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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #1
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Is Sony following Toyota in quality?

I've been a loyal Sony follower and believer for about 25 years now. Throughout this time, Sony products have been the epitome of quality. Their cameras, VCRs, and tvs have always been top notch. That is, until about 3 years ago. About that time, I purchased a new hi-8 camcorder for customers that wanted to make transfers to dvd. It's faux leather strap began to fall apart pretty quickly, despite always being in the box. Later, a Sony headphones' rubber earpieces began to deteriorate in flakes. Then when I got my EX-1, the paint came off on the handle and body.

Sony was always made in Japan, and quality was top notch. Now I'm a true believer that they're outsourcing parts made in China or elsewhere.

My question is twofold: Is anyone else experiencing similar problems with quality control? Are the quality problems strictly Sony and Toyota, or are other major brands suffering as well?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 01:58 PM   #2
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Warren, there's not much good that can come out of a post like this. If you're looking for similar complaints, you can insert [ Brand X] here and receive a flood of me-too's no matter who the manufacturer is. The question then is, what are you prepared to do about it. In other words, what are you expecting in terms of usable information that you can apply to your situation.

Are you ready to jump ship in terms of brand loyalty? Then do so. There's no real need to run a poll, because the majority of responses you'll get are going to agree with you, and only a minority will disagree. That holds true for *any* brand of electronics, because it's the nature of the internet as a platform of complaints.

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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Hello Chris and Warren,
Warren I agree with you, I also have issues with Sony products as I am sure many others have and it is only after postings on forums like this that one can gauge weather you have an isolated issue or a flaw in the design or manufacturing process. Sony to date will not even admit that the EX1/3 has a problem with IR contamination issue.

Chris it's not about jumping ship and in terms of brand loyalty it's about making the manufacture aware that some policyís they employ are ill conceived and need to be rectified.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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Sony's a big company with a lot of divisions, and so is Toyota. For me it seems odd to take a position in favor of Toyota, but I'm sympathetic to them because the current climate seems more like an inappropriate witch hunt when considering the government owns a majority stake in two competing auto manufacturers. And the 29 or so runaway acceleration incidents when taken in the context of about 1 percent of Toyotas being involved annually in accidents where the driver is at fault makes it about 3,500 times more likely the driver had his foot pressed on the wrong pedal at the time.

And yes, I've had some problems with Sony cams, but I've purchased them not because the reputation was an epitome of quality but because of features, value and price, in other words all things considered. Yes, my first Trinitron TV from 1970 lasted about 20 years, but times change and I don't expect my Playstation 3 to endure that long just because it wears the brand.

My $0.02. Agree with Chris, really a bad premise for a topic.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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Chris, he has a valid point though.

I have heard from numerous people that the microphone holder broke and the paint peeled off. I find that unacceptable for a $5,000 videocamera. And it is not an exception with that camera, but almost a rule. If I compare that with my XL-H1, they are leagues apart. I almost traded it in for a EX-1, but didn't do it purely because of the build quality. But it is not Sony, I think it is the EX-1. Many other Sony cameras are build very sturdy.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Hi Floris,
I have an outstanding issue with Sony re my EX3 which was lodged in writing with my local Sony service centre who escalated it to the national service manger who regularly commutes to Sony Japan. Four months later I still can not a reply or acknowledgement of the problem I am meet with " We are waiting to from Sony".

