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1Dx does a self-power down and dumps photos

TEZ72
Occasional Contributor

I have a 1Dx and recently after shooting a 40 frame burst the camera powered itself down before it wrote the directory to the CF card. All photos were lost. What's more is the camera cannot be powered back up until the battery is reseated. This is an intermittant problem, but serious enough because I cannot repeat event I am covering. I am wondering if anyone has an idea as to why this is happening?   Thank you.

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

With what your camera did, I would suspect the battery as a possible cause.  Shooting sustained bursts creates the maximum current draw that the battery sees in operation and if its voltage drops below a critical level during the burst then the behavior of the digital electronics circuitry is subject to malfunction/"glitch".  Heat can be a factor because battery capability is reduced both under high heat and cold and part of the design of the 1DX and its weather sealing is to dump heat into the battery compartment area.

 

The one time I have had an issue with a 1 series locking up was when I needed new battery packs for my 1D Mark II and the Canon packs were out of stock at B&H and Adorama so I bought a pair of aftermarket packs.  They seemed to perform well UNTIL I shot the first sustained burst at a sports event and the camera locked up and required battery removal and reinsertion to work.  Removing the battery removes power causing a hard reset of the control circuitry, that is why you needed to remove and reinsert your battery to return the camera to function.  Just turning the power switch off doesn't remove power from the battery to the equipment, unlike older gear it doesn't actually break the path to the battery but just instructs the camera control circuits to go into a sleep mode deeper than the normal standby mode but power is still available to parts of the control circuitry of the camera.  Current draw in this mode is so low that the battery charge life isn't significantly reduced when sitting for a few days or weeks in an unused camera but for long-term storage you don't want the pack in the camera.

 

Pretty much any issue that causes the control circuits to behave in an abnormal fashion will be reset by removing and reinstalling the battery pack so doing so doesn't really provide any additional diagnostic information about the failure cause.  But given what happened with your camera body, the odds are quite high that the battery pack is at fault.  Even in a newer pack, if one of the cells that makes up the battery has gotten a little weak then the voltage will suddenly drop during sustained heavy current draw causing camera issues.  The heat probably wasn't the root cause but it was enough to send a sick pack into a range that caused the camera to malfunction.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

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wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

I look forward to your followup and hope that the problem is resolved.  I often still use my 1DX as the third body at HS football, either with a 24-70 2.8 on well lighted fields for a more versatile setup or with an 85 f1.8 for poorly illuminated fields backing up the 1DX 2 / EF 200 f2 and 1DX 3 / EF 400 f2.8 combination that I use on dark fields.  Even compared to its later siblings, I am very happy with the original 1DX performance in terms of AF tracking and low light image quality.  In use, the biggest difference I notice is in transferring photos because I use the ethernet port for these bodies and the Mark III is extremely fast at file transfer probably hittihg the capability of the high speed ethernet ports on my HP Z Station, the Mark II is a tad slower, and now the 1DX seems rather slow by comparison but I prefer leaving the cards in the camera and it only takes a few minutes for a typical transfer.

 

When I ran into the non-OEM battery issue with my 1D Mark II, the batteries were fully charged and showing all bars.  But what I noticed was during a burst I could see the battery indicator suddenly drop before returning to full charge indication.  The battery display is reading the very low load voltage produced by the pack during normal operation, but a weak cell will cause the voltage to drop significantly under load.  You might try shooting a sustained burst with the camera and pack you were using, preferably in hot conditions, and watch closely to see if the battery level display drops or flickers under sustained current load and if so that would increase your confidence that the battery is truly the issue.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

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18 REPLIES 18

ebiggs1
Forum Elite

Call Canon and set up a service ticket. 1 (800) 652-2666

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

TEZ72
Occasional Contributor

Thank you for your response. After returning from my assignment, I repeated the process I used in the field a half dozen times and the camera worked flawlessly. So it made me think that it might be a heat related issue since out in the field the camera is exposed to the hot sun for hours at a time, or maybe it was the firm ware.

