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Hassles with a new Nikon D90 -- ideas?
Old 02-22-2010, 12:02 AM   #1
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Hassles with a new Nikon D90 -- ideas?

Last Monday I bought a new Nikon D90. This is my first DSLR and I had done some research prior to buying it. I want a camera that will allow me greater experimentation than my P&S and autofocus (which my Nikon EM film body does not have). I also wanted a camera that would allow me to push myself a little and regain and improve on my technical skills, and I like Nikons and find them comfortable in my hand. The D90 also has a reputation for good to great JPEGs right out of the camera without needing a lot of PP work, something the more advanced Nikons tend to require.

Long story short, it turns out that the camera I bought as new, isn't new. At least, it has been turned on and the settings changed, and not in a good way. As far as I can tell, most of the settings have been changed to custom settings, the result being that the pictures I've been taking have been awful technically -- wrong exposure, bad color balance, issues with the autofocus. I've been having to spend several hours figuring out what's been jacked with; I've reset the menus to default and have had to go back and reset the custom settings. A couple of things still don't work correctly and the overexposure issue remains.

I'm taking the camera back tomorrow and plan on asking to exchange it for another NEW D90 body, explaining that I was under the impression that the camera they sold me was unused, but that it did not appear to actually be unused. It's entirely possible that they didn't know it had been used -- it looked perfect there in the box, and if someone opened it up, used it and then repackaged it to return it how would they know if they didn't check it?

If I were them, I would either 1) Exchange the camera without question and apologize for the inconvenience, or 2) ask if the camera is defective. If they choose tactic 2, I'm not sure I can convince them that it is. I'm frustrated with the camera; it's possible that my issues are those of a photographer who's bought more camera than they can handle, but I'm also concerned that the customization of the settings and subsequent return of the camera are camouflaging a more advanced defect that I won't discover until much later, when my skills develop and take me farther. So I'm not certain that the camera is defective, but I am concerned that later it might prove to be (when I'm past the return date or warranty date).

So my question is: Anyone else have the overexposure issues with the Nikon prosumer models, and anyone else have ideas on how to proceed with the shop if they give me any hassles about returning it?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:16 AM   #2
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From a shop? I don't have a Nikon, but these kind of cameras have a function to restore everything back to the defaults. You hint that you have used that, but then say the custom functions were not reset, so I don't understand that.

As for overexposure, does the camera work in manual mode?

There must be some Nikon users forum that would be more helpful. I frequent a Canon users forum and have always gotten outstanding help.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:21 AM   #3
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LOL, yes, there's a two-button reset for most of the defaults and another process for the custom defaults. The camera's reset to what should be default specs, but I'm still having overexposure in what should be ideal (high overcast) lighting conditions, and the master command wheel is not working on a couple of things -- can't figure out if its turned off or just not working.

I'm more annoyed that the camera I purchased as brand-new, wasn't. And I don't want to hassle any more with someone else's custom settings. If I'd knowingly bought it used, OK. But I didn't.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:44 AM   #4
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I would take that camera back right away for exchange.

Before you do, put the camera on auto on the program dial on the top. (The green camera.)

Take a picture and see how the exposure is. The exposure should be spot on. This will give you an idea if it is a user issue or camera issue.

Also, if you download Irfanview (free download) you can check how many pictures your camera has taken in total.
This will give you some information as to the age of the camera.

IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide

P.S. What lens are you using?

It is an awesome camera that you will absolutely love when you are over this hump.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:54 AM   #5
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I have always been impressed with the reviews found at Digital Photography Reviews. One of the things they do very well is go through, step-by-step, all the settings of the camera under discussion.

The above link may give you some insight into what you should expect from your camera. (Beyond that I know nothing -- being a dedicated Canon user.)
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:14 AM   #6
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If it was sold as new and wasn't I'd simply take it back for an exchange. My experience has been that stores rarely balk at an exchange since they still have the sale.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Interesting thread. For Christmas, I bought my DD a "new" Nikon P&S camera (she already has a Nikon D90 DSLR and loves it). When I purchased it, I asked the clerk if the box had been opened and she said, "absolutely not."
She was wrong. When DD opened it, she noticed that the battery had been unwrapped and the wrist strap was attached. Once she turned it on, she discovered a number of pictures on the internal memory...and it appeared the camera might have been exposed to moisture/water/snow/?
Back to the store it went. Not only did we get a replacement, we received a $25 gift card to compensate for our trouble.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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I bought a new D90 last Fall and I absolutely love it. I have/had read that many people think the D90 overexposes by default, guess I am too stupid to know better. Best two sources of D90 info I have used are:

Nikon D90 - D40 / D5000 Forum: Digital Photography Review
NikonCafe.com

You can read for days about any topic related to the D90 on either of them. Best of luck, sorry I could not offer more direct help.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas, all. I took the camera back today and before my whole explanation about it being clearly used and on custom settings was out of my mouth, the salesperson had whisked it away and had a new one sitting by the register ready to go. I asked about the overexposure issue and she said "Let's just take the camera variable out of the equation and then work from there; I'm so sorry you had to deal with it at all."

This is the same salesperson I've been working with all along, and I've been very pleased with her so far

Charging the battery right now, will take it out tomorrow and see what the default settings are like.

Zulik: I'm using two lenses, the Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8 AF-S and the Nikkor 85 mm f/1.8 AF. I might trade the 50 mm for a 35 mm just to have a normal lens on this small-sensor body, but will shoot with the 50 for a week or so to see what I think.
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