Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing at DVinfo.net

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Old August 16th, 2015, 10:36 PM   #1
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Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Just read the six-page long Sony “System Software Update for Mac” instructions for the 3.0 update at Sony eSupport - FDR-AX100 - Drivers & Software and there are LOTS of statements in red that start off with “IMPORTANT”, “WARNING” and this leaves me very concerned.

The Internet connectivity here isn’t the worlds best, and neither is the quality of the power. I do use a UPS system that is supposed to clean up the power but still, *stuff* happens.

One of the "WARNING!!” statements (a direct quote) is at the bottom of the first page (printed version on US Letter paper, and it says, in part: “…. and any changes incurred by it are permanent. It is not possible to return to a previous firmware version after updating this firmware….. “. Later it says “ …. you are aware and understand that this update cannot be reversed.”

Okay, I do understand the English meaning of the above; however, and this is the important part, I don’t know how to get out of a problem that may be caused by doing something that wasn’t supposed to be done. I don’t need a camcorder brick! This document is SIX pages long and there appear to be ‘gotcha’ steps all along the way (judging by the warning statements). I haven’t done any of the updates and I’d really like to get it done. Procrastination is my strong suit.

Actually, the first problem I’ve got is in Step 2 (yes, you’re reading this right!). The part about selecting “MENU”, “General Settings”, …. and it’s this next one that already has me, “Version”. My cam Menu doesn’t have “Version” ‘cause it hasn’t been to 2.0 yet. (see last sentence in paragraph above)

And remember, this is the Update for Mac version so the PC version is obviously different.

What have others experienced in doing this? And, what gives with “Version” in Step 2? Oh, and does it get worse???

Edit: Camcorder version is the “U” model.

Last edited by John Nantz; August 17th, 2015 at 10:32 AM. Reason: add camcorder version
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Old August 18th, 2015, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Quote:
Later it says “ …. you are aware and understand that this update cannot be reversed.”
This is not uncommon language with firmware upgrades I've seen from other mfgrs. I just upgraded a Nikon DSLR and it contained the same language.

My thinking is they've tested it (or we 'hope' so) thoroughly enough that the firmware upgrade 'should' work on the vast majority of product out there for which it is intended. However, outside of their factory quality control there is no way they can control the conditions which the firmware upgrades are installed. Plus, a number of supposed problems are bound to be owner confusion from people who either don't understand the equipment, didn't read the manual, using it at or beyond the limits for which it was intended ...and would rather blame the camcorder (and mfgr). Then, for Sony to have to manage the whole Mac/PC thing, adds another complex layer to producing firmware upgrades.

I worked for a few major mfgrs in the industrial setting and the vast majority of problems we had were over and over again, owner-caused neglect, unintentional damage caused by not understanding the equipment, or poor installation, not the equipment itself. You'd think someone would take the time to read the manual on a $250k piece of equipment (but they don't). And virtually every time, the owner blames the equipment as being fault and expects some form of free support to resolve. Sony would be on the road to broke-dom if they left themselves exposed from a liability standpoint, for anyone who's camcorder didn't perform like an owner 'thought' it should after the upgrade, and then toggling back/fourth between firmware versions and the potential of unauthorized firmware or 'hacks' which may have been present. Plus, with competitive economic pressures all companies face, they probably don't want to invest in additional programming dollars for firmware reversal verification and managing the whole support stream that comes with it.

Virtually all corporations have internal-departmental cost structures that need to be considered (and approved by someone) before making any product change moves. So they know xx amount of programming hours will cost this much, xx amount of new design and molding work will be that much, 2000 hours of testing will be approximately this amount, and so on down the line with all the aspects of producing a product. My wife is a product manager with an industrial company with medical products that cost tens of millions of dollars to produce a market-ready product. Her job is to estimate and manage the costs, and balance those with projected profitability. At each decision gate there are uppers who will question the validity of actions and some items get the green light, other desires get the ax. All companies do that, it's how businesses try to stay profitable. Sometimes when you see a product and you ask, "why did they leave that feature out?" one can probably speculate with some certainty that it WAS probably originally in the early product discussion but was axed by someone along the way because a certain dufus probably didn't effectively make the case why that feature would have made the product more competitive ...or the boss simply didn't like that person (yeah, that happens too). Trust me, interdepartmental politics can ruin products and often do. People come with all the good and bad of human characteristics. But when things come together well, it's an amazing accomplishment.

Back to Sony, you can be guaranteed that someone inside Sony that shepherds the AX100/X70 knows within a very close estimate, the cost of producing a firmware upgrade for a camcorder that has already been produced and is selling. They need to plead their case to a certain someone (or group) internally in order to get a funding approval to have the programming group make the upgrade, then have it alpha tested, probably sent back for some coding clean-up, and back to alpha and beta testing.. I applaud companies which invest in upgrades because it comes at a cost (to them) to make the product better, yet may have little to no impact on selling more product other than to show the company itself is responsive and attentive to product continuous improvement. Let's face it, Sony is already working on the next generation of the product, and probably close to phase 1 testing by now and a good number of programmers are working on product one or two generations further down the road.

