[News] It's Official: Canon 5DMkIII's Backlight Affects Exposure

Canon has issued a product advisory for the 5D MkIII, admitting that the company's newest addition currently on shelves has some issues exposing correctly while the backlight is on. Canon is working on the issue, but has not yet stated anything specific about possible solutions...
It's important to note that this issue only happens in low-light situations and that it's different than a light leak, which is what not-so-uncommonly happens with lenses of various brands. Still, it's a big issue for some hoping to exploit the camera's great low-light capabilities; and hopefully Canon will find a solution soon. For a clearer idea of the issue, the video above shows an excellent example of the backlight-exposure problem.

Here's the full advisory:

"To Users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera

Thank you for using Canon products.

The phenomenon described below 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.

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.

Affected Product
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera

Once the preparations are complete, we will be making an announcement on our Web site.

This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

Please register the EOS 5D Mark III. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email when service updates are available. If you already registered, please ensure you are opted-in to receive the notification.

Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc

Contact Information for Inquiries
Canon Customer Support Center
Phone: 1-800-OK-CANON
TDD: 1-866-251-3752
Email: carecenter@cits.canon.com
For additional support options: www.usa.canon.com/support"

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. . . . with either the lens cap on or the body cap on, concerning this situation you post from youtube and the original light leak video. I usually don't take photos with lens cap on or without a lens and never in a pitch balck room.

anyhoot, that's what I understand from all this.

Bogdan Radu's picture

Admitting is the first step to recovery. :0)

well when you shoot manual exposure mode none of this comes into play...

Mike's picture

unless you're using your camera to meter. You'll have to make sure to compensate for the leak. More of a nuisance than anything else

/nikon shooter

Some people just can't differentiate between light meter and auto exposure it seems.

Actually, it's caused by an actual LEAK, as showen by the first commenter.

Mike was referring to the camera's metering system, which IS what auto exposure is..  

It wouldn't be a Canon if it didn't have issues 

Sandy Phimester's picture

Yeah, cause the Nikon cameras never have any issues.... like freezing up, not working with a bunch of memory cards... LCDs having weird tints, you know, stuff like that. :) Haha. Who cares. :) Fanboys crack me up. 

Yes, it seems they have forgotten the reports of the D800 locking up. At least this "fault" doesn't stop you actually using the camera.

Cameras these day aren't like they used to be with film cameras 15+ years ago - they are incredibly complicated machines with thousands of components and hundreds of thousands (of not, millions) of lines of code in the software. It's amazing they work at all, let alone as well as they do.

I can forgive a few "niggles" (easy for me to say as I've not bought one), and it's why I wait a while before I would get a new camera these days. It's the same with major software updates - it's often worth waiting until the x.0 release has been updated with the x.1 release.

This is why it does not pay to be an early adopter.  Wait a year for the bugs to be worked out the price to come down.

As far as I'm concerned its a non-issue. People can piss and moan but a lot of cameras have quirks and are still awesome. This will never affect me in any MY work. 

Yes... I want to spend $4,000 on a great new camera body with light leaks. :( Come on, Canon. If I buy a luxury sports car and it has a leaking sunroof then I'm going to be angry no matter how good the interior and engine are. When a customer (particularly a customer who uses the camera for business) drops major cash on a camera like this it should NEVER have a problem like light leaks.

Rex's picture

Jerry spends $500 more than everyone else for a camera, does he also pay more for his luxury sports car ?
Blame Canon.

You alone live in a tax-free world

mikael johansen's picture

A camera with light leakage is like a boat with holes in its hull

Mike Kelley's picture

Except nobody dies when light leaks in a $3,500 camera.

To be clear, this affects the internal meter reading, but does not contribute to the exposure. Incorrect exposures are the result of the incorrect meter reading, not light from the led falling on the sensor. Images will be under exposed, not over exposed. Correct? 

My 5D mark III has no light leakage.

This doesn't seem to be much of an issue for me considering I look through my viewfinder while shooting. I think if you did the same test on a few other cameras you would find that your viewfinder does effect the exposure. That's why high end cameras come with a blocker that you can flip up blocking light from the shooter side.