Compact Flash Cards Damage the Camera by Bending/Breaking Pins
John D writes:
I seem to remember that you had some problems with faulty CF cards in the past year. The reason for my sending you this e-mail is to see if you or any of your web site followers have come across the problems I have had with Lexar cards.
When I was in Yellowstone 18 months ago my D300 stopped functioning when I reinserted a Lexar Pro 400x, 8 gig card. I didn't force the card in, but the pins in the D300 broke & ended up inside the camera. Presumably, they then shorted out a circuit board. This cost me $450 to have Nikon repair it. I assumed that the problem was due to the pins brittle brittle at -40°.
Last week I was doing some indoor macro work with my D700. The camera is almost brand new. After about 50 shots the camera suddenly went dead. Nikon has just informed me that the pins for the CF card had been pushed into the camera and again damaged a circuit board. This time the bill is about $500!
Initially, I hadn't considered that the problem was due to a card malfunction. A few days after sending the D700 to Nikon I had been using my D3s with the same card. There were no problems the first time I used it, when I tried to reformat it the camera couldn't read the card or any other cards. It was only then that problem was due to the same Lexar card as I had been using in the D700!
Looking at the card with a X 10 magnifier one of the holes for the pins isn't perfectly round.
The manager of the Nikon service department indicated that this is a common problem with cheap cards, but they also see it with premium cards.
As far as he is aware the card producers have never taken responsibility for the camera damage & have just replaced the card alone.
At least I can still use the second card slot in the D3s in the interim, but having to pay out about $1000 in repairs on 2 new camera leaves a sour taste in my mouth to say the least.
Perhaps, if these sort of problems are occurring else where, it may be possible to persuade the card manufacturer to take responsibility for the damage they have caused.
DIGLLOYD: I’ve been lucky not to have had a physical camera damage problem. It seems that carefully inspecting and/or checking insertion force very carefully would be a good way to proceed with new CF cards. One might also reasonably conclude that two camera bodies and multiple CF cards are a must-have for any extended trip. SDXC cards do not have any pins so they cannot suffer from this particular damage concern.
I’ve had electronically faulty SanDisk cards which manifest as damaged files and/or zero-length images on the D800/D800E/D3x/Leica S2.
Most recently, I had the Lexar 64GB SDXC card fail. Lexar replaced it, but the D800E took a dislike to the replacement on my recent trip, reporting the card unusable. But it now works again. I can’t say whether this is a card issue or a D800/D800E firmware bug. I don’t use SDXC much (slower), but this makes me want to use it even less.
Chandrahadi Junarto writes:
I just experienced CF (Sandisk Extreme 16GB) Damaging my D700, and cost me over $100 to fix it. But I’m sure the problem is cause from CF card reader.
A month before my CF Reader is borrowed by my sister and she pushed the CF wrong side, causing the pin inside the reader bent. Therefore causing my CF Card pin hole broke and then bend the CF pin inside the D700.
DIGLLOYD: I’ve been using a SanDisk reader for years, but I agree this could happen with improper insertion.
The format that I *really* like is Sony’s new XQD card and reader. None of these headaches and blazingly fast. But that does not help with any of today’s CF-based cameras.