Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2

My Canon 5dmk2 is headed back in for service! I am having bad luck with this great camera.

I just got it back after having the Compact Flash pin socket replaced. Read up on my broken pin blog by clicking here.

Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2

I worked on a music video shoot in Worcester, Massachusetts a few days ago and shot it guerrilla style. Using a glidecam 4000, I shot the “action” portion of the music video in 1080p 30p in available light. A few scenes were so dark, that I had the 55mm f1.2 Nikon lens wide open and the camera set to 6400 ISO!

I could have never shot this video project with any other video camera under these conditions and time restraints.

Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2

The client was very happy with the footage and the music video is in post production right now…. BUT… I was told by the editor that there are a three burnt pixels (or hot pixels) on my camera. I was taken by surprise. I did not notice them whilst shooting.

Below are a few screen grabs straight off the 1080p video. I cannot show you any footage until the music video is released.

Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2

Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2
Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2
Burnt Pixel on Canon 5Dmk2

There was also a behind the scenes documentary crew working this production, so I hope to post that video soon.

PRODUCTION UPDATE: August 5th: First look at “Sleep Alive – Put it on my tab” music video trailer. Click here to watch it.

I shot a short little video showing you the bad pixels on the camera. I zoomed into the sensor 10x and could see the three red dots on the LCD screen. The Canon 5Dmk2 was capped and running at ISO 6400. The pixels got brighter as the sensor stayed on and heated up.

I will be sending the Canon 5Dmk2 in for repair next week. I will keep you posted with a repair status (date and time) so that you can better understand the process to fix this problem if you are experiencing bad pixels on your Canon image sensor.


August 3rd, 2009 @9am: I contacted the New Jersey Canon Service Center via phone (732)521-7007 and spoke to a tech. I told him about my bad pixel problem and he quickly stated that this would be covered under my warranty. He told me that I would need to send just the camera body with a cap to the service center. He also told me to include a copy of the warranty card and the sales receipt. He suggested leaving a letter with the camera detailing the problem with my name, address and email address. He also added that it would be helpful if I included a cd with pictures showing the bad pixels. I told him I would include a link to this blog entry.

Now that my serial number is in the system, I will be sending the camera in via UPS for service Friday August 7th. I will keep you up to date as the camera goes through the repair process.

UPDATE AUGUST 10, 2009 @10am:
I have packed up the camera and sent it off to New Jersey using UPS GROUND. I included a note with details of the problem, a copy of my warranty card and Adorama receipt and a cd with pictures taken at high ISO showing the bad pixels. I just sent the camera body, capped, in a small Pelican Case.

UPDATE AUGUST 12, 2009 @5:30pm:
I got an email from Canon. They have accepted my repair.

Dear Thomas:
We have received your equipment for evaluation and repair. Based on our initial examination, we will start the necessary repairs at no charge to you. You can expect the repair to be completed and returned back to you within approximately 7 business days* from the date shown above. There is no need to respond to this notice.

Please note that in the unlikely event that any additional internal damage is found due to liquid/water, sand, corrosion, battery leakage or impact (such as dropping the unit), a revised estimate will be sent for your authorization, since these conditions are specifically excluded from warranty coverage.

Thank you for purchasing Canon products and for allowing us this opportunity to serve you.

Best Regards,
Canon Factory Service Center

UPDATE: August 13 @9:30am:
The camera has been fixed and is being shipped back to me via Fed Ex. This is the message that was emailed to me this morning:

Dear Thomas :
We are pleased to confirm that the service you requested on your EOS 5D MARK II has been completed and your equipment has been shipped to you on 13-AUG-09 . The tracking number for your package is xxxxxxx . If you wish to track the status of your shipment through Federal Express, click here, or visit www.FedEx.com and use the tracking number listed above.
Please note that a signature is required for delivery!

Thank you for purchasing Canon products and for allowing us this opportunity to serve you.

Best Regards,

Canon Factory Service Center

There was no charge for this repair. I am VERY happy with Canon Customer Support. I will let you know if they completely fixed the problem when the 5dmk2 arrives.

Fed EX just delivered the package to me via Express. Thank you Canon for sending me my camera back to me using a very fast method. This is what the paperwork said when I opened up the box.

Service Details:
All adjustments and corresponding testing have been completed to Canon factory standards. Firmware was updated to latest version. Remapped dead pixels

Not certain why the firmware was updated, I was running the latest version. Happy to hear that the dead pixels were “remapped”. Now it is time to test it out.

I have turned on the Canon 5dmk2 and capped the front. I set the ISO to 6400 and set the shutter to 1/30th. I hit record and let the sensor heat up for 10 minutes. At this point, I stopped the recording and zoomed into the black image 10x. I scanned the entire image and found it completely clean, except for a small dead pixel in the extreme lower left of the sensor. I am happy with the results of the repair! It cost me only to ship it to Canon, about $9 at UPS (ground).

I have included a before and after picture of the capped sensor at ISO 6400 for you to examine. Please click on the below images and use the scroll feature on your browser to look closely at the dead and hot pixels. I increased the video levels in Photoshop to amplify the noise and problematic pixels to make it easier to see.

I was without my 5dmk2 for just four days. THAT IS INCREDIBLE SERVICE. I wonder if this blog thing helps?

Sensor Before Service

Sensor After Service