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LB Miller Photography

Canon 5D not responding

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Hi Brian, I hear you are the go-to equipment guy. :)  I have an older Canon 5D that simply isn't turning on.  Yes, battery is charged, and when I put the battery in, the little red blinking light appears acknowledging the battery, but without the camera turning on I'm at a loss as to how to further trouble-shoot.  I realize it could be at the end of it's life, however I have a 30D still going strong so I'm reaching out to see what you recommend.  Please know that it's 11:20 p.m. my time (USA) so I am headed to bed now but I will look for a response tomorrow.  Thank you - Laura Miller  

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The Canon 5D Mark I or the "original" 5D was released in 2005. So yeah, I'm sure something internally has failed on the camera's motherboard; specifically, something is wrong with the power supply rails on the motherboard. It could be a bad chip or bad capacitor. Hard to say and Canon will need to take a look at it.  Even if you purchased it in say, 2007, it could have sat in a warehouse for a few years or so. It's now 2020 and I'd say your 5D has had a very good run...and we are talking 15 years technology-wise! Even if it was a 5D Mark II, which was released in 2008, it's still a bit long in the tooth by today's standards. The bottom line is, it's not worth fixing and nothing lasts forever. :(

So now we have established it's time for a new body and since you currently have two Canon bodies, that gives me an idea of what you should shop for. The two things I need to know is:

  1. Budget
  2. Lenses that you currently own.

Also, are you shooting professionally or not? What do you shoot typically? What kind of light are you typically shooting in / times of day?

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Posted (edited)

Well... a moment silence then. :/  I currently have a 6D and a 30D aside from the dead 5D Mk1.  I looooove my 6D - it does everything I need it to and it's small (relatively speaking).  For some reason my 30D keeps plugging away, do you know why it outlasted my 5D Mk1?  Lenses in order of favorites: 50mm 1.4
24-70 2.8 L-series (on my camera most of the time)
70-210 (45-ish y/o old lens that still works great)
100 L-series 2.8 (I have no idea what to do with this lens)
24-85 backup wide-angle zoom.  

Edited to answer your last questions - I am a sahm and homeschooler, I charge for photography but I'm not sure what qualifies as "professional" - I set up a studio in my home when I need it, so I don't rent a studio.  I mostly shoot outdoors, mostly portraiture, I specifically seem to be asked to do graduating seniors and families, and weddings which I haven't done in a couple of years because I tried to quit them.  I like to shoot in the afternoon or late light.  I DO have a flash I forgot to mention - and I use that at receptions or in really poor lighting, but I need (need!) better education with my flash.  Rather than adding to my gear bag, I seem to have whittled it down to some essentials that I know really well.

So I will be doing a wedding on the 4th and I'll have my 6D with the 24-70 (and sometimes the 50), my 2nd shooter (my adult daughter) will have my 30D with her choice of whatever I'm not using and I'm mildly nervous about not having a backup body, so I may see about renting.  I rarely do weddings anymore, but it continues to be a demand and either way, I'll always want equipment that can keep up, so thank you for taking interest. 

Edited by LB Miller Photography

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2 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

I charge for photography but I'm not sure what qualifies as "professional"

Shoot professionally in my book means you are above the skills of a amateur, or enthusiast, charge people money for your services, and produce consistent work over and over again. While ANYONE can produce a photo worthy of a cover of a magazine, or whatever...it's the Professional that can do it again and again. It's the Professional who can shoot in any lighting situation and deliver the final product to the client. No excuses. No "I specialize in 'Natural Light..." Bullshit. That just means you are terrified of learning how to use a flash and what correct modifier to use. Anyway, this will get me ranting and way off topic. Bottom Line, you are shooting Professionally since you are charging people money for your services. At the very minimum, that's what I would call a Professional. 

Anyway...

2 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

24-70 2.8 L-series (on my camera most of the time)

Is this the version I or version II of this lens? How is your copy? Are you one of the few lucky ones that has a sharp version? Because if you do, great. The rest of the folks who used to own this lens can't trust it during a gig like a Wedding. So if you think  it's off by a little bit, it's not you...it's the stupid lens. In fact, I know of a Photography Store in North New Jersey who would make their customers take home the lens for a weekend before buying. Why? 4 out of 5 lenses were complete crap and they got tired of refunds. The newer version, the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L VERSION II Lens fixed all the issues and is a find piece of glass. I just mention this because if you do buy used, don't every buy a used Version I of the Canon 24-70. There is probably a good reason that someone dumped that stupid lens.
 

