Canon to break silence about SLR's 'black dot' issue

The SLR maker plans to issue a statement soon about a problem some have seen with Canon's new higher-end 5D Mark II SLR.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Chuck Westfall Canon

Some photographers have been frustrated with Canon's silence on the "black dot" issue that's afflicting its new EOS 5D Mark II camera, but the company plans to speak soon.

"Watch for an official Canon comment on this issue in the very near future," said Canon USA technical adviser Chuck Westfall in a Wednesday response to a question posted on his monthly question-and-answer column at The Digital Journalist.

The black spots appear to the right of very bright spots in some occasions, and many are wondering whether the issue is an unavoidable consequence of the sensor or something that can be altered with the camera's more mutable firmware.

Judging by Canon's earlier statements about issues such as the EOS-1D Mark III autofocus saga, though, it wouldn't be wise to count on a terribly revealing statement. This could well be at the stage of just acknowledging the issue still.

Canon 5D Mark II 'black dots' problem.
These magnified close-ups that Stephan Hoerold took with his Canon 5D Mark II show lights on a building at night. The dark spots appear to the right of the very bright areas. The three shots show images taken at ISO 100, ISO 200, and ISO 3,200. Photo used with permission. Stephan Hoerold