A Reproducible D500 Lockup


Sorry to have been silent for the last week of so, but I’ve been sick and am just now back in the office. It’ll be awhile before I get anywhere near caught up, so be patient. I’m still not spending a full day at the office, so things are moving slowly.

Sad to say, I can tell you the steps to reproducibly lock up a D500. 

  1. Change CSM #F4 Menus and Playback to On
  2. Go to CSM #F1 and select Movie Record Button+Dials
  3. Change the selection via the Direction pad: no problem, but use the Rear Command dial from the first selection and camera locks up
  4. Pull the battery out to get out of the lockout
  5. Curiously: after you perform Step #4 what you did in Step #1 has been forgotten

So, one question to all of you who’ve experienced lock ups: did you ever change CSM #F4?

There’s now a German video of this on the Internet, but he leaves the important Step #1. 

Update: Some people are reporting that they can replicate this, others can’t. First, one thing: the steps are very exact. You must be moving away from Choose Image Area with the Rear Command dial in step #3. 

But what struck me is that this has to be an instance of the camera being put in an undefinable state. It’s quite possible that changing something else in the settings prior to attempting the above gets rid of the problem that causes the lockup. Remember, the lockup issues we’ve all heard about on the D500 are intermittent. The camera just gets to an indeterminate state. That means that some internal variable gets to a value that not only wasn’t expected but can’t be dealt with. 

So, if you can’t verify the above lockup with your camera, you could do me a favor by resetting the camera to factory defaults for everything (two green button reset) and performing the instructions again. 

Why is this important? Because we’re trying to figure out if this is just a firmware bug where the coder has an unexpected overflow error (or similar) or if the lockups are coming for another reason. That would help Nikon isolate and fix the problem. 

I’ve written before that I felt that the D500 was rushed to market. I keep getting plenty of little reminders of that, and this particular lockup is one. But I’m currently trying to verify six other cases of issues that are being reported to me about unusual D500 behaviors.

The good news—I guess—is that not a single one of the issues that have come up cause data or shot loss. They all tend to fall under “annoyances.” However, I’d like to point out that on a professional product like the D500 you shouldn’t be dealing with or having to tolerate annoyances all the time. It could result in your losing a shot. Example: you’re using the grip and currently on the internal battery when for some reason, the camera locks up. Great, now you have to take the grip off, pull the battery, put the battery back in, put the grip back on, and start shooting again. Meanwhile, the winning goal was just scored. Truly Pro gear doesn’t fail this way.

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