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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: crank47 on July 27, 2013, 09:32:24 PM

Title: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 27, 2013, 09:32:24 PM
Hello,
I need to tell you this silly story how my trusty 5d mk3 died. I love the mk3 and it's an awesome camera, I had it as a main body and I really trusted it to get the job done when I need it. But my perspective on the 5D mk3 changed recently. I was shooting a wedding a few weeks back and at the ceremony my mk3 just started going crazy. The mirror kept flapping, shutter didn't respond and it gave me an error 20 screen. I thought ok, maybe the mirror motor died since I know error 20 is a mechanical problem and a friend had the same problem with the motor. So I changed to my old 5Dc I had as a backup and shot the rest of the wedding with it. When I came home I tried the mk3, put the battery in and turn the power on, as it turned on it gave me a high temp. warning and that's when I knew something was wrong so I puled the battery out and waited till Monday so I can take the camera to a repair centre. Before my trip to the centre I tried to turn on my camera again as I had some hope that the high temp. warning wouldn't show up, boy was I wrong. The camera was dead, no respond, nothing. After a few days the centre called me with bad news. My mk3 has water damage all over the main PCB, DC/DC power board and the pentaprism unit. I was shocked! It never went near water plus it has some degree of weather sealing. I could not believe what they said to me. I started to think of every possible solution how could water enter my mk3. Finally I figured it out. Apparently since it was a hot sunny day and i needed to be in a suit as my work uniform, sweat from my shirt magically got into the camera body and fried the electronics. Yeah I know,it's funny but it's true. Canon weather sealing can withstand light rain and snow, but hang it around your neck for 2 hours on a hot day- Dead. I'm really disappointed as I had a 5Dc and a 450D on much harder weddings in the middle of summer and they still work. Maybe I had bad luck or something, but still I think that a pro level camera like a 5D mk3 should work fine in these situations. Now I need to pay 750 euro to get my camera fixed, drive 2 countries to get a canon service centre that has some parts for the mk3 and be without my main body for a month or more till they fix it. My gold CPS card doesn't mean anything. I'm really disappointed in Canon right now and feel frustrated that you can be without your camera for a month because of humidity from a sweaty shirt...

I hope my story will help someone in the future as clearly the 5D mk3 isn't that pro grade as we think it is. Before this event if somebody told me that a mk3 can die like this, I would laugh at them. Now I don't know if it's funny or sad.

Stephan
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 27, 2013, 09:37:40 PM
Sorry for your troubles!  It wasn't sweat...

Was the 'repair centre' a Canon Service Centre, i.e., owned/operated by Canon?
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 27, 2013, 09:42:58 PM
It was sweat, that's the only possible explanation. If it wasn't sweat, then I have water damage from nothing  :-\

The service centre isn't a canon one, but is the main CPS partner for Austria.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 27, 2013, 09:54:43 PM
Another possible explanation is that the service center is acting unscrupulously. 

However, was the camera ever exposed to water?  Unless there's a short, water damage can take time to cause problems - it's often not the water, but the corrosion that follows. So, you use your camera in the rain, dry it off and put it away, use it a day later, and it works fine. It keeps working fine for a couple of months.  Then the corrosion progressed to the point where it stops working.  The water exposure was long ago, and you don't associate it with the current problem, but that was the real cause.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: kaihp on July 27, 2013, 11:09:33 PM
I live in subtropical climates, I bring my 5D3 with me basically everywhere, including to Singapore (right on equator = tropical) with no problems at all. I'm quite certain that many other people use their 5D3's in similar humid conditions.

I agree with neuro: the CPS partner's explanation sounds fishy. Unfortunately, this is not the first time "water damage" has been cried by a vendor. I've had it happen on a Nokia phone (I had a friend who worked in Nokia R&D fix it for me - it was a 2nH SMD coil that was broken), and Apple was told in court they could claim 'water damage' from a humidity sticker they put inside, since the sticker reacted to any humidity, not just getting water inside (IIRC, 3M testified against Apple on this case).

One thing, though, is if you bring the camera quickly from a hot/humid area to a cold (e.g. aircon'ed) area. That would make the humidy condense quickly, and possibly creating shorts.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: agierke on July 27, 2013, 11:50:12 PM
Quote
One thing, though, is if you bring the camera quickly from a hot/humid area to a cold (e.g. aircon'ed) area. That would make the humidy condense quickly, and possibly creating shorts.

this sounds like a much more likely scenario. it is quite common for this to happen on weddings moving from hot exterior conditions to air conditioned interiors. i've seen it several times though i have never personally seen a camera die from it.

the "sweat" scenario seems far fetched. i have been dripping wet while shooting weddings (quite a disgusting condition i might add) and have never had a problem on any of my 5D cameras.

sorry for your troubles though.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: drmikeinpdx on July 28, 2013, 12:09:44 AM
Quote
One thing, though, is if you bring the camera quickly from a hot/humid area to a cold (e.g. aircon'ed) area. That would make the humidy condense quickly, and possibly creating shorts.

this sounds like a much more likely scenario. it is quite common for this to happen on weddings moving from hot exterior conditions to air conditioned interiors.

