Day 183 – So, What Do You Want First? The Bad News? Or Perhaps, The Bad News?   13 comments

To explain a few non-posting days and many very short posts of late, I’ve been doing the family vacation thing – a combination of camping and visiting in British Columbia. I was away about two and a half weeks. This is not the bad news.

The butterfly above is also not the bad news, though he clearly had bad news of his own. He’d lost about one-third of his wings – the back left wing is entirely gone as well as a decent chunk out of his right wing.

This past Saturday, we were camping in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. All is going fine. On Saturday evening I was capturing a couple of shots of camp life and instead of my standard shutter sound I get the ‘click’ and I get a ‘tink’. The ‘tink’ is accompanied by a blackened view finder. With a perplexed look firmly planted on my face I look around to the front of the camera to check for the lens cover (pretty sure I was just shooting, but must check anyway). I then look through the viewfinder again. Still dark. Better look inside. Found the mirror. Detached. This is definitely the bad news.

I’m happy to say that I did not cry at this stage. I took the bad news calmly albeit it with a mild dose of disbelief. What am I supposed to do on vacation without a camera?  I still had plans.

After getting home and searching online, I learned that a detached mirror is unfortunately a common enough problem in 5Ds. So I decide to track down my local Canon repair agent. Lucky me, Canon decided to centralize that capability in 2009. The only service centre in all of Canada is in Toronto, so I have to ship it. This is more bad news.

The online auto-estimate is $250 plus tax, plus shipping. Not as bad as it could be I suppose. The estimated repair time (excluding shipping) is three to four weeks. Could be longer depending on how busy they are. Looks like I’ll be without camera for at least a month and probably a month and a half. This is more bad news.

Starting up a photography business and not having a camera seems like a less than ideal situation. So, it seems I need to invest in a backup camera body (as, of course, I should have a while ago). My first thought was a used 5D. Then I thought maybe a 7D as a backup. Now I’m wondering if a 5D MK II would be a better long-term investment with my soon-to-be-repaired 5D as my backup. Thoughts?

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13 responses to “Day 183 – So, What Do You Want First? The Bad News? Or Perhaps, The Bad News?

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  1. I think I’ll have the bad news first or maybe…… Hey how about good news!

    • On the good news front, the camera died on the 2nd last day of our trip! Could have been the 1st day rather than almost the last. That’s definitely good news.

  2. Oh wow, now that is bad news! Man, you have a really tough choice to make. The 7d AF is awesome, but the low light IQ in the 5d is certainly better. As you may know, I do own the 7d and am holding off on getting a 5dmk2 in the hopes the mk3 will be coming out within a year (next summer….I hope). I will be keeping the 7d as my backup. Perhaps you can rent a 7d for a few days and see if you like it? I LOVE the burst rate on the 7d, simple awesome! Good luck Mike. 😀

  3. Sorry to hear about the bad news, that is pants and I know I would of shed a tear or two if it’d happen to me! Crazy cost on the whole thing as well, I would of though if it was a common problem Canon would pick up the slack. I’m a Pentax user and have had little to no experience with the Canon’s but renting/borrowing does seem like a good idea. Good luck….oh and stunning photo!
    A.Wally

    • I agree that Canon should pick up the cost for what sounds like a manufacturing defect to me. If I was one of only a few, I could understand, but since it’s a common problem, they should cover the costs. Apparently Canon Korea has acknowledged it’s a manufacturing problem and they make the fix for free.

  4. My mirror lockup mechanism on my Canon 40D broke 15 months after I bought. Right after the warranty ended. grr… It was $250 to repair just like yours and just like you I started thinking about long term investment as well as the camera’s you mentioned (5D 7D). Ultimately I knew I wanted a full-frame camera so the 7D was out. After a TON of research I went with the 5D Mark II and haven’t looked back. The initial expense definitely gave me pause but within a week I knew I had made the right decision and haven’t looked back. Go with the Mark II, you won’t regret it (your credit card might though). Oh, I also borrowed one from a friend for an afternoon before I bought mine, that helped convince me.

    P.S. If the rumors are true Canon may announce the Mark III this October but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s actually very little, in my opinion, they could improve on from the Mark II aside from adding on board flash that would work with the speedlight system.

    • The Canon Rumors site says no announcement expected until Feb 2012 now. Possibly a splitting of the 5D into a stills only and a video version. I don’t think I can go back to a smaller sensor and I’m thinking a used 5D is a risky proposition. Better to invest in the Mark II.

  5. Yikes, that is terrible news. My next big purchase is going to be another camera body. I’m using a Nikon D90 already though, so I thought about upgrading to the D700 and using the D90 as a backup… I hope you get your camera back swiftly – that it doesn’t take as long as they are estimating. A month and a half is a LONG time.

  6. Mike,It´s got to be that you know that it´s got to be the MKII ,main camera and repaired 5D as back up-you know it!!!!!

    And Mike, a month and a half is´nt such a long time, You´ll need all that time to plan out your next photo project and let´s face it each one is more challenging than the last!

    I hope the Canon guys do a good job on your bit of kit, i´m sure they will!
    Regards Adrian

  7. Love this shot by the way, Well done Mike!

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