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Monday, May 27, 2013

Does Canon Warranty Covers Third Party Firmware?

Recently, I reported the guys at Magic Lantern managed to 'crack' the Canon firmware code of the EOS-5D Mk III and recorded much higher resolution videos. Please see my earlier post on this topic. This is not the first time these programmers have done this. They have also done it for the EOS-50D and shot RAW videos with this 'ancient' camera. You can see the video below :

The programmers at Magic Lantern continue to tinker with Canon's firmwares so I wondered why they have not tried their hands on Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1D series of cameras.

Apparently, Canon has made it clear and in no uncertain terms, they will bring legal action to the fullest extent of the law to enforce their legal rights if anyone attempts to manipulate the firmware of the EOS-1 cameras. The people at DIYPhotography wondered if a camera's warranty is voided when a third party firmware has been installed independently by the owner. According to DIY, the following reply came from Canon's Customer Service Department :

"We appreciate your continued correspondence regarding your EOS 5D Mark II.

There is no such thing as "voiding" the Canon warranty, there are simply repairs that are covered, and those that are not.

For instance, the repairs for a failure of the buttons on the back of the camera within the warranty period, on a camera that does not show any evidence of mishandling or misuse, would likely be covered. Repairs for a camera that is "bricked" or otherwise having issues directly related to using a third party firmware would not be covered.

Even if a camera had to have the main board replaced due to it being "bricked" by a third party firmware, and then at some point later (but still within the warranty period) the buttons malfunctioned, the same rules still apply. The prior repair would not disqualify the camera from future warranty repairs. If a problem happens within the first year of ownership, is due to the materials or workmanship in the camera, and our service center technicians determine that it is not due to abuse, misuse, modification, or other outside causes, it is covered by the warranty.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance with your questions about Canon cameras. Thank you for choosing Canon."

My advice is simple. Proceed at your own risk. Keep taking good photos and leave the firmware to programmers.

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