Canon 5D Mark II black dots firmware hands-on : problem fixed

While attending CES 2009 at one of the Unveiled Pre-Show event, I had a small chat with Canon's tech guru Chuck Westfall regarding the 5D Mark II black dot issues. He remained mum about the problem and technicality, and said to wait a month for the fixes. To my surprise, I returned to hotel just to find out Canon has released the new firmware version 1.0.7 to mitigate the strange spots phenomenon. Afraid of a brick, I decided to stay put on the update until the show is finished.

Now that the coast is clear; I took a series of images at different ISO settings, before and after the update, and happy to report that the new firmware has remedied the black dots glitch. The picture above illustrated shots taken with 16-35mm at widest end (ISO 1600, F2.8, 1/15s), captured in Raw format then post-processed with Adobe Raw editor ver 5.2. The clustering dots are gone! That included all the shots taken in different ISO setting (iso100-3200, one stop increment)

According to Canon, for those who are using Canon's DPP and Picture Style Editor software should update to new versions of those apps as well. Otherwise, images taken with new firmware in sRAW1 or sRAW2 setting will exhibit magenta color artifact in dark and low contrast areas.

Firmware Version 1.0.7

It improves and mitigates the following image quality phenomena.

1. "Black dot" phenomenon (the right side of point light sources becomes black)

When shooting night scenes, the right side of point light sources (such as lights from building windows) may become black. The phenomenon may become visible if the images are enlarged to 100% or greater on a monitor or if extremely large prints of the images are made. This firmware improves and mitigates this phenomenon.

2. Vertical banding noise

If the recording format is set to sRAW1, vertical banding noise may become visible depending on the camera settings, subject, and background. The firmware improves and mitigates this phenomenon.