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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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PMW-350K - Possible bug?

I recently tried to use the interval record function on my PMW-350K. Alarmingly - the whole "Rec Function" menu was greyed-out and innaccessible. No matter what I re-set on the menu, I couldn't get it back. A very helpful man at Sony took me through a load of menu checks but we ended up having to do a factory re-set, which happily brought the "Rec Function" menu back.

As I started setting the camera up again with my normal preferences - I was horrified to see that the same menu had disappeared again!

It turned out that the culprit is Assignable switch 2. If you set that to the option of "Picture Cache" - then you lose the "Rec Function" menu - WHETHER THE SWITCH IS OFF OR NOT. That's the key thing. I'd expect it to be greyed-out when Cache is on - but not when it's turned off.

So if you want to use S&Q or interval record or any of the other options on that menu, then don't select the Picture Cache option for an assignable switch. It strikes me this is quite a large "gotcha" - so I offer this as a warning to anyone else who might get caught out like me. (Incidentally - this is on the latest V1.10 firmware. I don't know if the earlier firmware had the same issue).

I've asked Sony if this is a design "feature" or a bit of a firmware bug. I'll report back when I hear anything.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:10 AM   #2
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Yes, I've heard of that 'feature'.

It also took me a while to work out why I couldn't enable guide frames on the VF. I went through the whole reset process too until I realised this was assigned to switch 2 as well.

Not as big of a problem as the cache recording switch problem but still confusing, especially if you hadn't realised it was assigned to a button.

Maybe the menu should indicate that the item is assigned to a button to make it more intuitive?

Paul.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 06:21 AM   #3
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Interesting Paul since Picture Cache is one of the few functions you can assign to #2 switch.

Did you read the top of page 132 in manual when it says you need to turn the camera on and off when you assign #2?
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:03 AM   #4
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Picture Cache "bug"

Yes - thanks, I've seen that. Though power-cycling is only to sync the physical switch position with the software - it doesn't affect the issue.
Bizarrely - you can select Picture Cache on other assigned switches like 3 and 0 - with no problems. The 'gotcha' only seems to occur when you select it on Assign 2. I think it has to be a firmware bug.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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I guess I lucked out putting Picture Cache on #3.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #6
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Reply from Sony

Just had a call back from Sony - their 350 specialist says the 'feature' is designed that way because Assign 2 is the only mechanical assign switch. So (apparently) as soon as you assign it, the feature is "on" - and the sliding switch only turns on your ability to access it - not the feature itself.

Seems a bit odd to me - and a shame there's no warning in the manual...
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #7
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Yes, that does seem odd - so it actually enables/disables the feature assigned in the menu whilst also turning it on/off?

Wonder what the logic behind that is then?
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Old March 25th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #8
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Assign Switch #2 on the PDW-700 and F800 works almost the same way . . . and it is something I warn people about in Vortex Media's F800/700 field guide that just started shipping this week. In fact, after having shot with Paul Cronin's PMW-350 a little bit last week, I'd say the 350 has more in common with the F800/700 than it does with the smaller EX camcorders.
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