The problem is not that a product has a fault itís Sony imposing the wall of silence & denial strategy. They know as individualís after long delays and denial of the existence of problems we will give up and they win. I also have a Toytoa Prius and have an issue with the brakes and I am experiencing wall of silence & denial strategy there as well.
Well Warren you hit the nail on the head with the Sony Toytoa comparison. It was only through many people voicing their concerns that has got Toytoa to admit to the problem. Perhaps if enough people speak out in public forums about problems with Sony then perhaps we may see a different cultural attitude and a shift towards better customer service.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 12:19 AM   #7
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yes i have a big problem with it, sony products last to long, and they are pretty raggidy by the time i get rid of them :-)

Sony service sucks, and costs way to much, and takes to long, so i am glad that i dont need to use thier service, we keep all the sony cameras on silver pillows, to insure i never have to send one in again :-)
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Old February 25th, 2010, 04:15 AM   #8
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Two hdd drives going on dvd recorders in quick sucsession just out or warrenty was the last straw for me after poor recent cam reliability has made me jump ship,the fact i have a 1986 super beta SL950 thats as good as new is as far as sony goes i am left with 2 PS3s and one of them is starting to play up.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #9
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Quality and pride in brand and detail left us when we all began chasing the cheapest deal. Manufacturers only do what the mass of consumers demand. If quality is demanded that is what you get if cheap is demanded you get cheap. Back when an entry Beta SP was $15,000 you knew damn well you were getting a well made machine. If you buy a $5000 (Professional Camcorder) expect problems.

I guess the biggest difference between Sony and Toyota is when a camera malfunctions nobody dies.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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In general, new synthetic materials have an unknown lifespan, especially when they're subjected to a wide range of unknown environments.

The ear cups of Sony headphones (such as the MDR-V6) are known problems. And I've seen the rubberized coating on all kinds of cameras start to get tacky after a while. That includes a Nikon SLR and a Canon Elura.

As for comparing it to Toyota's quality, as Paul said, at least if a camcorder goes screwy no one is likely to get killed (unless you messed up bridezilla's wedding).

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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #11
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From Armageddon the movie

"You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it? "

I guess it is not confined to one manufacturer, maximum profit is the name of the game nowadays.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #12
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We all need to stop bitching about price and maybe these companies will stop buying cheap Chinese products in order to be profitable. Toyota, just like Sony, is a big company that builds good products. Thousands upon thousands are sold and not every one is going to be perfect. Do all your shoots come out perfect? It's the nature of the beast.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
From Armageddon the movie

... maximum profit is the name of the game nowadays.
It's not only maximum profits. If you look at how good a quality picture you're getting from a sub $7000 camera it is pretty incredible. But, there has to be a cost to achieving that. In order to keep the costs down the manufacturer has to give in somewhere else. And that usually comes from durability and craftsmanship.

I also think that with the rapid change in technology most companies have discovered that the masses do not care if it will last forever. Our society has adopted a disposable mentality to everything we purchase, from clothes to phones and yes, even our cameras. The manufacturers have looked at that as an opportunity to reduce costs.

To answer Warren's last question, the answer is no, it is not just Sony and Toyota. In fact, most companies in the past few decades have experienced quality control issues. Only very small specialty manufacturers have a reputation of good QC. Sony and Toyota were viewed, up until recently, as being better than others at QC so now that people realize they are not immune to problems, they are experiencing the dissapointment of expectations not being met.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #14
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Once again we screw up no one dies, only a few pixels.

Certain manufacturers should be held to a higher standard. Let's not take ourselves to seriously.

Car manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and food providers that show total disregard to safety in pursuit of profits should be viewed in a different light than camera manufacturers or film makers. However, I could be wrong ... It wouldn't be the first time.

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Old February 25th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #15
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I have owned 2 Sony Cameras. The first was stolen, but working perfectly fine. My second is the EX1. It's been absolutely PERFECT. No broken mic holder. No IR contamination issues. I even upgraded the firmware myself. The letters haven't peeled or rubbed off. It has been dead reliable in every way.

My Panasonic DVX has been dead reliable since we got it in 2003. No issues, no problems. Nothing broken.

My Focus firestore has been perfect. My JVC Deck has been perfect. My Sony BluRay player... same story.

So there is your counterpoint.

Maybe quality isn't what it was 20 years ago. But I dare say I am not the man I was 20 years ago either. Things change. But I've had no reliability issues whatsoever from my video gear. Even my now, 10 year old Panasonic TV has been dead reliable.
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