My dead 5D Mark III Story

crank47

Action sport & lifestyle photographer
May 23, 2013
22
0
www.stephanbednaic.com
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
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,639
2,153
Sorry for your troubles! It wasn't sweat...

Was the 'repair centre' a Canon Service Centre, i.e., owned/operated by Canon?
 

crank47

Action sport & lifestyle photographer
May 23, 2013
22
0
www.stephanbednaic.com
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.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,639
2,153
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.
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
854
6
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.
 

agierke

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 23, 2012
438
0
43
Delaware
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.
 

drmikeinpdx

Celebrating 20 years of naughty photography!
agierke said:
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!
 

agierke

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 23, 2012
438
0
43
Delaware
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.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,419
1,064
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.
 

crank47

Action sport & lifestyle photographer
May 23, 2013
22
0
www.stephanbednaic.com
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 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
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
drmikeinpdx said:
agierke said:
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 !
 

crank47

Action sport & lifestyle photographer
May 23, 2013
22
0
www.stephanbednaic.com
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
 

Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
crank47 said:
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 ?
 
C

Cannon Man

Guest
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!
 

drmikeinpdx

Celebrating 20 years of naughty photography!
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.
 

distant.star

EOR R
Jan 19, 2011
1,813
0
USA
wetracy.smugmug.com
.
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.
 

Dr.Jones

I'm New Here
Jun 17, 2011
23
0
26
Denmark
VictorJones.dk
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...
 

Dr.Jones

I'm New Here
Jun 17, 2011
23
0
26
Denmark
VictorJones.dk
Cannon Man said:
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

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

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 ;-)
 

candyman

EOR R
Sep 27, 2011
2,196
4
www.flickr.com
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.
 

michi

EOS RP
Jul 26, 2011
270
6
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?