My dead 5D Mark III Story

crank47

Action sport & lifestyle photographer
May 23, 2013
22
0
www.stephanbednaic.com
michi said:
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... :-\
 

miah

EOS 80D
Sep 18, 2012
162
0
USA
Viggo said:
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.
 

awinphoto

EOR R
Aug 26, 2010
2,090
0
www.reno-photography.com
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
 

Chris Geiger

EOS T7i
Mar 15, 2012
90
0
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....
 

Attachments

Chuck Alaimo

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 8, 2012
1,052
0
chuckalaimo.com
distant.star said:
.
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.
 

dgatwood

300D, 400D, 6D
May 1, 2013
922
0
crank47 said:
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:

  • You should see massive corrosion on all the non-gold-plated ribbon cable contacts. I see no corrosion whatsoever.
  • There's just about zero chance that they used stainless steel screws, given the cost difference, and given that these are not supposed to be exposed to the elements. Therefore, those two screws should be big piles of rust (or at an absolute minimum, badly rust-stained), not shiny and new.
  • Had it been wet for any significant period of time, you should see dendrites between all of those close solder contacts. As far as I can tell, they're all absolutely perfect.

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.
 

Kristofgss

EOS 80D
Aug 6, 2012
124
0
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;
 
P

paul13walnut5

Guest
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.
 

Viggo

EOS 5D SR
Dec 13, 2010
4,472
1,141
Chris Geiger said:
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
 

michi

EOS RP
Jul 26, 2011
273
10
crank47 said:
michi said:
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.
 

crank47

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

clostridium

I'm New Here
Sep 23, 2012
19
0
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

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.
 

unfocused

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
5,513
2,376
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
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.
 

dgatwood

300D, 400D, 6D
May 1, 2013
922
0
clostridium said:
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....
 

drjlo

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 27, 2012
805
6
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.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,429
337
53
Isle of Wight
dgatwood said:
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.
 

Kristofgss

EOS 80D
Aug 6, 2012
124
0
Valvebounce said:
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)
 

dgatwood

300D, 400D, 6D
May 1, 2013
922
0
Valvebounce said:
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.


Valvebounce said:
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.



Valvebounce said:
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.