Canon 5D MKII Black Dots (Updated with Free Solution)
Canon can't seem to get a break these days with their pro oriented camera releases. First, we had the 1D MKIII focus affair, and now the video mode limitations and the "Black Dots" on the 5D MKII.
Let me say up front that this whole "Black Dots" issue looks to be pretty innocuous. My guess is that a firmware update will probably be able to address this issue in the near future. Apparently, Chuck Westfall is going to have something to say about it
soon. It is also apparent that this issue will not affect very many people. However, I would be remiss in reviewing the camera to ignore the issue altogether, so here goes.
For those of you who haven't heard about the latest problem making the rounds on the camera tech forums, here is the gist of the problem.
Black dots (of seemingly no data) seem to be appearing next to very bright objects in images with various lighting conditions. The problem also seems to present itself more visibly at higher ISO settings. The easiest way to see the problem at this time of year is to point the 5D MKII at Christmas Tree lights, or a very dark building at night. But, just like the focus issue, many people are not seeing the issue at all. It remains to be seen whether it affects all Canon bodies.
Here is one of the worst examples I have seen. Click to see full image. So, the question becomes, can I see it in any of the images I have taken without looking for the problem?
Yes. I found this effect in a number of images and movies taken with the camera.
Here is one example jpeg straight out of the camera. Click twice to view the full size image and look at the center tree lit with lights. To a lesser extent you can also see the effect around some of the brightly lit parking deck lights in the background of the image. Is it the new sensor or some other hardware issue?
Who knows. There is lots of speculation flying around at the moment. Will New Firmware Fix this Issue?
Again, no idea. But, I think that odds are good they can at least mask the problem.
If the folks over at Qimage can do it
, I don't see why Canon won't be able to address it from the software side of things. Of course, some inevitably won't be happy with this sort of interpolation solution. They will claim some sort of cover up of a faulty sensor, or some other scenario. Mountain out of a ...
Again, my feeling is that this issue is being way overblown. Yes, Canon should look at it and provide a fix, if possible. But, this is a teeny tiny issue relative to the shortcomings of the video mode
I certainly don't think I would go as far as Ken Rockwell has
in belittling the issue. But, we all know that any new camera will naturally have a few small quirks that need to be addressed. I do feel this is one of those issues, it would not prevent me from purchasing the camera. But, I do think our readers should be aware of it prior to purchasing.
Discuss this article here... Update:
Free Software Action One of our members, Noel Carboni, has created a free photoshop action that all but eliminates the Black Dot problem of the Canon 5D MKII discussed in this article and in this thread. Drew Here's a ProPhotoHome exclusive!!! As a special holiday gift from me to ProPhotoHome members, you can download your very own free copy of this action from my web site:
ProDigital Software Photoshop Actions
Please let me know if you find these actions useful!