A good change, but is it worth the price?

Mode dial lock
Mode dial lock modification - image from usa.canon.com


Canon is now offering to modify 5D Mark II and 7D camera bodies with a mode dial that locks in place to prevent the dial from moving accidentally.  Unfortunately, it’s not free of charge: $100 per camera body.


You know the frustration: you’ve set your camera to “aperture priority” and then you sling it over your shoulder.  You pick it back up to make a quick image and suddenly the viewfinder blacks out far longer than you expected.  A second-long exposure in bright daylight?  “Oh, ” you realize, “it slipped over to shutter priority which was set for making blurs.”  But the decisive moment?  It’s long since gone on account of a technical problem.

I’m going to make a broad-spectrum criticism here: the mode dials on pretty much every camera suck because most of them do not lock in any way, shape, or form.  Nikon locks the “sub-dial” beneath the mode dial on many of their bodies, but even they are not blameless.

Time to celebrate?

Maybe.  I own both bodies, and I’m not really thrilled at the thought of contributing $200 into Canon’s coffers for something that is really a fix, not a “modification.”  And I’m disappointed that there’s no suggestion that a locking mode dial will be a standard feature of future camera bodies.  Finally, a mod for the 5D Mk. II really gives me pause: this camera was announced over two years ago, so shouldn’t owners be looking for its replacement, not pouring more money into the existing body?

I think this one is worthy of discussion, so what do you think?

2 thoughts

  1. Erin checked a 5D out over the Thanksgiving break and that was one of my points when she pulled it out a few times and found the dial turned. I thought it was very ironic when they announced this the week after. I think there was a comment somewhere that they don’t plan to keep the cost of the upgrade at $200. I don’t see how they suddenly discovered this solution after all these years.

    1. Scott,
      Your comment made me realize that I didn’t explain adequately: the fix is $100 per body (but if you own both, obviously the total price is $200). And as for “discovering” the solution, it’s actually something that some of the prosumer Canon film bodies had, but magically disappeared when digital came about. That said, I stand by my statement that this is not a problem unique to Canon!

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