Mark Garety

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Nov 14, 2019
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I've have been doing photography as a hobby since 2010 when I purchased a Nikon D90. I used that camera for 3-4 year before replacing it with a D7000. I purchased both cameras used, but they were in good condition when I received them.

Last summer, my D7000 started to give me issues, and I haven't had the opportunity to address them yet, so I've been effectively without a camera for half a year at this point.

The issues that I had were my camera unexpectedly started taking 100% black images, as if the lens cap was on (but it wasn't). Like I said, I've been using DSLR's since 2010, and I'm not a novice at photography. I understand exposure, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc. So this wasn't a case of user error or lack of technique. It was in the middle of a day in the park with my family taking photos of my kids playing and all of a sudden the images were 100% black.

I suspected possibly having a stuck shutter. I did some debugging with the camera with long exposure and manually opening the shutter with the camera's cleaning mode, and it seemed to be opening and closing just fine. The sound and feel of the camera when taking photos never changed, so I don't know that there is anything mechanically wrong with it. I have started to suspect that perhaps the sensor or something with the electronics went bad on it.

Long story short, I don't know if anyone has experienced and issue similar to what I'm describing and what you ended up doing to fix it. At this point, I'm assuming the cost to repair from Nikon would be about the same (or maybe more) than the camera would be worth. I'm looking at replacing it with another used D7000 body, or perhaps jumping up to a used full frame camera such as the D610. Any thoughts on that? Have there been any common issues with the D610 or any of the Nikon cameras from that time period that would make me want to stay away from a certain model.

I have a few accessories for the D7000 such as a battery grip and a hot shoe mounted flash, I haven't began to look at compatibility. I'm assuming the battery grip wouldn't work for a full frame body, but maybe would work for a D7100 or D7200 perhaps if I wanted to stay with DX.

I have an older full frame push-pull style Nikon 80-200 f2.8 lens that I wouldn't mind taking advantage of the full frame shallow focus capability from a FX sensor. That's leaning me more towards that option if I can keep the price reasonable for a used - good condition camera body.
My impression of the D7000 is that it was a flawed camera, and that it was plagued with all sorts of problems, and that the D7100 was the answer. If I were you I would look into a Nikon D610 or a Nikon D800 as and affordable and proven full frame option in the used camera market, and I would not even bother with repairing your current camera.

I would guess that something in the sensor pipeline how's it going bad good it could be something simple such as a wire having become disconnected or de-soldered, or of course it could be some sort of critical sensor failure which I would guess would cost perhaps $500 or $600 to repair, or possibly more. I really don't think that a D7000 is worth repairing in today's market, since there are many cameras available at relatively good prices. If you want a full frame camera, then I would suggest that you get one. I have used both full frame and crop cameras since 2001 and 2006, and I tremendously prefer having a camera that has a 24 by 36 mm image sensor, because it works well with the vast majority of Nikon lenses that have been made over the past several decades.
Any new lenses that I've purchased beyond the kit lens that came with my D90 back in the day have all been full frame. That was the direction I wanted to move.

Looking on ebay, it seems that D7000's are about $250-350 and D610s are maybe around $350 up to slightly more than that. That was from a quick 10 minute search. I had assumed that I would probably pay close to the cost of replacing the D7000 for any repairs from Nikon, and that just doesn't make sense to me.
I've had a D90 that I bought new and still have my D7000 that I also bought new.

I have not had any problems like that with my D7000. You didn't say how often the shots come out black. Is it random and sporadic or do a bunch in a row come out black? I would also be curious to know what the EXIF data shows for a black shot. Did the issue show up on only one lens or can you repeat it with different lenses?

Based on other posts I've seen here, my first suspicion would be the memory card. Maybe try a different one and see if the problem persists?
I've tried all the things to debug the issue.

Every picture I take is black. The histogram view on the images shows 100% black levels with nothing in the lighter values. It happens on every lens I own and every memory card I've tried. I've tried factory resetting the camera. I don't think it is any of the typical things that goes wrong.

I would need to pull one if the images off my hard drive to show you. But suffice to say it would be as if you opened up a new image in paint and used the paint bucket tool to fill the entire image with black.

It really baffles me as to why it's doing this.

At this stage in thinking a used D610 might be a good move for me. I was wanting to move to full frame anyway.

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There are lots of places that do repairs that will evaluate the camera for a nominal fee that can be applied to the repair if you choose to do so. I had a lens evaluated several months ago and decided to not have anything done to it.

It could be something as simple as a loose wiring harness or as serious as a dead chip(s).

Since it seems that a new camera is on your radar, go for the D610 and have your D7000 evaluated. It may not cost much to get it repaired and you'll have a back-up.
The D610 is a pretty good camera,especially for what they're going for now on the used Market. The image quality is quite good. I had one for about 2 years, and thought that the picture quality was really good. I got mine for a really good deal in the summer of 2017. I paid $648 for one with a factory grip, 4 batteries, and two battery chargers.
I'm starting to get excited about getting a working camera back. I probalby won't look to grab one until after the holidays, or in March-April time next year, but i've been down for nearly a year already, so I can wait a little longer. I've started looking more at FX lenses that I could grab to go with the camera. I know I can use my DX lenses, in DX mode, but it would be nice to have a working range of FX lenses.

I have one FX lens already. It's an old push-pull 80-200mm f2.8, but that isn't the greatest lens for walking around with. I would look to pick up some of the older AF-D or non-VR FX lenses to cover a working range with full frame. First on the list is probably a 50mm f1.8 prime. I've got the 35mm f1.8 DX lens on my D7000, and I use it a lot for indoor photos. The 50mm should be pretty equivalent for full frame since there is no crop factor. Beyond that, I might look for something that could have a similar coverage to my current 18-105 kit lens. It looks like there are several options out there in the FX space. I've been looking at the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 AF-D lens to act as the "kit" lens for the the FX body. Seems like I could probably grab a decent one of those for around $100.

As far as what to do with my D7000, I'm trying to decide what I want to do. I may still open it up and see if there is anything obvious with the ribbon cables. I could potentially disassemble it and sell off the individual parts on ebay, but that's a lot of work. If it isn't obvious, then it may be hard to know what is good / bad for parting out the camera. I don't know if anyone knows of any outlets that buy used cameras for parts / repair. I may just look to sell it off as non-functioning.

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