Canon – Thanks but…

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: January 21, 2015

Category: General

Ok so I’ll have a new episode of my weekly Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom video series available for you later on but for now I just wanted to share an ‘experience’ with you…

Back in September 2014 my wife and I headed to Bath for some time out and combined it with my Birthday weekend.

It was the first time Anne and myself had been there together so we just spent our time wandering around and visiting the usual touristy locations: Roman Baths, Royal Crescent and so on..

As you’d likely expect I of course took my camera but as is usually the case when I’m out with Anne took hardly any photographs with it; instead resorting to using my iPhone and carrying my Canon 5D MKIII on it’s strap over my shoulder.

When we got back to the hotel I discovered my originally great condition camera had taken on a whole new look with the protective paint having rubbed off. At first I thought it was the light in the hotel room playing tricks with my eyes but no, on close inspection the paint had indeed rubbed off whilst we were walking around Bath…


As a working photographer my cameras can end up in some interesting places being rained on, covered in dust, battered and bruised but this most certainly wasn’t the case this time. In fact I’d not long returned from a trip to the USA teaching at Photoshop World in Las Vegas where beforehand we’d headed out to Ghost Town which was incredibly hot, dusty, rocks and all sorts but the camera back back absolutely fine…all except for a few minor scratches underneath where the camera had been resting on a rough surface. The top body though…perfect!

Keeping my equipment in as good a condition as possible is something I’ve always done. Sure you can’t avoid the usual wear and tear, and that’s to be expected, but in the past when I’ve sold cameras on, they’ve gone in the original box and packing looking tip top.

This however is my first Canon camera having been a Nikon shooter before, so was incredibly disappointed to see the damage; something I’d NEVER experienced before.

Canon Professional Services
So, fast forward a few months to yesterday when I get around to taking the camera into Canon Professional Services.

Canon had been made aware of the issue and had been sent pictures to show the affected area so I was then advised to take it in so they could take a look as they’d never seen anything this excessive. What I thought wasn’t going to be an issue as this is clearly a fault, soon changed when I handed over the camera to the member of staff on reception…

“We get lots of professionals using these too and they’ve never come back with this problem”

What?!?! Whether someones had this problem or not is irrelevant because there always has to be a first time for everything right?!?!



The camera was taken away to be looked at, but on return a few minutes later I was told that despite it being something they’d never seen before, it shouldn’t happen, must have been the way I was carrying it and the 12 month warranty had now passed…the only way I’d get it repaired was by paying £130 (inc VAT)

So, I ended up leaving the camera to be fixed and was assured that as a Canon Professional Services Gold Member I’d get it back in around 2 to 3 days.

Coming away being made to feel that a fault is your fault, felt very much like Canon were simply burying their heads in the sand and refusing to hear and accept anything being in the slightest possible way a problem with the coating on the camera.

Anyway, by the time I’d driven the hour and a bit home and having posted a picture of the camera on social media, I’d changed my mind about having it repaired and so called Canon HQ to instruct them to simply despatch the camera back.

On the phone, once I’d explained that I had been in earlier with a Canon 5D issue, I was greeted by a woman who said she was about to call me as they had seen the posts on social media and, long story short, Canon, out of Good Will on this one occasion would cover the cost of replacing a new top cover to the camera; however…

Of course it’s great that Canon are doing this but should it really take posts on social media for someone to listen to us…the customer?

The 5D MKIII, I use is barely 15 months old and has been used no different to my previous Nikon cameras, that when I sold them on, were in great condition (still with original boxes, clear plastic bags that held the cables and so on…)

Bottom line though, is that this wasn’t a complaint about image quality; I really can’t be bothered going that route because it’s pointless and irrelevant. I’m happy with that side of things but was disappointed how easily the black protective paint came off. Sure there’s wear and tear to be expected but this happened from hanging down my side for a few hours in the day whilst my wife and I walked around Bath City Centre; and let’s face it the amount that came off was excessive by any standards.

Obviously I’m glad it’s being sorted but there’ll be no punch to the air with a shout of ‘YES!!!!’ because this is a fault, maybe a one off, but a fault and like cars when they get recalled the owner doesn’t pay for the fix. Canon are doing this, in their own words, as a gesture of good will, but don’t understand how it could have happened or rather…what I must have done, to which the answer is…nothing that should have caused such a problem.

NOTE: Although the paint rubbing off occurred within the 12 month warranty period, Canon did say that this would likely NOT be covered.

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  1. clifford long

    CANON don’t seem to like media attention!!

    Why as users of their products seem to have to resort to rough
    tactics to get their attention?
    Even then they appeared to made you feel guilty for using the product after the warranty period.

    Perhaps the air quality in Bath is very caustic ??????

  2. Chris Gilloch

    Glyn, I feel your pain. I’ve been a Canon guy for 15 years and generally I never had a single problem with the cameras I bought though, the 5DMKIII I have has visited the shop several times already.

    The first time was the actually shutter seizing after only 2 months of use – they kind of suggested it was my fault as there was ‘corrosion’ on the mechanical release and so I must have had water near it (I hadn’t). They barely let me claim via the warranty.

    Jump forward exactly one year and I’m putting the memory card in like usual and the pins all bend inside the body. Now out of warranty, so it’s currently in with Canon getting fixed for two weeks and 100 quid down. They blamed me ‘for not putting the memory card in straight’.

    If this carries on I’ll probably be looking at selling my gear and jumping ship to another brand – I’m very disappointed with them. The 5Dmkiii is not a cheap camera.

  3. Doug

    This seems so unusual. I have always marveled at the reliability and durability of my Canon DSLRs. Glad it finally worked out.

    Your web site is great and tutorials are the best! Thanks Glyn.


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