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Canon warranty dispute leads to claims of fraud

A dispute between Canon Australia and a long-standing Canon-supporting pro photographer has reached the point where the photographer in question, Darrell Nash (NashysPix, Pt Macquarie, NSW), has made a complaint against a Canon technical services employee for fraudulent statements in a Statutory Declaration.

Darrell Nash
Darrell Nash: ‘…not about to have them buy my silence.’

From a fairly straightforward warranty dispute, the matter has escalated to one of principle for Darrell Nash, in which he has foregone an offer of ‘goodwill’ compensation for the amount originally in dispute.

‘When I purchased the 1DX I believed in Canon and had no idea that the product would be so bad, and that I would be treated so poorly when bringing the issues to Canon’s attention,’ he said.

The issue started back in January when Mr Nash sent his malfunctioning EOS 1DX to Canon’s service department on the advice of the retailer who he bought it from, Camera House Coffs Harbour.

Canon kept the camera for five weeks, and wouldn’t return it until a sum of $2222 was paid for replacement of the sensor.

Mr Nash said that sensor was scratched by a small black piece stuck between the sensor and the mirror, that this was a fault in the camera and should have been covered under warranty.

Canon refuted this, saying that the sensor was not damaged due to any fault of the camera, and that the damage was probably due to someone attempting to clean the sensor.

After the repair, Mr Nash said the camera continued to log numerous Error Codes and oil marks on the sensor marred image quality. He has been using his back-up camera for most work since then.

After considerable correspondence, in which Canon maintained that there was no problem with Mr Nash’s EOS 1DX and no history of ‘numerous problems’ with the EOS 1DX in general, the issue was brought before the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) in June.

‘The problems with the 1DX are widespread. In two hours I copied 49 pages of complaints/problems associated with the 1DX. I stopped after two hours and sent that through to the Tribunal as proof,’ said Mr Nash.

‘If they can’t see there are issues with the camera from those it wouldn’t matter if I sent them a million pages.’

At the tribunal hearing, at which Canon was represented by legal counsel and Mr Nash represented himself, Canon presented statutory declarations from the service technician who handled the initial repair along with another Canon technical staff member, an ‘escalation consultant’.

Mr Nash insisted at the tribunal hearing that sections of the Stat Dec from the service technician were provably and deliberately false. The Stat Dec by the escalation consultant also states that ‘it is in my opinion that the Canon EOS-1DX camera does not suffer from faulty manufacture, parts or workmanship.’

Mr Nash told Photo Counter that Canon counsel at the tribunal hearing also was adamant that the EOS 1DX model camera had no manufacturing faults.

Yet on June 21, a week after the tribunal hearing, Canon issued a Service Notice on its website and Facebook page for professionals regarding a fault in some EOS 1DX cameras stemming from ‘wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism’.

This causes the AF to fail due to minute particles produced by wearing and ‘the image shown in the viewfinder is blurry or not steady’ as the problem progresses.

It didn’t apply to all EOS 1Dx cameras, only models with specific serial numbers, of which the camera in dispute between Mr Nash and Canon was one.

In early July Canon’s senior general manager, Service and Support, Glen Trestrall wrote to Mr Nash maintaining that in Canon’s view there was no fault with the camera that would have caused the damage to the sensor, but offering to refund the full cost of the repair as a goodwill offer ‘to settle the matter’. However, as a condition of receiving the refund, Mr Nash could not reveal the refund offer to the CTTT or any third party. In addition, Mr Trestrall wrote that if Error Code problems persisted following a firmware upgrade, Canon would even consider purchasing the camera back from Mr Nash.

‘I rejected their offer as I did not want to remain quiet whilst Canon put someone else (experiencing the same abuse from Canon) through what they put me through, and was not about to have them buy my silence,’ said Mr Nash.

‘I am truly devastated that this has escalated to this point and ashamed that an Australian company (Canon Australia) could operate so poorly.

‘For my own business if I treated just one customer this way I would be out of business. It appears to me that Canon Australia has become obtusely arrogant and think they are above the law.’

Canon provided the following statement in response to Photo Counter‘s queries about the EOS 1DX:

There has never been a recall on the EOS-1D X. On June 21 of this year, Canon Australia published a Service Notice for EOS-1D X/C cameras for a rare phenomenon related to possible wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism. To ensure that this does not impact camera performance over time, we implemented a precautionary service procedure for cameras potentially affected.

