Malfunction in Firmware 2.0.4

Contents:

  • Malfunction in 2.0.4 – IRIS issue
  • Video Tests
  • Test Update
  • Additional Reports – UPDATED
  • Considerations

Note: please also check the update to this report.

MALFUNCTION IN 2.0.4 – IRIS issue

Firmware 2.0.4 is really a GREAT update for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, an extraordinary effort made by Canon engineers. But after some deep tests we have found and confirmed a bug/malfunction in this firmware.

- Description of the problem:

When a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens is mounted on the camera and the user manually changes focus (rotates focus ring), the lens suffer from an “IRIS jitter”, even when the camera is in full manual mode.

It is not normal, and should not happen. The tests were made by several users with many copies on many camera bodies, so it’s not an isolated lens problem.

- This malfunction always occurs in this situation:

When the camera is set to M (Manual) mode and in Live View mode (set to Still+Movie – Movie Display), which is the correct mode for “full manual control” in movie mode.

- Additional details:

. It does NOT happen with Firmware version 1.1.0
. It happens WHEN recording video and also when NOT recording video
. It happens with ISO and every possible automatic setting fixed to a value, or turned off
. It happens in C1/C2/C3 too (if they are registered as “M” modes for movie recording)
. It happens in PAL and NTSC modes
. It happens inĀ  both lens modes: MF and AF mode
. The camera does NOT tell any change in aperture setting (it keeps showing the same value) nor give any kind of advice either
. The iris shifting can be heard (and seen)
. The brightness shifting of the image is visible on the camera’s LCD monitor when the iris/aperture shift occurs
. The iris/aperture usually changes in small values, but enough to make a footage unusable, so using this great lens for movie/video purpose may result impossible

VIDEO TESTS

These two videos clearly show the problem when the Canon EF 100mm F/2.8 Macro USM is mounted on the 5D Mark II in the full manual mode for movie mode, and the focus ring is rotated from macro to infinity and vice versa. Remember that this does not happen with firmware 1.1.0.

- Iris “jitter” when changing focus:

- Image jitter can be seen on the camera’s LCD monitor lot of times
It’s also recorded on the footage, making it unusable. It is much easier to see whilst testing or recording than in this video test. The most evident ones at 0:48, 0:57, 1:01, 1:03:


Please read full descriptions on each video for further details.

TEST UPDATE

We made another simple test to prove this issue is not related to the light entering the lens/sensor/camera: If you reproduce the test, with everything set to Manual as described but in a dark room, the same issue occurs (you can hear the iris jitter when changing focus).

Conclusion: the IRIS jitter is not related to light metering or any kind of “compensation” being done by the camera due the different amount of light entering the lens when focusing, nor any other light/sensor related matter.

Since the test is done in complete darkness we cannot post a video to show it, but every user can reproduce and verify it by their own with ease.

ADDITIONAL REPORTS – UPDATED

We received some additional reports from many users.

Some of them:

- Regarding the malfunction of the Canon EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM:

“By observing the IRIS as I adjusted the aperture I noticed that sometimes it doesn’t go correctly to the right size. I even noticed that sometimes as I stopped down the aperture for a step the IRIS would actually open a bit instead.”

- Other reports: We also received reports regarding 3rd party lenses experiencing “weird noises” coming from the iris, or iris/aperture inconsistencies when mounted on 5D Mark II with firmware 2.0.4 that weren’t present on firmware 1.1.0.

It seems very possible that these issues also occur with some 3rd party lenses and maybe other Canon lenses as well.

UPDATE:

- We received a video test from a user reporting this iris “jitter” on a Canon EF 300 F/4L IS USM. Check it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APgK5gdM69M

The user confirmed the camera was set to M and Live View mode to “Sills+Movie-Movie Display”, which is the correct “full manual mode” for video, where “the camera shouldn’t be moving the iris *at all* unless the user is changing it”.

This confirms that this malfunction also affects other Canon lenses when using firmware 2.0.4 on the 5D Mark II.

It might sound weird, but we wonder if this issue could be related to the supposed fix:
“Fixes a phenomenon where communication between the camera and the attached lens is sometimes interrupted after manual sensor cleaning. (This phenomenon only affects units with Firmware Version 1.2.4.)”.

CONSIDERATIONS

We understand that this firmware update is a VERY hard work. But maybe there weren’t given enough resources to support this extraordinary effort made by Canon engineers.

That may explain the initial undetected bug/malfunction on version 2.0.3 (that was reported just 1 day after its official release by many professionals and by this team who use 5D Mark II for serious movie/video purposes).

We use Canon gear and we love this camera. That’s why we try to do our best in the most constructive possible way to encourage Canon to give the best features and results to their customers.

We want the best from this extraordinary camera, for every user, and also the best for Canon as company for making it possible.

We request Canon to fix this problem. That’s the priority.

But we also request Canon to carefully read and consider what so many customers are asking: to include some additional functions that are really possible and even easy in many cases.

The 5D Mark II has been a huge success since its release. This could be a great opportunity for Canon to add these features and keep it as a best seller for even longer time.

SOME REQUESTS ARE:

- AutoISO limiters, so much requested by photographers (like the much cheaper Canon T2i/550D)
-
More frames in Bracketing mode
- Movie Crop function, to allow video recording at 1:1 of the central area of the sensor (at the highest possible resolution: Full HD, HD or at least in SD like the much cheaper Canon T2i/550D)
- “EDIT” function in playback menu, allowing to Cut and Save part of a video clip (available in most cheaper cameras)
- An OPTION to display Audio meters bars in Live View mode and when recording video
- An OPTION to disable the “white square” when using HDMI output, to get a “clean” video output (so easy and so requested), and keep that signal at the maximum possible resolution when recording video
- More flexibility for the “Info” button in Live View mode (more display options: current Live Histogram is great but it’s only displayed with extra information, reducing the overall frame visibility)

These are hugely requested functions that CAN be implemented via firmware. They don’t require hardware changes.

For a longer and more detailed list, please check this article.

We sincerely want to thank Canon for listening to their customers and being steps ahead of the competition.

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