Hot Pixels in video mode!!!

The issue

At first, I thought it was dust. Dust on the sensor or on the lens. Then, after watching every single video I shot since I got the camera, I saw something worst than the black dot problem: hot pixels! And to make things worst, there are 2 of them!

I did not notice them at first because most of my shots were done in bright light but last weekend I had to shoot some video for the CD launch of my friend Jon Davis (f1.4 ISO3200, hence the noise…) and the white dots on the dark background cant be missed.

This is a rare but not unknown issue.Bbut it seems like there is some confusion between people having serious noise issues while taking long low light pictures (a problem I am not having) and the problem I am having with videos. My problem is not noise, it really is white (hot) pixels. Take a look at the screen capture:

Click to enlarge

You can see a 100% crop of the problematic area here:


While it is not very noticeable on still images, as soon as the camera starts panning it jumps off the screen and destroy the whole scene. You can see it in the home made clip I did last week too.

What I have tried so far

First, I used the manual auto-cleaning feature about 10 times in a row to see if it could “unstuck” the pixel without success. Then I updated the firmware to 1.07 and they are still there.

My last resort was to call the store. They were very helpful. I will have to bring my camera back Friday and they will see if they can trade mine for a new one straight or, at worst, send it for repair (urck!). If they send it for repair I will try to get an “equivalent” camera until I have my replacement. By equivalent I am of course thinking about these Hasselblad that no body ever rents!

I will report back on this Friday.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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  • Photographer / Videographer

    Hot pixels in Movie mode seems to be not able to be remapped as in stills.

    It’s a very good idea to check it when you get your camera right out of the box.

    I hope there would be a Function released by Canon (via Firmware Update) that would allow remapping hot pixels in Movie mode too. That would save tech service LOT of money, and make customers much more satisfied.

  • Photographer / Videographer

    It’s a good idea to check the camera just when you get out-of-the box to see if it has any hot pixel in video mode.

    it seems, so far, they can not be remapped as in still mode…

  • The 5D mark 2 is notorious for hot pixels… and indeed, pixel remapping does not apply for video mode. That is why I developped a Sony Vegas plugin. Have a look a

    • admin

      I think the work notorious is an overstatement but your plugin is quite cool. You should make one for FCP.

  • admin

    Only does that with your 24-70? Do you have other 77mm lenses to see if it could be caused by your lens filter (if you use one)?

  • I only wish I could run FCP. I dont have an Apple computer and I couldn’t find FCP for PC. For PC it not easy to find a decent video editing package that works well with Canon 5D clips. Pinnacle doesn’t read them. Corel was too limited regarding quality and resolution in final rendering. Sony Vegas looked ok at first sight, but (after having spent a week developping my plugin) I started editing ‘for real’ and I noticed that Vegas couldn’t handle an edit of more then 4 minutes (rendering freezes and crashes… and no, it had nothing to do with my plugin ;-). Now I’m testing Adobe Premiere; that seems to work very well, but now I have to port my plugin.

  • Hi,

    I too, received an EOS 5D Mark II with one red hot pixel. In fact, this is not one pixel, but a group of 22 red pixels next to each others in photography, but in HD video mode this become a group of 50 pixels !

    I made the technique of the remapping, it worked, but only for the photography mode.
    I have sent my 5D back to the store yesterday, for an exchange, but here in France, I waited 3 months before having one of it, and they don’t known when they will receive new ones…

    I am afraid of receiving another one with the same problem…
    Have you received your new 5D Mark II yet ? Without hot pixels this time ?

    • admin

      I did not have to return it, it automatically fixed itself. I dont think it would take that much time to repair the camera. Here in Montreal they now always have a few 5DMrkII in stores so I guess the supplies are increasing slowly.
      At my camera store, if you send your camera for repair, they give you another one to work with meanwhile. You might ask what is the store politic regarding this!

  • Thank you for your answer, your problem was slightly different from mine, it was about white and not red pixels.
    Vincent Laforêt’s prototype possessed both types of problems, a group of red pixels, and two groups of white pixels.
    Maybe the white pixels can repair itself with time…
    My store does not lend body, and I regrettably did not yet receive my Canon CPS card (which was validated with this new 5D Mark II) so even Canon Pro cannot lend me one yet.

    I hope that the shortage which reigns in France is going to be soon finished…

  • hi.
    i want to share my problems with the 5dmII. The first 5dmII hat a similar white pixel in movie mode! … so i took the cam back and got a new one. NOW I AM HAVING A BIG BLUE PIXEL IN THE MIDDLE OF MY VIDEOS. This really sucks! I have not the time, to change my cam another ten times.
    what should i do?