Hmmm... isn't that backwards?  Water usually condenses on my gear when I bring it into a warm building after being outside in very cold weather.  Did you happen to take the camera on a ski trip last winter?

Sorry to hear about your problem!
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: agierke on July 28, 2013, 12:17:51 AM
you are right! watching a movie while typing late at night and i start to not make sense! lol...reverse what i said...but i see it alot.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Viggo on July 28, 2013, 02:18:32 AM
I've worked as service technician , and every single time we get a water damaged product we NEVER offer repair, simply because it's impossible to find all the places it has affect, so changing some
Parts and charge you out the nose would never happen here. Water damage is highly unpredictable and can cause errors, as Neuro said, a long time after it was exposed to water. We knew this could happen and it wouldn't be a solution for the service place or for you as a customer. It could go one week and it's dead again and the. The service place have a warranty on the repair and suddenly they must give you a new one because its unfixable, it's no way to run a business.

This is for example why an iPhone, and others, have sensor in the dock connector with a very small green circle that turns red if the phone has water inside, it doesn't go red from water directly on to the circle, so you hand a phone in, service checks the dot, red? Okei,They won't Even open it, no point.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 28, 2013, 05:44:33 AM
Well you guys all have valid points.
But still you can't compare a iPhone with a 5Dmk3, 5D si a pro grade camera while a iPhone is... well a iPhone.
I don't know how exactly my camera died, maybi it was condensation from quick hot/cold translation, maybe it was from my sweaty shirt, maybe it just wanted to die... I really don't know.
I just know that i have a pro camera dead from water damage and that the camera didn't see any water or rain.
In favor to the repair centre,they did send me pictures and it kinda is a reasonable story.
(http://www.pohrani.com/f/3N/dj/6fpBUkF/img7164r.jpg)

I don't know what to think about it right now, I'll wait for the centre to send me some news and hopefully have my camera back soon.

Stephan
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Sporgon on July 28, 2013, 06:09:33 AM
Quote
One thing, though, is if you bring the camera quickly from a hot/humid area to a cold (e.g. aircon'ed) area. That would make the humidy condense quickly, and possibly creating shorts.

this sounds like a much more likely scenario. it is quite common for this to happen on weddings moving from hot exterior conditions to air conditioned interiors.
Hmmm... isn't that backwards?  Water usually condenses on my gear when I bring it into a warm building after being outside in very cold weather.  Did you happen to take the camera on a ski trip last winter?
Sorry to hear about your problem!

No, it can work both ways.

Warmer air can hold more water in vapour form than cooler air, it's measured in grams per metre cubed. Bring a cold object into a warm space and as the warm meets the surface of the cold object the water held in that air condensates out onto the surface of the cooler object.

However if an object is hollow and is in warm humid environment the air inside it has x grams of water held in vapour. If that object ( read camera and / or lens ) is then brought into a cold environment the warm air inside the camera cools quickly and the air inside it can no longer hold the water in vapour form and it drops out as liquid - all over your circuit boards.

Repeatedly do this again and again and you would be surprised at the amount of water that can collect. If the OP is a social photog and works outside in very hot, humid conditions and then goes into cool air con buildings with equipment you may have the answer.

If I was shooting in these circumstances I'd have separate equipment for a rapid change over indoors, or choose camera and lenses that were constructed from materials with less thermal conductivity than mag alloy. The 6D might be a better choice with its polymer top plate.

I agree with those that dismiss the sweat idea - unless it's been an 'Airplane ! ' type scenario !
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 28, 2013, 06:32:37 AM
I too didn't believe that it could be from sweat, but then again if it was from rapid temp. change,why didn't my 5Dc died? It was on my shoulder the whole time.  Why the mk3 has salty corrosion on the side of the body where the back plate and the front plate are connected right beside the rubber doors facing the back. That connection was against my shirt.
The repair centre did said that this kind of corrosion is made by salt or mineral water. Humidity in the air is fresh water since I don't live by the sea.
It can be a possibility that humidity form rapid temp. change killed my camera, but then the salty corrosion part wouldn't fit in. I know it's stupid and no one of my friends that are photographers believe me but it's the most logical considering what happened.

