Melted canon 6d – or any DSLR exposed to sun

A customer has sent me an email with a strange problem: he has seen something blurred in the viewfinder of a 6d, after which he turned off the lens, and a burned smell came out. He has 2 similar 6d cameras…. and after a certain time he had the same symptoms with the second 6d too (!).

BH4K1705 BH4K1707

So he has brought to me one camera, to find out what happened, and case possible, to repair it. He was thinking on an electrical short or so.  


Exactly in that region of the camera there are no parts which could cause such a problem. But let we see, what happens, case you have a big aperture (small F-number) lens, and you just let your camera on a table in the sun, without a lens cap.  

To understand this, let see a sketch of the optical system.

Normal focalizing to an object at infinite (long distance).

The image of the object is focalized on the CMOS plane – which is hided by the shutter, and the light beams are deflected by the main mirror towards the matt screen, the image can be seen in the viewfinder. The lens is at the shortest distance from the CMOS.

infinite 2



Object at a short distance – let we say, 1 meter from the camera.

To get a sharp image, you focalize the lens – so you move it to a longer distance from the CMOS.

The image will be also projected on the matte screen.

one_meter 2


But what happens, if you leave the lens focalized to 1 meter – but you turn your camera towards the sun?

The sun is at infinite – so it’s image will be focalized to the short focal distance – but unfortunately at that point there is a black object: the mirror frame, or the shutters frame. And the melt, and produce smoke, and smell.

sun_infinite 2


So the camera has only to be cleaned in the mirror box, and after this looked as on the picture below. The photo quality is not affected.

6d melted after repair

The best solution is of course changing the mirror – which operations needs a complete disassembly of the camera, the  mirror box, and after assembling an AF readjustment. I would not do it even for my own camera without a service software.


So, case you are in the sun, always put on the lens cap. It’s not a joke.

About canonrepair

Ruzsa János. Amatőr fotós, Canon DSLR váz. Amateur photographer. Canon DSLR user.
This entry was posted in 6d, Canon camera, melted. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Melted canon 6d – or any DSLR exposed to sun

  1. Filip Lolic says:

    I have seen quite a few Canon cameras with burn holes above the shutter 😀
    But damage is possible even to the internal parts of the lens. Some time ago I repaired Canon 18-55 2.8 IS lens that (beside broken aperture flex) had burn marks on constant aperture leafs and stains on the lens 🙂

  2. ColT says:

    It is ridiculously the worst case, that placing eventually the camera towards to the sun, gets the right focus to burn the frame… :S Murphy is always around…

    • canonrepair says:

      You know, if this has only 0,001% probability, that is statistically nearly zero. But for that few guys, who have selected the right focus, and have been in the wrong place in the wrong moment, that will be 100% 🙂

      • ColT says:

        Yes 😀 If something has low possibility, give the device to a user, he’ll surely produce the 0,1% possibilty cases. 😀

  3. Cardoso says:

    Even if replaced the mirror only you still need to replaced the plastic frame wich is the full mirror box. This is always an expensive repair… I got one worst case scenario that the sun burned the shutter blades while making long exposures with the sun on the background. It make a full whole in one shutter blade!!! Camera was a 5D mark III.

    • canonrepair says:

      This is why I adviced the custemer, case there is no problem whith the photos, and no other burning on the camera, better leave it so. As I am a free workshop, my customers are, khmmm, let we say, price-sensitive 🙂

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