Canon EOS M5 Repair

I should have taken a photo.

Of course, I would have taken said photo with the camera that was damaged. That's because my other two cameras at the time were Nikon D500's with long telephoto lenses. And I don't use my iPhone on long trips where there's no cell service (let alone Internet service).

Of course, I could have taken a photo when I got home with one of my other cameras or a macro lens on my Nikons. But I'd already partially repaired the camera and was in a hurry to get things off to where they needed to be so I could catch up on a month's worth of being off the Internet.

Here's the story:

I took my Canon EOS M5 with me for a month in the middle of nowhere in Botswana in July as my wide angle to normal photographic option. About halfway through the trip, the camera got jammed against something in the vehicle and the viewfinder eyepiece drooped off the back of the camera. This is a vulnerable point on the M5 design: the eyepiece sticks out behind the camera a significant ways, and in looking at the design after the fact, there's a clear joint that can fail if you put too much pressure against the back of the eyepiece.

At first I thought the camera was going to be unusable. But in my tent that night I took a close look, pulled out my tool set, and did a little improvised repair. I was able to get the eyepiece back aligned with the inner EVF and the joint basically back together (with some duct tape). But the automatic eye detection no longer worked. For that I simply programmed one of the function buttons to do the display transfer manually.

And voila, the camera worked for the rest of the trip.

Obviously, I sent the camera off to Canon for repair when I got back. I had no expectations of what they might do or charge.

Well, here's the result: CanonUSA decided to replace the camera entirely, and for US$292 (plus shipping). For those that want the details, it took one day for them to create the estimate, another two days to ship the replacement after I okayed the cost.

I consider that result fair, and quick.

Oh, and here's a strange thing: Canon really sent a complete boxed item, complete with manual, battery, charger, straps, USB cable, etc. That's despite the fact I sent my unit back with no battery or accessories.

I do have a question into CanonUSA about what happens with the damaged camera. Do they scavenge it for parts, take it back to the factory for refurbishment, or just wrote it off and scrap it? When I get an answer back, I'll let you know. Answer: "We have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. As such, we have a robust program to recycle all possible components from damaged products." A little non-specific, but an answer that points the right direction.


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