Green band (fixed-pattern noise) in photos with Canon 5D Mark IV

Started Aug 2, 2017 | Discussions
yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Green band (fixed-pattern noise) in photos with Canon 5D Mark IV

TLDR;

  • Photos from Canon 5D Mark IV show a band (fixed-pattern noise).
  • Canon Factory Service Center said unit is ok.
  • Looking for confirmation that unit is defective and suggestions for what to do to convince them of the problem and get it repaired/replaced.

Problem

I recently noticed that long exposures taken at higher ISOs with my Canon 5D Mark IV (purchased in Oct 2016, still in the warranty period) demonstrate a green band close to one edge.

This is quite visible in under-exposed images that are edited in Lightroom to increase the exposure (starts showing up with +1-stop, often when coupled with other changes).

Sample Images

Here's an Imgur album with a few example images showing the problem (deliberately edited to make the problem more obvious). The band is typically faintly visible in the original image and in almost all cases, starts becoming more obvious as I edit the photo.

5DIV, 200s, ISO 800, f/16 Exposure +0.66, Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show green band at bottom

5DIV, 420s, ISO 800, f/16 Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show horizontal green band along bottom edge

5DIV, 120s, ISO 640, f/11 Exposure +3, Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show vertical green band along right edge

The full set of images from the 5DIV and the 70D (RAW and JPEGs) can be found here (Dropbox).

So Far…

I contacted Canon Customer Support and after exchanging a few emails they asked me to ship the camera to a service center After about 1.5 weeks, the body was shipped back and the accompanying document detailing service details said:

Your product has been examined and it was found that the product performed according to specifications. The unit was cleaned and checked. Product functions were confirmed. **note: Please shoot the image on with proper exposure and avoid the extreme exposure adjustments with software.**.

I should note that the test images I'd sent them were deliberately under-exposed to make the problem obvious. And I personally wouldn’t have considered an post-processing exposure change of 1- or 2-stops to be “extreme" when editing RAW images from a top-of-the-line, full-frame, professional DSLR. In fact, my Canon 70D from 2014 appears to perform better under the same conditions with the same settings - definitely more noise but no banding.

When I first reached out to Canon, I didn't know what this band was. I've since found out about Fixed-Pattern Noiseand the Long Exposure Noise Reduction option in Canon (and Nikon) cameras. Searching online, I see several people seeing this with older Canon cameras but many reviews and forum posts about the 5D Mark IV are raving about the lack of banding To me that's further confirmation that I have a bad unit.

Questions

  1. Do folks with Canon 5D Mark IVs see this? I'd like to establish if this is common to this model or if it affects my unit in particular.
  2. Am I wrong in expecting not to have to deal with this on this camera?
  3. Any suggestions on what to do next to convince Canon that this is a problem with my unit?

Notes

[1] Conditions for reproducing:

  • I noticed the problem with a few images from the field, taken at ISO 600.
  • I’ve been testing with ISO 800.
  • Exposure durations have varied from 150s to 510s.
  • I fixed White Balance at 3100K - primarily to be able to easily compare images.
  • Long Exposure Noise Reduction is disabled.

[2] The first response was what looked like standard boilerplate asking me to:

  • try a different memory card
  • clean the lens contacts
  • try different lensesI tried all of these these (even though this looks like a sensor problem to me) and continue to see the issue.

[3] Canon covered return shipping.

[4] Long Exposure Noise Reduction

  • This was set to Auto on my camera (and I didn't realize what it was for).
  • When taking test photos, I found found that it only kicked for exposures that were 450s, and not for longer and shorter ones.
  • For those that don't know, when this is enabled the camera will take a second exposure with the same settings as the original, first shot except with the shutter closed. This allows it to compensate for any temporally constant noise - fixed pattern noise. The downside is that it keeps the camera busy for the same duration as the original exposure and so each exposure effectively lasts twice as long which isn't ideal when trying to take, say, 10 minute exposures out in the field.

[5] Forum posts about similar issues (other models):

[6] Canon 5D Mark IV reviews and forum posts about lack of fixed-pattern noise with 5DIV (sorry, none of these had anchors that I could use so you'll have to search the page for 'fixed pattern noise' to find the relevant text):

Note that I'd posted this on Reddit but didn't get too many responses - I'm hoping to get some more help here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 7D Mark II
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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,756
Not.....banding noise
1

yadavtarun03 wrote:

TLDR;

  • Photos from Canon 5D Mark IV show a band (fixed-pattern noise).

Problem

I recently noticed that long exposures taken at higher ISOs with my Canon 5D Mark IV (purchased in Oct 2016, still in the warranty period) demonstrate a green band close to one edge.

This is quite visible in under-exposed images that are edited in Lightroom to increase the exposure (starts showing up with +1-stop, often when coupled with other changes).

.

