5D Mark III LCD backlight confuses light sensor, Canon to offer countermeasures


Canon EOS 5D Mark III
5D Mark III belongs to the lower-end spectrum of Canon’s DSLR cameras with a body that sells for $3500. Compare that price to the recently announced EOS-1D C and you’ll get what I mean. Even though it has a complicated interface its price point is enough to attract amateur photographers as well as experienced ones who are tight on cash. Canon comes out clean and admits a flaw on 5D Mark III that could jeopardize the quality of your photos. Canon says they’re working on an unspecified “countermeasure” to resolve it.

Upon its release, early adopters pointed out a design flaw of Canon 5D Mark III. They said its ClearView LCD II panel could leak light when the illuminated and confuse the Automatic Exposure (AE) sensor located nearby. As a result, the sensor is fooled into thinking there’s more light than there actually, ultimately affecting photo quality. Canon admits this flaw of 5D Mark III but says it can only happen in extremely dark environments where the LCD panel’s backlight can fool the sensor. In this setting, the displayed exposure value is unreliable and caused by the AE sensor’s false light detection from the LCD.

Should this problem bother you at all? Not really, unless taking photos in low-light to dark places is a hobby of yours. Also, if you keep the backlight turned off when capturing photos or videos in dim environments, light leak and alteration of AE sensors are virtually impossible. Canon says they will think of countermeasures and update their website with it as soon as they’re available. If the light leak still worries you – and if you haven’t preordered 5D Mark III yet – maybe it’s time you consider a different option like Nikon D800. 5D Mark III does have better specs for taking pictures in the dark but since it can confuse its own AE sensor, D800 is worth a shot.


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