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Dead Pixel + Camera Advice


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Hello, Brian!

I recently took 100  headshots and have found, I think, a dead pixel smack in the middle of my frame (or at least pretty close to the middle). Looking back to even photos in December, I see it in those images also. For the recent headshots I did, the pixel falls on almost all of the photos between nose and chin so it was pretty hard to miss.

I've done some reading about dead, stuck and hot pixels, and I think this would be dead?

I can edit out the dot, that's easy (and tedious 100+ times). What I haven't found much information on is what to do about the camera. It's a 5D Mark iii and 10 years old. I can send it to Canon for repair, and maybe the choices are mapping it so data is used from surrounding pixels? Or sensor replacement? I think the cost of the mapping repair is less than $200, the sensor replacement I have no idea.

I wasn't in the market for a new camera, but I do wonder how much is too much to repair this camera.

Is indeed what I am seeing (on the chin in the attached crop) a dead pixel? Brian or others, have you dealt with this and have thoughts or advice?

Thank you!


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Yep, looks like a dead pixel. You will need to send it to Canon for repair. Often they will just remap the bad pixel to one that is close by, otherwise you are replacing the sensor. 

Or buying a newer camera. 

Cost? I’d say a few hundred for shipping & labor. Honestly? You might be better served by getting a used 5DM3 body that’s in good shape. 10 years or so is a very good run technology-wise. If I was in your shoes, I’d be looking at a 5D Mark IV. Or jump to Mirrorless, but that’s going to be really expensive.

Why so much to jump to Mirrorless? Because I don’t care how the manufacturers spin things or what a YouTube personality says, to get the most out of your Mirrorless Body, you need the Mirrorless Lenses to go with it. I don’t care that “there is an adapter.” Yep. There is. But you will end up buying a new set of lenses in the long run. 

Used 5DM3 or 5DM4 in good shape is what you should be after. 

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Thanks, Brian! If I zoom in, it actually looks like about 12 dead pixels (3x4 grid). And looking at images from last summer, about 9 (3x3 grid). If they remap, will the dead pixels eventually grow? Trying to weigh time it takes to fix and image v. repair v. new gear! 

Do you think shutter actuations is any kind of indicator to camera life? Know anything about http://www.freeshuttercount.com/? Or other tools that give this information?

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Shutter count is a shutter count. Dead Pixels are just that, Dead Pixels. Yes, they can grow.  

Don’t bother fixing a 10 year old camera. But that’s your choice. Either send it to Canon or ditch it. 

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