The Canon EOS 1D X and Canon EOS 1D C cameras are reportedly affected by autofocus issues in cold environments, although the company has not publicly acknowledged the problems.
Canon is currently offering a couple of high-end DSLRs for professional users. The first is the EOS 1D X which is aimed at photographers, while the other one is the EOS 1D C, a Cinema-series camera for videographers.
Both are based on roughly the same internal and external designs so, as a result, if one has a specific problem, then the other one will most certainly share the same issue.
Ever since the beginning of 2013, a lot of photographers have been complaining about the fact that the 1D X is having serious problems with the autofocus system in cold environments. Although Canon has not acknowledged this fact, a “service advisory” has been leaked on the web detailing exactly this type of issues.
Canon 1D X autofocus issues described in leaked service advisory
The leaked service advisory describes scenarios when the Canon 1D X “does not autofocus” / “does not search in AF” / “does not focus in AF search” in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius / 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The symptoms have been reported by EOS 1D X users. However, Canon says that the EOS 1D C features an identical “mechanical structure” of the Sub Mirror.
There is a locking claw holding the mirror and a locking pin holding the aforementioned claw. Apparently, the claw somehow manages to go over the pin therefore the light will not hit the Sub Mirror / AF Mirror whilst causing the camera to not autofocus.
All 1D X and 1D C DSLRs manufactured before January 23, 2013 have problems autofocusing in cold climates
Canon’s leaked service advisory does not mention any product codes. However, it says that the cameras manufactured as of January 24, 2013 have a new Locking Claw and Locking Pin mechanisms in place.
We can deduce the fact that all 1D X and 1D C units made before January 24, 2013 have problems with autofocusing in colder climates.
As expected, the most affected are the 1D X users as their camera has been released in March 2012. The 1D C has become available in March 2013, but the production has begun sooner.
The service advisory confirms that the problem can be solved
Canon can fix problematic DSLRs. If you have issues with the AF system, you will need to contact the company to find out where to service your camera.
As stated above, the company has not acknowledged the Canon 1D X and 1D C autofocus issues. We will have to wait and see how this story unfolds, while you can let us know if you have ever experienced any AF problems with your cameras.