Stephan
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Sporgon on July 28, 2013, 06:53:45 AM
I too didn't believe that it could be from sweat, but then again if it was from rapid temp. change,why didn't my 5Dc died? It was on my shoulder the whole time.  Why the mk3 has salty corrosion on the side of the body where the back plate and the front plate are connected right beside the rubber doors facing the back. That connection was against my shirt.
The repair centre did said that this kind of corrosion is made by salt or mineral water. Humidity in the air is fresh water since I don't live by the sea.
It can be a possibility that humidity form rapid temp. change killed my camera, but then the salty corrosion part wouldn't fit in. I know it's stupid and no one of my friends that are photographers believe me but it's the most logical considering what happened.

Stephan

Looking at your picture I agree it does have the give away green of sweaty salt corrosion. Just glad you weren't sitting next to me.

It's also below the 'info' button and join in the body - an unhealthy coincidence ?

Regarding the original 5D, that had no sealing at all, a real leaky old body. This is really annoying, but with the 5Dmkiii you might be seeing the results of 'sealed-but-not-quite' syndrome; the moisture can eventually creep in but can't get out. With the 5D mki it gets in - and out - quite readily.

I uses to have the same problem with industrial electric fans working in very high temperatures and humidity - 70 degrees at 100% RH, but the environment would then be changed to 18 degrees. They used to burn out all the time with water contamination inside until we took the sealing plugs out of the motors. The water could then get in, but also out. Never had any more problems.

So I suppose this begs the question: is no sealing better than inadequate sealing ?
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Cannon Man on July 28, 2013, 09:04:12 AM
Condensation is likely. Not sweat.

No one ever said 5D III is a pro level camera.. It's not even close to pro level! yeah pros use it but its built far from level of the 1D Cameras in terms of ruggedness, built quality, weather sealing, reliability.. Go 1D series!
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: drmikeinpdx on July 28, 2013, 09:26:37 AM
Thanks for posting the photo!  I'm going to be more careful with my Mark 3 from now on.

It does look like the frame of your Mark 3 has significant corrosion.  Maybe that's where the water got in?  Perhaps that joint between the back panel and the frame might be a good place to try to add some sort of sealant if you were forced to use your camera in damp conditions.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: distant.star on July 28, 2013, 09:42:54 AM
.
Something else to think about is that we do not buy cameras at the end of the production line.

Between the factory and our sweaty palms all kinds of things can happen in transit, storage, selling, repackaging, etc. That makes for one vast unknown.

Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Dr.Jones on July 28, 2013, 09:43:18 AM
I have just posted my story of my dead 5D in another thread. Scary have many dead body threads there is in the top section of topics at Canon Rumors front page right now...

I have a 5D Mark III which is currently in for repair by water damage. Canon has opened up the camera and found several spots where water has damaged multiple parts of the camera.. My problem however is not whether or not water has damaged my camera as canon have already sent me pictures of the internals of my camera.
My problem is that this damage has happened over night where i was sleeping in a tent. The camera was functioning perfect when i went to sleep and not at all when i woke again. Therefor i suspect the camera to be damaged only by moisture and condensation, which i find to be less than satisfying.. Another thing to add is that my 5D Mark II was right next to it and it suffered no malfunctions.

I am very disappointed with this. And of course the bill that followed, which right now I'm refusing to pay...
I live in Denmark, if that is of interest for anyone. In Denmark the price for a 5D mark III is just about 4000$ and the cost of the repair is 2800$... Almost 3/4 of the price of a new one...

So if anyone can provide some help in any way i would be more than thankful. Thank you all in advance!

Oh boy am i disappointed with the durability of my Mark III. Its such a nice camera in every other aspect, really enjoy using it. But worse durability then my Mark II when it comes to sealing? Now I'm afraid of even bringing my camera outside if rain might come later that day...
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Dr.Jones on July 28, 2013, 09:52:03 AM
Condensation is likely. Not sweat.

No one ever said 5D III is a pro level camera.. It's not even close to pro level! yeah pros use it but its built far from level of the 1D Cameras in terms of ruggedness, built quality, weather sealing, reliability.. Go 1D series!

