Canon has received some pretty bad publicity over the past month due to the 5D Mark III’s “light leak” issue — a relatively minor flaw in which light from (or through) the LCD panel can affect the camera’s exposure readings in extremely dark environments. Last week Canon finished investigating the issue, and reported that it only affects a certain range of serial numbers, suggesting that the company has implemented a fix for newer bodies. It also announced that service centers would be providing free “inspections” for owners concerned about this issue.
If you were wondering what kind of fancy fix the company came up with, here it is: tape. The folks over at LensRentals received a batch of newer 5D Mark III cameras, and took one apart to compare with the old version. They found that the innards under the LCD screen are now covered with a large strip of black tape. And yes, the problem is gone.
Canon has begun informing retailers in the UK and Canada (and probably other regions as well) that shipments of the Canon 5D Mark III have been put on hold as the company investigates the “light leak” issue that has come to light over the past month. Widely discussed in the blogosphere and on forums, the issue — which some have dubbed “leakgate” — is now known to cause a 1/3 stop error in exposure in very specific situations (i.e. scenarios that will not affect the vast majority of photographers).
Earlier this month, reports started emerging that Canon’s new 5D Mark III DSLR has a “light leak” issue. Photographers found that turning on the LCD backlight in a dark room directly affects the camera’s metering system (as seen in the video above). Canon published a product advisory today acknowledging the issue, saying,
In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel.
The phenomenon [...] has been confirmed when using the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Canon is now examining the countermeasures and once the countermeasures are decided, we will post the information on our Web site.
Problem is, the issue isn’t limited to the LCD’s backlight in a dark room. Apparently any light (e.g. sunlight) shining onto the LCD screen can affect exposure. Read more…