I’ve been a Canon photographer since switching to digital about 15 years ago. I had used Mamiya and Minolta cameras with film and at that time the Canon 50D came out and I decided to give it a try. Since then, I’ve worked my way up from the 5D series to the 5D Mark III and built a collection of glasses that have served me well.
I decided not to use the 5D Mark IV, mainly because of the small improvements the company made to that model, and waited for the Canon R5 to come out.
I was initially delighted with the Canon R5. The extra megapixels are amazing and the autofocus blew my mind. I’m also pleased with the expanded dynamic range (about a stop, I think) and the more ‘film grain’ look to noise when shooting high ISOs. The color noise (chroma noise) in other Canon cameras is quite terrible!
I noticed that the camera seemed to run out of battery faster than I expected. I didn’t worry too much about it, this was my first mirrorless camera and I heard they can be hard on the battery so I took care of that. In retrospect, I should have looked more closely at the number of shutters between battery changes. Because this is a sign of problems to come.
After having this camera for 13 months, and despite what I considered to be gentle use, it still died. Less than a month after the warranty expired. I sent it to Canon for repair and found the motherboard was defective. Luckily Canon Canada has offered to extend the warranty to cover the repair. I got the camera back a week later, opened the box, tried turning it on and… nothing. It won’t happen.
As always, I tried multiple batteries, made sure they were fully charged, and after multiple tries, it still worked. I notified Canon via email about the issue and my contact said he would look into it. I then took it with me for a few sessions and used it occasionally. Then I started having the same problems and it eventually died again.
I sent it back to Canon Canada a second time and a week later I got a call from a representative saying they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I do not know what to say. He did say it could be my EF to RF lens adapter (I only have EF glasses at the moment).
I have two careers, one as a part-time professional photographer and one working in the electronics engineering section of the Canadian Coast Guard, and I have spent my entire life working on or repairing equipment. Faulty electronics. One thing this has taught me is that when troubleshooting, take the device down to its most basic configuration. That’s where you start. Like Occam’s Razor approach; remove the layers and do the simplest setup.
I would remove the lens, lens adapter and card then test the body with a battery and troubleshoot from there. Here’s what I did before sending it a second time. It’s just the camera body and the battery that won’t turn it on.
When I got my camera back the second time, I took a video to document the process. I did some troubleshooting to see if I could figure out what was going on and I think I may have finally solved it or at least found the root of the problem . Turns out I was dealing with a faulty camera body and a faulty EF-RF lens adapter (with control ring).
Looks like the Canon lens adapter caused some problems with the camera body and now it no longer works with the adapter attached. And even if I remove the lens adapter, the camera body still won’t power on unless I remove the battery and reinsert it. So with the bare body (no lens adapter or anything else attached) after removing the lens adapter, the camera won’t power on until I reinstall the battery.
I would like to add that in the past 15 years I have had no problems with my other Canon cameras other than wear and tear. Canon cameras are durable and well built. Now, I think I finally know what the problem is with the R5. I need to buy a new lens adapter and hopefully it will work this time. Maybe then I’ll have a Canon R5 I can trust for work!
About the author: Brian Carey is a photographer based in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Carey’s work on the website, Facebook and Twitter.