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Old December 7th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #1
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Still getting duplicated frames on 5D mk II

When I first got my 5D mk II, I noticed the footage would suddenly jump. When I put it in an NLE, I could see I was getting a series of 3 repeated frames in the timeline.

When firmware version 2.0.4 came out, it seemed my problem went away, at least for a while. Then it came back! I thought it may have something to do with the Transcend 300x 16GB cards I was using, as I noticed that whenever I formatted them, the camera would pause very briefly (barely noticeable on the progress bar) during the formatting.

I bought 2 new SanDisk Extreme 60Mbs cards and tried them today. I formatted them in the camera, and saw no pause during formatting. I shot a couple of minutes of test footage, and guess what? With firmware 2.0.8, and new (faster) CF cards, the first clip I shot had one set of 3 duplicate frames, making the footage appear to jump!

I have to say that this is pretty disappointing. Do you think it can be something to do with the lens? It happened today on my 17-40L. I'll see if I can replicate it on my 70-200L IS.

I'm open to any comments/suggestions you may have.
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Old December 7th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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Urgh. I just tried it with my 70-200L, and at 1 min 35 seconds, I saw the image pause on the camera's LCD screen. I reviewed the footage, and sure enough, it had duplicated frames. It's now happening every time I shoot a clip!!
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #3
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Is the camera still under warranty?

What mode are you shooting in, i.e. is it Manual (M) or some other mode?

Is there any pattern to when the problem happens? E.g. during a pan, during aperture change, etc.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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I've been trying to find a pattern for this problem today, but except for one instance, I've been unable to replicate it! Really frustrating!

When I tested it last night, I had a Sennheiser G2 wireless receiver hooked up to the 5D mk II. It was connected via a Bogen hot-shoe mount. I tried it this morning without the receiver, with the receiver connected to the hot-shoe mount but turned off, and with it all connected as it was last night. Nothing.

I tried it last night shooting both 24P and 30P. At 24P, it consistently duplicated frames at about 1 min 30 secs. At 30P, it was consistent at about the 2 min mark. At 24P, the file size was about 512 MB. At 30P, about 1GB. I thought it may be a file size issue, but today, no problem!

Last night, since it was dark, I used a very high ISO, 6400, or even the HI selection. Using the HI selection was the only way I could replicate the problem today... but only once.

The camera is not under warranty, but I do live a short drive from the Canon Irvine repair facility. I wanted to be able to go there with a CF card full of duplicated frame shots, but now I don't have many! I know what the repair techs will do... shoot video once or twice, play it back, and see no problems, and return it too me with a bill for no problems solved... so I wanted a consistent problem. No such "luck" today.

Oh, everything was manual mode -- manual focus, manual ISO, manual Shutter, manual aperture. It was on AWB though.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #5
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This could be the little trick we all learned about 2 years ago. Just saying to double check it.

Despite having the camera in manual, the camera remains in an automode if you don't have the Live View func. set correct. Sometimes, changing the firmware will cause it to change.

Open Menu, go to the wrench with ":", then scroll down to Live View/Movie func. Press the "set" button in the center of the wheel. Select LV Func. setting. Make sure the seetting is "Stills+Movie". Then select Movie Display. If you have it on Exposure Simulation or Stills, it will cause it to act in auto mode.

If this is not set up this way, your camera will still be in semi auto mode, and changes in the aperature or shutter speed selected by camera will cause the frame issues.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #6
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Thanks Chris,

Unfortunately, that's not the problem, as the camera was, is, and always has been set up that way.

I really wish it would always repeat frames, so I could get Canon to repair it. As it is now, any and all footage I shoot with my 5D mk II stands a good chance of being useless due to random repeated frames.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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If it's under warranty, I don't see why you couldn't just get it repaired or replaced. Just your experience and perhaps a couple of sample clips should do the trick.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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Erik,

I agree, if was under warranty, that's what I would do, but like I said above, it's not under warranty. It's two years old. It's been doing this since the day I got it, but in the early days, this issue seemed to be pretty much the norm for many 5D mk II owners. It haven't heard many complaints about it recently.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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...Oh, I should add, that I also tried the trick of formatting the CF card in a computer (doing a full format, not a quick format), and then reformatting it in the camera. I still had the problem with duplicated frames.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #10
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Hi Julian,

If you will take the camera out of AWB and set everything manually it shouldn't do this. My 5D will do similar things when shot in TV or AV mode. At this point I believe that having anything set to auto mode will cause this behavior. Try everything in manual mode and see if that stops the problem.


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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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Hey Julian -

Had the same exact problem you are currently experiencing....which is most unfortunate. There are others that have encountered what you are going thru; don't know what they ended up doing, but for me this is what I did.

I sent it back to Canon because it was still under warranty. They inspected it and suggested the following:

- Don't pan the camera too fast
- Try avoiding changing lighting conditions if using any of the Auto modes
- Utilize the fastest CF card you can (they told me the minimum speed, but I forgot what that was)

It never was resolved. So unfortunately, I had to sell it because it was not reliable enough for me.

Well after all.... it's not a video camera; it's a stills camera...that has the ability to shoot great video...but with caveats such as this.