Just FYI Canon USA has listed the 5D Mark III in their professionals section, even the 60D is listed there:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/digital_slr_cameras (http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/digital_slr_cameras)

And for my own country, Denmark, the Mark III is listed in the pro section alongside 1DX and 1DC
http://www.canon.dk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/professional/index.aspx (http://www.canon.dk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/professional/index.aspx)

So i bet there is a reason why someone might have slipped it upon their lips that the 5D Mark III was a pro grade camera ;-)

Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: candyman on July 28, 2013, 10:15:03 AM
I can not believe the 5D MK III is so sensitive to condensation. I did not yet have the opportunity to take my 5D MKIII to the middle east. But, I took my 7D many times there. I went from cold places (due to airconditioning) to outdoor (35 to 40 degree celcius) many times. That includes from cars, houses and other public places. Never I had a problem with the 7D. Sure, the glass of the lcd display got misty but it disappeared by itself. I did gave it any care treatment afterwards. The 7D functions of button work properly until today. The 7D even was taken in light rain while shooting sports. I used a towel to dry it, kept the camera in a warm room and no damage appeared.

I expect that my 5D MK III will stand up to at least the same level as the 7D. But after reading the OP message I ask myself if this is just a bad example of a QC check on this specific camera or if it is generic for all 5D MK III. I guess I will have to find out on my next tour to the middle east. Would be nice though to get some statement of Canon that in conditions described above the camera should be able to deal with it in a proper way just because of its weatherproof protection.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: michi on July 28, 2013, 10:53:25 AM
Do I remember reading a story somewhere that some batches of Canon equipment were exposed to high humidity during transport to the US and ended up corroding later, but the owners being told it's water damage caused by the owner?

Maybe something like that going on?
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 28, 2013, 11:02:11 AM
Do I remember reading a story somewhere that some batches of Canon equipment were exposed to high humidity during transport to the US and ended up corroding later, but the owners being told it's water damage caused by the owner?

Maybe something like that going on?

Well my mk3 was bought in the US. In my opinion I think it was sweat since the frame had salt on it from the inside.

Dr.Jones - I'm really sorry since your repair is more expensive than mine. But yes it's silly that a 3500$ camera can die like this...

Buying a 1D is to much for me. The 5Dmk3 is an awesome camera and it fits my needs perfectly, it really fell in my eyes since it died like this... :-\
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: miah on July 28, 2013, 11:36:42 AM
Water damage is highly unpredictable and can cause errors, as Neuro said, a long time after it was exposed to water.
Sometimes that high unpredictability works in your favor, too. In 2007 I went over my motorcycle's handlebars into a pit of quicksand in the Amazon. My DSLR was safe in my waterproof panniers, but my Powershot S80 was strapped to my waist in a completely porous little belt-pack. By the time I finally extracted myself from the mess, and pulled the S80 out of my belt-pack, disgusting, muddy water was running out of every orifice. I pulled the battery, let it dry out for several days (exposed to more Amazon-level humidity, all day, everyday), put the battery back in--and it worked!

When I got back to the states, I played dumb and sent it into Canon for "cleaning." They subsequently sent me a photo of what it looked like on the inside: filthy. There letter explained that the camera had obvious water damage and offered me the chance to upgrade to another camera (at a discount). I passed, and am still using that S80 almost every day to this day, 6 years later (it just returned from Thailand, where my wife used it without fail, everyday for 7 weeks).

Now, I don't know whether to chalk this incident up to quality or luck or both, but regardless, I didn't lose a single shot from my trip.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Harry Muff on July 28, 2013, 02:30:11 PM

My trusty 5d mk3 died.





 ::)



Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 28, 2013, 03:03:06 PM

My trusty 5d mk3 died.



 ::)

So? I trusted it in the past and it did the job when I needed it to do it. I'll still trust it,just not in bad conditions...
Your comment is irrelevant.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: awinphoto on July 28, 2013, 03:33:13 PM
My vote is humidity and condensation....  Depending on the extremes of indoors and outdoors in the winter you can get condensation going indoors and outdoors and you have to take caution to slowly warm your camera up to avoid issues...  Likewise in the summer with high temps and then going to a nice air conditioned rooms, especially with high humidity, it can be an issue, especially over time.  I've had times when shooting near chicago with 70-90% humidity where my cameras stopped working altogether until i let them cool down and dry out...  Canon cameras, if i'm not mistaken, claims they work in conditions of up to 60% humidity, or it could be closer to 70...  But yeah...  i'm sorry to hear
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Chris Geiger on July 28, 2013, 04:37:11 PM
I moved to Canon from Nikon in early 2012. I have shot exactly 50 weddings plus assorted other shoots over the last year an 1/2 with my pair of 5DIII's. The very first wedding it was raining all day. Most weddings are dry but I have had many weddings on hot days including an all outdoor weddings at 110 degrees. Talk about a lot of sweat! Never had any problem with either camera. When I am not shooting, I keep the camera's and lenses in a roller bag. I occasionally toss into the bag those little silica packets to keep the air in the bag dry. 

