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Did Nikon falsely advertise the D500's Wi-Fi Capabilities?

In many respects, the public reaction to the Nikon D500 since its announcement and subsequent release have been positive ones. But one German D500 owner, after trying other avenues, has presented Nikon with a cease and desist letter over what he claims is false advertising in regard to the D500 and its Wi-Fi capabilities, German site Heise Online reports.

The issue, it seems, stems from some odd limitations of the D500 that set it apart from Nikon’s other Wi-Fi-enabled cameras. The complaint by an owner identified as “Andreas V” centers on the D500’s requirement to be connected to a smartphone with Nikon’s SnapBridge app via Bluetooth in order connect to a Wi-Fi network.

Related: Nikon’s D5 flagship DSLR is worthy successor, despite lower sensor test score

If a Nikon D500 owner wants to connect directly to a Wi-Fi hot spot without the phone, then the $700-plus WT-7 accessory is required. In Andreas V’s claim, he notes independent experts — though we have been unable to corroborate — that claim the D500’s lack of true built-in Wi-Fi is actually a firmware issue and that Nikon could unlock it if it choses to do so.

Nikon’s SnapBridge app is currently only available for Android devices, so this issue is exaggerated for any iPhone owners who are now unable to use the Wi-Fi capabilities of the D500 without purchasing the WT-7. (The iOS version of the SnapBridge app is slated to come out in August.)

Most Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, Nikon or otherwise, are able to connect directly to Wi-Fi networks without a phone or app needed. In that respect, as Andreas V notes in his complaint, the Nikon claims of integrated Wi-Fi could be seen as misleading by even tech-savvy users.

It is yet to be seen if Andreas V’s complaint will mean much in regard to how the Japanese camera firm markets the D500, but Nikon notes that it has extended an offer to refund Andreas for his purchase. Nikon has specifically declined to comment on the Wi-Fi feature itself, instead focusing on what it has done to resolve the issue for this German user.