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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 24 Jul 2014 (Thursday) 00:27
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A little disappointed with Canon

 
sf_loft
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Jul 24, 2014 00:27 |  #1

I have been a Canon shooter since I first picked up my first SLR and have always been a very happy customer. I've gone from a 40D to a 5D MKII and now my 5D MKIII. I've had my mk III for almost 3 years now, out of warranty, and has always been a solid camera. I also own a Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera as my 2nd body, as my light walkabout camera.

Earlier this month I vacationed in Iceland and wanted to capture the wonders of the land of fire & ice. Before I left, I contemplated in bringing both my 5D and X-T1, but decided to go with the 5D only as it is my trusty, reliable, and true pro camera. I also didn't want to have to haul too much gear. So my first day out, it was rainy and overcast, I decided to go to the golden circle. I had my 16-35mm L and shot in the rain for most of the day. I hide my camera under a rain cover when not shooting and take it out when I have to. The body and lens are both weather sealed and I have shot in the rain before without problem. I've also been using the camera, for months, in perfect weather before my trip so I know it worked perfectly. After about 1 hour of shooting, my camera suddenly got an "Err 20" telling me to replace the battery or turn the camera off. I tried several times to swap batteries and turn the camera on/off and it would continue to show "Err 20". Left it alone for hours and no change. I was completely bummed that on my first day of a two week trip to Iceland, my $3500 camera failed to deliver. WTF???

Luckily, I left the camera alone overnight and it magically worked again the next morning. But, it would only show one bar for a fully charged battery and sometimes no bars. The camera thought it had little to no power so it would shut off on its own. This is all I had and for the remaining 2 weeks, I had to live with a gimped camera where I had to turn it on / off everytime I needed to take a photo. My vacation wasn't completely lost, but I am thoroughly disappointed with the performance of the body.

As soon as I got home, I sent the camera to Canon service where they told me that my circuit board was corroded and had to be replaced. I take care of my gear and I know that it is weather sealed, but not waterproof. I'm really disappointed that a pro body keeled over so easily in weather condition that it was designed for.

So what could possibly gone wrong? Temperature was about 45-59 degrees F. High winds, rain, and high humidity. I did notice that under my top LCD there would be condensation at times. No condensation in the lens or viewfinder. Every time I pulled my camera out of the bag, it would feel very moist when my bag is dry. The camera was in perfect working condition for months before I left. I don't think that the corrosion formed in the 1 hour that I was shooting, but moisture must have gotten in. I also noticed that my hotshoe also exhibited corrosion right before my eyes, since the afternoon from when I placed the camera in the bag and 6 hours later when I took it out at the hotel. I patted the camera dry always, like many other trips before it, but this time it rusted. What's in the rain water of Iceland? Volcanic ash, acid?

My only guess is that my camera was not properly serviced when I sent it in for the "light-leak phenomenon," perhaps a seal was missing. I have shot in the rain before and never see any condensation inside the top LCD. There's no way for me to prove this theory to Canon and their 1 year workmanship warranty has long passed. I know Canon service has a good reputation, but I'm having a hard time trusting the body after this close call.

What do you guys think?

Here are some photos from the trip:

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3890/14389209949_1ef1c239ec_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3841/14595940063_639c2a9a05_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3884/14575054652_964386dda6_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3863/14552740076_27b8d06dab_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3855/14595932053_c3a152e761_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3837/14572480981_f7d820061d_b.jpg

[IMG]https://farm3.staticfl​ickr.com …89179350_38e480​2f8a_h.jpg (external link)


Mod note: Over size image

Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

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oahumike
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Jul 24, 2014 00:49 |  #2

well it doesn't look like your camera is 100% broken because your photos are pretty awesome....


Had a 6D....
Then had a daughter....
Now have an SL2 and Mavic Pro.... Man life changes.
I would encourage you... To just go for it.

  
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Lombardi
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Jul 24, 2014 00:51 |  #3

First of all: these are great pictures! Very well done!

