Confirmed: Canon EOS-1DX / C Cold Weather AF Issue

Confirmed: Canon EOS-1DX / C Cold Weather AF Issue

Today the guys over at Canon Rumors confirmed an issue that may affect the Canon EOS-1DX and Canon EOS-1DC, Canon's flagship DSLR bodies. Turns out they might not auto focus in the cold. This issue first started popping up in the forums nearly a year ago (April 20, 2013) and have largely been unconfirmed until now. While there is still no official word from Canon or CPS an "anonymous source" contacted Canon Rumors with a fairly through explanation, diagnosis, and repair statement that looks like it might be an internal memo at CPS.

Symptom:
Camera “does not autofocus”, “does not search in AF”, or “does not focus in AF search” depending on the reporter or the camera settings; specifically, the focus cannot be achieved in low temperatures (under 0 degree Celsius).

* Although there has been no reported occurrence on the EOS-1D C, the mechanical structure of the Mirror Box Ass’y is the same as the EOS-1DX, so the EOS-1D C is included in the affected product.

Cause:
This phenomenon is due to the Locking Claw of the Sub Mirror (mirror for AF) going over the Locking Pin. The Sub Mirror’s angle becomes deviated and the light rays for AF does not fall on the AF sensors, causing the “does not autofocus” phenomenon.

Service of Affected Product:
To control the torque, the process to check the Locking Claw’s going over torque of Locking Pin has been newly incorporated. (From production on January 24)

Repair Procedure:
Handling of units in question: If the user complains about this specific phenomenon (does not autofocus in low temperature), replace the Mirror Box Ass’y with the ones to be shipped in the future (CY3-1661-010 or CY3-1687-010).

Handling of general repairs: If the user does not mention this phenomenon, please handle as normal repair.

Of course, the Canon EOS-1DX / C are Canon's flagship cameras, specifically designed to work in all situations and weather conditions, a lack of performance in the cold could be a serious deal breaker to wildlife photographers or people living in cold climates. On the other hand, photographers living in warmer areas might never experience this issue or know if their camera is affected. It will be interesting to see Canon's handling of this situation over the next several weeks.

Update [4/4/2014]:

Below is an image by Canon Rumors comparing the mirror locking claw of a normal 1DX and a defective model.

Austin_Rogers-Fstoppers_Canon_EOS_1DX_1DC_Cold_AF_Issue_Update

[Via Canon Rumors]

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22 Comments

Canon's staying mum on this? Shades of Nikon D600...

well only when you believe clueless blogger.....

And still, Canon fanboys bitch about D600 and the oil problem while their flagship model's AF doesn't work in cold environments.

But I wish Canon would fix this instead of 'forgetting the issue' and fix it in the next model.

I feel there is an important distinction here; The D600 problem affects all usage of the camera, whilst this requires specific circumstances. Yes keeping it quiet is wrong, but at least they will fix it if you are affected by the issue (according to that final line).
The D600 issue was that Nikon failed to acknowledge an issue, _and_ didn't repair it when presented with the issue.

True, it was failure but it's funny that people think that every freaking D600 model suffered from this. Nikon fixed it in the production line after they found out and continued to produce them but then they decided to make D610 which was kinda bad move.

But still, it was bad job but hey, have Canon always done cameras that have no issues at all? Allergenic rubber several times? Rubber turning white after couple of uses? Front focusing issues? AF tracking issues? I understand that Nikon did crappy job with D600 but people should get over it. Nobody isn't perfect and what's happened, has happened. Deal with it.

Sorry; I was aware that the D600 issue is not one where certain circumstances cause it to happen, but there was a fault on some models, whereas this 1Dx flaw appears to be an issue in a less common set of circumstances that affects all models.

The point I was really looking at is that Nikon did not repair the issue correctly when D600s came in for repair in a lot of cases until recently.

