There has been a discussion in LinkedIn's Nikon Photographers Group about a surprising D800 problem. Richard T Wright who experienced the problem has now documented in his blog. Every D800 owner should read the report, which includes a photo of the remains of his camera, at URL: http://richardtwright.blogspot.com/
Good luck, and keep some tape in your pockets! Tom -- Renaissance Man
Interesting, but it doesn't seem to be a D800 problem (since other users evidently had never heard of it happening). Rather it was an unfortunate problem for Poor Richard's D800, who had to deal with the issue.
Very true. But the lesson to be learned has more to do with being careful about how your camera is riding on a shoulder strap or sling strap. Misadjusted straps that are too long tend to carry the camera on or below the top of the hip. That's bad news then, because every single stride, every single bend to pick something up, and every single squat to get a low angle shot results in the side or back of the camera being smacked against the hip or belt line.
Viewfinders do not just magically detach themselves and run away to hide somewhere. It can only happen because of persistent impacts that gradually loosen the mounting and then cause a dislodge.
The longer your neck strap, shoulder strap or sling strap, the more likely it is you're banging your camera slightly every time you take a stride or climb a step. As well, the longer the strap, the greater the arc through which the camera + lens can swing. That's bad.
Adjust your straps to ensure the camera carries just above your waist. The camera will deploy faster, there will be less strap to (potentially) get in your way, it will be easier to wrap the somewhat shorter strap around your forearm whenever you decide to grip & carry, the camera will stay closer to your body and be less likely to bang into things when you bend forward to examine something in a shop or bend down to get a shot. Most important, the camera + lens will stop banging against the top your thigh and/or the side of your hip as you walk and wander or climb steps.
It looks like he kept his LCD plastic cover on and it was not damaged. The impact must have been higher.
I saw a guy last week leave him camera on a tripod while he shot some tourists for them with their point and shoot. When he turned back to get his tripod/camera, he saw it falling away from him. It struck a rock and shattered the LCD even though the LCD still had the plastic cover over it. He said the damage would have been much worse without the cover.
Enough impact will do damage no matter what protections you provide.
The key is to be careful enough that the impact does not happen in the first place. (I never agree to take pics of tourists while I am shooting...selfish guy I guess.)
I don't know about the D800, but on my D3x there are two screws that holds up that part of the VF... After four years, I saw I had lost a screw (it was in the bag, after a slight search). As they are small and black on black I didn't see it was missing at first, but would have, as I clean regularly the camera.
Loosing the two screws without noticing it, nor the possible slight moving of that part of the VF is something I would think as extreme, but might happen on a trip like the OP of the blog !