Second: I can understand that you are angry. I do not know if your theory of a missing seal is right or wrong or if corrosion is just an issue with these bodies. But I think that you have every right to be angry. Such highly priced gear has to work under weather conditions you mentioned. May be a 1DX has better weather seeling, okay, but also 5D III is marked as "sealed".

But: if you look at other bodies from other brands, you will have the same problems. Even Pentax, that is very aggressive in commercials telling us about there weather seeling, has this problems. It is not only Canon and I think that there are many other bodies aoutside full working under bad weather conditions, so may be you just had bad luck.

Keep on shooting, your images are great!


Canon EOS 5D - everything you really need.
Canon EOS 5D (2x) + Canon EF 16-35 f4 L IS + Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L + Sigma 35 f1.4 + Sigma 85 f1.4

  
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nellyle
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Jul 24, 2014 01:15 |  #4

You learn something new everyday, I was about to type "the 5D3 isn't weather sealed" but it turns out Canon state that it is!

They don't state to what level though (even for the 1 series bodies) so I would take the claim with a pinch of salt. I know that when I compare sealing with my 1D3, the 5 doesn't seem as tough....the memory card door on the 1 for example has a rubber gasket, the 5 just has foam.


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skilsaw
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Jul 24, 2014 01:28 |  #5

Nice pictures!

My last two cameras succumbed to the elements. OK, OK... one camera went for a swim when I swamped a canoe.
How much moisture have you really exposed your camera to?

I'm photographing my son this weekend at Ironman Canada. It is raining right now, but the forecast is for mixed sun and clouds. I'm taking my 7D but will only have it out if the weather is dry. If it rains, I'll be using my G1X in a waterproof case. Cameras don't like water.




  
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panicatnabisco
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Jul 24, 2014 03:57 |  #6

The 5D3 is weather sealed, but not weather proof. I've put mines through downpour and extreme humidity and heat in Honduras and its still kicking butt (encountered an Err 20 once and was fixed when I took the lens off and put it back on), yet some people have theirs fail from a light spray.

Its a 50/50 change with a 5D body


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tat3406
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Jul 24, 2014 05:57 |  #7

Maybe the condensation killed your camera. I had experience err20 also because high humidity when at a 7days hiking trip. When I on the camera and click the shutter the shutter continues shoot until it pop err20. So the last two days of my trip, my camera keep in the bag with no photo, after come back home, my camera still working good untill now.

I think whether sealing is no help or only little to stop condensation. Better let the camera dry completely with no error pop up, the circuit board is too sensitive to water.
I felt disappointed cant take any picture, but at least I can fully enjoy the trip!


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paddler4
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Jul 24, 2014 06:43 |  #8

Since you said that this happened the first day out, you are probably looking in the wrong place by considering the conditions in Iceland. Corrosion doesn't happen that fast. My guess would be that there was a longer-term exposure sometime in the past, or the board got damp once and didn't fully dry out quickly enough.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jul 24, 2014 07:12 |  #9

tat3406 wrote in post #17052572 (external link)
Maybe the condensation killed your camera. I had experience err20 also because high humidity when at a 7days hiking trip. When I on the camera and click the shutter the shutter continues shoot until it pop err20. So the last two days of my trip, my camera keep in the bag with no photo, after come back home, my camera still working good untill now.

I think whether sealing is no help or only little to stop condensation. Better let the camera dry completely with no error pop up, the circuit board is too sensitive to water.
I felt disappointed cant take any picture, but at least I can fully enjoy the trip!

This^^^^.

I wonder if air exchange due to temperture excursions can be a possible cause. If I take even a well sealed camera from a warm relatively humid area (say 75 deg) to a cool area (45 as stated) there is a process where a small amount of warm air in the camera is exchanged with cooler air due to contraction. The contraction of warm air in the camera sucks in cool air, starting the condensation process. The amount of moisture isn't much, but it builds up over time with repetitive cycles.