Canon yes have had faults; the 5dIII light leak and the perishing eyepiece for example, but in both those cases they acknowledged and offered repairs. This handling of the 1DX/C issue seems to be the exception rather than the rule

Mark Schueler's picture

The only reason people have the impression that the issue affects ALL D600s is because Nikon utterly failed to admit there was a problem, and then to communicate about it in anyway until over a year after it had been on the market. If they don't give any clear indication of which serials had the problem and which don't--and worse, don't even admit that there's a problem until they're facing legal action--I don't know what potential D600 buyers are supposed to assume. Why would they assume it's fixed when Nikon wouldn't even admit there was an issue?

And before you call me a Canon fanboy because I am using sound logic in critique of Nikon's customer service, I have owned and used both Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and now have neither.

I'm not going to call you Canon fanboy since I agree with you and I shoot with Nikon. Nikon really screw the thing up but in my opinion, people way over-exaggerated the whole situation.

i am using the 1DX below zero constantly here in icland.
that´s not an issue at all idi*t....
and it´s long fixed anyway.

this notice is from januar 2013.. but idiotic blogger don´t care about journalism... they just copy and past.

First of all, I'm not an idiot. And secondly, same thing happened with D600. Not every camera had the oil issue (I owned 2 models for a moment, brand new and no oil issues) and still, people made a huge thing about it.

I wouldn't say that the problem is confirmed because there has been some anonymous mail sent to Canon rumors. It's possible, but I wouldn't call it confirmed until Canon calls it out them selves.

another m*r*n blogger who just repeats what he reads elsewhere.

you are m*r*n.. this notice is from JANUAR 2013..... new 1DX dont have this issue.
get a clue what your talking about.. pfhhh.. blogger.

Wow, fanboy much?

Exactly, Nikon D610 fixed issues - and I want to say that they fixed it while the D600 was still in production - but Canon fanboys won't let it go. Canon drops the ball, and b/c it was fixed, everyone should move on.

have you ever read a CAMERA MANUAL?
"dont use the camera below 0° celsius"..... i bet that or something like that is written in 95% of all your camera manuals.. no matter if nikon, canon or pentax... etc.
the "issue" was fixed already in early 2013.
and it´s only affecting a small fraction of 1D X cameras.
i do workshops in sweden and i have never noticed any user having a problem with his 1D X. in winter temps are way below 0 degree celsius here.
the oil on the nikon D600 is a complete differnet issue and it affects 95% of the D600 owners... every day.

OMG, nice damage control there, buddy.

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

Not really damage control, sounds fairly factual to me.

from the nikon D4s manual, page 458: operating temperature: 0-40° celsius.

i'm in toronto with weather this past winter the worst in years. was sometime after january that mine started to exhibit a strange behaviour where if camera was left in car overnight, the AF was non functional until it warmed up. By non functional - the display in the viewfinder was out of focus and as if someone put a polarizer inside. If i brought the camera in from the cold or put a sweater/heatpack on it and let it warm up slowly, reset power and pull the battery - it would come back to normal. If it got even remotely cold again - would work for a bit and then zoinga, display would just magically go OOF.

When it wasn't working - sometimes if you hit the AF point select the whole display would flash red. found that i could use liveview and manual focus to get a shot but if using the viewfinder - everything was overexposed or OOF. progressively got worse covering outdoor events - from the media room to a position on a soccer pitch, dead camera - had to switch to 1D4 to finish the job with a dead 1Dx on my shoulder. Or from a parking lot and 10 minute walk in -2 weather to shoot a baby polar bear at the Toronto Zoo only to have to resort to retiring to a humid gorilla enclosure to warm up the camera.

After taking it into CPS - repair was "out of warranty" and a standardized labour charge of $200 to fix a "internal circuit connector broken, replaced". Never had this with any pro body from Canon - 1D4, 1D3, 1D2, 5D2, 7D - hell not even on a 20D! Heck my 1D4 took a hell of a knock on the prism box (with dent to prove it) and it's still just fine....

You leave a $10,000 camera in your car overnight?...

yes, unlocked and a beacon overhead that invites any and all.

Christopher Hoffmann's picture

What's wrong with that? It's a tool, not a baby.