Nikon D100 pixel remapping failed..

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by janis_d., Aug 12, 2011.

  1. hello,
    here's my story of stupid persistence leading to failure
    I was cleaning the house and found my good old d100, which I havent used for several years after upgrading to newer nikon bodies. Although the aesthetic view of the camera (brassings, lost rubber pieces, etc) was far from pleasing, it did power on normally. After playing with it for a while I recalled that one of the reasons why I have dismissed it years ago was the increasing dead pixel count, which naturally extended the post-processing time and was, well, irritating. So I did a couple of test shots at various iso and realised that the present situation was even worse - tens of white, red and blue dots could be seen even on the tiny display. When I was viewing the picture on the monitor, my wife came saying "I never knew you were into astrophotography"... it was THAT bad.
    At first I checked if any firmware upgrade was available, but it turned out that the camera already had the latest version istalled, so this option was dismissed. Then, after some browsing I have discovered this site. I did some more browsing and found the software. Encouraged by numerous "success stories", I decided to give it a try.
    Although I was strictly following all the instructions (including the use of AC adapter), I could not get the thing to work. It kept returning some error and would not do anything. It was obviously trying to tell me "stay away, don't do it". Alas, stupidity and persistence do have something in common, so I kept trying. It would detect and list numerous dead pixels, but would not write the data to eeprom. Finally, it worked. After flashing OK and accepting the "write to eeprom" command the program seemed to have stopped responding and eventually came up with some warning like "the specification file could not be found" or smth. I felt that something big was happening
    but i did not expect this.
    I am not against the magenta, but, in reasonable quantities only. If I increase the ISO - the picture changes too - some vertical stripes are added, etc. Obviously, the thing is screwed up.
    The question is - can it be healed and how? Thinking logically (I know, I should not use this phrase in such circumstances), all that is affected is the EEPROM. And I believe that it could be rewritten to restore the factory settings. But I do have this bad feeling that at this stage Nikon service centre is the only one that could do it. Another option is continue using the camera as a paperweight, since the official service repair estimate will most likely be several times higher than the camera is worth.
    all suggestions, comments or experiences would be appreciated. I know I should not have done it, but... let us not focus on this aspect of the story:)
  2. sorry here is the file.
  3. Have you tried a two button reset?
  4. yes, I tried both - the two-button reset and the tiny side-button reset.
  5. At first I checked if any firmware upgrade was available, but it turned out that the camera already had the latest version istalled, so this option was dismissed.​
    Is any downloadable firmware update available, even if it's the same version that you have installed? Perhaps you could re-install the firmware.
  6. Yes, I have found the same firmware version that was on
    camera. reinstalled it, all went as it should.
    Nothing changed, though.

    I have read that olympus has this function (mapping) built into some of their cameras... And it is reversible, I.e.when the battery is removed for some time, the mapping tables are restored to original values. I wonder if something similar can be done with nikon, without having to manually rewrite eeprom values... Hopefully
  7. Janis -
    This warning on the site you linked to was enough to scare the baby cheezus out of me:
    • You may destroy the camera, the CCD or portions of this !
    Basically you used the software supplied at your own risk - and that risk occurred.
    Once something is written to the eprom - it's there - reset is not going to clear it - since reset works only with soft functions. The only way back would be if you had a backup of the eprom (which it doesn't appear that you do...). I'm not familiar with the function of the Olympus in this regard, but if it does "reset" after a period of time - then it is not eeprom - it is a soft function.
    It's not surprising that the firmware updates don't fix this - since typically they only change the things that are changing - not everything.
    Best advice - call Nikon service and get an estimate.
  8. Janis,
    No offense, but you should keep the camera anyway. If it has brassing it is very collectable.
  9. Ian,
    sorry for my English - brassing is not the right word. I meant all kinds of bruises, dents, etc. But surely, there's some collecting value to it:) Like dust collecting, for instance, which the camera successfully did for the past few years.
    I would never do anything like this on the equipment that I actively use and that helps me make my living (and photography accounts for 100% of my present income). When Nikon issued firmware update for the d700 - I brought it in to have their techs do it, just to be on a safe side. even though the update process is pretty simple. I am continually amazed at people who, for example, try to learn sensor cleaning techniques on their expensive cameras, etc. etc.
    The d100 was no longer part of the process. Moreover, the images it produced were really unusable (I will post a copy, when I get the chance). And I like tinkering around with things that no longer work as they should - sometimes they are brought to life, sometimes not - and I understand the latter possibility whenever I start something.
