From LensRentals.com LensRentals.com has received their first shipment of fixed 5D Mark III bodies. They did what any of us would have done, they disassembled one to see what the fix was. It turns out the fix is two pieces of black tape. I actually joked with a friend that the fix would be “some kind of tape job”. This sort of thing is pretty normal inside electronics, so don’t be worried about tape coming off and that sort of thing. I have seen entire modules held in place by tape inside cameras.
To Users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera Concerning the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera, when the LCD panel illuminates in extremely dark environments, the displayed exposure value may change. Canon has concluded the investigation of this phenomenon, and this announcement informs you of our findings as described below.
In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change. However, based on the results of extensive testing this change in exposure value will not noticeably affect the captured image.
Affected Product Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
*Products whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 are affected.
For example, “xxxxx1xxxxxx” or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” ([x] represents any optional number.)
Support Under almost all shooting conditions (including dark environments) this phenomenon will not affect your captured images. However, if you would like Canon to inspect your camera, we will provide this service free of charge upon request beginning in mid-May. Please contact Canon using the information below to request service.
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
Please register the EOS 5D Mark III. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email when service updates are available. If you already registered, please ensure you are opted-in to receive the notification.
From Canon Singapore Perhaps some good news, though I would still not treat this as 100% until we see the official response to the “light leak issue”.
From Ong Khiaw Seng from Canon Singapore
With reference to your question on whether Canon Singapore will recall the EOS 5D MK III due to the light leak issue, we wish to inform you that we will not. However we will contact you later this month to rectify this issue. Please leave us your contact number for our Service team to contact you.
Tested a few cameras I went into the office today and did some tests on all the Canon DSLRs I had in stock and discovered a few things.
The biggest discovery I found with most of the cameras and the sunlight test is that just placing your thumb over the viewfinder isn’t enough. Bright light passes through the thumb without much issue. I discovered this when I used a folded piece of black fabric and stuffed that over the viewfinder. Most of the Canon cameras no longer had a “light leak” issue.
I tested with both the lens mounted with a cap on and with just the body cap on.
These tests were done in direct bright sunlight.
The cameras I used for testing. I even mounted the same model lens on all the bodies, the 24 f/1.4L II.
Canon EOS 60D I tested 2 bodies and found no issue once I placed the folded black fabric over the viewfinder. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 7D I tested 2 bodies and found no issue once I placed the folded black fabric over the viewfinder. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II I tested the one body I have in stock. This camera exhibited the same issue as the 5D Mark III in direct sunlight, however the backlight didn’t affect exposure. I also did the flashlight test that is mentioned below and nothing changed in exposure.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – Body #1 There was an ever so slight shift in exposure with the viewfinder cover down. 10 seconds out of the sun, 8 seconds in the sun. I stuffed the viewfinder with the black fabric and there was no change. The variance in exposure went away if I wrapped the LCD with the black fabric and only left enough space to see the exposure number. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – Body #2 This body exhibited no movement in exposure. No change with backlight on.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III I only have one body to test for the moment, however it exhibits the shift in exposure with the backlight turned on.
Once I placed the black fabric over the viewfinder instead of my thumb, the variance in exposure decreased in direct sunlight. However it was still present. Out of direct sunlight, the camera metered 10 seconds, in the direct sunlight the camera metered 1 second.
The final test I did with the 5D Mark III was take the lens cap off and meter off a relatively neutral wall. I turned on the backlight and nothing changed. I then pressed a 130 lumen flashlight up against the top LCD and the exposure didn’t change. I also ran the flashlight around the camera body and absolutely nothing changed.
So why do things change with the caps on? I have no idea, none, ziltch!
So is this an issue? On the body I tested, it doesn’t appear to be. If the camera acts properly with the lens cap off, who cares how it acts with the caps on? So please don’t return your 5D Mark IIIs, or cancel preorders or overreact. This “issue” may have a simple explanation.
However, if Canon says something is wrong, I apologize…… it just doesn’t appear there is an issue to me.
A light leak? Really? A light leak issue in the 5D Mark III has been reported over the last couple of days. It seems the top side LCD may be to blame. I can confirm this is happening on at least one of the 5D Mark III’s I own (the rest are out for rent), I will look into the issue with more bodies in the coming days.
Simple Test Procedure
Put your body cap on the camera body.
Put the viewfinder cover that came with the camera over the viewfinder.
Set the camera ISO to 800 and put the camera in “P” mode.
Turn on the backlight for the LCD panel and watch the exposure change
Below is a video showing the issue.
Other light sources cause the issue? Yes, shining a flashlight on the top LCD causes the exposure to change, as does sunlight and bright overhead lights. All of which happen with the body cap on.
Does this matter in the real world? For the moment, I’m not sure. I haven’t noticed any issues with metering on the 2000 or so shots I’ve put through the 5D Mark III. I’m sure we’ll know more in the coming days.