Strange Discoloration Makes One Canon 5D Mark III Look Very Used

This isn’t a biggie as far as camera issues go, but there are a few photographers reporting some strange discoloration on sections of their Canon 5D Mark III that makes the camera look like it’s a lot older and more beat up than it actually is.

Over on the Canon Rumors forum, a member named Adderal writes,

I have a 5D Mark III which I purchased new, directly from Amazon when they were released early this year. This summer, around June/July I noticed what appeared to be discoloration or pealing paint under the camera where the metal body meets the plastic. It was initially very minor and I thought I must have scuffed it somehow on a table or while the field. However, it has been consistently ‘growing’ ever since then. It has grown from pea sized to the entire bottom of the camera within a few months […]

I am not one to coddle my equipment; but I also don’t throw it around either. I certainly don’t drag it around on things which would peal off the paint like this. Usually a tripod mount is on the bottom which would prevent this anyway (I took it off specifically for these pictures).

Adderal reports that the issue is very localized; the top and front are spotless. This isn’t anything that affects images, of course, but it likely kills the camera’s resale value.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Scott!

  • Discarded

    I am sure they do a lot of walking with it I got the same thing on the grip of my 5DmkII. I get it on the corner of were it rub on me while I walk around.

  • J. David Buerk

    Oh come on! My 5D Mark II looked even worse on the side after just 1 year of use. I use and carry it daily though. Mostly it’s scraped where it rubs against me at my side. And I personally enjoy using a camera with battle scars!
    I should add that mine is gripped, so the scars carry over onto the grip too. Looks very strange if you take the grip off because the damage just cuts off then.

  • ckoerner

    That was my thought as well. These marks look like something has been rubbing agains the bottom edge of the camera.

  • Alex

    they incorporated early brassing to attract Leica customers…

  • Stewart Doyle

    ” but it likely kills the camera’s resale value.” <– A line i always read as "Awesome, those will be dirt cheap pre-owned!"

    Honestly, who gives a stuff about a few scuffmarks?

  • ueueueujej

    that´s bull….. i use my 5D MK3 every day and under harsh conditions.. it looks not even close to that.
    this guy must use some sandpaper on it…..

  • fixit

    At night, when everyone’s asleep, a Nikon fanatic armed with sandpaper…

  • Jason Felmingham

    As long as you can take a photo with it, who cares what it looks like.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    “This isn’t anything that affects images, of course, but it likely kills the camera’s resale value.”

    Who wouldn’t want a camera that becomes increasingly theft-resistant as you become more attached to it?

  • Arnold Newman

    I keep my equipment pristine and, as a result, I get a nice price when I sell it to finance the next iteration of the body. I don’t let this alter how I use the camera when I’m shooting but it does mean I am thoughtful when I’m not. This would be a big problem for me.

  • Arnold Newman


  • Pablo R.

    Sling straps and wearing the cameras on your hip while walking will do that to it.
    It happened to me as well (I own Nikon D700), although not to this extent.
    Anyway, as a result I got rid of the Black Rapid strap which I had more issues than benefits from.
    I now use a hand grip and carry the camera in hand by holding the bottom of the lens while walking around.

  • sam

    when it gets older..
    i will polish the whole thing to get the magnesium alloy looks~

  • Ginza Joe

    Yup, same here. I also owned a sling strap, migrated since over to simple hand strap.
    Canon Rumors member Aderal must have been rubbing that side of the camera against something, and I also belive it’d due to his sling strap and rubbing against his pants (jeans with pocket rivets ?!)

  • Dave

    A used camera buyer does.

  • Bill

    I wonder if they checked their bag that they are carrying the camera in. If they are not using the camera in rough conditions and treating it fairly well like they say they are, I can almost bet you it is a bag or a strap issue.

    Think about it, if you travel around a lot with your camera on a strap, it rubs against you and your clothing, usually the bottom of the camera. If they are using a strap but still travel, then my guess would be the bag and that there is something abrasive rubbing against the camera during transit.
    I constantly clean my bag[s] out due to shooting locations being dusty and sandy for this reason.

    I have an older Sony that started doing the same exact thing, though it was not a body like the 5DMKIII, the sides rubbed against the body of the camera and rubbed the paint right off over a short period of time.

    Good Luck!

  • Razvan Ovidiu Capinaru

    good point :))

  • David Zim

    The wear patterns are obviously consistent with rubbing something not random. Could also be a reaction to some chemistry such as lotions, cologne or other. But it doesn’t seem to exist where the camera isn’t rubbing skin, strap, etc. my 22 year old much used Contax rtsiii looks like this.

  • Dwayne Burgess

    That looks awesome! I love when the magnesium starts to show on cameras. Goes to show you’ve been using it.

  • PAT