Teardowns and Disassembly

The Fix is In

Published May 2, 2012

We got our first “new” Canon 5D Mk III cameras today, the ones with the light leak fixed. You know me, I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to take one apart and see what was different. I had photos from the ‘prefixed’ 5D IIIs from a previous post, so comparison would be easy.

Let me say it here first: I knew this was going to be the fix since the first time I took one apart: Canon has this very cool black tape they used to cover circuit boards (I’m assuming either water resistance or electrical shielding or both) and I figured they’d just slap another piece over (or under, depending on your point of view) the top LCD light. Which is exactly what they did. Yes, I’m making fun, but it’s a perfectly good solution and it works flawlessly.

Top assembly from original shipment of 5DIII
Top assembly from new shipment 5D III

And because I know you have enquiring minds: I did power the camera up with the shell off in a dark room. There is no more leak.

Addendum: for those who notice there is a black plastic piece over the shutter button that was removed in the first photo, but not this one.

Read This Please!!!

Sometimes I forget that other people don’t spend most of their days looking in cameras and lenses. Some people seem to think tape is bad or cheap fix. It’s not. Actually, I can’t think of any SLR camera that doesn’t have a bunch of tape inside. Nor can I remember any high quality zoom lens that doesn’t have tape inside (some of the cheaper consumer grade lenses don’t). This stuff lasts for the life of the camera and then some. Trust me, I’ve taken some water soaked equipment apart where the only thing still working was the tape.

In a previous post, I praised the broad sheets of the same tape used to cover all of the circuit boards: it obviously provides added protection. This solution seems silly, but it’s logical and effective.

Roger Cicala

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in Teardowns and Disassembly
  • Jesse

    Roger and marc,

    It seems that “3” has the black electric tape as *fix*.
    How about “0”? Does it have thicker top LCD edges?


  • Nothing less than amazing.

    I say – learn your camera’s behavior and flow with it.
    If you light up your LCD at night, compensate the exposure
    instead of having Canon open it up and put tape in it. Yuck.


  • @Roy Teo: If you look more carefully, you’ll see the pictures are at different angles and the black tape covers up that extra unit in the middle (laps over the edge) and its ribbon cable.

  • Eric

    Why do the two tops look so different. The stampings look like they are in different places and some of the internal components look different. Perhaps it’s more than just tape.

  • Bong Villanueva

    Does it attract dust at certain point?

  • Jimmy L.

    Then we’ll all laugh when we’ll learn that the tape causes the circuit board to overheat? #joking 😉

  • twistypurple

    …so the fix isn’t…to just turn the LCD off?
    Or can’t you do that?

    @Roy Teo note the tilt in the 2nd shot, probably obscures the “chipsety” thing that is clearly visible in the top one

  • Jeff F

    Hey Ranger 9 – A: It’s not gaffer tape, it’s a electronics grade insulating anti-static tape used throught the Canon product line (same as other brands); and B: It’s blocking light from a tiny LCD, not a radioactive fireball. Perspective, dude. I’ve got to believe you’ve got a few gaffer tape fixes in YOUR world.

  • Roger Cicala

    Jesse, ours were all “3”, but the folks at borrowlenses got some today with “0”

  • Roger Cicala

    These were all the thicker kind Wesley. Not sure if that’s a change or just different supplies.

  • marc

    we got some shipments of fixed cameras and the sixt number is “0”

  • Wesley

    Great, naked goodness 🙂
    Did you noticed any difference between the strength of the LCD cover?
    I came along some posts on the interweb that mentioned less flex(and in the 2nd gen not able to push to black-out the lcd) in the new lcd cover and a thicker edge.

  • Johan Warfvinge

    How much did Nikon pay???

  • Jesse

    Can I know the 6th digit of the serial number of the 5D3 body that you dismantled?

  • Pritzl

    @Roy Teo, it’s all a matter of perspective, pun intended… 🙂

  • So the official Canon factory fix, basically, is to stick some gaffer tape over the circuit board?

  • Love this kind of article. Thanks! Since you got them opened already, why not do an ifixit like full teardown. I’m sure it would be a hit or get lots of hits.. Component suppliers would be hard to get at first but it sure is not a priorty. Future teardowns would include lenses 🙂

  • I’m in the same boat; I’m going to leave well enough alone because I don’t want my camera disassembled just to fix this problem (that’s just asking for more problems). If I do need to do auto metering in dark environments, I’ll just not use the LCD light. Simple.

  • Diego Eidelman

    Do you know what is the sixth digit number for the bodies with the light leak fixed?
    It seems cameras with “xxxxx1xxxxxx”?or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” were the affected.


  • Wow thanks for reporting on this. Now in my review of the 5D3 I don’t have to address that issue since it is not fixed.

  • Roger Cicala

    Phil, you have to peel all the grips, but they stick back nicely on a new camera. Not always the case with older bodies.

  • Hi,

    This whole thing is a big…. so what! The camera works just fine without the tape! LOL!

    Keep up the good work LensRental!

  • Mike

    Even if it didn’t have any effect I’d have mine fixed for the sake of resale value…

  • Roy Teo

    There’s some changes from the old and new 5D3 isn’t there? Based on the photo above..the old one had a black “chipset” looking thing in the middle and the casing even had a slot to hold it but in the new photo, that black chipset in the middle is completely gone and the mount for it is also not in the casing..what’s that for?

  • Abe

    Exactly Roger. Who used autometering when doing long exposure night photography anyway? It is all manual exposure and the light meter never is useful for this kind of thing. I have a “leaking” 5DM3 and am not going to send it in. I do not see how this will ever affect my photos.

  • As a wedding photographer, the light leak make no difference to me. I’m not planning to send mine in.

  • thanks Roger.

  • Hi Roger, nice finding! I have a question about removing the top assembly. Do you need to peel away any part of the rubber grip? I figure that there could be some screws hidden behind. Once you peel it, does it stick back well enough after the re-assembly such that it does not lift at the edges? I’m asking this to know the pros and cons of sending my brand new 5D Mark3 it to Canon for this fix.

  • Roger Cicala


    I wouldn’t bother, but I don’t do long exposure night photography with autometering. It wouldn’t make the slightest difference to me.


  • Dave P

    Hi Roger –

    The million dollar question:

    If YOU owned a “leaking” 5D3 would you send it in and have it played with or would you leave well enough alone?

    The only downside I see is the potential for the camera to return with other problems.


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