Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

Started Mar 27, 2017 | Discussions
microfocus New Member • Posts: 6
Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

I found that the M5 viewfinder will never turn off if something is in the proximity sensor.  I go hiking and carry the camera with the neck strap, if I forget to turn the camera off, the viewfinder will stay on indefinitely, because the viewfinder proximity sensor detects something in proximity (camera is resting in my chest/body) and thinks that it is in use.  This consumes the battery really fast and with out knowing you end up with a dead battery.  This is very annoying, if I'm carrying the camera with the strap, I have to turn on/off the camera every time a take a picture.  It is unbelievable that Canon didn't think about timing out the viewfinder, and/or having a setting for that.

StevenSHH
StevenSHH Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

What you say is true, we have to program a button to turn on / off or just turn it off for now.

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beagle1 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,277
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

StevenSHH wrote:

What you say is true, we have to program a button to turn on / off or just turn it off for now.

^^   right, remember to turn it off when not in use.   maybe it needs some kind of "sleep" timer

Peter Kwok
Peter Kwok Senior Member • Posts: 2,582
Camera makers should learn from smartphone makers
3

Viewfinder, IS and God knows what else stay on whether we need them or not. Why can't they use the half-press shutter to wake up the camera? Does this have anything to do with the need to keep WiFi & BT on all the time, but their stupid hardware must keep everything else on?

Smartphone makers know how to conserve every bit of juice from the battery.

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plantdoc Veteran Member • Posts: 3,962
Re: Camera makers should learn from smartphone makers

My M3 behaves the same way. IS running, camera stays on. Off/on button gets plenty of work. Very poor design in my opinion. Very disappointed the M5 behaves the same. A big turn off for buying the M5 unless there is some fix. Surprising to read reviews of M3 and M5 and no one mentioned this glitch. Hmm.

Greg

Soinar
Soinar Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast
4

Not only an issue Canon has, my Fuji X-T1 also behaves this way. I think even more camera's with an EVF behave exactly the same. Also found people with problems with Sony's etc. When you trigger the eye sensor with something it resets the sleep timer.

On the other hand it would also be annoying if the camera goes to sleep when you are using the camera. When you have to wait some time for the right moment and you look through the EVF, don't push any buttons and the camera goes in to sleep after some time that would also be annoying.

With all the current eye sensors they cannot see the difference. It is just a too simple sensor to see if something is in front of the EVF. They have to use more complicated sensors to really solve the problem.

Only a sleep timer on when using the EVF would solve one problem but can raise some other new problems which is also not wanted.

For me the solution was a Black Rapid Strap around my shoulder with the X-T1. This way I have no issues with the Eye sensor.

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OP microfocus New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast
1

In my opinion, the electronic viewfinder should behave the same as the regular display: if there is no button/touch activity in the camera, then it should turn off eventually.  Normally if you want to keep the regular display on, then you simply do some activity in the camera, we are all used to that.  So why the viewfinder should behave differently?, the proximity sensor is just to switch between display and viewfinder automatically, and by design should not be to keep the camera on.  Remember that this is not an optical viewfinder, the electronic viewfinder consumes battery just like the regular display, and the camera should do something in this area to preserve the battery.

Another example is if  you use the camera and then put it back in a camera bag without turn it off, then you are screwed, next time you pull the camera out of the bag, the battery is dead; why?, because you simply forgot to put the camera switch in the OFF position.  This is exactly why I've always liked DSLR's, you just grap the camera and half press the shutter button, and you are good to go (I always leave my dslr in the ON switch position).  Sad.

Peter Kwok
Peter Kwok Senior Member • Posts: 2,582
Marketing to smartphone users

DSLR users wake up their cameras by half pressing the shutter. Smartphone users do not. Perhaps Canon thinks we are too dump or too use to optical VF to expect an 100% active VF.

Perhaps Canon thinks we are Nikon users that view thru closed aperture when the camera is not on.

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maumelle Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast
2

I figured out a work around - it's not elegant, but it works.

Change VF control in the menus to "manual".  This disables the eye level sensor on the camera.

Reassign one of the buttons to "switch vf/screen" in the custom functions.  I used the m/fn. button.

Reassign another button to "sleep" - I used the DOF preview button.

Almost all the buttons are configurable - so use the ones you want.