In addition to the Service Notice, we posted a message in our professional Facebook community page prompting them to check if this relates to their camera by contacting a Canon Service representative on 13 13 83 or to check the details on the website:–EOS-1DC

Naturally at Canon we strive to give all customers an exceptional ownership experience. Unfortunately, from time to time, situations occur that make this difficult to achieve. In all cases we strive for a fair and reasonable solution for customers not satisfied with their imaging equipment.

This week Mr Nash lodged a P1018 ‘Fraud Report Form’ with NSW Police relating to what he claims is contained in the Canon Statutory Declarations.

A third CTTT hearing is scheduled for July 23.






  1. Greg Sylvia Greg Sylvia July 18, 2013

    Hello, I wish to add some things to this discussion. I have owned 3 professional Canon Cameras, The 1DMk3, the 1DMk4 and the 1Dx. The Mk 3 had issues with autofocus, this was well documented with Canon at first was denying anything was wrong with the camera, until overwhelming public response to these issues were finally an admission was forthcoming. An effected batch of serial numbers were announced and of course my camera was in this batch. The camera had the service advisory done and was sent at my expense however the work was done under warranty. The camera was still playing up and again the camera was sent in for attention. It was repaired again under warranty even though it was outside the timeframe which to me indicated that they knew all along that there were problems with this model. I recall asking for the camera to be replaced due to it being a lemon from the word go but this was rejected out of hand.
    I now own the 1Dx and the 1DMk4 as a back up. My 1Dx also falls into the serial number range effected by the service advisory. This farce will now cost me more money to ship the camera to Canon as I live at least 1000km from the service centre. It is worth noting that Canon USA provide a shipping slip to their customers who have to send their cameras in free of charge. I have owned the 1Dx since February 2013, I am most disappointed that I am effected by this advisory. Reading the above story it is very familiar. If the camera has a manufacturing fault then it should be REPLACED, not having to be sent in at my expense for it to get something done to it that should have been done in the first place. For a camera that costs over $7000 it is simply not good enough. I haven’t sent mine in yet as I am following the outcome in this story but wish to put my name on it as being effected and most unhappy with the treatment others are receiving. You quote that the Advisory was put on the website on 21 June, that is untrue, I have been checking the Canon Australia website since I became aware of the situation and it was only put there on or about the 16th of July. I feel that Canon Australia are being less than open in their statements to you. I hope this helps in getting some sort of satisfactory outcome for those with effected cameras.
    Best Regards, Greg Sylvia.

    • Chris Chris July 27, 2013

      The current trade practices act is a feel good, do nothing piece of legislation. When tested it fell down & the consumer isn’t protected against big companies.

      The Americans have a lemon law that was brought in originally to protected buyers against used car salesman. If a product breaks down repeatedly it must be replaced. Why can’t Australia have the same thing here.

  2. Darrell Nash Darrell Nash July 18, 2013

    Agreed Greg, I too have been checking out the Canon Website every day as this issue affects me directly. Once again they are deliberately misleading their customers and letting THEMSELVES down by back dating the Advisory. What does Canon hope to achieve by continually lying?

    • Brett Ritchie Brett Ritchie December 24, 2014

      Hi Darrell, I read your story and realised that I am not the only person in Australia to have a major issue with Canon. My 1DX has oil spot all over the sensor as well as well as what look like small pieces of black plastic. With the oil splatter, every bit of dust available sticks to the sensor like glue. I have contacted Canon and even sent the camera to them only to be told that there is nothing wrong with it. My images, for the most part, are unusable above f8 as there is over 200 spots on every image. I have Canon’s original email that states that there is “no known issues” with the 1DX and then later on when I sent them links to where they have admitted the problem, they sent me an email saying that my camera was “not in the affected serial number range”, thus admitting the problem. I don’t want my camera “fixed” I want a new one, period. I don’t pay for Canon’s flagship camera to be treated like someone who has absolutely no idea what I am talking about.

  3. Rob Rob July 18, 2013

    I think what Greg said is so typical how in the USA, Service is done to a standard that not only meets but exceeds customers expectations. To think that the amount of money you spend on a camera like an EOS 1Dx & that’s how they treat their customers is appalling! If they want customers to buy local & continue to keep them loyal to them & they state in their claims that customers have the support from manufacturers like Canon I don’t blame people buying from the USA or Hong Kong. Not only is it cheaper to purchase if we had to send it away to the USA, not only would it be cheaper to repair it wouldn’t take as long to get the issue rectified. I think someone high up in the Management of Canon Australia needs to be aware that it is a Global market nowadays & not only is photographic equipment more expensive to purchase here the service is not what I would classify as good customer service after reading this testimonial. It’s an absolute disgrace! I think someone from Canon will need to scratch their head & start giving us other reasons why we should support them & not buy our photo gear from places like B&H Photo in the USA! I would be very interested to hear their response to this testimonial & they better be damn good at convincing me otherwise!