2 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

I'm mildly nervous about not having a backup body,

I'm a bit more than mildly nervous for you. LOL!! The problems is the 30D is a crop body, and there are limits to what you do, especially during a Wedding Reception, you just can't get wide enough. Trust me, I've been in this situation. Fortunately, you have a 6D. But your backup will be used by your daughter, not the best thing to have, especially if you are trying to have a consistent look to the photographs. It's always better to have the same sensor side with both a Primary and Secondary shooter. Keeps things consistent, which makes Post easier.
 

2 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

100 L-series 2.8 (I have no idea what to do with this lens)

Is this the Macro Lens? Or the Portrait lens? If Macro, Ring Shots and other special details. You will be at f/11 A LOT with the ring shots shooting a Macro Lens. So you will either need a High ISO camera or have a flash handy. Susan Stripling is well known for her Macro Ring Shots and she is always at f/11 or so with a ISO of 4000-6400. This is a drawback to your 5D Mark I, you can't go that high...but technology has greatly improved in 15 years. :D

Portrait Lens version, it's the next step up from the 85mm focal length. Mostly portraits. Head and Shoulders shots, product photography, etc. Senior Portraits would also work. 85mm 1.4 or 1.2 will give you a "Dreamy 3/4 Bride Shot" while 100 or 105mm should give you a nicely compressed portrait that is sharp. Groom and Best Man standing together...100mm will work really well. 

OK. Here is my recommendation for your situation. You seem to be the type of person who uses their gear until it dies. So you will have more of a up-front cost than others who replace their bodies every 2-3 years. Since Weddings are in the mix, you are looking at a Canon 5D Mark IV body. At the very least, a used Canon Mark III body that's rated "EX" (or higher) shape.
 

2 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

I'll always want equipment that can keep up, so thank you for taking interest. 

This is why I'm recommending a 5D Mark IV or Mark III. The Canon 6D, like the Nikon D600/D610 is known as a "Bridge" Camera. It's meant to give you a taste of the features of a higher-end body, while still being affordable to the masses. Unfortunately, your other body was a 5D Mark I, so the 6D seems like a huge upgrade to you. Just wait until you hold a 5D Mark IV or Mark III, there IS a difference. Trust me, my wallet has screamed in pain since I also shoot Weddings. I switched over to a Nikon D4s (from a D700) a few years ago and picking up any other body now feels like I'm holding a toy. Granted, my D850 isn't bad, but there is just something about my D4s, it's like a fighter jet. It just wants to shoot.

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Now that I've recommended a Canon 5D Mark IV, keep in mind you will have to budget for accessories, such as larger cards and batteries too. I do not recommend using a SD card and a CF Card with a Canon 5D Mark III at the same time. It slows writing to the CF card to a crawl. I'm not sure if they have fixed this with the Mark IV, but I'm thinking this rule still applies. The reason is, Canon likes to cut corners to save money. For them to use a certain technology, they have to pay royalties, and the standard SD slot probably doesn't have any and is public domain. The downside is if you use the SD card and CF card together in a 5D Mark III, the CF writing speed cuts down to the slower SD Card's writing speed. So if you are ever in a high-paced situation, please only use a CF card in a Canon 5D Mark III.