An analogy, as a mechanical engineer I deal with a textile manufacturer that has about 60 machines with an internal volume of about 1 gallon. These machines run for two shifts daily, about 16 hours, and reach temperatures of about 130 deg to 140 deg F while running but cool off to about 80 deg F. So maybe a 50 to 60 deg F daily temperature change. They are equipped with a breather (simple opening with a filter) to allow the internal pressure to equalize. About once a month about a cup of water is drained off the bottom of the reservoir! This off course is different than a camera in some key aspects. The exchanged volume is much larger (1gallon) and the temperature swings wider (50 to 60 deg) but the principal is the same.

There is a way that a circuit board can be manufactured to minimize the issue and that is by application of a conformal coating. That coats the board with a material impervious to moisture. I doubt this is done with a camera. In some respects a camera that can readily breathe might be better, especially if kept with some desiccant when not used.




  
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mikeinctown
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Jul 24, 2014 07:26 |  #10

The simple fact is that a circuit board does not corrode as soon as it gets damp. The damage was done previous and has been ongoing and the damp weather encountered only helped the situation along. It was about to fail and just needed to be pushed ever so slightly over the edge.

I would inquire to Canon how it could be claimed as weather sealed when it really wasn't. I'd also point to any facts that they have previously opened the camera and may not have sealed it correctly. i'm sure they wouldn't admit this though.

By the way, amazing photos posted.




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jul 24, 2014 15:35 |  #11

Going to agree with the above posters. The failure has little or nothing to do with the conditions on your latest trip; or at most they were a small straw that broke and already badly damaged camel's back. Corrosion happens over time so the damage would have occurred earlier and continued until it reached failure point.

I have used my III in the rain but make sure to take it apart and dry it afterwards. I now have a rain cover simply because I have heard stories like this before. Whatever Canon's marketing dept say I am going to do all I can to minimise my camera's contact with water.

Sadly can't offer much advise as it would be hard/impossible to prove when the corrosion occurred and whose fault it was.

Really great pictures though (I know it isn't much consolation).


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sf_loft
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Jul 24, 2014 15:53 |  #12

Thanks guys. Regarding temperature changes. The apartment was around 75 degrees, with the heat on, and when I got out in the rain that same day it was around 45, humid, wet, and windy. So I'm sure that the change in temperature between the warm apartment / car and outside elements caused the condensation.

Maybe I should upgrade to a 1Dx :) The camera is all good now and it was only $234 for a new PCB and a new FC (flexible cable). They also did their 18pt check and cleaned everything, so it's as good as new. I also recently became a member of CPS and hopefully they'll take better care of me in the future.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III & FUJIFILM X-T1 mirrorless

35mm f/1.4L | 85mm f/1.2L II |135mm f/2L | 16-35mm f/2.8L II | 24-70mm f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/4L IS | 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Benro C2691T Travel Angel | GP-E2 GPS | EF 1.4x III
FUJINON 23mm 1.4 | FUJINON 35mm 1.4 | FUJINON 56mm 1.2

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Numenorean
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Jul 24, 2014 15:56 |  #13

I always take a true desiccant with me and keep it with where the camera is stored. Expecting electronic equipment that is not waterproof to have no possible damage whatsoever when taking it out in the rain is rather ridiculous.


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pwm2
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Jul 24, 2014 16:07 |  #14

mikeinctown wrote in post #17052689 (external link)
I would inquire to Canon how it could be claimed as weather sealed when it really wasn't.

But it is. It's just that people adds too much meaning to "sealed". It isn't sold as "waterproof" and it isn't sold with any IP classifications.

Both rain and condensation could be the cause of this issue. But it was a slow process.

It is common to have a Goretex valve or similar for equipment that needs to be able to release moisture and so avoid issues with condensation.

In my view, people are putting a bit too much trust in their gear without having it backed by actual promises or warranties from the manufacturers.


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paddler4
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Jul 24, 2014 16:21 |  #15

I always take a true desiccant with me and keep it with where the camera is stored.

I spend part of every summer in a very humid setting, and while I am there, I store my equipment in a Pelican case with two Pelican canisters of silica gel. I use the Pelican silica gel because it has a colorant that shows when it is hydrated, and it can be dried out by baking. I sometimes have to dry it out weekly.


Check out my photos at http://dkoretz.smugmug​.com (external link)

  
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A little disappointed with Canon
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