A Dead D810 and a Killdeer in a burned area of Bear River MBR

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Killdeer, Utah/A Dead D810 and a Killdeer in a burned area of Bear River MBR

Killdeer in a burned area of Bear River MBRKilldeer in a burned area of Bear River MBR – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The staff at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge recently burned some areas of the refuge to control invasive phragmites, a grassy plant that crowds out native plant species and can also kill them because of gallic acid the phrags secrete. After they burn the phragmites it doesn’t take long for life to go back to normal for some of the birds like this Killdeer in a burned area.

They also use mechanical methods to yank the phrags out of the ground and use cows to eat them. Phragmites are a serious issue for the refuge and the marshes surrounding the Great Salt Lake.

My Nikon D810 appears to be dead. I had noticed a dust spot on my sensor and had already tried using the camera’s mode for cleaning it without success. When that didn’t work I went into the menu and went through the process of locking the mirror up for cleaning to look at the sensor. My battery was fully charged at that point. The mirror locked up for cleaning and now I have a dead D810.

It won’t turn on, the control panel at the top is blank, no lights flash. Nothings happens when the second fully charged battery is inserted.

This morning I’ll head down to Pixels Foto and see if they have a charged battery there that we can try just in case my battery charger has malfunctioned even though the lights on it flash and show when the battery is fully charged. I’m pretty sure that is a long shot but they really know their stuff at Pixels Foto and may have heard of this issue before.

If it is not a battery issue, and I don’t think it is, then I will be calling Nikon today for support. It is migration season and I really dread being without my primary camera for even a few days let alone a week or two.

Having a dead D810 is pretty discouraging.



  1. Molly March 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry to hear about your camera.

  2. ilze long March 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    But life is still good…..

  3. Jane Shipp March 21, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Oh, my! Having a dead D810 is truly like a death in the family! Hope you can get it repaired easily, quickly, and inexpensively! Those little killdeers are a delight, as is your photo.

  4. Elephant's Child March 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I hope your camera is back in your hands quickly.

  5. Mary McAvoy March 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I remember locking up the mirror for a sensor cleaning years ago. And I have a dim memory that there was something in the manual that was specific to avoiding this end result that you’ve come across. I think the camera freezing had to do with protecting it during the cleaning, or something like that. If you have a manual, it might give you instructions, or you can google it.

    • Mia McPherson March 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Mary, I went through every step in the manual and still couldn’t get the camera to turn on but thank you! It is great to have people offer advice and i appreciate it.

  6. April Olson March 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    The Killdeer has a forlorn look appropriate for your feeling about the camera. Hope it is an easy and fast repair.

  7. Mia McPherson March 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Thanks all. I took the camera to Pixels Foto and since my camera is out of warranty they recommended a camera repair shop in Alpine. The camera is there and I should hear back from them this afternoon.

    It might be the processor in the camera. If it is the processor the repair shop has one in stock so I could have my camera back much sooner than if I had sent it to Nikon directly.

  8. Don March 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Hi Mia, I know that feeling oh to well. I was 3 days into an 8 day photo trip with a new Nikon 200-500. It had been a glorious day and we had lots photos to review. Oh yes we’re were shooting bald eagles at the Conowinggo Hydro Dam just 30 minutes north of Baltimore. We were packing up the gear and as I had turned around to tear down the camera and tripod I tripped and down went the equipment. When I picked everything up all I could hear was glass, broken glass. Everything was so quiet… then I heard my friend say, “Don someday you will look back and laugh about this “.
    So, the next 24 hours were quite drepressive. I chatted with my wife and that helped a lot. I had a back system. Not what i want but still functional. I got some great shots with the older equipment and it gave me more time try out other facets of the venue. Long story short… 5 months later I have received my repaired lense .. yahoo..hopefully Nikon can work wonders and get your unit fixed… or maybe rent a unit for a 2 week period… good luck as we look forward to your posts.

  9. steven kessel March 21, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I’m hoping for you that it’s just a case of internal condensation. A couple of years ago I was in Costa Rica under conditions of high humidity. My Canon 5Diii went completely kaput. It ruined my trip because I couldn’t photograph anything. I got home and prepared to send it to Canon for repairs. I made one last attempt to turn the camera on and when I did everything worked perfectly. A couple of hours in our bone-dry Arizona climate had cured the problem.

  10. Patty Chadwick March 21, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I hope your camera can be fixed and you get it back quickly…

  11. Patty Chadwick March 21, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I feel for you and can identify with you to some extent…for a couple of months now I’ve been unable to find my brush case, which holds all my favorite brushes, My husband and daughter were working on a faulty surge protector and “moved” it somewhere…neither has any memory of moving it. I feel lost without it.

  12. Roger Burnard March 21, 2016 at 6:56 am

    My heart bleeds for you Mia… I too have a D810, but so far have been lucky, and it’s been trouble free.
    I do know, however, what it is like to be in the midst of great critter activity, and have gear fail… I feel
    for you, and wish you much success in getting the problem resolved ASAP. It is during times like this
    that it pays to have a “back-up body.” How about your trusty D300??? Anyway, good luck.. ;-)))

  13. Bob mcpherson March 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia.
    Try Cliff Martin on your camera issue.
    He is usually more up to date than anyone I know.

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