5DIV, 200s, ISO 800, f/16 Exposure +0.66, Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show green band at bottom

5DIV, 420s, ISO 800, f/16 Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show horizontal green band along bottom edge

5DIV, 120s, ISO 640, f/11 Exposure +3, Dehaze +100 in Lightroom to show vertical green band along right edge

When I first reached out to Canon, I didn't know what this band was. I've since found out about Fixed-Pattern Noise

What you are seeing there is not Banding or Fixed Pattern noise. It's always in the same place and only related to one row of pixels. Likely an issue with the electronics associated with that row. Will require a sensor change to fix.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Steve Balcombe Forum Pro • Posts: 12,949
Re: Not.....banding noise

Mako2011 wrote:

What you are seeing there is not Banding or Fixed Pattern noise. It's always in the same place and only related to one row of pixels. Likely an issue with the electronics associated with that row. Will require a sensor change to fix.

Agreed - there is something wrong and it's not what we would normally refer to as "banding". Faulty sensor (or electronics associated with it) is a good guess.

OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not.....banding noise

Steve Balcombe wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

What you are seeing there is not Banding or Fixed Pattern noise. It's always in the same place and only related to one row of pixels. Likely an issue with the electronics associated with that row. Will require a sensor change to fix.

Agreed - there is something wrong and it's not what we would normally refer to as "banding". Faulty sensor (or electronics associated with it) is a good guess.

On re-reading then Wikipedia article, it sounds like the distinction between what I have and FPN is that FPN presents as a more regular grid pattern?

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Thanks!

MayaTlab0
MayaTlab0 Senior Member • Posts: 2,469
Re: Not.....banding noise
1

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Thanks!

I can't help you with that specific case, but Canon's position isn't definitive obviously and I'm not even sure that they actually believe what they answered you. It's just one of their BS standard starting point for "negotiations". If I had never pushed passed the usual "it's within specifications" BS that nearly all customer services always serve me, I'd have had nothing done, ever.

When I know that something of this kind is hard to prove (for example if I don't have two copies of the same product), I usually try to elevate the issue. One of the most efficient way I've found to get things done quickly is to find the company's email format, re-construct the mails of all the top management (regardless of whether they're qualified to answer or not), and then bombard all of them with a carefully explained mail where I clearly state the problem, why it affects me, and what I want them to do.

Since 99% of the time I was right and my product wasn't actually "within spec", I then always make a point to prove to them afterwards that their first answer was complete BS by showing them the effect of their own repair.

That being said, can you have access to another 5DIV from a friend, a shop, or from another source ? If you have found a way to reproduce your 5DIV's problem consistently, then comparing two 5DIVs could help in starting to build up evidence.

jsmiller Contributing Member • Posts: 825
Re: Not.....banding noise
2

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Steve Balcombe wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

What you are seeing there is not Banding or Fixed Pattern noise. It's always in the same place and only related to one row of pixels. Likely an issue with the electronics associated with that row. Will require a sensor change to fix.

Agreed - there is something wrong and it's not what we would normally refer to as "banding". Faulty sensor (or electronics associated with it) is a good guess.

On re-reading then Wikipedia article, it sounds like the distinction between what I have and FPN is that FPN presents as a more regular grid pattern?

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Thanks!

Regardless of what you call it, it is either a sensor fault or associated electronics fault affecting the readout of a several rows as others have said. (It is probably not appropriate to call it FPN, as it is not really a pattern extending over a good-sized region. I wouldn't even call it noise, but that's just my opinion.) The camera is faulty. You have to try again with Canon. Call up and ask to speak to a supervisor. Insist on it, don't give up. I had a problem with a Rebel years ago that front focussed, and that camera had no ability to adjust focus. I sent it back three times. One technician advised me that the problem was easy to fix- always shoot at f/8 or slower. When I said in that case why should I even bother to buy expensive fast lenses. He had no answer. That can be the quality of understanding their techs have. Then I got a high-level supervisor on the phone. He said send it to him, and it was fixed. It shouldn't be that way, but it can be.

I think your images illustrate the problem quite well. If you didn't before, I would send a highly cropped image that just shows those rows and a bit of the surrounding ones as well as one showing the whole image. It's totally obvious it has nothing to do with exposure levels. But what's obvious to some of us may escape a Canon tech completely.

Joe

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not.....banding noise

Thanks for your thoughts and observations Joe. I'm also considering reaching out to their social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook - hopefully that'll help.

OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not.....banding noise

Thanks for your thoughts and observations. I'm also considering reaching out to their social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook - hopefully that'll help.

As for a second 5DIV — I'd thought about that and that was one of my reasons for posting online. I don't have easy access to one and I was hoping someone might be able to try and reproduce. I will try and escalate and get this solved  again but if that fails, I might rent a body for a day or two to test with. I'd rather not spend more but if that's what it takes to get a fix, so be it

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 11,974
Re: Not.....banding noise

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Steve Balcombe wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

What you are seeing there is not Banding or Fixed Pattern noise. It's always in the same place and only related to one row of pixels. Likely an issue with the electronics associated with that row. Will require a sensor change to fix.

Agreed - there is something wrong and it's not what we would normally refer to as "banding". Faulty sensor (or electronics associated with it) is a good guess.

On re-reading then Wikipedia article, it sounds like the distinction between what I have and FPN is that FPN presents as a more regular grid pattern?

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Call again. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Call another service center if needed.

I had to send my 135L three times to Canon. The first two times I could not convince them that there was a problem.

MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 5,996
Re: Not.....banding noise

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Try the exact same thing on another 5D Mark iv.

You're taking some very, very long exposures. It may be that ALL the Mark iv's do this; your 150 second "corner case" could have escaped Canon QA. Or maybe it's a glitch in the software; who knows? The first thing you should do is use another 5D iv's side-by-side with yours to see if the problem is unique to your body or not. There's no point in exchanging your camera if the problem will follow it.

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Keeef New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Green band (fixed-pattern noise) in photos with Canon 5D Mark IV

Ask in the Astrophotography talk forum if anyone has seen anything similar.

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OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not.....banding noise

J A C S wrote:

Call again. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Call another service center if needed.

I had to send my 135L three times to Canon. The first two times I could not convince them that there was a problem.

Thanks, I'll keep at it!

OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Not.....banding noise

MarshallG wrote:

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Additionally, as I noted in the post, Canon has already looked at this and said it performs to spec. I’d welcome any suggestions to help prove more definitively that the unit is defective.

Try the exact same thing on another 5D Mark iv.

You're taking some very, very long exposures. It may be that ALL the Mark iv's do this; your 150 second "corner case" could have escaped Canon QA. Or maybe it's a glitch in the software; who knows? The first thing you should do is use another 5D iv's side-by-side with yours to see if the problem is unique to your body or not. There's no point in exchanging your camera if the problem will follow it.

Thanks! I'd definitely love to do that but I don't have easy access to another unit. I could rent from something like BorrowLenses.com but it's USD 123 (3-day minimum) before tax + delivery and I'd very much like to avoid that if possible. It's certainly a last resort option though!

By posting, I was hoping that 5DIV owners might be able to try and report if they see this problem with their cameras.

@Keeef has replied suggesting posting to the Astrophotography forum and I think I will try that to see if there are any users who can confirm or refute that this problem is endemic to the model.

OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Green band (fixed-pattern noise) in photos with Canon 5D Mark IV

Keeef wrote:

Ask in the Astrophotography talk forum if anyone has seen anything similar.

Thanks for the suggestion - that sounds like a good idea!

Blake Cook
Blake Cook Senior Member • Posts: 2,846
Try DPP to open the photos

See what happens if you open the photos with DPP.

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Blake in Vancouver
Canon and Zeiss Stuff. Mac Stuff & annoying PC & Windows stuff.

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OP yadavtarun03 New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Try DPP to open the photos

Blake Cook wrote:

See what happens if you open the photos with DPP.

Thanks for the suggestion - I gave this a quick try:

  • I haven't used this editor before and I couldn't tell how to edit the photo to see the same final result as my edits in Lightroom
  • As with other viewers, I do see the green band without any edits (albeit faint). I can make it a little more obvious by fiddling around with the contrast and color temperature.
  • Why do you think opening with this program might make a difference? I expect the problem to be inherent to the image itself.
AmbleYonder Senior Member • Posts: 1,733
Re: you are not the only one with the issue

http://www.canonwatch.com/sensor-banding-issue-canon-eos-5d-mark-iv/.

check the long expose examples in the comment section .

Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,756
Not the...

AmbleYonder wrote:

http://www.canonwatch.com/sensor-banding-issue-canon-eos-5d-mark-iv/.

check the long expose examples in the comment section .

That is not the same issue the OP is having. Note the difference in color/size/edges

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Blake Cook
Blake Cook Senior Member • Posts: 2,846
Re: Try DPP to open the photos

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Blake Cook wrote:

See what happens if you open the photos with DPP.

Thanks for the suggestion - I gave this a quick try:

  • I haven't used this editor before and I couldn't tell how to edit the photo to see the same final result as my edits in Lightroom
  • As with other viewers, I do see the green band without any edits (albeit faint). I can make it a little more obvious by fiddling around with the contrast and color temperature.
  • Why do you think opening with this program might make a difference? I expect the problem to be inherent to the image itself.

DPP is a Canon product that is designed for its sensors.  Adobe Raw seem to take at least year to start to get colours right for Canon bodies in recent years. 1Dx processing isn't right yet.

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Blake in Vancouver
Canon and Zeiss Stuff. Mac Stuff & annoying PC & Windows stuff.

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,756
DPP

Blake Cook wrote:

yadavtarun03 wrote:

Blake Cook wrote:

See what happens if you open the photos with DPP.

Thanks for the suggestion - I gave this a quick try:

  • I haven't used this editor before and I couldn't tell how to edit the photo to see the same final result as my edits in Lightroom
  • As with other viewers, I do see the green band without any edits (albeit faint). I can make it a little more obvious by fiddling around with the contrast and color temperature.
  • Why do you think opening with this program might make a difference? I expect the problem to be inherent to the image itself.

DPP is a Canon product that is designed for its sensors. Adobe Raw seem to take at least year to start to get colours right for Canon bodies in recent years. 1Dx processing isn't right yet.

DPP can't fix the OP's issue though. It's not a processing artifact. The line can be seen on the back of the camera when one looks

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Blake in Vancouver
Canon and Zeiss Stuff. Mac Stuff & annoying PC & Windows stuff.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

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