Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

5D Mark iii disappointing experience/under warranty/carepak


I purchased a 5DMarkiii last October 2015. I have called for advice concerning focusing issues. I was instructed to send to my closest service center. I literally drove the camera from Maryland to the factory in NJ 2 x for repairs/evaluation. I drove back to pick it up the first time, because I didn't want it shipped. I still had focusing and noise issues. The second time I drove it to the factory in NJ, I went ahead and let them ship it back to me. I received a FedEx tracking email stating that it had been delivered and signed for, although I had not received the camera. I called FEDEX and they only said they had a signature and it was delivered. To make a long story short. I searched my neighborhood and never found it. Then after I had given up hope, a man drove down my driveway and stated he found a package with my name and address on it behind his detached garage, lying on the ground by a waterhose. I called to let Canon know it was found, but that it had been left outside on the ground on someone else's property. The gentleman who found it stated he DID NOT SIGN for the delivery. So, the signature on the tracking information was false. I reported the incident to Canon and FedEx. I was told the camera should be fine and to use it. I let them know I was very disappointed in the handling of my expensive equipment. I continue to have focus and noise issues. I am afraid that something is damaged inside of the camera. Canon did state that there were repairs made to the camera before shipping back to me. I have made a huge investment in switching from Nikon to Canon. I have purchased the 24-70 f2.8 L, 70-200 f2.8L, 100mm L, 100-400 4.5L and the 50mm. When I made the orginal purchase of the camera, I had read many reviews, did a lot of research and talked to other photographers who use the same the camera. I feel very disappointed in my experience with the brand. I have already spent a lot of time and money trying to figure out if this camera is defective or not, not to mention the time spent without the camera when it was sent in for repair. I think I have given this purchase every effort to get it resolved. Please advise. 



Sounds to me like you should have a bigger complaint with FedEx than Canon.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


The delivery problem is clearly not Canon and... probably not even FedEx.  If you really think this through... if a driver wants to steal a package and they "sign" for it... they're not going to deposit that package behind a neighbor's garage.  If a neighbor signs for it... they're also probably not going to hide it behind a neighbor's garage (why would they?  They'd just store it inside.). So this makes me wonder who else lives in your house.  Anyway... I don't think that's an issue that anyone here on the Canon forums can help you sort out and it's clearly not a product issue.


So back to the product issues... you're mentioning focus issues and noise issues.


The 5D III is a fantastic camera (I've owned a 5D II, 5D III, and now a 5D IV and I still have (and use) my 5D III).  But... it is also a "technical" camera and it's easily within the realm of possibility that the focus issues are caused by misunderstanding of how the focus system on that camera actually works.


True story:  I had a dinner banquet for a club and at that banquet I had to present an award to someone.  I needed a photo of the presentation but since I was presenting the award, I couldn't take the picture myself.  So I asked another club member if they wouldn't mind using my camera to take the photo BECAUSE they own the same 5D III camera.  After the event I reviewed the images and discovered that most were out of focus (it's typically never out of focus when I take the photos) and the other club member mentioned not knowing anything about the focus system.  Some weeks later I was out shooting with that same frame and the topic of the focus system came up.  He confessed that he never understood the focus system... he leaves his own camera in one particular mode that always works for him and that's it.  I, on the other hand, change focus modes regularly.  It never occurred to me that someone who owns the camera wouldn't know how it's focus system works... but there you have it.


The system is more complex than any previous 5D and it's more complex than most cameras on the market.  It has a bit of a learning curve BUT you have to acknowledge that this is a "technical" camera meant for very advanced users.  It's very powerful once you learn to use it.  If you want help with the focus system you'll need to provide more information on specifically how you are using it.  


I do not trust ordinary photos as a valid test of a focus system.  If what you are trying to do is test the accuracy of the focus system then construct a test that eliminates all possibility of issues being something other than the focus system.  So I test all my gear using a commercial focus test chart and controlled circumstances (and I have found that the cameras are extremely accurate.)


As for noise... noise is a "quantum" effect.  Every camera has "noise".  The 5D III has very little noise compared to most cameras ... even shooting at somewhat high ISO.  The 5D IV is even better still.  But no camera... not even the bery best money can buy... is without at least *some* noise.


But I should also mention that from time to time someone will post complaints of issues with "noise" when the actual issue is something else.  We'd really need some good examples (at a 100% crop) to with full shooting information (all EXIF data intact) to be able to tell you if your camera is normal or if it legitimately suffers from a noise problem.  



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


I appreciate the quick responses I have gotten to my post. My issue is complex. As far as the shipping issue, Canon did not dispute their responsibility in shipping the camera back to me via FedEx. FedEx insisted there was a signature on the delivery and sent a copy via email. When I reported that I had not received the package, FedEx tried to get in touch with their driver, and could not. I searched my property and contacted my neighbors. No one had received the package. FedEx ran a search of the signatured name, and told me there wasn't anyone in my vicinity with that name. My husband (a 30-year law enforcement veteran) and I live alone on a private driveway. The person that found the package, lives about 1/2 mile away. I was so appreciative that someone had found it and went out of their way to bring it to me. I contacted both FedEx and Canon to let them know it had been located. I requested an investigation into the matter. I called a week later to follow up, and did not get a response. It is very important to me that the Canon warranty is both reliable and accessible, and in this case, it includes their method of handling repairs. 


As far as the focusing issue, I am well aware of the complexity of the focusing system. When I took the camera in for examination, I was told an electrical repair had to be performed. I have talked to another 5DMarkiii user that had a similar issue.


Bottom line, I want to have confidence in my purchase. My experience was both unusual and difficult. 




