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Sensor and viewfinder cleaning


I was wondering if anyone else has had this type of problem with Canon.


I just bought a brand new 5dmii (may 9th, 2013) and my first shot had spots (extended exposure shot at f22). I continued to use the new camera and within a few days black specks appeared in the view finder. I called Canon and was instructed to send the camera in for a warranted repair. The paperwork that came back with the camera said that foreign material was found in the sensor assembly and that the sensor assembly was cleaned. I checked some new shots and the spots were still there (the ones in the view finder were gone but the same ones on the photos remained). I again called Canon and was told to send it back to their Newport News facility once again. 


After sending it in the second time I got it back and now there are 10 times as many spots as before (79 plus) and a black speck in the view finder has returned. I called Canon back and was basically told that dust is not a problem and that they will try again but I just may have to live with it. I explained that to me this was a flaw with the new camera since the very first shot had spots (FYI when I put the lens on for the first time I pointed the camera body down, attached it quickly and did not take it off). I also explained that if I had caused the issue I would not be complaining, however, the camera came to me like this and was brand new. I asked if they could exchange this one for a new one (remember I have had the camera less than 30 days) and they told me no. I was told that I would need to send it to a New Jersey Factory repair facility since the Newport News facility could not get it clean.  I asked what would happen if it still came back with spots and viewfinder specks and was told that I would have to send it in again. 


At this point I am so frustrated that I do not know what to do. I have been such a Canon advocate and have two 7Ds, two 70-300 L lenses, a 6D, two 24-105 L lenses and have never had these types of issues. I have boxed up my new 5dmii and will be sending it out to New Jersey, however, I was wondering if anyone has had a terrible experience like this before.


Rising Star
Can you just return it for a new one instead from the dealer before your 30 days are up?

Unfortunately since I have used it they do not consider it new. I purchase it from Adorama and their return policy sates that it cannot be used. Good thought though 🙂

With brand new camera, you can use it and return with Adorama and B&H photo. Did you contact them? Unless it's a refurbish camera then their policy is a little different. I bought D3200 from them, tested for about 200 shots and returned with no problem. I recall you can return the camera as long as you don't take more than 500 photos. You should contact them if you still can.
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Sorry to hear of your situation, and sorry for the topic drift, but I'm curious.  You mentioned that you own a 6D, so what was the reasoning behind your decision to get a brand new 5d2 instead of a second 6D?

I use the 7d and the 5d and my wife uses the other 7d and the 6 d. I like the size and weight of the 5d and she liked that the 6d was slightly smaller and a bit lighter. Ultimately we both use all the cameras, however, we each have our favorites. 🙂


I have now gone through two supervisors with Canon and am currently dealing with a customer relations person. The camera was shipped back to canon for a third time today. Unfortunately, Canon is not being very helpful at all. I sent them photos of the spots and the customer relations woman told me that I would be contacted by a service technician but in her opinion the spots are normal and since the images I sent her are cropped they would not be doing anything to take care of the problem. I then had to ask the customer service representative to please have it cleaned one more time since she implied she felt there was no issue and she was going to have it shipped back to me without anything being done. Later I received a call from the canon technician who stated that the sensor is dusty, however, whether or not it gets cleaned under warranty is up to the customer relations representative. I am just having a hard time accepting the way canon is treating me considering this problem started on the first shot. I have not yelled or cursed or been mean to them, I am just trying to get a clean camera, which is what I would expect right out of the box. I just do not understand. I had always had good service before and really hope this is not a normal issue with canon.

I'm curious how this ended. My sensor needs cleaning so I'll pay for cleaning sense the camera came clean and I've used it a lot. Plus I think Canon needs to do the service to maintain the warranty.

Hi jklick,

Thanks for your interest. I ended up getting nowhere with Canon. The customer service rep. that assisted me was less than helpful and I ended up retuning the camera from the store where it was purchased (I explained the whole thing to the rep at the store and they were kind enough to accept the return....I still buy most of my cameras and supplies from them). Some time went by and I later purchased a 6d (dust free upon arrival). After using the camera for a while, I found that I had gotton some dust on the sensor, as opposed to the 5dmii which came with a dirty sensor right out of the box. I then ordered some cleaning products to clean the sensor myself. I then used said cleaning products and had a clean sensor once again. After getting over my initial reluctance to clean the sensor myself, I am now rather comfortable with the job and I will continue to do it in the future (although I still feel that when one gets a brand new camera, it is acceptble to have a few sensor spots; however, if there are many then Canon should be capable of cleaning it under warranty without making the issue even worse).

A couple of years ago I bought a 7D that arrived with a lot of dirt in the viewfinder. So I dropped it off at Canon's Jamesburg, NJ repair facility the next time I was down that way. They gave the camera a complete cleaning under warranty, and it arrived at my home the next morning looking better than new. I was a CPS member (Silver, I think, though I've since upgraded to Gold), which may conceivably have affected the way I was treated. In any case, the people I've dealt with on several visits to Jamesburg couldn't have been more helpful. Maybe being there in person makes a difference (though not everyone can do that, obviously).


If you do undertake to visit the Jamesburg facility, print yourself a detailed map first. The ramps to and from the Turnpike are tricky; the road the building is on has multiple names; several of the intersections look alike; etc. My wife and I get at least partially lost every time we go there.


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