    The question here is simple - can something be done to the camera at this stage, without bringing in to nikon.
  10. I wonder how it would work with an IR conversion...
    I have been following auctions for older cheap Nikons to do just that, IR conversion. Last recent D100 body sold for 150. It's not like you lost out on a lot, and I assume that one had all of its pixels intact.
  11. Janis -
    The answer is in my post - No - nothing that I'm aware of can be done at this point short of sending it to Nikon.
    I wasn't intending to imply that you would attempt this on a work horse camera - I was merely pointing out that the publisher of the software you chose points out the specific risk which you encountered.
  12. Richard,
    I do not think I have lost anything at all, as the images coming from camera were barely usable due to high dead/hot pixel count and the body condition would at best be an UG- by Keh standards.
    Its a purely technical curiosity now. If I manage to recover the camera, I'll give it to someone in need, or will keep it for extreme outdoor trips, where the use of expensive equipment would be unreasonable.
    ok, i get it. thanks for your input. I still believe there is a way to recover the thing (here I rely on my experience with rescuing computer mainboards after failed bios upgrades). Nothing to lose, anyway:)
    btw - if i get hold of another d100 - are the inner boards with eeprom chip interchangeable? i have seen one used for parts at local repair shop
  13. I believe all parts would be interchangeable - and it seems like it is something you'd be comfortable doing -
    I think the bigger question is what got fried - The eeprom or the CCD?
  14. It seems very unlikely, if not impossible, that just "writing" to the camera could change the CCD in any way. The CCD sensor is an analogue device with an analogue-to-digital converter stage between it and the digital side of the camera electronics. Pixel mapping works on the raw (but digital) image file data to lessen the effect of dead or hot pixels after they've been digitised. So I wouldn't worry about the CCD being permanently changed.
    After looking at the apparent function of the piece of software you used, it seems likely that the same software can be used again to undo the pixel mapping. What appears to have happened in this case is that all or most of the green pixels have been disabled, resulting in a magenta image. The instructions with the software also say to absolutely prevent any light entering the camera - could it be possible that the camera was somehow exposed to a green biased lightsource like a fluorescent light during the pixel calibration process?
    Anyway, a few suggestions here. (1) Simply run the software again making sure that the camera is in total darkness during the calibration stage. (2) Run the software again and hit "Cancel" at the end of the process. (3) Look at RAW files from the camera to see if they're also affected by the pixel mapping or if this only works on JPEGS. (4) Contact the writer of the software and see if they've created an option to undo what their software has written to the camera.
  15. Addendum. There's a little bit more info and a download link for the program HERE. It seems that the program originated with Nikon themselves, so contacting the programmer for guidance probably isn't an option.
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D100 is a very old DSLR, old in digital/high-tech standards. I bought mine pretty much as soon as it became available in the summer of 2002. Back then, consumers did not upgrade firmware themselves; you were supposed to ship the camera back to Nikon for firmware upgrades.
  17. Joe,
    thanks for your thoughts - I also find it difficult to imagine that the device as ccd could be permanently damaged by such procedure. Unless it involves some changes to the voltage, etc. but that is also unlikely.
    Speaking of stray light entering the camera - no chance. I had a body cap, a viewfinder cover, the camera was wrapped in black fabric and placed into my old film changing bag. so we may dismiss this one. All the cables involved have never caused any problems as well.
    as for the software - yes, it appears to be the original service program. How it leaked I don't know, but I have found it on the net just like you did. I have also found the D100 service manual, which contains step-by-step instructions.
    both raw and jpeg files look the same (although the amount of stuck pixels seems to have decreased!). In fact all settings work and the image is affected by the changes to color space, wb, and other settings. its just... so magenta:)
    The problem with the software is that it does not appear to contain any reasonable way to revert back to original settings - something like "load factory values". In fact, when I tried to make it run, it would end up displaying coordinates of pixels, and an error (ERR NO69 The number of crack detection exagerated error) but would not write anything. Until it finally worked and the results are being discussed here. No idea why it worked that way. Subsequent attempts did not change anything - it displays the pixels it found and the above error.
    firmware update on d100 is performed exacly the same way it is done on modern nikons - you write the files to your cf and load it in the camera. the key to success is a functional card and a fully charged battery. there's nothing more to it. anyway, this thread is not about firmware, although downgrading to the original v1 might do the trick. sadly, it is nowhere to be found.
