Canon Software Crashing on OS X 10.8

Shameless plug: If you are shooting tethered, I recommend you to check out Kuuvik Capture, an app that I wrote for Kuuvik Digital. It’s light years ahead of EOS Utility. You can find my posts related to the app here.

October 10, 2012: Canon has released EOS Utility 2.12.0, which resolves the problem. You can download it from here.

September 24, 2012: both applications produce the exact same behavior on the latest OS X 10.7.5 update. So now Lion users are also affected.

Let’s begin with the hard facts: Canon’s latest EOS Utility (2.11.4, released a week before the public 10.8) crashes on Mountain Lion each every time I connect my 5D Mark III. The version I got with the camera on the included CD (2.11.0) works just fine. Also, the current version of the app works fine on Lion.

EOS Utility Crash

Moreover, the CaptureCoreServer component in Capture One 6.4.3 is also crashing every time I connect the camera. This happens periodically, as the main app tries to restart the just crashed server.

Capture One Crash

Phase One states in the 6.4.3 release notes that new features are (among others):

  • Added support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
  • Tethered support for Canon 1D X and 5D Mark III.

It seems that Phase One has serious issues with their quality assurance department (nobody ever tried this setup, they just blindly released it). Which is a bad thing for such an expensive software.

Being really upset with these I decided to do a little private investigation on my own. I’m a developer, so the goal was to at least identify who is responsible for screwing things up so badly. From the crash logs I was able to quickly identify a component named “”, which lives in the EDSDK framework. The following is a prettified excerpt from the crash log:

Thread 0 Crashed:: Dispatch queue:
0   libobjc.A.dylib
    objc_msgSend + 27
1   libobjc.A.dylib
    (anonymous namespace)::AutoreleasePoolPage::pop(void*) + 490
    _CFAutoreleasePoolPop + 51
    -[NSAutoreleasePool release] + 125
    CIccMan::SendPtpCommand(void*, tagEdsPassThrough*) + 961
    CMacPtpInterface::SendCommandSelf(void*, SPtpParam*) + 120
    CPtpInterface::DS_SetRemoteMode(void*, DS_REMOTE_MODE_T) + 156
    CPtpCamera::OpenSessionSelf() + 314
    CEdsCamera::OpenSession(long) + 69
    EdsOpenSession + 77
10 Utility 2
    -[MainController openSession] + 182
11 Utility 2
    -[MainController connectCamera] + 353
12 Utility 2
    -[MainController launchApp] + 555

0xb0000000 - 0xb0050ffb ( -

It seems that the EOS Utility calls the EdsOpenSession function (in stack frame 9, marked with bold) in the EDSDK framework, which causes the crash down the road.

Now that I know the name of the component that causes the crash I quickly checked the EDSDK version in the old and new EOS Utility as well as in Capture One. The numbers are the following:

  • EOS Utility 2.11.0 – EDSDK version
  • EOS Utility 2.11.4 – EDSDK version
  • Capture One 6.4.3 – EDSDK version

So the responsible party (for the crash) is either Canon or Apple. My bet is that Canon introduced this bug between and versions of their framework. Even if Apple has changed something that caused the framework to break, Canon is guilty in not testing their software on upcoming OS releases. This is especially irritating in these days when platform providers like Apple release a new operating system each year. Saying that “oh, it works fine on last year tech” is a surefire way to alienate customers. Phase is just guilty in not testing what they release (which is also a cardinal sin in my book).

I had filed bug reports with all three companies when I ran into the issue. Canon Europe’s response was the usual: nothing, nada, zip. Not even a “thank you for your feedback” message. Apple and Phase are both working on the bug, but made no progress during the last week or so.

I’ll let you know when progress is made, but given Canon’s track record of fixing things don’t expect it to happen overnight. Do your tethered shooting with the old EOS Utility in the meantime. Oh, and don’t forget to disable the Canon provider in Capture One to avoid interference between the two apps!

Disable the Canon provide in Preferences

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  1. Are you saying you were able to properly tether a 5D MkIII to OSX 10.8 using the older version of EOS Utility? Like you, I’ve been unable to connect the camera to my MacBook Pro using the latest versions of all the software you listed. I have jobs coming up where I need to be able to tether and I would really like to avoid having to rent a laptop.