 

Yesterday I spoke in length with a Canon tech, who was very thorough by the way, about this problem and asked about sending it in. He said exactly what I thought he'd say....if the problem could not be repeated the camera would be returned NTF, and he's correct.

 

If I had a better understanding of why it takes reseating the battery to restore power to the camera after it goes through a self-power down, I'm sure that would pinpoint the problem and provide an idea of the cost to repair. As the camera is no longer under warranty, my company may opt to upgrade to a newer workhorse, which in its day, this camera was. 

 

Perhaps I'll recommend that the next time this camera does a self-power down, I should leave it in that condition and send it in to Canon. Maybe they could work the problem in reverse. If anyone else has experienced this I'd like to know what they did to resolve the problem.

 

Thank you,

"... maybe it was the firm ware."

 

Very unlikely to be a FW problem, to the extent it isn't.  It could be, outside chance, a CF card problem. A new one might be a goood idea.

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

TEZ72
Occasional Contributor

Thanks again for your response.

 

When I get back into the office I'm going to do more testing. I put an ID on my CF cards, so I'll replace the two that were in the camera and see if that makes a difference. 

TEZ72
Occasional Contributor

Thank you for your response.

 

The heat thing was just a thought. Our cameras go through weather extremes and I would have been very surprised if turned out to be the cause.

Good luck! Hope you find the solution.

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

"... it made me think that it might be a heat related issue ..."

 

Good thought because cameras do not like to get hot. Now by that I mean very hot. They are designed to be used outside in the Sun. I have done so on many occasions with my 1DX and earlier 1 series cameras. I have shot in the southwest dessert with no problems. The one that does get very hot and shut off is me! If it is too hot for you than its probably a good chance its too hot for the camera.

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

TEZ72
Occasional Contributor

I have a 5D MK II, 5D MK IV, 1Dx MK III, and a few more, Because they are personal equipment I cannot use them for work. The 5D MK IV is awesome for shooting video. I'd use the MK III a lot more if the cost of the cards were a lot less!!

wq9nsc
Respected Contributor

With what your camera did, I would suspect the battery as a possible cause.  Shooting sustained bursts creates the maximum current draw that the battery sees in operation and if its voltage drops below a critical level during the burst then the behavior of the digital electronics circuitry is subject to malfunction/"glitch".  Heat can be a factor because battery capability is reduced both under high heat and cold and part of the design of the 1DX and its weather sealing is to dump heat into the battery compartment area.

 

The one time I have had an issue with a 1 series locking up was when I needed new battery packs for my 1D Mark II and the Canon packs were out of stock at B&H and Adorama so I bought a pair of aftermarket packs.  They seemed to perform well UNTIL I shot the first sustained burst at a sports event and the camera locked up and required battery removal and reinsertion to work.  Removing the battery removes power causing a hard reset of the control circuitry, that is why you needed to remove and reinsert your battery to return the camera to function.  Just turning the power switch off doesn't remove power from the battery to the equipment, unlike older gear it doesn't actually break the path to the battery but just instructs the camera control circuits to go into a sleep mode deeper than the normal standby mode but power is still available to parts of the control circuitry of the camera.  Current draw in this mode is so low that the battery charge life isn't significantly reduced when sitting for a few days or weeks in an unused camera but for long-term storage you don't want the pack in the camera.

 

Pretty much any issue that causes the control circuits to behave in an abnormal fashion will be reset by removing and reinstalling the battery pack so doing so doesn't really provide any additional diagnostic information about the failure cause.  But given what happened with your camera body, the odds are quite high that the battery pack is at fault.  Even in a newer pack, if one of the cells that makes up the battery has gotten a little weak then the voltage will suddenly drop during sustained heavy current draw causing camera issues.  The heat probably wasn't the root cause but it was enough to send a sick pack into a range that caused the camera to malfunction.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

View solution in original post