Now - you must manually switch between screen and viewfinder with your custom button.  With some practice - it becomes second nature.

When you want to walk around without shooting - put the camera to sleep with the other custom button.  The camera won't wake up again unless you press a button.  Having it bounce against your chest will have no effect.

Like I said, not elegant - but it works.

ArtiTO Forum Member • Posts: 67
Minolta solved this decades ago
1

There was 'touch' sensor on the grip which worked with eye sensor.
This 'touch' sensor detected when camera was in use and prevented sleep mode.

http://alphatracks.com/archives/89

I recall something about Nickel toxicity.. that's why Minolta/Sony abandoned this implementation.
Why there is nothing similar these days? Cost cutting I guess. Not to mention buying spare batteries is good for business.

Peter_Birch
Peter_Birch Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

Yeah, I have just come in from taking photos - all 14 of them...

Pulled the camera out of the bag and it was really hot. The battery showed 2/3rds used. That would equate to 20 shots per battery charge - use that Canon and see how many M5's you sell.

Yes I am angry. Yes it was my fault I left the on/off switch to ON. This would NOT have happened with my 5D3.

I have my EVF on most of the time and switchable using the m-fn button. I will try the sleep idea (above) but if I forget the on/off I will forget to put it to sleep too

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Soinar
Soinar Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

microfocus wrote:

In my opinion, the electronic viewfinder should behave the same as the regular display: if there is no button/touch activity in the camera, then it should turn off eventually. Normally if you want to keep the regular display on, then you simply do some activity in the camera, we are all used to that. So why the viewfinder should behave differently?, the proximity sensor is just to switch between display and viewfinder automatically, and by design should not be to keep the camera on. Remember that this is not an optical viewfinder, the electronic viewfinder consumes battery just like the regular display, and the camera should do something in this area to preserve the battery.

Of course but it should not be in the way when using the camera. On a DSLR you don't have the issues. I have lot's of situation where I'm waiting minutes to get the shot. Oke maybe a Mirrorless is not the best for these use cases because of the power consumption of the EVF.

But I would not want that the camera goes to sleep when I'm waiting for the shot and I then miss it because the camera went to sleep.

Like I said before it would be better if they changed some stuff make eye sensor more advanced or maybe add the sensor so the camera feels you have it in your hands can be a good way for the camera to know when to enable the eye sensor.

Another example is if you use the camera and then put it back in a camera bag without turn it off, then you are screwed, next time you pull the camera out of the bag, the battery is dead; why?, because you simply forgot to put the camera switch in the OFF position. This is exactly why I've always liked DSLR's, you just grap the camera and half press the shutter button, and you are good to go (I always leave my dslr in the ON switch position). Sad.

Of course but to see through the OVF you don't need power. With Mirrorless you have to. Plus my 7D2 has no sensors to switch between screen or OVF. Maybe the older cam's like 550D have the exact same issue with the Eye sensor to switch between screen and OVF. But there you don't see so much drain because OVF is way more power efficient then when the screen is on and the battery drains slowly when inside a bag and power still on.

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Peter_Birch
Peter_Birch Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

Peter_Birch wrote:

I will try the sleep idea (above) but if I forget the on/off I will forget to put it to sleep too

Nope. Sleep only works on the display NOT the EVF...

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maumelle Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast
2

Peter_Birch wrote:

Peter_Birch wrote:

I will try the sleep idea (above) but if I forget the on/off I will forget to put it to sleep too

Nope. Sleep only works on the display NOT the EVF...

It does if you enable manual control of the viewfinder/rear display.

4xdog Contributing Member • Posts: 556
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

I simply turn the camera on and off all the time with the left-hand I/0 switch.  The camera boots fast -- nearly as fast as a wake from sleep -- and everything is fershure off that way.  I get a day or so of shooting and many hundreds of exposures that way.

Wish I could do it one-handed (like on M3, 5D mkii, G1 X mkii, G7 X, and all the others, but there ya go.  Can't have everything, I guess.

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Peter_Birch
Peter_Birch Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

maumelle wrote:

Peter_Birch wrote:

Peter_Birch wrote:

I will try the sleep idea (above) but if I forget the on/off I will forget to put it to sleep too

Nope. Sleep only works on the display NOT the EVF...

