Monthly Archives: August 2011

My Experience With Canon Canada Repair

I bought my Canon EOS 5D in September 2010 with the knowledge that it did not have the mirror fix completed on it. Some 5D users never had the mirror fix performed and don’t bother sending it in for repairs while others had the mirror physically fall out. Not wanting to continue to risk the odds I decided to send the camera in.

After using the camera for 11 months I am using a pause in the action (between summer hockey and before the holiday season) to send the camera away for a few weeks to be fixed up. I was mostly concerned about having something happen to the camera while on vacation. The 5D survived our trip to England/France in 2010 but I was afraid of what would happen if it decided to break in Iceland 2012.

On August 15 I went to the Canon Repair website, created a profile and requested a repair of my camera. I asked that the mirror fix be performed and to get the body shutter count. The original cost estimate for the repair was $250, but after speaking to a member on the Photography on the Net boards, they assured me the same thing happened to them and they paid $0 for the mirror fix and shutter count.

I received a confirmation email that day from Canon and on August 17 I sent the camera to Mississauga, Ontario. I shipped only the camera body, I removed the memory card, strap, eye cup and battery. The only thing that was attached to it was the body cap cover. As per the instructions Canon sent me I had Canada Post send the package with a tracking number and insurance. To expedite the process I paid for two day shipping and on August 18 the camera was received by Canon.

On August 19 I received a repair estimate email (photo link) from Canon stating that the total charge would be $271.95. To see why I was being charged something that should be corrected for free I contacted Canon Customer Support. I spent a few minutes getting into the right department but once I arrived at the service area the phone agent (Mike, one of two I spoke to) confirmed the repair would be done for free and sent a revised email to me stating the repair had been acknowledged.

Shortly after my phone call the end user online repairs page was updated to reflect the $0 amount and that work was underway (photo link) . The camera was in their system and ready to be fixed, and now I just had to wait the estimated 15-20 business days for it to be completed.

On August 29 the repair status said completed (photo link)! Later in the day the status changed to shipped (photo link). Seven business days to perform the work on their end, thankfully this was well under the estimated time frame.

On August 30 the camera arrived in Edmonton and was delivered to me over lunch (photo link). I appreciate that Canon rushed the delivery (as the Online Repair page said), after checking the Online Repair status daily for the last 10 days I didn’t want to have any delays with the shipment.

The camera came well packaged with paper and the body was inside a plastic bag with a print out of the work done. The technician’s notes were:

Adjusted shutter speed, AE, AF, cleaned sensor, mirror modification was already done last time.

Oh…that’s underwhelming.

Admittedly I felt like a putz for sending the camera in for something when it was already performed but I’m surprised the work was allowed to continue if there was nothing to do. I had hoped that if the mirror fix had already been performed it would have been something the Online Repairs system could determine before accepting the body in for work.

I read the Service Repair Form (photo link) several times but I didn’t see anything about my shutter count, which was listed in the “customer complaint” section. I guess it’s good to have the camera be given a once over, but without knowing the exact shutter count I won’t know how much life is left on the body.

Without the 5D I felt a little like a photography nomad. I had cameras available to use but none could perform the way I knew the 5D could. I would see a sprinkler creating a rainbow or a large spider web and knew that my Pentax Optio S55 or iPhone 4 wouldn’t capture it and I begrudgingly moved on. It was nice not to have to carry a second bag with me everywhere I went, but after having one around me for so long it was strange to not have it. I always felt like I was leaving the house and forgetting something.

In a rather anticlimactic fashion my experience with Canon Canada comes to an end and overall I’m satisfied with the process and how quickly it took to get the camera back. I hope this post will assist other Canadians who have a 5D to get their camera to Canon and back without problem.

My Future Nordic Trip

Since our 16 hour layover in Iceland last October I have been thinking about returning. I always wanted to visit Iceland but being there for that brief moment made me want to return as soon as possible. A few months passed and I got a little more serious about planning a trip for 2012 at the start of this year. Traveling to Iceland isn’t easy or cheap so if we went there we had to do it right and see the entire country.

Road to Barnafoss, Iceland

Before any serious plans could be made I had to determine the best time to fly there. I must have spent hours using Hipmunk, Kayak and Icelandair looking at flight paths, layover locations all in an attempt to determine the best day to fly on. From there I looked at weather, off season rates, sunrise and sunset times and settled on May 15-30, 2012 as our travel dates. This will give us optimal day light (18.5-20 hours of daylight), access to roads that are closed until the middle of May as well as the opportunity to take tours such as Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake boat tour.

After watching May 2012 airfare for the last month I noticed a trend in the cost increasing every day. I went to the Icelandair website and saw limited seats available for the dates I wanted. I was surprised that a flight would be filling up 10 months in advance but not wanting to have a kink in our plans we bought the airfare, thus solidifying our plans for travel.

Over the next few days airfare cost increased but the Icelandair website no longer showed the limited seat availability. Perhaps I was seeing things or there were additional seats released. No matter, we have our flight there and back and now the next step is planning how we spend our two weeks.

