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Canon reacts to black dots

For a few days already, the launch of the Canon EOS 5D MkII has been troubled by the relatively repeated observation (I say relatively because there are still very few of these cameras available on the market) of an unusual and unpleasant phenomenon: Black dots appearing on the right of every white zones.


The origin is still quite difficult to determine, but the fact that this is visible on the sRAW1 images suggests a hardware source. But it is still very hard to say, for now.

It took only a few days of Internet forum exchanges before Canon reacted. Today, in a press release that you will find hereafter, Canon admits the issue and tells us that they are working on it.

This is good news for several reasons:

  • On the opposite of cases we will not repeat here again, Canon had a sane reaction and did not wait in strong denial state.
  • The Canon EOS 5D MkII is not rendered useless, only a bit limited.
  • The solution could appear quickly in the form of a firmware upgrade.

We still have to wait and be patient to see Canon’s next moves (supposing that you have a 5D MkII, of course).

Canon Service Notice

EOS 5D Mark II Body support

Support & Service

Black dot phenomenon and Vertical banding noise

Posted on: December 17, 2008

To Owners of the EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera :

Thank you for using Canon products.

We have learned that some users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera have indicated two types of image quality phenomena that appear under certain shooting conditions.

1. “Black dot” phenomenon (the right side of point light sources becomes black)
2. Vertical banding noise

We are currently investigating ways to improve and/or mitigate these phenomena. An announcement will be made on the Canon Website when measures to address these phenomena have been decided.

The phenomena are likely to occur under the following shooting conditions.

1. “Black dot” phenomenon (the right side of point light sources becomes black) When shooting night scenes, the right side of point light sources (such as lights from building windows) may become black. The phenomenon may become visible if the images are enlarged to 100% or above on a monitor or if large prints of the images are made.
2. Vertical banding noise If the recording format is set to sRAW1, vertical banding noise may become visible depending on the camera settings, subject, and background. The following camera settings can reduce the phenomenon.

* Set the recording format to RAW or JPEG.
* Set C.Fn II-3: Highlight tone priority to 0: Disable if the recording format is set to sRAW1.
* The vertical banding noise is not noticeable if the recording format is set to sRAW2, but please set C.Fn II-3: Highlight tone priority to 0: Disable if you are concerned about noise.

Canon always strives to provide the highest quality products to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience these phenomena may have caused. We appreciate your kind patronage and support.

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Posted by on 2008 Dec 20.
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