  4. Chris Chris July 18, 2013

    We see more Canon’s come through for repair than any other make of camera & we only sell Fuji & Pentax, especially Pentax. 1 repair in particular sticks in my mind. This Canon kept coming up with error 40 if my memory serves me correctly. When I checked on the internet there were literally hundreds of people who’d posted they had suffered the same issues & Canon refused to accept responsibility for the problems. It was supposed to be a weather resistant camera but it broke down in humid conditions.

    I know of 2 pro photographers who switched from Canon to Pentax & haven’t looked back. 1 was 1 of our customers, the other a customer of 1 of our sales reps.

  5. Robbo Robbo July 18, 2013

    When i read the story and above comments for a moment i thought i was reading about VW.
    What is with manufactuers that treat their customers like this?
    What happened to “the customer is king”.
    This approach is the new wave of customer service.
    It not restricted to Canon and VW but many manufacturers!
    Stick up for your rights and fight like mad.

  6. JC JC July 18, 2013

    Like Darrell, I too own a Canon 1dx camera which has been problematic since date of purchase and also have experienced difficulty with Canon Australia in seeking resolution. My camera also falls with the batch range of serial numbers which have now been identified as being faulty.

    I purchased my camera in November 2012, and approximately 2 weeks after purchase my wife and I headed to Hawaii for holidays. Whilst on holidays in Hawaii I used my new 1dx to take our holiday photos.

    When I returned home and began to process the photos I noticed many of them were ruined by what appeared to be large spots appearing all over the photos.

    I took the camera back to shop where I purchased it and was told it had a dirty sensor which needed cleaning. I then paid at my own expense for the sensor to be cleaned.

    Several weeks later I again started to notice fresh spots on the photos I was taking with the 1dx. Via numerous Canon & photography internet forums, I discovered many other 1dx owners worldwide were experiencing the exact same problem.

    I then phoned Canon Australia to discuss the problem only to be told that they were not aware of it and that no other Australian 1dx owners who had reported the problem to them. The person I spoke to however said he would raise the matter with the service technicians and call me back later.

    Suffice to say I never received a return phone call, which then resulted in me calling them again several weeks later. I again explained the problem I was experiencing with the camera only to be told yet again that Canon Australia was not aware of any such problem and that no one had yet reported a similar problem to them. I then advised the person on the phone that I had personally reported the problem to them via telephone several weeks earlier, only to be told they had no record of such call.

    Eventually I was contacted by one of the team leaders in the service / technical area who maintained that they were not aware of any problems with the 1dx but suggested that I send it to them for inspection.

    As I live in Western Australia and Canon Australia has seen fit not to have a warranty repair agent here, I would be looking at least a two week turnaround to get my camera over to Sydney and then back to Perth. As I was leaving for Indonesia in three weeks Im opted not to send it to them at that time.

    Prior to departure to Bali I again had the sensor cleaned at my own expense. When I returned home from Bali I again noticed that a large majority of my photos taken there were ruined by being covered in black spots all over the photo.

    I again contacted Canon Australia to discuss the problem and to seek a replacement camera as this one was clearly faulty. They still maintained they were not aware of any problem with the 1dx and that no one other than myself was complaining of this problem.

    In response to their claims of their being no problems with the 1dx I then sent them via email numerous links to forum websites were people worldwide were reporting the same problem. I emailed them photos taken with my camera as evidence to attest to the fact that my photos were covered in black spots and therefore ruined. Despite all of this evidence, Canon Australia still claimed there was no problem.

    Eventually I was left no alternative other than to return my camera to Canon Australia for inspection and repair (hopefully) as they steadfastly refused to replace it.

    I have only had the camera back from Canon Australia for a very short time so have not yet been able to readily evaluate the extent or repair nor verify if the problem is yet to have been completely resolved.

    Here are a few excerpts from emails Canon sent to me in relation to this problem:

    This is from an email Canon sent to me on June 24.

