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Friday, April 4, 2014

Canon EOS-1D X and EOS-1D C Cold Weather Issue?

There are stories floating around claiming there is an issue with the Canon EOS-1D X and EOS-1D C not focusing in cold weather conditions. I have used my EOS-1D X for about 18 months now and have taken it to the sub and high Arctic for photo shoots a few times without ever experiencing any AF problems. The camera and LP-E4N batteries work well even under temperatures of below 30 degrees. You can see more of my work on

But wait, there's more. According to this source, they have apparently uncovered a 'Canon mole' willing to leak internal documents. Pretty soon, this person will be asking for immunity in exchange for testifying in front of Photography and Consumer boards. With the General Motors case so prominently in the news now, there are bound to be conspiracy theories coming out about other companies' "cover ups and design flaws." Below is the story. Anyone has experienced such a 'phenomenon' :

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.

The line directly above is of great concern to me. If you bought one of the earlier EOS-1D X cameras and live in a warm climate, you may never know the issues existed until you went to shoot in a cold climate.

The notice is dated January 2013, so I assume all cameras manufactured after that date would be unaffected. There is no serial number range that I can see, nor do we know how widespread the issue is. However, if you have experienced this phenomenon, you now know what it is.

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