Here is a shot from the very first wedding that I did as a Canon shooter, yes that was rain I was shooting in....
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Chuck Alaimo on July 28, 2013, 04:51:50 PM
.
Something else to think about is that we do not buy cameras at the end of the production line.

Between the factory and our sweaty palms all kinds of things can happen in transit, storage, selling, repackaging, etc. That makes for one vast unknown.

Reading through this thread and was actually considering this as a potential solution. 
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: dgatwood on July 29, 2013, 01:34:00 AM
Well you guys all have valid points.
But still you can't compare a iPhone with a 5Dmk3, 5D si a pro grade camera while a iPhone is... well a iPhone.
I don't know how exactly my camera died, maybi it was condensation from quick hot/cold translation, maybe it was from my sweaty shirt, maybe it just wanted to die... I really don't know.
I just know that i have a pro camera dead from water damage and that the camera didn't see any water or rain.
In favor to the repair centre,they did send me pictures and it kinda is a reasonable story.

I see no evidence of moisture damage in that photograph.  There's some gunk on the metal frame, but that looks more like glue that holds rubber seals in place than oxidation damage.  Titanium dioxide is white, not black or green.  However, if the metal frame is corroded, I suspect that it was corroded before they assembled the camera at the factory, because I see no evidence of water damage to the electronics at all in that photo.

In fact, the only thing I see that looks odd is the blob of greenish glue on one of the connectors.  Based on my experience with hardware manufacturers, that glue is probably there because they realized after they built a few million that the connector design was inadequate for the amount of force that routinely tugged on the cable.  That's the sort of design screw-up that makes me cringe every time I see it, because invariably there will be a few units that fail spontaneously in fascinating ways, often repeatedly.  To be brutally honest, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to learn that your entire failure was caused by that cable coming loose in spite of the glue....

If there had been actual water in the camera I would expect the following to be true:


And so on.  I mean yes, ostensibly, it could have failed because of water damage, but it sure doesn't look like water damage based on what I'm seeing.

My guess is that they probably put in a bunch of those worthless moisture sensing dots—the ones that a lot of manufacturers have already gotten sued over because of their astonishingly high false positive rates.  Either that or they get more money for non-warranty work and they're just trying to meet their quota by screwing somebody over.

Either way, please tell me which Canon service center this was.  I don't ever want anything I own to go there.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Kristofgss on July 29, 2013, 07:52:42 AM
Just out of curiosity, would leaving the lens off in a dry environment help with removing water from the body and thus preventing corrosion? (like condensation when you change lenses in the rain) SO would it be a good option to have it rest for a while without lens cap after a shoot to prevent prolongued exposure to corrosion;
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: paul13walnut5 on July 29, 2013, 08:48:03 AM
If somebody asked you to place your camera in a small closed cell with air being pumped around that space for 8 hours, during which time 1 litre of liquid is going to be released and circulated in that air would you be happy to do so?

In a tent this is exactly what you are doing, through respiration and perspiration, with your lungs pumping that humid air around.

Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Viggo on July 29, 2013, 09:04:35 AM
I moved to Canon from Nikon in early 2012. I have shot exactly 50 weddings plus assorted other shoots over the last year an 1/2 with my pair of 5DIII's. The very first wedding it was raining all day. Most weddings are dry but I have had many weddings on hot days including an all outdoor weddings at 110 degrees. Talk about a lot of sweat! Never had any problem with either camera. When I am not shooting, I keep the camera's and lenses in a roller bag. I occasionally toss into the bag those little silica packets to keep the air in the bag dry. 

Here is a shot from the very first wedding that I did as a Canon shooter, yes that was rain I was shooting in....

Seriously nice image  :D
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: michi on July 29, 2013, 10:34:18 AM
Do I remember reading a story somewhere that some batches of Canon equipment were exposed to high humidity during transport to the US and ended up corroding later, but the owners being told it's water damage caused by the owner?

Maybe something like that going on?

Well my mk3 was bought in the US. In my opinion I think it was sweat since the frame had salt on it from the inside.

Dr.Jones - I'm really sorry since your repair is more expensive than mine. But yes it's silly that a 3500$ camera can die like this...

Buying a 1D is to much for me. The 5Dmk3 is an awesome camera and it fits my needs perfectly, it really fell in my eyes since it died like this... :-\

I read through your original post again.  What was the time span from the "sweaty wedding" to the camera failing to the service center sending you the pics?  I'm not an expert, but if we are talking a week here, I don't think you get that green type of corrosion in that short of a timeframe.  My gutt feeling says there was a prior issue.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on July 29, 2013, 10:53:20 AM
I read through your original post again.  What was the time span from the "sweaty wedding" to the camera failing to the service center sending you the pics?  I'm not an expert, but if we are talking a week here, I don't think you get that green type of corrosion in that short of a timeframe.  My gutt feeling says there was a prior issue.