It does if you enable manual control of the viewfinder/rear display.

Hmm.. Mine doesn't only puts display to sleep not the EVF and its set to manual.

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OP microfocus New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast
2

I originally posted this, and due to this problem I ended up returning the M5 a few weeks later (Apr 2017), because I was having too many dead battery problems, due to my habits of using a DSLR.  In any case, I waited a year and found that the M50 now has a viewfinder timeout setting.  So I just bought this camera and works like a charm.  I can carry the camera with the neck strap without worrying about the battery.   This is now my hiking/outdoors camera of choice.

Comparing the M5 and M50 on everything else, I would say they are about the same (I don't really care about the 4k 24fps video the M50 offers).

alexwastaken
alexwastaken Regular Member • Posts: 174
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

microfocus wrote:

I found that the M5 viewfinder will never turn off if something is in the proximity sensor. I go hiking and carry the camera with the neck strap, if I forget to turn the camera off, the viewfinder will stay on indefinitely, because the viewfinder proximity sensor detects something in proximity (camera is resting in my chest/body) and thinks that it is in use. This consumes the battery really fast and with out knowing you end up with a dead battery. This is very annoying, if I'm carrying the camera with the strap, I have to turn on/off the camera every time a take a picture. It is unbelievable that Canon didn't think about timing out the viewfinder, and/or having a setting for that.

I think they thought about selling you a tiny ~800mAh spare battery for £55 though!

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J Peters Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

I had a major rant about this issue when I first got the M5.

I also found the workaround of disabling auto LCD/EVF toggling, but the other issue is that the camera's internal tilt sensor also wakes the camera. So I do the following:

  • When holding the camera in between shots (I use a wrist strap), I manually toggle EVF to ON (if not on already). I've progarmmed the M-Fn button to do this. The EVF times out after a few seconds away from my eye.
    If I tilt the camera, or something comes into close proximity with the EVF, then I know it will wake again, but it will time out again soon after, unlike the LCD which would stay on much longer (1 minute by default). It also has the safeguard that, with EVF enabled, I cannot accidentally change any settings by the LCD nudging up against something, since the LCD if off and touch disabled.
  • When putting the camera in a bag (short term), I make sure the switch is toggled to LCD (converse of above). That way the inside of the bag doesn't keep the EVF (and hence the camera) awake. Tilting the camera will still keep it awake though.

I think this is an incredibly poor implementation. I even wrote to Canon about it.

There were respondents on here who asked me what's wrong with using the On/Off switch instead of relying on sleep, but it feels wrong to me to go 'on, shoot, off, on, shoot, off'.....maybe 500 in a single day. I don't believe the switch is robust enough for this treatment but maybe I'm in the wrong. I did used to turn the original M off between shots but that had a push-button.

beagle1 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,277
Re: Canon M5 viewfinder never times out, battery runs out fast

J Peters wrote:

I had a major rant about this issue when I first got the M5.

I also found the workaround of disabling auto LCD/EVF toggling, but the other issue is that the camera's internal tilt sensor also wakes the camera. So I do the following:

  • When holding the camera in between shots (I use a wrist strap), I manually toggle EVF to ON (if not on already). I've progarmmed the M-Fn button to do this. The EVF times out after a few seconds away from my eye.
    If I tilt the camera, or something comes into close proximity with the EVF, then I know it will wake again, but it will time out again soon after, unlike the LCD which would stay on much longer (1 minute by default). It also has the safeguard that, with EVF enabled, I cannot accidentally change any settings by the LCD nudging up against something, since the LCD if off and touch disabled.
  • When putting the camera in a bag (short term), I make sure the switch is toggled to LCD (converse of above). That way the inside of the bag doesn't keep the EVF (and hence the camera) awake. Tilting the camera will still keep it awake though.

I think this is an incredibly poor implementation. I even wrote to Canon about it.

There were respondents on here who asked me what's wrong with using the On/Off switch instead of relying on sleep, but it feels wrong to me to go 'on, shoot, off, on, shoot, off'.....maybe 500 in a single day. I don't believe the switch is robust enough for this treatment but maybe I'm in the wrong. I did used to turn the original M off between shots but that had a push-button.

right,  it's just 'work arounds' to a flawed EVF system

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