Nikon D600 has issues with extra dust on the sensor – fixed by time?

by planetMitch5 Comments

There have been a number of reports of abnormal amounts of sensor dust on Nikon D600s – and the dust (or is it oil?) is internal – as this timelapse below shows – but we're also seeing reports that it doesn't seem to happen after about 3000 shots. Weird huh?

Read on to find out more!

Initial dust reports on the D600

In this first story from LensRentals, they report problems on all their Nikon D600s

D600 Sensor Dust Issues

We tend not to get too excited about sensor dust problems here; we clean sensors on every camera after every rental, so it’s just routine. When we started carrying the Nikon D600 they all arrived with a fair amount of dust, but that’s pretty routine, too. Manufacturing and shipping can be a dusty experience.

When our techs started complaining that D600s were all coming back from their first rental with a lot more dust (despite being freshly cleaned before leaving) we didn’t pay much attention to that either. We all remember the oil / dust issues the D3x and D3s had. Those mostly cleared up after a few cleanings.

The dust kept reappearing with every rental, and more impressively – it was generally in the same location (upper left 1/3 of the image). That did get our attention, so we started looking into the matter a bit. We kept dust pictures for 20 consecutive D600s returning from rental and saw the problem was very real.

In general, about 1 out of 4 cameras requires sensor cleaning after a rental. All 20 of the D600s did.

It was also reported by DPReview

An issue that has been reported widely on the web concerns the unusual frequency with which the D600 attracts dust and/or residue on its sensor, particularly in the upper left area of an image, which of course corresponds to the bottom right portion of the actual sensor. And sure enough, shortly after we received our review sample and began our studio testing we found we had to conduct a rudimentary non-invasive sensor cleaning.

Nikon D600 Sensor Dust Time-lapse (pt. 1)

Then we saw this report on PetaPixel with a timelapse showing the changes in the dust over time:

So it’s not just that the D600 is prone to dust, but the dust that it’s prone to is actually from inside the camera itself. Nikon hasn’t released an official statement regarding this issue as of yet, but it seems likely that the increasing reports and complaints will end up forcing the company’s hand.

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Nikon D600 Sensor Dust Test Timelapse (Pt. 2) – Pointing Downwards.
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Nikon D600 Sensor Dust Timelapse pt.3
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Fixed by time?

There's an update from the folks at

The Verdict

Things are definitely better. Where 20 of 20 cameras required cleaning 6 weeks ago, only 11 of 20 did this time (our average for all SLRs would be about 5 of 20).

The location of dust also is looking more normal. When we took all 20 photos and stacked them up in the last article, virtually all of the dust was in the upper left 1/3 of the image, and they were large round specs. While there was still some upper left tendency this time, it wasn’t nearly as pronounced and dust was more evenly distributed around the sensor. And instead of big round chunks, the dust was much smaller in general. In other words, the D600s look more like other camera’s dust after a couple of months of use.

Like we did in the first article, I took all 20 images, stacked them in Photoshop using “darken if” to give you a summary of all the dust on all 20 cameras. Again, 20 cameras, not one single sensor. (Now when some Fanboy reposts this picture and says it’s a single D600 sensor, we will have documented that they can’t read.)

Is this the answer?

Have you seen problems if you own a Nikon D600?

Is this overblown or something serious?

We'll update you when there's more!

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. Pingback: Sensor Dust Issues Plaguing the Nikon D600 Camera

  2. Large round dust spots on my two week old D600 along with the green tint in the lcd…very troubling. IfNikon doesn’t remedy this I see a major class action lawsuit coming

    1. michael! what you say with green tint on LCD!
      I’ve found the problem of dust in my D600 images but … that green thing … I do not understand!
      and what was the answer to the problem of Nikon ….. solved?
      please …. answer

  3. New out of the box D600; dust spots indicated as in this blog; quite large..esp visible in video mode..not pleased and will return for refund..there can be no excuse for this type of defect, knowingly letting product go to market.This speaks volumes regarding lack of quality control. The customer is NOT the quality control manager ! Nikon clearly has no QA process and/or worse yet allowing the defect to go to market and let unsuspecting end users deal with it.. Pretty Outrageous..

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