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Thank you, that is all great information.  In order:
* When I first started over a decade ago I was terrified I'd be one of those wanna-be's that suck and don't know it, so I can honestly say I think I've proven myself to be above "enthusiast", but I'm not dumb enough to think I don't have anything to learn.  I think it helps that I did photography for awhile back in the "dark room ages" and learned to develop my own film, and then my college major was art.  And I agree with you - since I charge, I had better be a professional. ;)  Bottom line, I feel confident that if you gave me an assignment, I could do it.
* Yes, I do have the version II of the 24-70 lens because I researched it and found the same information you did about the version I copies.  Whew!  That was easy.  :) 
*  I'm looking into renting/borrowing another body to have at this wedding.  I have a couple of possibilities.
* Thank you for the tips on the 100mm!  It is the macro version.  When I got it, I wanted that length in a prime and the macro aspect seemed like a bonus.  I now think I misunderstood it's purpose and it may have been a mistake (yike), but I'll look into Susan's work and stuff others have done with it before I give up.
* I love the 5DmkIII, I will check into that and the IV.  For the record, I never really saw myself as a wedding photographer, or I'd probably already have one... I get the comparison to the 6D.  At the time I was struggling between the 5III and the 7D and then the 6D seemed to appear out of nowhere and it's lower price tag for lots of similar features was a huge draw.  But you're right, the 6D is exactly a "bridge" camera.  
* And you're also right, I tend to make careful purchases that I keep as long as possible. I also waited to purchase until I felt I'd earned my upgrades by proving myself.  I'm very annoyed with kids getting high-end equipment right out of HS and thinking that makes them awesome and starting up photography services with super cheesy names... but speaking of going off-topic on rants. ;)   if I get back into weddings on a large scale I will likely stay more up-to-date with equipment.  If I get a 5III that would make my 6D a great backup body for events, I think?  I do understand the limitations of the crop sensor on the 30D, believe me, so I will be actively searching for a full-sensor backup body for this weekend.
* Thank you again for all of your time and such thorough information! I will be looking for the right category to post a lighting question next, since this wedding will happen in the same building with obnoxious constantly-changing combo of natural and tungsten lighting.

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12 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

When I first started over a decade ago I was terrified I'd be one of those wanna-be's that suck and don't know it, so I can honestly say I think I've proven myself to be above "enthusiast", but I'm not dumb enough to think I don't have anything to learn.  I think it helps that I did photography for awhile back in the "dark room ages" and learned to develop my own film, and then my college major was art.  And I agree with you - since I charge, I had better be a professional. ;)  Bottom line, I feel confident that if you gave me an assignment, I could do it.

Daniel: "Yeah, but you knew karate..."

Mr. Miyagi: "Someone always know more."

-- The Karate Kid (1984)

I also started back in the film days and developing B&W Film. Nothing like D-76 Developer to wake your ass up in the morning. Better than Coffee. LOL! Hell, I've been shooting with a SLR / DSLR since the Spring of 1986 and I'm still learning after all this time!!

12 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

Yes, I do have the version II of the 24-70 lens because I researched it and found the same information you did about the version I copies.  Whew!  That was easy.  :) 

Cool beans!! You are right, that was easy! Phew!!

12 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

I'm looking into renting/borrowing another body to have at this wedding.  I have a couple of possibilities.

If the Wedding is this Saturday, you have run out of time for rentals. Well, maybe if you paid extra for a rush delivery. That said, jumping into a 5D Mark 3 or Mark 4 cold during something like a wedding is going to be tough and I wouldn't recommend it. Just getting multiple bodies synced up together (including the date / time!!!! DO NOT FORGET THIS!!) Maybe you can borrow someone's 6D for a backup. Image-quality you should be fine and you will be used to the focusing system. The 5D3 and 5D4 are a big upgrade in terms of the focusing system and it will probably take a least a full weekend if not a month for the camera to feel like "Home."
 

12 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

When I got it, I wanted that length in a prime and the macro aspect seemed like a bonus.  I now think I misunderstood it's purpose and it may have been a mistake (yike),

Yeah, that's the mistake people make with a Macro lens. Even though it could be used as a Portrait Lens, it has two drawbacks. One, the lens will automatically stop down when you get closer to your subject, so f/2.8 isn't always an option if you want Bokeh and stand too close. Granted, the lens is supposed to do this because you will find that it's easiest to learn using f/8 and the magic usually happens between f/11 - f/16, depending on what you are shooting. Two, it's a Macro Lens. It's meant for manual focusing so the Auto Focus will be slower than say a 24-70 lens. Again, it's supposed to be that way. Also, Macro lenses are extremely sharp by design, which doesn't always flatter a person's skin/face; in fact, a Portrait taken with a Macro lens might be "Too Sharp" or "Sterile" looking. Of course, if that's the look you want, say a cliche B&W photo of a really old guy with crazy hair and deep wrinkles and you want to really enhance those things, then a Macro will probably do the best job. Unfortunately, I think Canon stopped making the Canon - EF 100mm f/2 USM, portrait lens or at the very least, B&H stopped carrying it. Which is too bad, since I recommend that lens over the Canon 85mm 1.8, which is notorious for creating Purple Chromatic Aberration.