    • Laszlo Pusztai says:

      Exactly. I’m using the one on the CD that came with my camera. The about box says: “Version 2.11.0 (”. The CD is “EOS Solution Disk v25.0”.

  2. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    Phase One has just confirmed my findings that the culprit is indeed Canon’s SDK:


    This is an issue with the Canon SDK and we are working on rectifying it soon. Please check back for more updates…

    Best Regards,
    Phase One Support”

    • Awesome! Thanks Canon. I don’t suppose you have any way of sharing that version, or know where to find it? My camera came with EOS Solution Disc v25.1.2 which doesn’t work. All I’m looking for is EOS Utility and it seems Canon only offers v2.11.4 on their site. I’ll keep looking otherwise. Thanks!

  3. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    Canon USA has the following on their website’s download section:

    “Content for OS X v10.8 Mountain Lion will be available in early October 2012. In the meantime, please use OS X v10.7 Lion content as a possible alternative.”

    Aside the fact that this isn’t a viable alternative, I hope that it will be resolved by the end of October. I just want to note that if it takes two months to make everything Mountain Lion compatible, then the 5 month long beta period would be more than enough.

  4. Paul Isaacs says:

    I am glad i read this post as i had to revert back to eos utility provided on the supplied cd, as soon as i upgraded to 2.11.4 the eos utility crashed if my 5D mmiii is switched on and this seems to be the only post discussing the issue.

  5. I had the same problem when doing the latest release for Smart Shooter, so the mac version is still stuck using EDSDK 2.10 (so no support for the most recent Canon cameras). No problems on windows though so that version of the app is now using EDSDK 2.11.

    Canon actually released an EDSDK update to developers last week, but its still labelled as 2.11.3, and the crash bug is still there.

    But anyway shame on Phase One for letting its users find that bug, should really have been caught before it even got to QA.

  6. Paul Isaacs says:

    is there any way Canon can be asked to remove the update or at least post a warning, i had to dig high and low to find my 5d mkiii install disc.

    • Laszlo Pusztai says:

      Give it a try, but I would not expect any response. Both Phase One and Apple confirmed that the bug is indeed in Canon’s stuff. But have not received anything from Canon…

  7. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    Apple is also responded to the issue:

    “You are releasing a data buffer you do not own.”

    Actually “you” means Canon here as I had submitted the bug report that the aforementioned EdsOpenSession call crashes 🙂
    I’m just curious what the hell Apple modified that it had not surfaced in previous releases…

    • Well the bug is with what Canon changed between EDSDK 2.10 and 2.11.
      2.10 works on both Lion and Mountain Lion, whereas 2.11 only works on Lion.

      With Smart Shooter using 2.11 on Mountain Lion, I get the crash on EdsOpenSession, but also even earlier during start up (EdsInitialize!), if you try to use the Canon functions in a different thread than the main application thread. And of course Smart Shooter makes all its Canon Eds* function calls in a separate asynchronous thread so that the application GUI stays responsive – I don’t want to change that so I really hope Canon figure out whats going wrong.

      • I tried to download 2.10 and 2.11 on Canon Europe, but they both crash on EdsOpenSession on Mountain Lion. I wonder why Canon doesn’t invest 2 pennies more on software development.

        • Paul Isaacs says:

          i know this may seem silly but the second decimal point is important in the issue with the 5D mkiii
          2.10 will not work with 5d mkiii full stop (excuse the pun)
          2.11.0 that comes with the 5d mkiii will work on 10.7 & 10.8
          2.11.3/4 will currently work on 10.7 (until the next update) and then like 10.8, 2.11.3/4 will stop working.

          A shop in centre London near where i work has a canon expert going into the shop tomorrow to demo the new EOS M, i am going to try and have a word if i can.

  8. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    Some more info from Apple: the change that causes the crash on 10.8 were be back-ported to 10.7. Which means that ALL THESE APPS WILL CRASH ON 10.7.5 when it comes out!

    Apple also said that they fixed some memory leaks. My current theory is that Canon implemented a “hack” to fix these memory leaks on their own – releasing the buffer that they shouldn’t. Now that Apple finally plugged these holes in 10.8/10.7.5 the hack causes a buffer double-release and a crash. Bad programming practice, nevertheless…

  9. I am quite exhausted after using hours of investigation why my new mark III (3 days old) could not use either Phase one(latest) or utility from Canon on MacPro running 10.8.
    At least I found this thread. Grateful. I was really frustrated.
    What a mess!
    Planning to shoot in the studio this weekend, testing my new camera. But no point.