These upgrades often come down to trust in the company. If the upgrade has flaws, we 'hope' they will follow up with a patch to correct, at least one would hope so. So, my take on the Warnings is they have to protect their backsides and can't guarantee it will work in ALL cases which obviously it won't and can't.
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Last edited by Mark Goodsell; August 18th, 2015 at 10:15 AM.
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Old August 18th, 2015, 10:04 AM   #3
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Mark - Thanks for the comment and that was a very good write-up and couldnít agree with you more. Iíve written instructions before and it seems one canít be exact enough. This is one reason why video instructions are so helpful because they can show things (but donít necessarily do) that the written instructions donít.

Spent yesterday searching and searching for anything and everything I could find on the subject (there is a lot but not on my problem) and the last document (going through right now) appears to be the most helpful to date. Sony eSupport - Using your Sony<sup>ģ</sup> Camera with a Macintosh<sup>ģ</sup> Computer

One of the problems with buying a Sony cam is using it with FCPX and this is one reason I put off getting one. The X70 was going to be the one but because it wasnít X friendly (one clip at a time) I put it off until they were going to fix that issue. Time went on and Paulís rave reviews started going south. Got the AX100 on a whim (a deal too good to pass up).

Got EditReady to convert the files to X so that part is taken care of. Downloaded the two AX100 update files (Driver Loader and the Update_CAMFDRAX100V300.dmg file). Printed instructions and read them thoroughly but this Step 2 with the Version question is the road block. Made several calls to the Philippines but they keep sending my the instruction sheets I already have.

One of the problems with support, I think, is most Sony cam owners are probably on PCs because thatís what the cams were designed to work with. Unless something else comes up, this most recent document will probably have the answer. Plan B is to just use it without 3.0 until something definitive comes along. Better safe than sorry.
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Old August 26th, 2015, 04:43 PM   #4
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Can you find or borrow a PC and install from there? I updated two AX100s and it was a piece of cake on my PC.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 10:32 PM   #5
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Who has done this update?...I've updated to V. 2.0 only so far. What are the changes that v3.0 provides?
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Old September 9th, 2015, 12:48 AM   #6
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Jeff - just getting around to a reply (itís been so busy!):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Can you find or borrow a PC and install from there? I updated two AX100s and it was a piece of cake on my PC.
Well, the part about ďfinding a PCĒ Ö. thatís a good thought. Actually, (have to chuckle) I donít have to look far. Iíve got three of Ďem. A 486, Pentium Pro, and a Dell laptop. The first two are toast. Just havenít got around to recycling them. The Dell (old model running Win XP 98) has a NavSea navigation application on it and thatís all it is used for. It still works but the Navionics application on the iPad really does just about everything the NavSea does so itís probably time to retire it. As for the PCs, just thinking, if I keep Ďem any longer maybe theyíll start to become antiques. The Pentium does have AutoCad and MS Project, though.

Len - this is what the Sony site has to say about the AX100 update:

Sony Global - Digital Imaging ? FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len Imbery View Post
Who has done this update?...I've updated to V. 2.0 only so far. What are the changes that v3.0 provides?
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Old September 10th, 2015, 12:05 AM   #7
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Did this on Mac. No issues. Easy update. I've had a couple A7s updates fail on me and the camera always bounces back. Just go for it, nothing to worry about. I would think using an updated OSX would be better than using an old Windows 98 system.

https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-d...&os_group_id=3
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Old September 14th, 2015, 11:29 PM   #8
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Re: Update 2.0 & 3.0 for FDR-AX100 - Lots of red writing

Well, I went for it like you suggested but I can’t tell if it “took” or not. The way the instructions say to check for the Version isn’t how it worked for me. Everything works okay and nothing is ‘broken’ that I am aware of, so I guess that is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Did this on Mac. No issues. Easy update. I've had a couple A7s updates fail on me and the camera always bounces back. Just go for it, nothing to worry about. I would think using an updated OSX would be better than using an old Windows 98 system.

https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-d...&os_group_id=3
I’ve read other places where someone had done an update and bricked their cam [edit: not the AX100], or other issues have come up, and I just didn’t want to experience a problem as I’ve got enough of ‘em.

Thanks for the link, and I do remember coming across it, or one like it, but this one does look different. I’ll check it out.

If Jeff Harper (post #4) reads this, I do appreciate the PC suggestion. In my reply, just in case it doesn’t look like it, I just wanted to razz him a little bit about PCs. After all, it isn’t like I don’t have any, it’s only that they’re a little bit old, that’s all. My first one, after the Commodore 64, was a 286-6 that I turbo-ed to a 286-12. Just got tired of updates that messed everything up and dealing with IRQs.
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