Canon Announces T6 Sensor Recall

Published May 9, 2015

I want to give credit to Canon for so quickly handling the problem we first reported with some T6 sensors. We announced the problem on April 30th, and within 10 days Canon had determined which cameras were affected (those with Serial Numbers beginning with “01 or “02”) and issued a product alert.

Let me add that most cameras in the affected SN range do NOT have the problem. Some cameras have a mark in the battery door that identifies them as not possibly affected.

Credit for image, Canon, USA. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer?pageKeyCode=prdAdvDetail&docId=0901e02480f0bcb2


Even if your camera does NOT have this mark, it still probably isn’t affected. If you lock up the mirror for sensor cleaning you can look and see if you have one of ‘those’ sensors. If you aren’t sure, Canon will check for you at no cost and correct the problem without charge, although it will take them a bit of time to get a solution ramped up.

Some Information and Speculation

The following is NOT information directly from Canon, but I think it’s quite reliable. Several knowledgable people have told me the issue arises from the coating (more properly sputtering) process on one of the pieces of glass making up the sensor stack. If you want more detail on it, Dave Etchells at Imaging Resource has as a complete discussion of it.

The takeaway message is the sensor issue is not going to occur to a normal sensor over time. If you camera is fine now, it will be fine in several years. The problem probably occurred at a supplier to Canon and the QA process just missed it.

And Some Proper Credit

I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the speed with which Canon has addressed the issue. We’ve seen problems like this ignored for months, or denied until the next version of the camera is released. Mistakes in manufacturing complex devices are inevitable. How the manufacturer handles them is the variable.

If, like me, you’d like to see more manufacturers take positive action, and fewer blow smoke up our rears for months or years, the please join me in supporting Canon for doing exactly what we would hoped they would do.


Roger Cicala


May, 2015

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 Other
  • Randy

    A little less dynamic range and a little more customer service seems like a good trade to me. I’m not crazy about Canon bodies but their service and support has been great.

  • Tony Smyth

    Great to see them communicating about the issue so quickly after it was published on the web. I hope this is a sign for things to come from them as far as addressing issues goes – their handling of 1DX oil splatter wasn’t really any better than Nikon’s handling of the D600 except that Canon didn’t release a 1DXn….

    That they’ve picked it up already is good but it would have been even better if they released advice at the time they found the problem along the lines of “we’ve found a QC problem in our sensor line on the T6i and are working to isolate which units are affected. Please stay tuned for updates” rather than waiting for the issue to turn up on blogs

  • Carl

    Yes I say bravo to Canon! It’s a terrible shame other manufacturers are not quite so quick to address defect or manufacturing process issues. Canon are without peer in this regard, in the digital camera world.

    I also want to agree with Matt Johnson, above. Besides Canon, Lensrentals really do appear to have achieved the highest status amongst camera equipment rental companies…and even amongst equipment testing establishments.

    Hooray for Roger and his team! Keep it coming…:-)

  • Brad Griswold

    It’s a good sign… but I still have a beef with Canon on infrared light leaks from their focus position sensors inside many of their lenses – A problem they refuse to address.
    (If you’re curious what I’m talking about, try a star field exposure on a full frame camera using the 24-105mm – 1600-3200iso, 30 second exposure aught to do it)

  • Roger Cicala

    Kevin, thank you – I think that got spell corrected to splattering without my noticing.

    I think you’re right that Canon was already working on it. The fact that they have been marking certain cameras already probably means they were aware.

  • Wholeheartedly agree with the praise of how they’ve handled the issue. In contrast to Nikon’s last three or four ‘issues’, this is a breath of fresh air. As Roger correctly stated, there are bound to be minor issues when producing complex devices such a as a modern DSLR. Nikon have illustrated how not to deal with these problems. Can’t say enough about Lenrentals. It has evolved to become the gold standard by which other businesses of its kind are judged. Kudos to you, Roger. And the rest of your team. Great bunch of people to deal with.

  • “splattering”? I think that’s a typo (or autocorrect) for sputtering.

    I guess this also shows that a visual inspection of the sensor doesn’t happen during assembly. For those baying for QA’s blood I’d point out that you don’t test quality into a product (i.e. you don’t do inspections to weed out defective products) you QA the production process to make sure you don’t ship defective products (i.e. you fix the process to make sure there aren’t any defective products).

    Sometimes you get caught out though I’m a bit surprised that someone at Canon didn’t stumble upon this. Perhaps they did and have been trying to get defective product out of the channel and set up the process to fix a lot of cameras (around the world): the limit will be on getting a lot of sensor boards/assemblies out to repair locations to deal with the returned product.

    As far as I can tell the return process is currently TBA but clearly it is going to be announced when they get it sorted.

    Unlike Nikon’s recent defects (oil on sensor in the D600; vignetting in D750; the VR issue in the 300mm PF lens) Canon seem to have got out front on this one: acknowledge the problem first; then work out how to fix it in bulk; then announce the return process for customers

Follow on Feedly