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Camera lockup. (The Canon Saga)

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

This will be a series of Canon's oddness :)

Has your Canon camera ever frozen for a few seconds?

One thing that bugged me for years was the fact that my previous cameras, the 5D Mark IV and 6D Mark I would sometimes be non-responsive to the shutter button. It only happens for a few seconds, but depending on what you are shooting, those seconds could cost you the winning shot. I do a lot of live concert photography (classical/jazz/pop etc…) and things change all the time, you never know when an artist might surprise the audience or you for that matter with some crazy stunt or a facial expression and imagine yourself stupidly looking through that viewfinder, frantically pressing that shutter button and noticing how life passes by without you capturing it…. Gives me the creeps remembering about it :) This doesn't apply as much to the photographers who travel together with a band, and who already know what to expect, where to be. The wild card percentage in those circumstances is very low. If you shoot still life…no biggy, it ain't goin' anywhere. Anyhow, once in a while this issue would present itself and sometimes I'd get so pissed that after the shoot I would search online for a solution, but surprisingly enough, there was no answer to this problem, but I was not alone in the crusade for knowledge on this matter. But not only the issue was in the photography side of things, but also video, and the way it would present itself would be through randomly stopping the video while you are recording. The freaky part was that it could happen at any time!! Can you imagine that? You press record, leave the camera only to find afterwards that the recording stopped after 4 seconds. 4 bloody seconds!!!! It could happen after minutes or not happen at all. Not very reliable from Canon I'd say. Only some three years ago, in a conversation with another photographer about gear, in some context he mentioned the battery grip. I had the 6D with a generic battery grip, not from Canon. Initially I thought that maybe that was the problem all together, so when I got my 5D, I got the original battery grip from Canon, but that didn't fix the issue, so way back then, I took the battery grip out of the equation, because things should simply work, right? I loved having the grips because of the extended battery life and vertical shooting, it's so comfortable. Anyhow, I finally took the grips off and tested both cameras on video mode and let them run till the end (29:59). Both performed flawlessly with no random shutting off. After years of fighting this, the saga had finally come to an end. The random freeze issue during stills mode has also never presented itself since. When I bought my R, I wasn't even considering of buying another grip. I've had it. But maybe the issue is fixed? Does anyone out there know? Only one good thing has come out of this, besides the fact that everything works, but that should've never been a problem to begin with. The good thing is that I've saved up the space and weight in my camera bag. The 6D and the 5D both are larger cameras than the mirrorless R and therefore the battery grips are quite hefty. My camera bag is usually pretty packed to begin with, so to have the extra room for other things or simply air and less weight on my shoulders, is a blessing. I do feel like this is the time when more battery power would be handy, because cameras are using more juice, therefore we're getting less shooting time. Why is that? Well, I noticed this when I started using my 5D Mark IV after the 6D Mark I. It's a very simple fact that probably everyone, with a cell phone knows: the more your screen is off, the longer the battery life. Cameras are no different. The 6D had a LiveView mode, but since it wasn't a touchscreen, I rarely used it. As soon as I got the 5D, I noticed that I don't get the same shooting time, because I am using more of the back LCD screen. Now we've come to the next step where mirrorless cameras don't even have an OVF (Optical View Finder), which means you are burning through battery power quicker, because no matter which viewing option you use, the cameras EVF (Electronic View Finder) or the back LCD screen, both of those need to be powered as opposed to an OVF, obviously not at the same time. I do miss the OVF at times, because occasionally, when the camera is off, I'd like to put it up to my eye and check the view, but that would mostly be when I'm traveling.

To sum things up, I now have the R5 and am still hesitant of getting a battery grip and this would be for multiple reasons. One is that I've simply gotten used to not having the grip. The second reason is since I'm mostly shooting using the back LCD it's not as awkward to shoot vertically. The third reason is, often I use the Ronin-S gimble to shoot videos and I would definitely take the grip off when I am doing that anyway, because the Ronin is already hefty enough and I don't need extra weight to hold. Now, if you don't have a gimble, then maybe a grip is exactly what you need to get a bit more of that camera weight to get those smooth handheld shots. At the same time, you have to remember that the R5 is more power hungry to the point where you'll notice the difference, so it would actually make sense to have a grip. Ah…go figure :)

That's it for today. Have a good one!

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