Fringing Issues Fixed On Canon C300 Camera, But…

Users complain to Canon release firmware fix.

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Remember the old Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom’s family goes on vacation, leaving him a cupboard full of cat food, but Jerry gets a hold of the can opener? Think of that visual while I write about the Canon C300 and its fringing issues and why Canon isn’t releasing the firmware update to fix it.

I recently had this issue whilst shooting a sunset across some mountains. It resulted in red/green – lines/pixels across the high contrast part of the image where the sun dipped behind the mountains. I sent the camera back to Canon complaining of this issue along with another problem that I was experiencing with the camera. To cut a long story short I ended up with a new camera along with a firmware upgrade which apparently deals with the fringing issue. 

Talked with Canon Cinema EOS tech support about firmware upgrade … Apparently Canon does not consider it a major firmware upgrade, as they are not announcing it. The firmware is not posted on the web because, at this point, the firmware upgrade can only be done by sending the camera in to Canon service. – Canon EOS User Support Formus

Like most digital cameras, the issue of color fringing rears it’s ugly head in high contrast situations where direct lighting from the sun or some other high contrast light source pours onto the CMOS sensor.  Apple refers to this as the nature of the beast as they have similar issues on the iPhone camera.  And it does show up in other cameras as well.  But while Canon has acknowledged the fringing issue, they confirm what many have suspected, that the fringing becomes more pronounced as the camera downscales the video signal it’s written to the file.

The good news is that Canon has issued a quick fix that directly address and improves on the issue, and many users who have gotten the firmware update number as part of a camera repair have reported no further fringing issues. Isn’t that great?!  A fix that solves the problem.  And this is where the bottom falls out of the fairy tale, because it appears that Canon has no plans to release or announce said miracle update because they consider it a minor fix of code.

Users can’t even go onto the Canon site to download it on their own.  Nice huh?  Apparently, the only way you can get the can opener in this case, is to ship the camera back to Lake Success as part of a costly repair and they will do an update as part of their normal procedure.  Let that sink in a minute.  Like Jerry the Mouse, Canon is holding onto the key to your troubles and won’t give it to you.  Who cares that you laid out thousands of dollars to invest in their mid range Cinema video camera.  You’re troubles aren’t considered important enough to ask the web master to put up a link to the firmware on their stupid site!

I’m sure they have good reasons that don’t translate from Japan to the US.  Also, it could be a finicky upgrade that’s best handled in the repair shop by a trained technician.  Who knows?  But they could at least handle this better than causing users to root out the fix.  Fortunately, Canon reps say they will eventually get around to pushing the update as part of a larger firmware upgrade package, but that’ll be “sometime in the future.”  Meanwhile, if you’ve been bitten by the fringing issue, your only recourse is to send the camera in for repair.  Contact Canon Cinema EOS Support at  (855) 246-3367.

When you toss this in with the fact that Canon released the C500 only six months after users bought into the C300 concept, I bet some users are feeling like they’re the Jan Brady of the Canon universe!  And that RED Scarlet is probably looking pretty good right now, isn’t it?

Hat Tip – NFS

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.