26 March 2009

EOS-1D Mark II - AF recall preparation

1DMkIIIBack at the beginning of March we wrote about Canon's latest plan for further improving the AF performance of it's EOS-1D and EOS-1Ds Mark III cameras. Now and for the second time the blabpictures EOS-1D Mark III is going back for rework on it's AF. Previously it's had the mirror box fix, though not that it seems to have needed the work, it's always been able to nail focus on the subjects it's been given. There has been some feedback on dpreview, fredmiranda and many other forums that this latest AF fix makes the camera pretty much what most users expected from the start. As the camera we have is one of those from the first few months of production it's wise to send it in and see if they can make it even better for free. Would be important to have proof of the fix if you were ever to sell it.

After reading a few other forum posts on the topics we created a short checklist of things to do before sending a camera in for rework, though it's also a good idea to do this before any service.
  • Write down your camera body serial number - make sure you get your camera back
  • Back-up the camera to a memory card
  • Remove all the other accessories the service team don't need and can lose; strap, eyecup, battery etc.
  • Make sure the body cap is securely fitting to prevent the ingress of dust and stuff in the shipping process
These items may seem like sense, but how do you backup the camera? Canon EOS-1D Mark III models have function to store a snapshot of your camera configuration on a memory card. You can put up to 10 different named files on a card, and the snapshots take up very little space. With this backup of the camera if service need to fully reset your camera then when it comes back you simply load in the backup and your camera is set-up just as it was when you entrusted it to service. Most people think this only backs up the custom functions, but in fact just about everything is saved, the power off time, the owners name, the display preferences pretty much everything except the time and date! 

Backup EOS-1D Mark III / EOS-1Ds Mark III
Hit menu and move the to the third yellow tools menu and the first item is Save/load settings on media. Press the SET button and then Save and Load are displayed, hit SET again with Save selected.  You are prompted for a filename or can choose the cameras own choice "CAMSET01.CSD". I select my own filenames, but they must have eight characters. I chose "BLAB_1D3.CSD" and then saved the file. Now don't format the card while the camera is away and when it comes back go through the process and Load the settings back in to the camera.

One tip here is to use a small old SD card for saving your camera configuration on. Then copy the card to your computer, maybe upload your settings to somewhere online, and put the little memory card in your camera bag. Now if you have the misfortune to get a breakdown any loan camera you pick up can be set-up just how you like it in a matter of seconds and you won't need an instruction manual to do it!

AF Microadjustment C.Fn III-7
One thing that many people are reporting is that their AF micro adjustments t are reset to zero as part of the service work. Your back up will keep your old settings. Many people are now saying the AF micro adjustment of their camera is zero for all their lenses so you might need to reset these to zero after loading your back up; just set C.Fn III-7 to 0:Disable.

Any readers with experience of the recall and some comments about their camera performance post recall please post in the comments.



Anonymous said...

Mine was one of the first back, great service from Elstree RCC. It handles like a different camera now, particularly with moving low contrast subjects against background clutter. Still need to test in poor light, where it always struggled previously, but definitely a significant improvement. Check out a more detailed response here with images



McDonald Photography said...

I receieved my body back this morning, on time as promised & overall the service has been fantastic. Everything arrived back as it left & i'm not just letting it come up to temperature & i'll test it out. thanks for the tips on backing up BTW.

Andy McDonald