    “I appreciate your suggestion that this is not an isolated incident, but as I believe I mentioned during a previous conversation, Canon Australia is yet to receive a single 1DX with a similar report. After speaking with our technical training officers, technical specialists and CPS (Canon Professional Services) team, I can confirm that to date you are the only individual I am aware of to have at least reported this to Canon Australia. The fact that we are dealing with the 1DX is even more of a motivation to understand where this issue is stemming from, so that we can provide you with a lasting remedy. Based on the information provided to me, it is clear that a sensor clean is nothing more than a cure; what we seek is a preventative measure if this issue is indeed stemming from the product itself.”

    This is from an email they sent me on June 26:

    “The issue has now been at hand for 6 months and we are no closer to a resolution for the simple fact that the camera has not been returned for inspection. It is all good and well to review your sample images and discuss other reports of the same phenomenon, but I cannot go past the fact that as far as Canon Australia is concerned; our service workshop are yet to receive a single 1DX submitted for inspection with a similar reported fault of oil / lubricant splatter on the CMOS sensor.”

    This is from an email they sent me on July 04 whilst they had my camera for inspection and repair:

    “The camera has been subject to independent testing by three senior technicians; all whom were given minimal information regarding the specific nature of the fault. In all three cases, the report returned contained the same findings. One of the components on the mirror box was found to have signs of wear and tear, which may have contributed to the presence of minute particles around the general vicinity of the sensor. As such, the decision has been made to replace the mirror box assembly. Both the CMOS sensor and focus screen are in need of a clean due to a presence of foreign debris, which naturally will be undertaken as part of this process.”

  7. Tony Tony July 18, 2013

    Thats right Robbo, VW said that something like ‘anybody who was upset about ‘media reports’ of a problem was welcome to come in and get their car checked.’
    Canon said ‘To ensure that this does not impact camera performance over time, we implemented a precautionary service procedure for cameras potentially affected.”
    Must have the same spin doctors, who by the way don’t seem to be particularly good!

  8. Tony Tony July 18, 2013

    And just to be fair Chris, Canon sell more than anybody else and all things being equal you should get more repairs from their cameras.
    Simple as that.

    • Chris Chris July 27, 2013

      Using that argument, then, that means 80% of cameras on the market are Canon – I don’t think so. We’ve had 2 Pentax DSLRs in for repair in the past year – both ist Ds. They’re the original Pentax DSLRs. There at 1 stage every camera coming through for repair was a Canon – all with the same problem of purple lines across the display screen. In all the years I’ve been in business I’ve only seen 4 or 5 non-Canon cameras with this same problem, & all different brands, not limited to 1 brand.

      We’ve black balled Sony because of 1 of their service centres & what issues I see here backs up what I’ve been telling people about Canon when people really want a Canon over a camera made by photographers for photographers (a quote from the SMH in a review on Pentax cameras).

  9. Paul Dawson Paul Dawson July 18, 2013

    Great story. I hope this helps all Canon 1dx owners with this ‘unknown’ rare phenomenon problem. Interesting that a simple search of the internet and any mug can find problems with the 1dx and their ‘expert technicians’ say ‘never had a problem’ gee.

    Hows this from earlier this year?

    Good luck Darryl, their denial and treatment on this matter is gob-smacking. No one should have to go through what you and others have had to go through.

    also seems like they have had similar problems since 2009 !!

    Once again good luck

  10. Not Happy Jan! Not Happy Jan! July 19, 2013

    This is typical of Canon Australia and sticking their heads in the sand. We use to sell Canon Pro equipment, but the amount the forced you to keep and “Yes we will revise prices to be inline with the global market”…pttt. Yer right Canon. You said once you will never sell online and you did, plus using a company as a front for you to sell you cameras and screw other dealers with your GREAT pricing. No wonder you made less than 5% net profit last finacial year. Your service is slow and unhelpful and you don’t support ANYONE. You act like a typical corrupt Japanese company (look at the slap on the wrist for those Olympus Exec’s) and when we see Canon Australia close their doors one day….lots of people will be saying I told you so.