    I will also contact Canon and PhaseOne. :-((((

  10. vincent Penrose says:


    I can write the EXACT same response with the exact exact same situation. I have had my NEW camera 3 days…….What to do?

  11. Hi.
    I have been in contact with both Canon and PhaseOne.
    Well, what to say: “Maybe you should not innstall 10.8 as they said Phase One only is working on Lion.”
    And so on…
    That was the Norwegian dealer.

    What to do? It seems we must wait until the developers make it possible to run on OSX10.8.
    They blame each other. I hope I will get an answer from PhaseOne in a while, I did sent the mail just now.
    So, if you only have OSX10.8, so it will not work yet.
    I also will remind Canon to come up with a solution. They are a big company with resources to make it work on OSX10.8.
    I post the answer as soon as I receive it, but the thread above have already doing the same thing….

    So far…

    • Hi.
      From Canon.
      Canon Utility:
      UPDATE: 2.10.4 work on Mountain Lion for all Cameras
      I tried but “page not found” by Canon site.
      Maybe someone else can try?

      Hi – thanks for the feedback.

      As soon as Apple and Canon will change their SDK it will also be possible to tethered through Capture One – until then we can only wait.

      Thanks for using Capture One
      Phase One

      • Yes I think Canon Utility/EDSDK 2.10.4 should work on Mountain Lion, but it doesn’t support the Canon 5D Mark III and later. This is the SDK that Smart Shooter is using, and why it doesn’t crash!

        Apple have just released the next Mountain Lion update to developers, which is Mac OS X version 10.8.2. Theres no mention of any fixes relevant to this, but you might get lucky!

  12. Vincent Penrose says:

    I am glad there is a group of us on this thing. The EOS software crashed in every respect on my Mac Book Pro. I am running I7 with 16GB ram…..I did fire up my old VISTA laptop and installed the EOS software and I was able to shoot tethered …but then I had to use the windows box.

    I know when you guys find a solution, I will have the solution…



  13. Thank God I’ve found this post, now I know it’s a common problem.
    I’m subscribing to new posts and follow-ups hoping I will know when the update will be released hopefully the same day it comes out.
    Before that day my work will be drastically hindered.

  14. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    As expected: after the 10.7.5 update the latest EOS Utility (as well as Capture One) crashes on Lion too…

  15. I have nothing constructive to add except I too am in the same boat. Wanted to update a lens correction setting that is not built into the camera and need the EOS Utility installed to download lens profiles. Using OS 10.7.5. EOS installation from the software CD didn’t work. Updated to the latest software via the website, same problem. Updated the firmware on the camera, same problem. I guess I’ll wait till October for another response from Canon. Thanks for starting this Laszlo.


  16. I ran across this issue while researching the purchase of FoCal (microfocus adjustment program). Their utility is having issues communicating to a tethered camera under OS X 10.8, and now the latest release of 10.7. Canon’s website, when filtering utilities/drivers by Mac OS X 10.8, says “coming early October” for everything 10.8 related.

    Fortunately, FoCal has a Windows version which works. It’s just a PITA to bootcamp my MacBook Pro over to Windows 7. Thanks for the great info on this thread! I’m a techie, too, so it’s nice to see what the actual problem is with this issue. I’ll be monitoring this thread, and will post if I hear anything.

  17. Laszlo Pusztai says:

    EOS Utility 2.12.0 is out, which works fine on OS X 10.8.2 for me. Download it from:

  18. EOS Utility 2.12.0 is available in the US and Europe and it works with OS 10.7.5 and a 5DM3.

  19. Gerwin de Haan says:

    Finally! The EOS Utility 2.12.0 as released on 10/10/2012 works, both in my OSX 10.7.5 Lion VmWare Machine and OSX 10.8.2 Mountain Lion! Although I stumbled upon the Canon updates just now, thanks Laszlo and posters for keeping us up to date in the past months.
    BTW still waiting for the EDSDK, I can see the internal version is EDSDK version

  20. Diego Duque says:

    Thanks. I’m very happy because I solve the problem with the update. I hope never happen again.

  21. Thanks for the post. Now my new 5DMk3 is working with my Macs. 🙂

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