12 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

 if I get back into weddings on a large scale I will likely stay more up-to-date with equipment.  If I get a 5III that would make my 6D a great backup body for events, I think? 

Large scale or small scale, don't kid yourself...this shit adds up quickly. A camera body here, a flash there, more memory cards here, a new camera bag to hold everything....

Umm...Yeah. I've spent LOTS of money on this shit. *Sigh*

Even though you have a 45 year old 70-210 lens that works well, it may not perform that well on a new body like a 5DMK4. So keep it in the back of your mind that a 70-200 f/2.8L IS Version III Lens could be in your immediate future. As sensors get upgraded with more megapixels, the older lenses just don't hold up in the Image Quality Dept. Of course, I hope I'm wrong, but the good news is that lens is on sale for $1800.

Yes, keep the 6D as a Backup to the 5DMK3 or 5DMK4. That's what I would do. My D700 is my backup that sits in my bag.

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Understand, Grasshopper?!  ;) 
I took the plunge and ordered from BL the minute I saw your concern about not having better backup, so I got my backup body in the mail JUST now - unbelievably lucky. The 5D3 was not available, and I was concerned about the learning curve of anything different this close to the date, so I got myself another 6D - but that way there is no learning curve.  And I have another body. 
I live in a geographically isolated "big town" or "small city", however you view it, with a really rural attitude. Everyone is low-key... our claim to fame is bite-size steak and people (not me) say, "I seen" :/  ... the venues I have shot at include tents and school gyms among other things - our fire departments don't even have ladder trucks to give you an idea.  This does NOT mean I take a slacker attitude toward my craft (believe me, I'm already full of adrenaline) but it does help you understand the local culture I'm immersed in.  2 hours north in Spokane is the infamous Matt Shumate - I strive to be at that level even if I don't get to shoot at the Davenport. ;)  

THANK YOU for the explanation of the 100... that really helps and I'll be re-reading and searching it out when I have more time. Thank you.

Yes, this shit costs money. Keeping up really costs money.  I can't thank you enough for your help and your friendly dialogue.  

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You were smart by getting a second 6D. Just remember to sync the Date and Time between ALL your bodies. This makes culling a bit easier. Plus, all of your extra batteries and stuff can be used in the rented body, so that's peace of mind. But I'm repeating myself. Sorry. :)

18 hours ago, LB Miller Photography said:

help you understand the local culture I'm immersed in. 

I've been in all sorts of areas as a computer tech for my day job. I have shot Weddings in the same places you have. I get it. Well, never a school gym, (I have, for an event...not a wedding,) but have in a VFW hall with a drop ceiling with a leaky roof and wood paneling. Complete with accordion walls, which suck up light like nobody's business, bowling trophies in a glass cabinet built into the wall from the tournament in 1962, and huge orange water stains in the drop ceiling tiles due to said leaky roof. In reality, those places are tougher to shoot in, but on the flip side, fancy venues aren't always easy either. Bigger budgets sometimes mean bigger headaches, and dealing with bigger egos.

For your situation, I'd still say a 5D MK3 or Mark IV is still in your future. I don't think you can buy a 5D MK3 new anymore, at least online from my small searches, but you could get lucky. In your case, I'd still opt for a 5D Mark 3 and a Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT Flash. That should cost the same as a single 5D Mark IV. Now while it pains me to recommend a $500 flash, having upgraded to a SB-910 and later a SB-5000 (the Nikon equivalent,) I can say yes, there is a difference between them and the models below them. For me, the Jury's still out for something like a Profoto A1/A1X flash and I'm not in the mood to spend $1100 either. 

Let me know how your wedding goes. Since the world has gone insane these days, and I have a Wedding to shoot at the end of the month, I'd like to hear about your experience. Especially with possibly wearing a mask due to COVID fears.

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Oh, before I forget, this is what a Macro can do during a wedding:

Susan Stripling Ring Shots

Lots of those shots are at f/11 using a Macro lens. ISO probably starting around 4000 or so. SS is high enough to prevent shake, I'd start at 1/250th.

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