The Great CCD Failure of 2005
doesn't look like it's going to be Nikon
's last. The camera manufacturer has just discovered a similar flaw in its Coolpix 5400, 5000, 4500 and 3500 shooters, and surprise, surprise, the manufacturing flaw is from the very same CCD manufacturer to blame for the last debacle. The official blame is on "CCD soldering degradation caused by aging" which means moisture and heat slowly wears down the CCD and kills the camera in its prime. Nikon got advanced warning of the problem by noticing an increase of malfunctions in a particularly hot and humid area in summer 2006. After some voluntary tests, Nikon noticed the CCD problem had reemerged, and is offering up free CCD replacements for victims -- like last time you might be seeing abnormal colors, distorted images or even no images. No word on how exactly to go about that, but we suppose Nikon isn't too terribly hard to track down.