Iceland: Sólfar (Sun Voyager) Iceland Dyrhólaey Iceland-2 Jökulsárlón, Iceland

There is a DIY approach where you handle everything from car rental to accommodation, or you can reserve a self drive tour from one of many tour operators in Iceland. As in any situation, there is money saved by doing it yourself but the benefits of paying extra could prove to be invaluable.

After calculating numbers the additional cost of having a tour operator watching your back is helpful in a country where glacial floods from a semi-active volcano can wipe out the only bridge on the only road and you need to make quick alterations to your travel plans. Such things would be possible on your own but it’s reassuring that if the country changes your itinerary the tour group will assist you in dealing with it.

Volcanic activity is always a concern in Iceland and between Katla, Hekla and Grímsvötn it’s been a busy few months in Iceland and could be better or worse by next year so it will be nice to have someone to help us navigate the country if things do go awry.

Iceland - Mvan: Cracked Earth Iceland farm Iceland 2011 Iceland untamed

What’s there to do in Iceland? You’d be surprised but it has it all. Glaciers, volcanoes, mountains, black beaches, barren dry lands with no soul in sight, beautiful and haunting scenery at every turn. As an added bonus, it’s an opportunity to see a place that many people pass over when flying between North America and Europe.

There is a 1300 km ring road that circles the island and it takes a week to do the majority of the county and another few days for the isolated Westfjords. Major attractions such as waterfalls, geysers, volcanic pools and fjords are accessible from the road so there will always be something to see when you pull over.

Plus Iceland has hot dogs, like really good hot dogs. I could be wrong but I’m sure a typical Icelandic lunch goes like: fermented shark, followed by a delicious hot dog and then a shot of Black Death.

The next step will be to reserve our self drive tour. I have been in contact with a few tour outfits and there is a lot of options available for visitors like Nordic Visitor, GrayLine, Discover the World and tour.is to name a few. I have a preference but I want to look over proposed itineraries a little bit longer before making the next major purchase in our trip in 2012.

My Ice Dragons Season in Review

The gloves are still drying from the final game of the Ice Dragons playoff game last night and the wound of this loss is going to take months to heal. For the second year in the row the Ice Dragons were ousted from the EMHL summer coed post season by the AMS Shredders in a shootout and the hatred we have for that team grows a little bit stronger.

How we got that far is a story onto itself and our season came to an end one week after one of the best memories I’ll have in my hockey career. On paper the Ice Dragons weren’t worth a second glance. We posted a 7-8-0-1 record for 15 points, one above the team at the bottom of the B division. After a stretch of losses the team was moved to C division where the victories came easier and the games had less meaning. After a few weeks of accumulating wins we were moved back to B division and were given a harsh wake up call.

It seemed that every team got exceptionally better in between seasons and we stayed the same. There was no middle ground for us, it was either an easy victory in C division or a lopsided affair in B division. Having nearly identical rosters to last year I can only assume everyone else stepped up their game, or played a little bit harder against us.

Our regular season ended with two victories in a row and we were slotted to face the Yellow Pencils in a first round matchup. The Pencils had a dominating record of 11-4-0-1 and with the exception of a few forfeits they were the best team in the division. We lost the first game, fielded a larger roster for the second game and staved off elimination.

A few days later we met for the third and deciding game. We had eight skaters and the odds stacked against us. It was a strong game on our end as we didn’t show signs of being short and had the Yellow Pencils number. With the seconds ticking down the Yellow Pencils tied the game and we were heading to a shootout.

After the first three skaters went we were tied at one apiece and it was my chance to go one on one with the goalie. I may not remember all of the goals I score but from the blue line to celebration I remember my position, where the puck was and what I was thinking. I came in on the left, cut across in front and hit top shelf. I thought about back hand, deke or something else but as I went left to right I knew what I was going to do and after that goal I had a grin on my face for hours.

Some controversy followed from the opposition as to who would shoot next, but it didn’t matter, they missed and we celebrated hard.

Next up were our arch rivals the AMS Shredders. We lost all of our regular season games against them this year but knew we they could be beaten. We had back to back games scheduled and the score card will show them winning both but not without a fight.

For the second Friday in a row the Ice Dragons were short benched with eight skaters and were in an elimination game. Sadly the outcome was different this time. It was a solid effort from everyone on the Dragons as we overcame an early deficit and killed off several penalties. The Shredders scored with 16 minutes left and we were heading to another shootout.

Instead of being a part of the celebration we watched these jerks celebrate a shootout victory over us for the second year in a row. With their top competition (Yellow Pencils) removed from the playoffs the B division is theirs for the taking in a second year in a row and we’ll be looking forward to the playoffs next year for revenge.

Pushing aside the bitterness of this loss it was still another fun year being a part of the Ice Dragons. My assist amount decreased this season from last, but I made up for it by scoring the most goals I had in any Ice Dragons uniform.

Our team had a lot of returning players from the 2010 season and it made for a tight knit group. The new players fit in well and I would be pleased to have everyone come back for a fourth Ice Dragons season. The team Gord started in 2009 has come a long way and hopefully one year we’ll get to know what the Finals taste like and have a chance at claiming a division championship.

Until then I will be thinking about this all summer long (again): stupid short bench, stupid Flyers Shredders.

Photos from this season can be found in my gallery here. Photos from the Shredders playoff games will be added this weekend.