  11. Alan Small NFP Alan Small NFP July 19, 2013

    This debate throws up something which is a very serious matter and which has generated little publicity thus far, but should have been substantial because of the “VW” implications. Several Canon lenses, but in particular the 17-85 and the 24-104mm models, through design issues have had constant and long-term failures in the information transfer flex to the aperture.
    Of course, to be fair, there is no harshness necessary in design and manufacture issues that don’t meet performance criteria – the harsh criticism should flow when companies fail to recognise the obvious and then fail to do anything about it. That is serious enough in the case of these lens problems, but the real issue is the exhorbitant cost of repairing these lenses -it would be greater in most cases than the manufactured cost of the lens. It is a sad reflection on corporate culture, when administrators no longer care about the human element of trust that clients once placed in their brand. (dealer)

  12. Greg Sylvia Greg Sylvia July 23, 2013

    Well today I send in my 1DX to get the service advisory. Just before I did, I tested it at F11 and F22 and sure enough there were the oily greasy spots on the pictures. I have only owned this camera since February and have done one assignment with it.
    Are there 2 separate issues with the camera??? 1- Over lubrication of something that splatters oil on the sensor? 2-Under lubrication of hook mechanism on mirror box that causes minute metal shavings on the sensor over time? Not overly impressed at this point.
    Is the advisory going to prevent this from happening again? So many questions, not too many answers.

  13. Michael Hains Michael Hains July 26, 2013

    Darrell and those affected

    The 1DX came out after the new Consumer Laws came into effect in 2011. These laws strengthen the position of the consumer against the seller and the manufacturer. It gives a direct course of action against Canon. You have implied right for fitness for purpose and use. Also rights concerning repair, replacement of refund:

    These laws changes have strengthened your position and Canon will not like a claim couched as a breach of these new laws.

    The ACC is looking for cases to run against companies not complying with the new rules. My suggestion, also complain to the ACCC about Canon.


  14. […] Austrailia Warranty Issue I ran across this in another forum…. Canon warranty dispute leads to claims of fraud | PhotoCounter and this was the outcome… No real winners in 1DX dispute | PhotoCounter […]

  15. John John July 27, 2013

    Hopefully this isn’t another Canon 1D Mark III with a different flavour

  16. Tom Milbank Tom Milbank October 20, 2013

    I’m on my 4th 1DX. Everyone in the United States is yelling too. The Canon EOS 1DX is defective. the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 are all they told you about but now people in the U.S. with 8’s are getting defective 1DX cameras too. Even the ones with the marks in the battery compartments are defective. Even aftey replace the Mirror Boxes they still break. Canon knows the cameras are defective and they still sell them. This is a crime! Just Google Defective Canon 1DX and see what comes up! Canon is losing their professional clients and they will suffer LONG-TERM unless they replace EVERY defective 1DX with a camera that has a new designed Mirror Box without the defects.

    • George George March 25, 2015

      I had to return my #4 1 dx for good and got a nikon d4s. I feel bad for those people whose warranties expired and canon will have to charge them $800 for an existing issue.

  17. Alex Alex February 28, 2014

    I’ve been considering a 1D X for some weeks now. Purely from a specs point of view it seems ideal for the type of shots I take. But upon doing my (endless) research – as, for me, it’s a very large sum of money to buy one – I’m so very glad I happened across all the info on this issue. It’s not so much that the camera, sorry, the model is faulty, its more that Canon only appear to have admitted it after they could no longer hide it (considering the amount of forum posts I’ve read) and from what I’ve read (correct me if I’m wrong please) it appears to be a design fault. Those two things together along with the band-aid approach to resolving it and the blatant fabrication regarding Darren’s serial number tells me that Canon are A) Not interested in their customers (who also buy lenses off them…) and B) Even if the model has had a complete re-design around the affected component(s) – has it? – that they are not a company I can trust. When I’m spending £4800 on a body and a further £7k or so on lenses and associated accessories I want, no, demand the confidence that the thing just works without a nagging doubt in my mind. Sure things go faulty, but so many around one single issue…? So, I’m now turning to Nikon, frankly, because I believe it’s my only viable alternative. And it’s my second choice. Not a happy camper.

    • George George March 25, 2015

      I hear you loud and clear. I bought a 1dx exchanged it for a few times due to the on going specks issue. The last one I had exchanged still has the same issue. I thought I will have to send it to canon for repairs for a change but the problem still exists. I can it back but I bought a $6799 camera for issues that so far cant be repaired …. I exchaned it for a d4s nikon and my worries are over as far as speck issues are concerned. Maybe, in the future, canon will come up with a better 1dx version. And I am hopeful they will. But until then, it’s d4s for me.

  18. Steve Richards Steve Richards July 28, 2014

    I don’t own a 1DX, but I do have a 24-105L IS lens that no longer operates correctly, due to a failure in the aperture mechanism.

    I own three 1D Mark II, 1-1D Mark III, a 1Ds Mark II and a 6D.

    The 1D series, picks up dirt and oil like there is no tomorrow.

    I’m selling all my Canon gear, if Canon Service dings me to repair the defective lens.

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