The wedding was on saturday, monday I took it to a service centre in my country and they send me the pictures and the damage report (they did not know the story or what happened to the body, I didn't know what happened till they told me), a week later I drove to Austria and took the body to the main CPS service partner there. They send me a email with the similar damage report and the same faulty part list.  2 repair centres, same story -  Damage from salt or mineral water corrosion.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: clostridium on July 29, 2013, 11:08:46 AM
I'm inclined to agree with dgatwood's post - the damage pattern is a bit odd. 

Disclaimer - even though I have an engineering degree I'm no expert on these matters aside from the expertise one obtains from surfing the net for information on this topic.  A few materials science courses does not necessarily confer expertise.  What we need is someone who works in electronics repair to weight in on this issue.  Or ask someone from Lensrentals or one of the rental sites what they think.  They are a great source for information about equipment failing.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way:

The fluid had to have some sort of electrolytes in it (like sweat or salt water) to cause that corrosion appearance.  That makes condensation pretty unlikely.  The damage pattern also doesn't fit with condensation as dgatwood points out - see this link for a picture of what condensation damage looks like in electronics http://www.multisorb.com/files/9113/4315/2180/article-moisture-in-electronics.pdf (http://www.multisorb.com/files/9113/4315/2180/article-moisture-in-electronics.pdf)

So let's say sweat traveled through a seal and dripped down to that location.  It seems strange that the damaged area isn't either a lot smaller or a lot bigger.  If a sweat droplet got in you'd think that it would have traveled farther than just that little spot.  There is zero apparent additional evidence of corrosion damage on that picture that I can see.

There is a joint that runs to the right of the info button and then curves below it that would be just above this site they have pictured.  The fluid seems like it would have to come through that spot or perhaps through the power switch and/or mode dial. 

Giving the repair center the benefit of the doubt - maybe the seal was bad?  How do you hold the camera - i.e. where is your left hand with respect to that part of the camera?  I would expect that the biggest sweat issues would be more on the right side where you are gripping the camera tightly. 
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: unfocused on July 29, 2013, 12:40:53 PM
I'm in the skeptical crowd.

Not doubting your story and not even doubting the service center's claim that it was water damage.

But, I just keep thinking of the millions of sweaty summer tourists carrying rebels all over the world and wondering, if this could happen to you, why wouldn't it have happened thousands of times before with cameras that are much less well-sealed?

I strongly suspect that there was something else that was the cause. As others have suggested, it could even be something that happened before you owned the camera – maybe as far back as the production line. I think the fact that the camera happened to quit working when it did may be just a coincidence.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: dgatwood on July 29, 2013, 10:53:32 PM
So let's say sweat traveled through a seal and dripped down to that location.  It seems strange that the damaged area isn't either a lot smaller or a lot bigger.  If a sweat droplet got in you'd think that it would have traveled farther than just that little spot.  There is zero apparent additional evidence of corrosion damage on that picture that I can see.

And if a sweat droplet got in, then the seals were bad to begin with.  That's a manufacturing defect, and they're legally required to fix it, including any additional damage arising out of that defect, period.  This isn't even a grey area....
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: drjlo on July 30, 2013, 01:51:35 AM
I haven't tried with my 5D III, but with my old Canon S95 and Rebels, I used to see a lot of condensation on screens and lenses as I came out of AC'd hotels to warm tropical outdoors.  I now keep them in air-tight plastic bags, with as much air squeezed out as possible with some silica dry packs inside, doing my best NOT to take them out until camera temperatures at least partially catch up to outside temperatures. 
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Valvebounce on July 30, 2013, 04:53:55 AM
I see no evidence of moisture damage in that photograph.  There's some gunk on the metal frame, but that looks more like glue that holds rubber seals in place than oxidation damage.  Titanium dioxide is white, not black or green.  However, if the metal frame is corroded, I suspect that it was corroded before they assembled the camera at the factory, because I see no evidence of water damage to the electronics at all in that photo.

Hi dgatwood, I just checked specs, as I thought the body is quoted as made from magnesium, however pure magnesium is highly reactive and is quoted in one article as "not generally used for construction" no idea whether that means cameras or not!

It states that most likely it is an alloy of magnesium which would generally corrode to a gray film coating but should be protected by a surface treatment.

It also states that corrosion due to pure water increases With temperature, no mention of what temperature, but it also says the alloy is not structurally affected until temperatures of 95 to 120C.

