Twice my new (purchased 11/4/2012) 60D has failed to work properly during shoots. Both failures were related to the micros switch hiding under the rail of the hot shoe. Both failures occurred on location shoots, which really made me angry.

The first problem occurred when the switch became stuck in the down position after I removed the flash. The result was that the camera thought I had a flash in the hot shoe, so I could not deploy the internal flash to wireless trigger the flash off-camera as I had intended. A Google search revealed that this is a common problem with Canon DSLRs that have built-in flashes and the fix was easy enough: I used a jeweler's screwdriver to gently lift the spring above the switch to move upward and begin to function properly.

The second failure occurred last week and was the opposite of the first problem: the camera wouldn't recognize that I had a flash in the shoe. I verified that the flash worked by using it with my old body. It also worked as a wireless slave to my 60D. But it would not fire while in the hot shoe, and when I test fired it from an automatic mode, the internal flash attempted to deploy. Ultimately I determined that the switch was somehow stuck in the up position.

Another Google search unearthed switch repairs of Canon hot shoe micro switches by Conrad Erb and Jan Shim. Both of these show the repair being done on a 20D, but reader feedback attests that the repair works with a variety of models including all of the XXDs up to and including the 50D and XXXDs (Rebels) up to and including the 450D (XSi). Conrad Erb even says it works with the 5D (Mk I) (even though it does not have an internal flash). Neither article specifically mentions the 60D, but they date back to 2006 and 2009, respectively.

So I, hoping to avoid mailing my precious new camera off for who knows how long, attempted the repair. I removed the hot shoe plate and unscrewed and removed the hot shoe. It could not have been easier. I saw that the top of the switch had bent to the side and been smashed by the spring rendering it useless. However, I could not extract it as described in these repair instructionals. Apparently this plastic switch plunger gizmo no longer floats freely between the hot shoe and the actual switch located within the camera body. It appears to have been re-engineered so that it won't fall out or fall into the body of the camera. So I was left with no choice but to put the hot shoe back together and call Canon's customer support.

Now I wait, hoping Canon won't see a few scratches on screws heads from my screwdriver as justification to void the warranty. I am also now quite concerned that I won't be able to rely on this body. I've been shooting with Canon SLRs and DSLRs since 1986. This is the first time I have seriously contemplated crossing over to Nikon.