about hundreds or thousands of bad pixels, just enjoy the camera!

Maureen M , Nov 19, 2003; 07:40 p.m.

I've read in the Canon forum that all Canon does, if anything, for dead or hot pixels is "remap"(?) the sensor so the surrounding pixel data is interpolated into the affected area. If this is what they do, it could be what other manufacturers do.

Bob Atkins , Nov 19, 2003; 08:32 p.m.

I presume it is. You can't fix a dead pixel. Either you software map around it, replace the sensor (a difficult and expensive job), or throw the camera away and give the user a new one (possible but unlikely).

My guess is that many sensors have a few dead/hot/stuck pixels which are mapped out in software before the camera ever ships.

Andrew Robertson , Nov 20, 2003; 01:34 a.m.

More annoying than a single hot pixel on my digicam is the 1 hot pixel I have on each of my 2 LCD panels. GOD DAMN IT!

After a while, you hardly see 'em anymore. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

Jon Austin , Nov 20, 2003; 01:40 p.m.

To Andrew Robertson

"More annoying than a single hot pixel on my digicam is the 1 hot pixel I have on each of my 2 LCD panels."

I presume the LCD panels you're referring to are PC displays, not the small panels on the backs of digital cameras. (I'd much rather have a dead pixel on my digicam's display than on its sensor, since the dead display pixels won't impact the images.)

If I were in the market for an LCD PC display, I'd insist on viewing the ACTUAL display I'm buying before I purchase it, and ensure that the seller will honor a refund of exchange (without restocking fees) if it demonstrates any hot or dead pixels within 30 days of purchase. After the initial "grace" period, you'd be on your own, but the 1/2 dozen or so notebook PC's I've used over the last ten years with TFT LCD displays -- whether they had any defective pixels when new or not -- didn't develop any (additional) defective pixels over time...

Andrew Robertson , Nov 20, 2003; 11:48 p.m.

To be fair, it's actually a blue subpixel that's out on each of my displays. Just one. Unfortunately, when one orders from the Apple Store, they'll only repair / replace a display with more than 4 dead pixels. I have 1/3 of a dead pixel.

It's not really that bad, and I wouldn't trade my Cinema Display for any other monitor on the planet!

Jonah C. , Nov 25, 2003; 06:56 p.m.

Annoying dead pixels!!!!

I had the same problem with my Canon G2 and Canon A40. They are annoying and time consuming to fix on Photoshop. According to Canon it is more expensive to repair than to replace the whole camera. Every pixel lose was isolated and do not effect the pixels around the damaged pixel, although it created a glowing effect around the lost pixel especially on a dark background. I would look into false manufacturing on Coolpix 5700. I don't think you should live with the problem especially for a $900 camera. Bestbuy has replaced my G2 three times for this reason. Now I have G3 because G2 is discontinued. I haven't had any problem with G3 so far. Perhaps some camera has more problems than others.

T

Ali Akhbar , Jan 23, 2004; 03:40 a.m.

Idea:

If most consumers can determine what the hot/dead pixel locations are on their digital camera, why can't we just submit the pixel data to the manufacturer (by email for example) and await for some firmware/software update back so that we can remap those pixel out ourselves by using USB or CF card?

Wouldn't that be a very good idea? In fact I would be willing to pay a small fee (very small fee ;) for such a service, since I don't want to send a camera back each time I discover a lazy pixel.

Ali.

PS: I own a Powershot G5, but I discovered a hot pixel at this very annoying place, namely position 1290(x) 740(y), just about in the middle of the picture :(


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