Nikon Coolpix 4500 takes advice from Henry Ford (“Any color for your photos, as long as it’s black”)

I have a four-year old Nikon Coolpix 4500 that I’ve owned for a bit more than four years. It’s served me well over that time, and it’s visited four continents in my search for the perfect shot. Unfortunately, it appears to have picked up mad camera disease on my recent trip to London.

When I went to power it up tonight to take a photo of a magazine spread, I was greeted with a black LCD screen. At first, I thought that I’d left the lens cap on, so I reached to take it off and I realized that it was already off. It almost looks as if the shutter is stuck closed. I get the normal markings on the LCD screen, but the image is always all black. I can use the viewfinder to see photos from my trip to London two weeks ago.

When I attempt to take pictures, I hear some mechanical noises from the lens area. The shutter sound isn’t quite as crisp as it usually has been, so it seems as if it the shutter is not opening.

I’ve written to Nikon tech support with a description the problem. I hope they can help, but if the camera is done for, I will probably buy that digital SLR that I’ve had my eye on.

8 Responses to “Nikon Coolpix 4500 takes advice from Henry Ford (“Any color for your photos, as long as it’s black”)”

  1. Rodolfo Lossio says:

    Hey Sir,

    I had the same problem and I don’t know what happened. I have a Nikon as well and I bought it in Germany, after traveling around Europe during 1 year with no problems, I go back to my homeland (Brazil), and in the first week here I have got the problem! Really bad lucky, because over there I could at least use my guarantee to change it, but here, not!

    Please, if you have any response from the Nikon or any idea how to fix it, tell me!
    You could reach me: lossio at gmail dot com


  2. matthew says:

    I did get a response from Nikon. They specifically attached a legal disclaimer to their response, which forbids me from posting it here. I believe that I am also forbidden from disclosing their actions in response to my request, though I should point out that I am satisfied with what they did.

  3. Sue McCandless says:

    April 11, 2007
    We bought my daughter a Coolpix L3 in November 206, for her 18th birthday. She is in school in Hawaii and had a pending photography class. Thinking a Nikon would be a great brand to start her illustrious career, she really enjoyed the start off. By December of 2006, the zoom froze and upon return for warranty repair, was told they would replace the camera.
    This was a ruse, I will have to guess, as the camera didn’t show up until April 10th, following so many letters you can’t imagine. The most thrilling part of the arrival was shattered when my daughter looked at the camera and the frozen lense was in the same precarious mid extension position, still broken and a piece of dogfood was enclosed. Maybe the dogfood was tainted and just an insinuation to eat it and put ourselves out of our misery.
    Wishing I coud say Cheers

  4. matthew says:


    Although I’m happy with the result of Nikon’s response, I also was displeased with the time it took to get there.

    When it came time to upgrade, I decided to buy a Canon SLR. So far, I’ve been thrilled with it, though I’ve only been using it for a week. (My initial photos are the 2007 photos in the Hong Kong gallery on my photo site.)


  5. Kathryn says:

    I have a Coolpix 5400 that just started getting flashing lines on the display. The local Nikon dealer says he’s seen it happen before, and it’s a $200-250 repair. He hasn’t heard about the service advisory for the bad CCD. I wonder if I ought to send it in anyhow, or just save the money towards a macro lens for an SLR? I think the LCD is tilted anyhow, since no matter how careful I am, the horizon is never level. I wish I’d noticed during the warranty period…

  6. Prajna says:

    in nikon camera after entering battery on screen it shows that card cant be read.
    how to solve this problem?

  7. Park Slope Alex says:

    While we’re on the topic, did Nikon improve the dismal drab dim plane masquerading as a display on the 4500? Surely Nikon has noticed others, even in the time of this otherwise glorious Coolpix, the last pivoting camera that can use, count’em, three lenses that beat the pants off comparable SLR lenses – I know, I have a whole collection of the Cristo Gates (Central Park, ca 2004) of which I took many with the 180 deg. fisheye lens ($200, vs over $2,000 for the discontinued 35mm Nikon fisheye).

    If the display – or for that matter, anything crucial ever dies, I’ll be faced with shelling out hundreds of whatever currency you can name, because even the new S10, I think another great camera for the money, does NOT take extra lenses. Oh yeah, if that display does die, will the replacement be just as dismally dim? Because if it does, oh if it does… I don’t even want to think about it!

    Nikon, you’re like SAAB: you work very hard, and will succeed, at self-defeat!

  8. Bob says:

    My ancient CoolPix 995 is still, knock wood, working fine.

Leave a Reply