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Russell H.
Russell H., Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  Working with digital cameras & questions for nearly 8 years.
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My Canon EOS 1Ds mark ii has just started to malfunction.

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My Canon EOS 1Ds mark ii has just started to malfunction. Two days ago it was working perfectly. It has not been dropped, mistreated, or treated unusually since then. When I take a shot the mirror does not return, and the displays go blank except that the top display shows the battery as empty. If I remove the battery and replace it then it once again shows fully charged and the shot completes (mirror return and writing to card). This happens whatever drive mode or shooting mode I am in, and whether I use AF or MF. However it happens only with a lens attached. If I fire the camera without a lens then every shot completes as expected. This happens with ALL my lenses, all of which work find on my other cameras (1D ii N and 10D).
Is this something I can fix? If not is it a known fault, that can be repaired?
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

Sometimes, being dropped may appear not to have harmed a digital camera, but after several weeks or months, the weakening of delicate parts may lead to a functional failure after that time.

Try removing the batteries, and leaving the camera on a (dry, non-humid, non-dusty) shelf for overnight. Then put the batteries back in and try the camera again.

Then try cleaning the terminals in the battery compartment, after removing the batteries, first by rubbing off with a fresh pencil eraser, then by wiping the terminals off with cotton swabs moistened in rubbing alcohol, then letting them dry off for 5+ minutes with the battery compartment door open, then try turning the camera On again.

How long has the battery or batteries in the camera been in-use? If over a year, then you might possibly have a battery/batteries that are getting weak. Rechargeable batteries do get weaker with time, and eventually fail to deliver enough power to start up a device like a digital camera; they then need replacing. The replacement battery needs to be charged up for 6+ hours before its first use, owing to its having been on a shelf for a considerable time.

How old is the camera? in months or years since you bought it.

Has the camera ever, in the past, been dropped or otherwise subjected to mechanical shock(s) in its lifetime?
Has the camera been operated in or subjected to, temperatures below 32 degrees F (freezing point) or above about 100 degrees F ?
Has it ever been subjected to a humidity higher than 85 % or gotten wet ?

Has the camera been operated in a gritty or sandy environment, such as a beach, a seaside, a construction site, or the like?
Russell H. and 2 other Digital Cameras Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Russell,

Thanks for your helpful suggestions.

The camera is about seven years old and has never been dropped. I have used it in all kinds of adverse conditions. That is what it is designed for, and I have never before had a problem. I once dropped my other EOS 1D series camera (1D ii N), four feet onto concret and it has continued to work perfectly and suffered only a couple of tiny scratches. This new problem occurred on a warm, dry day with what I thought was a fully charged battery.

I tried leaving the battery overnight, and got two shots before the problem recurred. I also cleaned the terminals inside the camera.

The problem turned out to be a faulty battery. What threw me was the coincidence that the second battery had the same issue. Insufficient power to complete the shot, with lens attached, even though it was showing fully charged before pressing the shutter.

I had the brainwave of trying the camera with the Mains adapter. It worked perfectly. I then tried with the failing batteries. Problem recurred. THen with the nearly new battery from the iD ii N. Works perfectly!

Thanks again.

Best wishes,


Tom, you did things right to come to a right conclusion. I'm glad to hear what process you followed (with my advice too) to come to a good conclusion.

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