The greenish colour would indicate to me a compound involving copper was involved and as this is on the body of magnesium that would be unlikely so I guess that just adds to the confusion, I would think it is unlikely to be contamination from copper of the pcb as that is lacquered over to prevent corrosion so we are left with plated contacts to corrode.

Also as I have said in previous posts part of my expertise is classic cars, I have bolts of approximately 40 years of age that have been left in containers that have collected water sufficient to cause a tide line. Yes some of the bolts have rusted, generally those with tool damage that has damaged the plating, but many have survived so clean they look like new. It is so unusual to find tool damage on fixings inside modern electronics that I would not be surprised to see no corrosion on the screws.

However having said all that I am with every one on your main points that it should/could not have happened so quickly and that it could have been either sweat or condensation "pure water".

Most of all I would think that this could be a warranty situation as a seal failure would seem to be a real likely cause of this.

My deepest sympathy for your situation.

Cheers Graham.




Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Kristofgss on July 30, 2013, 06:13:11 AM
It also states that corrosion due to pure water increases With temperature, no mention of what temperature, but it also says the alloy is not structurally affected until temperatures of 95 to 120C.

Quick rule of reaction speed is an increase of speed at a  factor 2  for every ten degrees Kelvin (or Celcius) rise in temperature. So the hotter something is, the faster the chemical reaction will work (which you can experiment with by washing dishes in hot water vs cold water)

Pure water is less corrosive than water with salt as well (which also is a better conductor of electricity, increasing the chance of short-circuits)
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: dgatwood on July 30, 2013, 11:07:31 AM

It states that most likely it is an alloy of magnesium which would generally corrode to a gray film coating but should be protected by a surface treatment.

I'd expect it to be coated either way, which makes corrosion even less plausible.



The greenish colour would indicate to me a compound involving copper was involved and as this is on the body of magnesium that would be unlikely so I guess that just adds to the confusion, I would think it is unlikely to be contamination from copper of the pcb as that is lacquered over to prevent corrosion so we are left with plated contacts to corrode.

...which are all either gold plated or tinned with solder.  Either way, there's no exposed copper.  BTW, where do you see green?  The only green I see is pretty clearly glue placed there to hold a ribbon cable into one of those shove-in connectors.



Also as I have said in previous posts part of my expertise is classic cars, I have bolts of approximately 40 years of age that have been left in containers that have collected water sufficient to cause a tide line. Yes some of the bolts have rusted, generally those with tool damage that has damaged the plating, but many have survived so clean they look like new. It is so unusual to find tool damage on fixings inside modern electronics that I would not be surprised to see no corrosion on the screws.

Bolts used in cars are plated specifically because the products are designed to live outdoors and are designed to be repairable.  I would not expect screws in consumer electronics to be plated because neither of those is the case.  :D  My refrigerator, for example, had small screws that rusted because of condensation, to such a degree that I had to drill the heads.  Hard to say for sure, though, whether these screws are plated or not.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Valvebounce on July 30, 2013, 01:17:03 PM
Hi again,

I did state "should be treated."

I did state "we are left with plated contacts to corrode."

Where I thought I saw green other than the blob of glue type stuff is on the body casting edge to the right of the provided image, I have now given it a more thorough look and see it is just as likely to be a lighting artefact as corrosion.

Personally I have never found a threaded fastner in a product that does not have some surface treatment, sometimes only light or substandard! :o
It would not make sense for a manufacturer to use untreated fastners and end up with rejects due to corrosion. Furthermore if we wanted untreated screws to plate in house where I worked they were special order and worked out dearer than chemically stripping and plating from stock.


I understand that automotive fastners are plated to withstand the elements. However I doubt periodical prolonged immersion in water containing many and varied contaminants was ever envisioned and I don't think they were meant to last 40 years. Anyway my main point was the time that undamaged plating can survive, and to discredit the notion of the corrosion appearing in a weekend! ::)

Basically I think we concur on this situation. :)

Cheers Graham.


It states that most likely it is an alloy of magnesium which would generally corrode to a gray film coating but should be protected by a surface treatment.

I'd expect it to be coated either way, which makes corrosion even less plausible.



The greenish colour would indicate to me a compound involving copper was involved and as this is on the body of magnesium that would be unlikely so I guess that just adds to the confusion, I would think it is unlikely to be contamination from copper of the pcb as that is lacquered over to prevent corrosion so we are left with plated contacts to corrode.

...which are all either gold plated or tinned with solder.  Either way, there's no exposed copper.  BTW, where do you see green?  The only green I see is pretty clearly glue placed there to hold a ribbon cable into one of those shove-in connectors.



