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My D7200 sensor needs replacement due to scratches and I've called a repair center (not a certified Nikon repair center) and they have offered me a reasonable price (about 200 USD). However, I've been concerned that the new sensor that they put into my camera would not be a genuine D7200 sensor (which is made by Toshiba) so I'm asking this question to find if it would even be possible to replace the sensor with one that does not belong to this model at all.

For instance, can they put a D5200 sensor in a D7200 or a similar case? Or does the camera only support the genuine sensor?

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    If you don’t trust them to fit the right parts why are you doing business with them? – James Snell Dec 25 '17 at 20:57
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    @JamesSnell: This is rather a general question not the matter of trust. Because if this would be possible, then it can happen elsewhere too. – Transcendent Dec 25 '17 at 20:58
  • @JamesSnell: Furthermore, that is the only option I have because no other repair center is around here. – Transcendent Dec 25 '17 at 21:00
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    I suggest don't pay until the camera is demonstrated working with the new sensor. The camera is currently unusable anyway, so you don't lose out if their repair plan fails. – user16259 Dec 25 '17 at 23:12
  • @user16259 Working is not the issue. The quality in terms of sharpness, mega pixels and iso is what I'm concerned about. – Transcendent Dec 26 '17 at 10:01
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It is very, very unlikely that any such different-model swap would work, because the other electronics in the camera are tied intimately to the sensor. In the case of very similar models (one generation to the next, say), it's possible that all of that could be swapped in and still physically fit, but even that seems unlikely as improvements (and cost-saving measures!) often change the form factor as the design evolves.

There is certainly no market for knock-off or third-party fake sensor modules (as one might find with, say, power supply bricks). The market and margins just don't make that worth it.

So, I think it's likely you're getting what they say.

On the other hand, I'd urge you to be cautious about fetishizing one particular sensor make, model, or generation. All sensors in models of this level are of exceptional quality, and it's incredibly rare that there's an actual photographic situation where the minute differences between A+++ and A++++ actually have a visual (let alone artistic) impact on the results.

  • different camera model does not mean the sensor is different. for example D5200 and D7100 use the same toshiba APS-C chip ( nikonhacker.com/wiki/Camera_Matrix ). D7200 seems different despite similar resolution, though. – szulat Dec 27 '17 at 20:27
  • In the comments under the other answer, it's been said that sensor replacement may need micro adjustments, to what extent could that be true? – Transcendent Dec 27 '17 at 20:36
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Sensor replacement, as done by a regular/authorized service center, will very likely be a module replacement - an assembly made of the sensor, a PCB, and some mounting hardware will be replaced as a unit.

Replacing a sensor as an actual component in that assembly would require someone (professional or enthusiast) very skilled in component level electronics repair. We are talking at least 0.25 Rossmanns of skill here. Theoretically, such a technician could fit a lower or higher grade of the same component (IF that component is sold binned/graded), or a reclaimed component from used or defective hardware. Also, they could indeed fit a similar but not identical part using the same pinout and protocol, or even make wiring changes (or a new PCB) to accomodate a part different in pinout but identical in protocol. Someone that skilled would probably proudly offer that service honest and above board.

This leaves the possibility of the spare part being a reclaimed assembly from an otherwise broken or discarded camera (hopefully not: stolen camera!), or a factory reject (which a reputable camera maker is unlikely to give away or sell intact, so it would be, excuse the pun, a half-inched sensor), or a sensor that another repairman swapped out as suspect or defective. In the first case, as long as that is done transparently, it would actually not be a bad deal. The second case would be worst, you would get bad quality and potentially own stolen property.

Theoretically, someone could also undertake to refurbish sensors that were swapped due to damage to the optical filters (IF that assembly allows economically replacing them).

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Replacing camera sensor won't be possible. Even if it is, the amount of precision required to re-install the new one will not be possible to achieve with your unauthorised repair shop.

You're better off keeping those 200$ with you!

  • are kidding me? not possible? ? well how about replacing the shutter?? wouldn't that be more difficult? ? – Transcendent Dec 27 '17 at 17:01
  • Did you read the entire answer or jumped the cliff within first few words? – Shreesh Katyayan Dec 27 '17 at 17:04
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    I read the full answer and it doesn't make any sense. What precision is that exactly? You give me a camera and a sensor I replace it for you myself. it's equal to changing a cpu in a laptop but you gotta deal with a bit more screws. – Transcendent Dec 27 '17 at 17:06
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    @transcendent, CPU ain't camera sensor. Also, camera sensors are callibrated to micrometer precision when a camera is assembled. Precision in terms of its distance from optical centre of lens, and it's position on the camera body itself. Possible problems incase it isn't maintained: lack of focus for images, sharpness, vignette to say a few – Shreesh Katyayan Dec 27 '17 at 17:45
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    I expect you're being downvoted because you're implying you can't replace a camera sensor... when you can? – Crazy Dino Dec 27 '17 at 18:29

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