  • admin

    Hi Mike, this really but really sucks… You should get straight back to the store and ask for a new one right away and test it there!
    Did you try to remap the pixel by turning the camera on/off a few times in a row?
    Burned pixels seem to be quite rare so I guess you have been very unlucky.

  • hi.
    so.. you (admin) said, that your pixels are gone? what did you do.. i have allmost tried everything. on/off on/off ect. .. and cleaning the sonsor a few times… doing very long exposure times .. and so on…
    i called canon – and told them OUR problem but… of course the nice canon lady on the telephone had no clue? she never heard of such a problem… oh yes thats the right way canon.

    tomorrow i will give my cam back.. and get another one… the problem here in austria is, that the 5dmII is very rare!

    ok, i will inform you, what happend.

  • Hi mike,

    My first 5D Mark II had a hot red spot near the center of the sensor, this spot was the result of a group of 52 red pixels.
    With the sensor cleaning trick, there were remapped, but of course only for the photos, they still appeared in live view and movies.
    I waited two months here in France before they can replace it !!

    My second 5D Mark II has 3 groups of white pixels, but these groups are very small, less than 10 pixels each, and they don’t appear in video because of the huge downscalling (21 Mega pixels to 2 Mega pixels).
    And again, with the sensor cleaning/remapping trick, they disappeared from the photos.

    What I think, it is that 21 Mega pixels sensors without defective pixels must be extremely rare, and a lot of people does not have to notice that they have groups of defective pixels, because they are too small and disappear from the video and for the photography they are automatically corrected by the software of photos (like Camera Raw or Light Room), or they are big but people do not use the video and notice it thus not, etc.

  • so.
    of course 21mp is a huge range of pixels. but. i payed 2500 euro for a product that has to be “perfect”… i would accectp if a have a cam for about 200euros – but not that price!

    what i hate about is: that canon acts the fool about it! … “no i´ve never heard about that problem” (told me a canon support guy).

    so on monday i will get my THIRD 5dmII. lets see for how long?

  • admin

    Good for you! Glad to see that your perseverance paid off in the end. Now go out and shoot something!

  • I’m glad for you mike, I hope that Canon will find a way to allow remapping in video mode for theirs next DSLR, I do not want to live this situation again.

  • dc

    Mike… I was very excited to read that your third camera was perfect. However, I expected reading what you posted on june 11th. I too am waiting for my THIRD canon camera and are having the exact same problems you are having. My first canon had 3 dead spots my current has one but right in the center. I also have two XLH1’s both with Dead pixels. I’m sad to say but think I’m going to wait for canon to get their act together…

    Anyway there are small work arounds that you can do to get around the dead pixel. This may seem obvious but shoot at low ISO’s and turn off the camera immediately after shooting your shots. The reason why these are showing up is because your camera generates a lot more heat than in still mode. I’ve actually put my camera on air conditioning units while driving in order to keep the temp down = ) it’s a pain in the butt but works. I can usually get away with shooting up to 800 iso before really noticing it on my LCD. My stuck pixels are dead center so I just have to magnify my LCD twice in order to see if it is existing…

    This camera is simply amazing to a point. I was looking to switch over and get ride of my Canon XLH1’s and Panasonic HVX200s to get 2 more of these cameras. I may have to wait a year until they have perfected these issues….

    I hope that helps to anyone else looking into this issue.

  • Alan

    My 5D Mk2 had more than a dozen bright white pixels in video mode. Took it back to the store. Got the camera back after a month, and no problems. No report on whether they replaced the sensor or not.

  • Johnny

    I got my 5dii from b&h photo in late november, had lots of white dots. Sent it back and they exchanged it. Thought it was fine cause didn’t come out in pictures, but then doing video and noticed bright purplish dot in low light videos, all in same spot. Did manual and auto clean fixes like people say, but no dice. So pissed, gonna send it back one more time before asking for money back.

  • Johnny

    Got my 5dii for the 3rd time from B&H and yes it has a white pixel right in the middle. I’m going to send it back and ask for a full refund. I’m then going to a local camera store like prophoto in Irvine Ca. Or Sammy’s Camera and buy it there. At least I won’t have to wait 2 weeks for them to return it to me. Sorry B&H, I know it’s not your fault, but you guys just got a whole big batch of defective Canon 5D II’s. For $2700 I’m not going to compromise!!!

  • Johnny

    I just got off the phone with B&H Photo to send my 5Dii back and request a refund and for the first time ever a rude associate from B&H was very rude. He sounded exactly like those those rude New Yorkers that you read about when you order from shady camera shops. I called Sunday morning at 11:55am on 1/17/10, and hr said his name was “Joseph”. You would think that when your giving somebody good business that they would be corteous. I’m just going to suck it in and pay the extra money and taxes from a good local camera shop in Southern Ca. Really disappointed in your staff B&H Photo.

  • Lee Mullen