Friday, October 21, 2005

Update on Camera damage from Visible Dust cleaning liquid

Back on 31 July I posted an article about the damage caused by the Sensor Clean cleaning liquid sold by Visible Dust to the CMOS sensor on my Canon Digital rebel 300D camera.

Since then I sent the camera to the Canon Canada service centre in Calgary for repair. Canon received the camera on 09 August 2005. On the 29th August Canon left a message indicating that the repair costs would be CAN$216.60, which would cover any damage to the camera and that a technician would examine and repair the camera in the next 10-14 days. I authorised the repair and expected to hear something in the next couple of weeks.

After hearing nothing from Canon I called them on 29 August. Unfortunately, I was unable to speak directly to any of the service representatives. Instead I left my details with the receptionist and she assured me that they would respond by the end of the next day. I also e-mailed Canon customer service but received no response.

On 14 October I phoned Canon and managed to speak to someone in the service department. He was very apologetic about the amount of time they have had my camera and explained that the service department had moved to a new location and a new operating unit within the company. The interesting comment was that the camera had been sent to one of their external contractors for assessment. They had responded that they weren't authorised to repair the sensor. Apparently this was some time ago, but nothing had been done about it since then.

The Canon rep also indicated that there had been a number of cases where camera repairs had slipped through the cracks and had not been addressed in the usual time frame. Like I said, he was very apologetic. He added that he would raise the issue with his manager and that he would get back to me by close of business on Monday (17 Oct).

After hearing nothing on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, I rang Canon late on Wednesday afternoon. But once again all the lines to the service department were busy and I only got to leave a message on voicemail. Canon did not respond to my message.

Today (Friday, 21 Oct) I rang them again and got through to the service department. After saying my name, the service rep recognised who I was and apologised for not getting back to me on Monday. He then typed my details into the system and said that the camera was now with their in-house technician. Who apparently has an enormous backlog of work. But he would try and see if my case could be expedited due to the length of time since they had received the camera. He then committed to letting me know by next Monday how long it would take to repair.

I have to admit that I was expecting a much better response from Canon Canada. In all my dealings with them in the past, they had always been very prompt and responsive. Hopefully this is a temporary glitch and not an indication of more serious problems arising from their reorganisation of the service department.

I will update this post as the repair saga develops...


Blogger Daz said...

October 25

Unfortunately, nothing to report. Canon have not got back to me with an update (as promised) on the repairs to my camera. Will phone them again tomorrow...

2005-10-25, 6:41 p.m.  
Blogger Daz said...

Canon rang me this morning to tell me that the camera has been repaired and that they will ship it out this afternoon!

Apparently, they had to replace the CMOS sensor/IR filter array due to the damage.

They also agreed to provide answers to the list of questions that I asked in the letter sent with the camera. These include questions related to the claims made by Visible Dust in their correspondence about this problem and specfics about the seals on the IR cut filter/CMOS sensor assembly.

I'll update as soon as I hear anything...

2005-10-26, 6:01 p.m.  
Blogger Daz said...

October 30

My camera arrived on Friday and I checked it out yesterday. They replaced the damaged IR cut filter/CMOS assembly and according to the service depatment they also made a number of other small repairs.

The technician further confirmed that the seals around the IR filter/CMOS sensor assembly are not sealed against liquids. But I will have to wait for a written response to my other questions.

However, one thing is very clear, the use of Visible Dust's "Sensor Clean" liquid did cause permanent damage to the camera and this required the replacement of the sensor array.

When I get the written response from Canon I will update the post.

2005-10-30, 2:05 p.m.  
Blogger dunc4n said...

Please excuse me for saying this - but if as a camera user you do not know that something is sealed or not - why subject it to being in contact with any form of liquid? Personally I would check the specs first!

2005-11-11, 9:36 a.m.  
Blogger Daz said...

G'day dunc4n,

That's a good point. If you read through the Visible Dust literature and the exchange I had with Dr Degan from VD (in original post) you will see that they maintain that the cleaner is safe to use.

In fact they claim that Canon Europe refers people to them for cleaning. As only the pro-level DSLRs are actually guaranteed to be environmentally sealed.

I did read many glowing reveiews of their technology on various websites, so was lulled into a false sense of security regarding the use of the Sensor Clean liquid.

That is why I am warning people to think twice before ever using a liquid cleaner on their DSLR cameras. I learnt the lesson the hard way, hopefully others will avoid causing the same damage to their cameras.

2005-11-12, 9:22 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm dying to know.... Did Canon complete all the repairs for the $212ish that they quoted you?

Was the camera in any way under warranty - or would they have charged more if it were a two year old camera?


2006-03-09, 11:15 p.m.  
Blogger Daz said...

The camera was out of warrantee and Canon Canada replaced the CMOS assembly for the $216.60 they quoted me originally.

This is apparently their standard flat-rate for repairs as I had to pay this before they would examine the camera.

So it's a good deal for the replacement of the CMOS sensor assembly (which they did), but may not be such a great deal if you don't have a serious problem and the camera is out of warrantee.

2006-03-10, 10:02 a.m.  
Blogger EOS300 said...

very nice and very informative blog Daz. Just a small suggestion- if you could change CCD to CMOS in your first blog. You mean to say CMOS but have typed CCD instead. Else it's a GREAT JOB Buddy!!

2006-04-14, 3:30 p.m.  
Blogger Winged Power Photography said...

Wow. It's 2007 and I'm in the midst of cleaning a sensor. Used VD's arctic butterfly and have smears, so am ordering EclipseE2+pecpads+wands from another store to clean the smears caused from using the brush.

This blog has been very informative and I'll be sure to be extra careful with the liquid cleaning solution when it arrives.

Btw, kudos to Canon for getting back to you, eventually, with all of the answers, especially the non-sealed response.

Btw, VD's site still has no mention of anything about sensors not being sealed against fluids/etc.

2007-04-20, 12:42 p.m.  
Blogger Thang said...

Thanks Daz for the very informative blog. I am an amateur and want to do some research before cleaning my Nikon D100. I would not dare to touch the VD products and possibly send it to Nikon for service! :-)

Again, thank Daz.

2009-08-03, 2:16 p.m.  

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