Software glitch grounds new Nikon camera

Nikon has temporarily halted shipments of its latest high-end digital camera after discovering a software flaw that, under certain circumstances, can cripple the device if a user doesn't remove the lens cap before switching on the camera.

Nikon discovered the problem with its Coolpix 5000 model last week and immediately halted shipments so the "firmware"--built-in software that governs how a device operates--can be updated for the camera, said Mike Rubin, senior product manager for Nikon consumer products.

Given certain circumstances, the glitch can come into play if a person switches on the camera without first removing the lens cap. Depending on what position the zoom lens was in when the camera was last used, the lens cap will block the lens from automatically extending back to that position, resulting in an error that cannot be cleared by the owner.

The Coolpix 5000--a high-end model with a list price around $1,100--has only been on sale for about a week, with a few thousand units going to stores, Rubin said. He said Nikon had received no reports of U.S. customers being affected by the glitch.

Photography forums on the Web, however, had reports from a handful of Coolpix 5000 owners who had experienced the problem.

Gary Blyn, a Livingston, N.J., lawyer and avid amateur photographer, said his camera was frozen by the glitch shortly after he bought it last Friday.

"I took three pictures, put the cap on, turned the camera back on a few minutes later, and that was the end of it," he said in an interview. "I'm really upset about it. I think it's something that should have been caught in beta testing."

View: Nikon's notice

News source: CNet News - Software glitch grounds new Nikon camera

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