Canon said to be halting 5D Mk III shipments as it seeks to resolve light leak issue

the long wait is over canon unveils 5d mk iii dslr camera eos front with lensFollowing the discovery of a problem with the 5D Mk III leaking light and affecting metering, Canon is reported to be suspending shipments of its new DSLR device in both the UK and Canada. There’s currently no word on sale suspensions for other countries but unless the issue is resolved soon, such a move can be expected.

Canon specialist website Canon Watch reported on Wednesday that it had heard from two sources, one in the UK and one in Canada, that Mk III shipments in these countries had been halted until further notice.

The $3,499 Mk III was launched to much fanfare at the beginning of last month, and was largely well received by critics in the photographic industry. However, in recent weeks it began to emerge that the camera had a problem.

Some owners of the new high-end shooter discovered that when using the Mk III in a dark room, light would leak through the LCD panel, causing the device’s light meter to expose pictures incorrectly.

Late last week, Canon issued a statement confirming the issue. “In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change as a result of the AE sensor’s detection of light from the LCD panel,” the company said.

It added, “Canon is now examining the countermeasures and once the countermeasures are decided, we will post the information on our website.”

Canon Watch suggests that it’s not just light from the LCD panel which is affecting metering. “Unfortunately there is more. The same issue seems to show up if a flashlight is firing on top of the LCD panel.” The website also said it had received reports from some Mk III users claiming that direct sunlight or strong light coming from directly above is also affecting the metering.

The website explains how Mk III owners can find out if their device is leaking light: “Put the cap on the body and cover the viewfinder, then put the camera in ‘P’ mode at ISO 800 and turn on the LCD backlight. If the leak is present, the shutter speed will change after having turned on the backlight.”

There’s a distinct possibility that this is a hardware issue — as opposed to a firmware one — and that the suspension of sales could be a move to limit costs in the event of a product recall.

Whatever the precise cause of the issue, it’s certainly an embarrassment for the Japanese camera maker and one it will be keen to resolve as quickly as possible.