Legend again reawakened...


It was Tuesday, 27th October 2020 and I retrieved my Canon EOS 5D Mark I from my backpack to take some macro photographs. After charging the batteries, I inserted them into the camera, however, it appeared as though there were no batteries present. To verify that they were fully charged, I used a multimeter from my drawer, which indicated that they indeed had the correct voltage. In an attempt to fix the issue, I detached the battery grip from the camera, but unfortunately, it did not resolve the problem. I left my EOS camera overnight with very little hope of recovery.

Even after resting for a full 24 hours, the Canon still displayed no signs of life. I started to come to terms with the fact that this could be the end of my photo equipment. Throughout the early evening, I contemplated the potential causes of the camera's downfall. Around midnight, I decided that I had nothing to lose, so I disassembled the camera with care and examined the base plate to determine if there were any visible indications of damage. I resumed my work with the multimeter, meticulously investigating all the elements on the base plate, except for the microchips.

    At four in the morning, the multimeter indicated that two fuses situated near the trigger were faulty. To fix the problem, I soldered copper wires onto both sides of the SMD fuses with careful precision. Although soldering such a small 0.8x0.4 mm component can be challenging, it proved successful. I connected the energised wires to bridge the faulty fuse. As the final step, I cautiously plugged the flex cables into their respective sockets and connected the parts. I realized that if there were to be an electrical issue now, such as a short circuit, the fuse would have resolved it previously. However, because the wire is now bridged, the entire baseplate would bear the brunt.

I donned gloves to minimise potential damage to the camera and inserted the battery. Without warning, the blue light illuminated, indicating the continued function of the 5-D. I could barely contain my excitement, awaking those in slumber. The issue had been identified, but the subsequent challenge was obtaining a replacement fuse. Despite numerous overseas offers available online, I desired expeditious resolution and refrained from waiting several months for delivery. Eventually, I found fuses with similar specifications to the original camera and ordered five of them immediately. It's always better to have a stock of them, as you never know what might happen.

There was a brief delay in delivery, but on Wednesday 4 November, the post office successfully delivered my envelope containing the insurance policies. I was eagerly waiting for my online class to end so that I could resume repairing my Canon camera. With precision, I soldered the new fuses onto the wires I had already laid, carefully capping all the joints with non-conductive polyurethane paste, which I use for fixing and repairing parts. Then, I used a screwdriver to begin assembling the camera body. Fortunately, whilst dismantling the camera, I had an epiphany of sticking the individual screws onto double-sided tape labelled with their location, making the assembly procedure more manageable and quicker.

After completing the entire repair, I reinserted the battery into the camera to ensure success. Upon testing, the shutter functioned correctly, the buttons responded, and the top display lit up with changing values. However, the display showing the photos was unresponsive, necessitating a second disassembly to clean the contacts. Following the second reassembly, the screen lit up, but only displayed 8 colours. This was followed by reopening the camera. Gradually, I gained confidence in identifying the screw that required precisely 360 degrees of turning and the ones that needed more turns to loosen. I detached the back and removed the display. I tinkered with the flex cable connected to the LCD panel, and finally reassembled the camera for the last time.

Now all is functioning as normal. Based on the glitch, I deduced that the issue may have been caused by the subpar quality of the intermediate rings that I utilised during my previous photo shoot or by placing the camera, complete with macro lens, into my photo bag. Subsequent carrying may have depressed the shutter release, thereby triggering the focusing process. The lens began to extend, but as it is my only macro lens with the old focusing technology that uses a standard motor instead of the new STM/USM, it jammed against the wall of the backpack during focusing. In an attempt to find the right focus point, the motor drew more current and ended up blowing a fuse in the circuit.