Funny thing though, I took the exact same CF card that I used for my 5D2 footage and popped it in a 7D to see if the 7D would do this. It didn't. And I used all combination's of the various modes and frame rates available in the 7D and I never got a skipped frame. Nice...but strange.

Maybe I'll get the 7D .... or maybe just wait for the third generation of the 5D.

I hope you have better luck in finding out what the problem is that is causing this. If you do find a logical explanation, please do share with us!!
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #12
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Wayne: I'll try what you said. Today, I was able to get it to duplicate frames twice, both within 30 seconds of pressing the record button (ISO 4000, manual everything except white balance). I'll try manual white balance next.

Andrew: That's a sad tale! As I said in my first posting, I bought 2 new SanDisk 60Mb/s cards just to see if it was a CF card issue. 60Mb/s should be ample fast enough for this camera. The problem seems independent of the CF cards (note: I'm not seeing any buffering whatsoever).

Right now, I'm just compiling video containing duplicated frames, so I can give it to Canon when I take it in for repair.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #13
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Hi Julian. It isn't a card issue. I have two SanDisk Extreme lll 8 gig 30MB/s cards that have never once acted up and one SanDisk 8 gig 60 MB/s card that has worked perfectly also, as long as the camera is completely in manual mode. The two 30 MB/s cards have a ton of time on them. The kicker here is that we do aerial video with our 5D from R/C helicopters and the video has A LOT of movement in it. Check out this clip: HeliCam Aerial Media Services - Aerial HD Video This is a software issue that for some reason Canon has not addressed or does not care to fix. But, in total manual mode I have never, knock on wood, had any type of issues like this.

I look forward to hearing that you problem is solved once you choose a manual white balance setting.


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Old December 10th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #14
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Wayne: I agree... it's not a card issue. I've used all kinds of cards, fast and slow(er), from several different manufacturers. It's definitely a camera problem. Right now, I'm just compiling a bunch of clips which contain the problem, and I'll supply them on a CF card when I drop the camera off at Canon Irvine this coming Wednesday.

Oh, and it occured with a manual WB also.A

I'll keep everyone up to date.

Last edited by Julian Frost; December 10th, 2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Added WB info.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:59 AM   #15
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Update

While at the Canon booth at CES, I spoke with a Canon Service Center technician, who told me the duplicating frames definitely sounded like a camera problem, since I'd tried several high-speed CF cards, from different manufacturers, different Canon lenses, different batteries, and all manual settings on the camera. He told me to bring it in to the service center, saying it's usually a problem with the sensor (usually?).

I took my 5D mk II in to the Canon Service Center, Irvine on Tuesday, along with a 16GB SanDisk 60Bps CF card containing footage with duplicated frames, and picked it up today. I was surprised at how quick the repair was. The notes on the receipt said the "printed circuit board" was "not operating properly", and was replaced. The electronics were tested, the sensor and camera cleaned, and returned to me.

I took the camera into the parking lot outside the service center, shot a single 1 minute 45 second clip, and had the exact same problem!

I immediately took it back inside, and showed the representative at the counter the footage I'd just shot. He went back inside and spoke with the technician who worked on my camera. He came back out to me and said the technician said "This is normal operation for a CMOS sensor", and that it will happen any time the camera is moved!!

I tried to be polite when I pointed out that this statement is total BS! After all, we've all seen Reverie by Vincent Laforet, beautiful footage by Bruce Dorn, the "House" finale, shot on a 5D mk II, and Phil Bloom's excellent work. Nowhere do we hear the cries of, "You have to lock the camera down on sticks to avoid that pesky duplicating frames issue!" I also haven't heard the hundreds (thousands?) of 5D mk II owners on this forum complaining about it. A few have... maybe 10 or so... but not many. So if it was the "normal operation" of this camera, you'd ALL be seeing it. And since it also happens when my camera *is* locked down on sticks, the technician's statement is definitely BS. The technician obviously didn't understand the difference between "judder" caused by rapid panning, and duplicated frames.

Anyway, I gave it back to Canon for further repair. They asked me to provide screen shots of the duplicated frames in my NLE (Premier Pro). I did this, so they could see the background moving in 2 successive frames, followed by 3 identical frames, followed by background movement again that looks "unnatural" (IE. it skipped). I did this for 2 of the 3 clips on the CF card.

I'm waiting to hear from the Canon technician who worked on my camera, *why* he replaced the printed circuit board. My camera was operating perfectly, except for the duplicate frames problem, which was not resolved by this "malfunctioning" circuit board... so what was wrong with it? My guess is, he just replaced it as a guess. There was probably nothing wrong with it at all.

I look forward to getting my camera back, in perfect working condition. It hasn't worked properly since day one, but I've put up with it, because I believed this problem would be fixed in a firmware update. I didn't realize it was just MY camera that was faulty. If Canon can't fix it, I'll demand my repair fee back and I'll have to sell the camera as is. I don't want Canon replacing it with a refurbished copy... having been in the service center today and witnessed 2 customers come in (in addition to me!) saying the repair did not fix their problem, I don't want to get a refurbished unit and inherit someone else's lemon.
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