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5D shutter replacement - Worth It?

Andrea Lonas , Apr 14, 2010; 06:56 p.m.

I have *loved* my 5D. But the last few shoots I did, the shutter would freeze up and the image wouldn't record. I would turn the camera off then turn it on again and could proceed, until it happened again.... at random intervals. I presumed since my 5D was three years old and had over 100,000 actuations on it, I would just need the shutter replaced. I took it into a local shop, they estimated it would be @ $300, but since they couldn't reproduce the problem, they sent it off to Canon. Canon gave an original estimate of $220 to "check all functions and repair to good working order". They have since sent another, final estimate of $640 to "replace the shutter + mirror box". Considering the camera's value is @ $900 by now, I almost fell out of my chair. I called Canon but they wouldn't discuss the issue with me due to their contract with the store that sent it in on my behalf. I called the store and they indicated it was an "it is what it is" type of situation. Needless to say, I'm having them send the camera back.
Wondering if others have had this problem and/or familiar with the going rate? This was my first DSLR and I can't believe that at 3 years old, it's already obsolete?! I'm trying to decide if I should take it somewhere else to have it fixed or just buck up camper and buy a new camera. Ugh.
A bit frustrated and disillusioned with Canon. Insights would be appreciated.
Thanks, Andrea


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Jackie Baisa , Apr 14, 2010; 07:12 p.m.

Actually, your 5D is worth more than that, probably. I've never seen well-used ones for less than $1,200, unfortunately. :-) But yes, I recently had almost the same issue with mine and I paid $900 when all was said and done. NOT happy about it, but I am not surprised. Maintenance on cameras has never been cheap, unfortunately. Your 5D sounds like it is old and starting to give out. It's like needing to overhaul a car engine; it would be expensive to do so, and yet it is either that, or buy a new one. Never a fun position to be in. I opted for repairing mine. It's still a lot less than a new one, and the new parts will make it seem new. (It really works like a charm now.) Good luck!

Juergen Sattleru , Apr 14, 2010; 07:16 p.m.

Don't send the camera to the store - send it directly to Canon - they will give you an estimate for the repair, which will be significantly less than the store quote you got! You have nothing to lose, other than one way shipping.

Tudor ApMadoc , Apr 14, 2010; 08:18 p.m.

Well, the real question is not how much is your camera worth today. Buying a used camera on Ebay only gets you a camera with some # less actuations on it. So, six months from now you could end up in the same boat.


  1. Buy a new 5D Mark II - $2500 - + the $220 you've paid to Canon already.
  2. Replace the shutter - $640 - bring the camera to 'like new' condition
  3. Buy a used 5D on Ebay - $1000 - $1200 (plus the $220 you've paid to Canon) - and then wonder how the former owner really treated the camera

My humble suggestion - first choice - buy a 5D Mark II, but if money is tight, replace the shutter.

Thomas Sullivan , Apr 14, 2010; 09:22 p.m.

where do you get $640 for a new shutter....last I heard it was around $400 at Canon. And check into that mirror box thing.....don't know if it is related, but Canon had a mirror recall on the 5D and replace it for nothing

regardless, a used 5D is around $1400, and $400 for a new shutter is well worth it. If the mirror box is definitely not free...........you're getting close to it's not worth it. But what's your choice....a 5Dmk2 at $2500.

Karl Lehmann , Apr 14, 2010; 09:23 p.m.

Or fix it for $640, sell it on eBay for $1200 and put the surplus toward a new 5DMKII.
If you are eligible for CPS you should definitely join before getting your 5D repaired. Even at the lowest (free) level it will save you 20% and you'll get faster service too.

G Dan Mitchell , Apr 14, 2010; 10:10 p.m.

$640 seems quite high for a shutter. My shutter went out on a 5D and it might have cost about half that much.


Puppy Face , Apr 15, 2010; 02:38 a.m.

The shutter replacement is typically $200-300. However high shutter mileage means the supporting hardware is worn and thus the mirror box needs to be replaced as well, hence the $640 estimate. With 100,000+ shutter cycles on a prosumer camera I bet Canon automatically replaces the works, not merely the shutter. Sounds like a great excuse to buy a 5DII. You got your money's worth out of that old 5D. Let it rest in peace.

And check into that mirror box thing.....don't know if it is related, but Canon had a mirror recall on the 5D and replace it for nothing

The recall is on the reflex mirror, not the mirror box assembly!

I sold a mint low mileage 5D at the end of last summer for $1350. I see a lot going for $1000 nowadays.

Bueh B. , Apr 15, 2010; 08:06 a.m.

Here in Germany I had a similar discussion with the head at my local Canon repair service. I was talking about my old EOS 5D with 86,000 actuations and the possible costs of shutter or camera replacement. He told me that the parts (the shutter or whatever is replaced) would be only around €40 (which you apparently can buy for yourself from Canon), but the main costs were for the hours a certified technician would work doing this replacement. His overall estimate was around €300-400, at least that's what he said.

Stuart Moxham - Finland , Apr 15, 2010; 11:43 a.m.

Well it is still cheaper than the film you would have used. 2500 rolls of film at even 2$ per roll would have been 5000$ plus a worn out film body. Film usually costs more than 2$ per roll so the cost is not so bad if you look at it that way.

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