"My experience was both unusual and difficult."


Yes it has.  Smiley Frustrated   What an ordeal.  I have to agree with Tim Campbell a bit on this one.  Actually nobody here is able to tell you whether your 5D Mk III is OK or not.  I have owned the 5D, 5D Mk Ii and the 5D Mk III.  It is no doubt a fantastic camera.  Thus a very complex camera by definition.


Perhaps the best approach is to eliminate as many of the features you can for starters.  Select just the center focus point.  Turn the others off.  Use One Shot and set it to P mode.  Put that 50mil prime lens on. Try it for a while and see.  If it works as expected, it is OK.


 All cameras make noise when they are being used. Without being there I can not say one way or the other if it too much.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"Bottom line, I want to have confidence in my purchase."


I can only rely my experience with Canon.  I have dealt with Canon for years and years.  Oh, sure you might get a bad tech once or so but generally Canon is excellent in their service.  At least that is my experience with CPS.  I have had many camera bodies over the years; I have six now.  They are all 1 series.  One is broken.  It is the only camera I have ever had that broke because of something in it.  All the other repairs have been because of me.  If you are in the business and you are making money you don't have time to baby your gear.  I have seen guys throw their camera/lens in a bag on the ground.

Or this ...........




 Ever hear a seller trying to pitch his used gear by saying it was professionally used.  Like that is something good.  It's not. 

My stuff usually went in to CPS yearly for C&C.  That is pretty common.  But if you are buying used gear, it is better to find one of these hobbyists that does baby their stuff.  Anyway if Canon said your 5D Mk III is OK, it likely is OK.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


To test focus accuracy, I use a focus test tool (I use a Datacolor Spyder "LensCal"... here's a review of it: )  There's also a competing tool called the "LensAlign" which works similarly.


The tool has a flat card with a high-contrast pattern of black and white boxes.  This part is the focusing target -- you'd put the focus point on the center of that card.  But the tool ALSO has a ruled scale immediately adjacent to the card but sloped at an angle.   The idea is that you put the focus target on the card and take the text exposure, but then check the scale adjacent to the card to see which point on the scale has the sharpest focus.  It should be very close to the center point on the scale.  But if the camera or lens is back-focusing or front-focusing, you'd be able to see the point of true focus using the scale.


On my tool each mark represents just 1mm.  So here's the rub... can you hand-hold a camera, focus, and shoot... without your body moving by so much as a single millimeter?  Probably not.  So they strongly suggest that the camera be on a tripod when conducting the test (to eliminate your own body movement as a source of error in the test.)


A single test exposure isn't adequate (a test should have a valid sample size of results).  So I typically de-focus the lens deliberately to be focusing much too close then make the camera focus and take the shot.  I repeat this at least 10 times.  Take note of the image exposure name/number of the first and last shots in that range.  THEN I deliberately de-focus the lens so it is focusing much too far (toward infinity) and repeat another 10 or so shots (also note the image numbers.)


Having collected the sample data size... I import the images into the computer and inspect the focus chart and note if each image is nailing focus, focusing too far or too close and by how many millimeters.


Every lens/camera combination can have a specific focus error however this is not considered a defect.  The camera allows you to dial in focus calibration adjustment ("auto-focus micro-adjustment" or "AFMA") and this can be a unique adjustment for each lens (this is one of the benefits of owning such a nice camera... it can actually compensate for forcus error, but you do have to program in the adjustment).  So if you notice that your lens is consistently focusing slightly too far (back-focusing) then you can dial in a few units of AFMA to bring it forward.  After adjusting, repeat the test to validate that it now focuses more accurately and you're done ... with just THAT lens.  Repeat this process for every lens you own (no kidding.)


If, on the other hand, focus is literally random for each lens... you have a different problem.  But to address that issue BOTH the camera AND lens must be shipped for service together.  


The camera & lens work as a team.  The camera is responsible for measurement and telling the lens how much to adjust focus.  The lens is reponsible for performing the adjustment accurately.    If the lens has significant gear backlash (slopping gear engagement) then it can miss focus.  Often what you'll find is that it misses focus by a different amount depending on if hte lens had to focus closer vs. farther AND if the previous focus had to focus closer vs. farhter.  


In other words, suppose I have gear backlash.  This means that when the camera orders a focus change, the focus change isn't accurately performed by the lens.  It's actually a lens problem and not a camera problem and indicates that the lens probably needs service.


Do not expect the camera (any camera... at any price) to nail 100% of the focus tests.  What you should see is that the results (whether it nails them or not) are "mostly consistent".  If the results are all over the place then that's a problem.  But if they're consistent (even if they're wrong) then THAT can be adjusted via the AFMA feature.




Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
03/14/2023: New firmware version 1.8.1 is available for EOS R6

03/02/2023: New Firmware Updates Are Available:

EOS R7 - Version 1.3.0EOS R10 - Version 1.3.0
02/24/2023: We've updated Share Your Photos

2/07/2023: New product announcements!

EOS R8 EOS R50RF-S55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STMRF24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STMRF15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM
01/18/2023: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for EOS R6 Mark II
01/09/2023: Help ensure your autofocus is properly aligned with a Canon Precision Alignment
01/03/2023: Welcome to CES 2023!
12/08/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS C70
12/07/2022: New firmware version 1.7.0 is available for EOS R5
11/22/2022: New firmware available for EOS R3, EOS R7 and EOS R10
11/16/2022: We're thrilled to be ranked among the Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 by Forbes.
08/31/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for RF 70-200mm L IS USM
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 300
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 500
07/14/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1 is available for CR-X300
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version is available for EOS-C70
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.