Nikon has received reports of a small number of D4/D800 users who are experiencing 'locking up' issues, where the camera becomes unresponsive until the battery is removed and reinserted. Nikon is investigating a permanent solution to this issue and will update users accordingly. To immediately resolve this issue, users can turn off both the 'Highlights' and 'RGB Histogram' display options in the 'Playback Display Options' sub-menu found in the 'Playback' menu. Nikon apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused users.
This does not seem to be the lens. Some customers are complaining that Nikon (and Canon) is using buyers as beta testers. Nikon is working on a permanent solution, mostly requiring a firmware update. Reviewers feel that given how complicated this camera is, it is difficult to ship out without any problems from the beginning.
No matter the pre-release testing, with millions of permutations of settings and external factors, some combinations have not been fully tested. Wait another 10 years and a great number of additional possible combinations could be tested. Obviously it is a rare combination of conditions for the problem to show so rarely. If that testing that is done is not enough, and those people who are complaining about being a beta tester are wanting a greater assurance that no unusual combination triggers a issue, they must acknowledge and accept the vast difference in cost between what is offered and another fraction of a percent of less potential problems. Given another $50,000 per camera and a longer pre-release period for testing, Nikon or any other company could make a little bit more buttoned down product. The problem with complex devices that have a lot of flexibility also have an increased possibility of doing unexpected things. The less flexible, the easier it is to design something that is almost foolproof. There are such devices such as some point and shoots are remarkably predictable, but they have few user controlled parameters. Microwave ovens are great for stability of their software because the user expects almost no flexibly. There are camera for people who can't tolerate deviation from expectations, and are NOT advanced DSLRs. What are those who are reporting the problem doing, that the vast majority of people who do not know about this problem, don't do?
My bad! The only time I had a lock up (D4) was when I forgot to format the CF card before using the camera. I had to pull the battery, and then format the card to get things going. I have not seen any issues with RGB Histogram and Hightlights enabled for playback in either my D4 or D800.
I have D800 S/N 3007872 and D4 S/N 2017675. I have not been able to reproduce this problem on either body.
I posted my serial numbers so we can try to pin this problem down! Maybe it was an earlier production run that had the problem?
I am leaving this Sunday (May 13th) to go to a workshop in Utah. I will be putting the D800 through extensive use doing landscape photography (single shot stuff). I will also take my D4 and try to get some use out of it.
If I encounter any problems, I will report them back here as soon as I can post.