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    firmware update on d100 is performed exacly the same way it is done on modern nikons​
    Janis, my point is that owners are not supposed to upgrade D100 firmware themselves.
    In any case, your D100 is a forgotten old camera anyway, so this doesn't seem to be a major loss. I still own my D100 but there is no way I would use it again; I now have 5 other Nikon DSLRs and each one of those 5 is far superior. I don't think it makes sense to spend money to repair it either.
  19. Shun,
    I totally agree with you. the whole point is that after your warranty ends, you are left on your own. you may of course address the service centre each time a pixel appears on your ccd, every time paying the "flat rate repair fee", or you may try to do it on your own. That's why people buy sensor cleaning fluids, look for service manuals or leaked service programs. especially, when old cameras are concerned.
    So - I definitely do not intend to spend money on this one. Nevertheless, I am interested if something could be done to cure the problem. and I do know that there are people here on with far better understanding of technical matters than myself.
  20. Janis, my point is that owners are not supposed to upgrade D100 firmware themselves.​
    I did. It was easy.
    My D100 is still in use; a couple of former students of mine haul it around the wilderness where they work for the US Forest Service. Still delivers great pictures.
  21. I think you can easily convert that magenta photo to B&W. Use the camera dedicated to B&W only.
  22. There's a community of folks who hack around on Canon compact cameras. I believe they call their software CHDK. I don't know if they have a forum or not, but if anyone's hacking on Nikon cameras the CHDK people might know some of them, and you could ask.
  23. Sanford,
    believe me, color images are much more inspiring..:) Holga, here I come...
    or another one
    here is a 100% from another image.
    the colours and "patterns" depend entirely on the exposure settings. several stops/change in ISO render totally different colouring with some bonus banding, stripes, etc. If I were into drugs I would be more than happy with the results.
    Reran the program a couple of times. it finds over 500 defective pixels, and gets stuck there with big red screen that says NG (it must say OK to continue). The only time I have managed to arrive to the "write data to eeprom" screen was also the last.
    Maybe removal of the internal clock battery would help to reset the chip? It does work on older computers, when the bios has to be reset.
    thanks, that's a good idea.
  24. That IS interesting, you may be onto something. How about a film grain filter. You may as well get out the miniature screwdriver set and have some fun - nothing to lose at this point.
  25. Your magenta image looks stunningly like what I sometimes get on my D70 without the IR filter and a screwed up white balance. Maybe your "program" shut off all the green and blue pixels...? Do you see any change in exposure settings, compared to another camera? How about taking a shot of the same scene with another old camera (D100/D70 or equivalent) and comparing the red channels? If they look the same, may be it's worth while to open it up and remove the AA filter to gain a few stops. You'll then have deep red IR. It's also possible that so many of the green (and maybe blue) pixels were hot, that after removing them, you're getting a magenta image. Keep in mind that what you're seeing is after demosaicing. You may also try using photivo or raw therapee to see what the bayer pattern looks like, or with different demosaicing algorithms.
    edit: I see no pure green ! Try shooting that...
  26. Indraneel,
    yes, the camera does not seem to capture/reproduce greens. I tried that.
    here are some original size images - some pattern is clearly seen
    link 1
    link 2
    link 3
  27. To me it seems like a hardware problem - an almost-dead CCD only barely holding together. The firmware flash only threw it off balance a little more. But if I'm wrong and it's indeed an eeprom problem, then a skilled technician should be able to fix it by rewriting and calibrating the firmware. No need to use Nikon authorized service; tools for these old cameras were widely available.
    Anyway, there's no real 'factory defaults' with cameras. Every single camera has to be calibrated individually to provide satisfactory results, otherwise the little tolerances would build up and throw the picture out of whack. Just look at cheap webcams and toycams, every one gives a different image. It's something like the common front-focus/back-focus issues. Also, a 'raw' image looks very, very weird, hardly recognizable. Green, pixelized and noisy. Software actually does a lot of work with modern cameras.
    Interestingly, D100's and D70's sensors (as well as most Canons of the era) could be remapped using a simpler method if I remember correctly. I think it involved a several-second exposure of total darkness.
    It's a bummer most cameras these days don't have self-remapping capability. It's simple enough to add to the software. Kudos to Olympus and a few others for not charging their customers tons of money for every instance when this is fixed.

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