Nikon Europe warns against 'counterfeit' D800E cameras

Nikon D800E counterfeit alert
It might say it's a Nikon D800E on the body, but is it?

It's a simple ruse you would have though was hardly worth the effort but, according to Nikon these 'modified' cameras are turning up on auction sites. It's serious enough for Nikon to issue a Service Advisory notice warning potential buyers

It seems crafty sellers are taking a regular D800 and simply swapping out a body cover with one for a D800E. These two cameras are otherwise identical, externally, so you might never know you've been sold a dud unless you know how to check.

The point of the D800E is that the reduction of the anti-aliasing effect increases the sharpness of very fine detail, albeit at the expense of possible moiré effects when photographing fine patterns or textures.

The differences in picture quality between the D800 and D800E are quite hard to spot, but if you've made the decision to pay that little bit extra for the D800E, then you've already decided it's worth it.

How would you know?

It's actually quite simple to find out if your D800E is what it says it is. In playback mode you can press the up/down keys on the directional controller to display different info displays – which include an 'Overview' display option that quotes the camera model in the top right corner.

Nikon D800E counterfeit check

Here's the example provided by Nikon. If this says D800 (not D800E) then the camera is suspect.

It's not just about having a slightly different version. The picture quality is close enough that this really isn't a disaster. However, Nikon will wash its hands of modified cameras and will not inspect or repair dodgy cameras under warranty.

This should be academic for people who bought through proper retail channels. Besides, the D800 and D800E have now been superseded by the Nikon D810, which drops the anti-aliasing effect altogether.

Rod Lawton is Head of Testing for Future Publishing’s photography magazines, including Digital Camera, N-Photo, PhotoPlus, Professional Photography, Photography Week and Practical Photoshop.