Canon addresses the exposure issue on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

by planetmitch2 Comments

Canon has issued a statement about the Canon EOS 5D Mark III exposure metering issue when the top LCD backlight is on… and has agreed to examine your camera for free. However, they don't necessarily say what they'll do to fix it in the notice, but they will inspect it for free.

Read the details and then let's discuss it below!

Previous articles…

The details from Canon

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

Thank you for using Canon products.

Concerning the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera, when the LCD panel
illuminates in extremely dark environments, the displayed exposure value may
change. Canon has concluded the investigation of this phenomenon, and this
announcement informs you of our findings as described below.


In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed
exposure value may change. However, based on the results of extensive testing
this change in exposure value will not noticeably affect the captured image.

Affected Product
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
*Products whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 are affected.
   For example, “xxxxx1xxxxxx” or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” ([x] represents any optional

Under almost all shooting conditions (including
dark environments) this phenomenon will not affect your captured images.
However, if you would like Canon to inspect your camera, we will provide this
service free of charge upon request beginning in mid-May. Please contact Canon
using the information below to request service.

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.

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

What do you think?

So… based on the note, it looks to me like they've isolated the serial numbers, so they don't think it impacts all Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIs

But, they don't say what they're really going to be doing to fix anyone's camera – what does the word “inspect” mean in this case? They say it is minor and I sure agree (many blogs are blowing this way out of proportion!).

Is this a good enough solution?


(cover photo credit: snap from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III)


  1. Canon UK statement is more transparent as they offer a “repair” starting May 10th.

  2. I was one of the first in line in Los Angeles and immediately purchased two Mark III bodies. They both display the early serial numbers. I was expecting solid info from Canon about how they would be inserting a thin piece of black plastic below the LCD or something along those lines. I just tested one of my bodies by locking it down on a tripod in a dimly lit room, and shooting three exposures. The first normally, the second with a two setting flashlight held over the top LCD and covered with a focusing cloth (remember those) so stray light would not pollute my scene and the third with my flashlight on a different intensity. Well…the flashlight definitely changes the internal meter reading and thus the final image. I was set to AV with a 2.8 f stop. My non-flashlight auto exposure was 0″4 secs. My first flashlight auto exposure was 1/4 and my second flashlight exposure was 1/5. I then put the camera on manual and repeated. There was no apparent change in exposure eyeballing the rear LCD for these 3. So the problem is apparently with metering only.
    Now to say that it only affects low light situations seems odd to me. Some of the first images I took with the camera outdoors on auto exposure seemed to me to be darker than I would have expected. Now, I’m wondering if that could have been bright light from the sky underexposing my shady location. I’m calling Canon tomorrow.
    Oh, and regarding the difference in top LCD build quality on earlier models…what I have read suggests that some had a flimsier feel…bending when pressure is applied and lack of black border around them. Mine are solid and have the black border.

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