Also as I have said in previous posts part of my expertise is classic cars, I have bolts of approximately 40 years of age that have been left in containers that have collected water sufficient to cause a tide line. Yes some of the bolts have rusted, generally those with tool damage that has damaged the plating, but many have survived so clean they look like new. It is so unusual to find tool damage on fixings inside modern electronics that I would not be surprised to see no corrosion on the screws.

Bolts used in cars are plated specifically because the products are designed to live outdoors and are designed to be repairable.  I would not expect screws in consumer electronics to be plated because neither of those is the case.  :D  My refrigerator, for example, had small screws that rusted because of condensation, to such a degree that I had to drill the heads.  Hard to say for sure, though, whether these screws are plated or not.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: tpatana on July 30, 2013, 02:50:54 PM
Pure water is less corrosive than water with salt as well (which also is a better conductor of electricity, increasing the chance of short-circuits)

[nitpick]Pure water doesn't conduct electricity[/nitpick]

The OP story is interesting. I'd hate for such to happen for me, so I'm really curious if they'll find the root cause for what has happened.

I don't believe on the sweat, I'd be much more inclined for condensation due to the temperature changes.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: AlanF on July 30, 2013, 04:02:14 PM
It also states that corrosion due to pure water increases With temperature, no mention of what temperature, but it also says the alloy is not structurally affected until temperatures of 95 to 120C.

Quick rule of reaction speed is an increase of speed at a  factor 2  for every ten degrees Kelvin (or Celcius) rise in temperature. So the hotter something is, the faster the chemical reaction will work (which you can experiment with by washing dishes in hot water vs cold water)

Pure water is less corrosive than water with salt as well (which also is a better conductor of electricity, increasing the chance of short-circuits)

A factor of 2 in rate for an increase of 10 oC is for a reaction which is relatively fast, such as an enzyme catalysed reaction in a cell with an activation energy of about 12.5 kcal/mol (~52 kJ/mol). A slower reaction with a higher activation energy would increase a factor of 4 or 5 or more with a 10 oC rise in T.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: dgatwood on July 30, 2013, 11:19:53 PM
I understand that automotive fastners are plated to withstand the elements. However I doubt periodical prolonged immersion in water containing many and varied contaminants was ever envisioned and I don't think they were meant to last 40 years. Anyway my main point was the time that undamaged plating can survive, and to discredit the notion of the corrosion appearing in a weekend! ::)

In much the same way as I would not expect the (almost certainly coated) magnesium frame to corrode in a weekend, and for the same reason.  The point I was trying to make was that if one corrodes, I'd expect the other to corrode under similar circumstances, and if only one is corroded, that probably means it was corroded before they put in the screws.  ;)


Basically I think we concur on this situation. :)

Yes.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: crank47 on August 09, 2013, 06:34:23 AM
Just to post a update. Got my mk3 from the service centre. It's working like before and back in my backpack. But my wallet is lighter for 750euro + travel expense  :D Well I guess I learned a lesson the hard way.

Thank you all for your opinion guys!
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: cocopop05 on August 09, 2013, 08:12:41 AM
Interesting thread to read.  I have used my 5D Mk III several times in light rain, have had no problems so far.  Living in Australia, I go the the beach often.  I have taken many photos in 40+ degree heat, sweat pouring off my face and dousing my camera, not to mention hot winds and sea salt spray, so I have had no issues. 
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Etienne on August 09, 2013, 09:35:40 AM
This is an odd story.
I've used my 5DIII in light rain, no problems so far.
In the past I've also used my 40D, 60D, 5DII and other cameras in enough drizzle that they are slightly wet when I came in, not to mention cold to warm transitions. I've just patted the water off and let them sit without  removing lenses or batteries until fully dry.
Haven't had a problem with any of these cameras.
I suspect that something was wrong with this camera since it was built.
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Kristofgss on August 14, 2013, 03:25:10 AM
A factor of 2 in rate for an increase of 10 oC is for a reaction which is relatively fast, such as an enzyme catalysed reaction in a cell with an activation energy of about 12.5 kcal/mol (~52 kJ/mol). A slower reaction with a higher activation energy would increase a factor of 4 or 5 or more with a 10 oC rise in T.

So with two camera bodies and a controlled ten degrees difference we could work out which metal the 5DIII is made of?  :D
Title: Re: My dead 5D Mark III Story
Post by: Barrfly on September 13, 2014, 10:46:26 PM
 Today my 5D III died, after doing a search for error 20 I was led to this post.
Unfortunately my camera is acting the same way as the original poster . I remove the battery and when I put it back in the mirror flaps like crazy, stops and I get the err 20 message on the top panel.
 The rear screen doesn't activate and all functions are dead.
I fear all those kayaking trips and shooting football games on rainy days have taken it's toll.