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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old August 25th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #16
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I always prefer to focus manually, thats the issue.

If you look at the example I posted (in which focus was set to manual), I zoom all the way in, set focus, then start to zoom out (not touching the focus at all) as it starts to get wide again, the image loses all focus.

When I get to full wide, I have to turn the focus wheel all the way till it wont go any further (0.8m if i remember correctly) before the image is in focus, this is the fault, and it happens regardless of lighting conditions.

James
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #17
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James,

If you're focussing manually and the issue persists whether the macro is on or off then I would say this is a classic symptom of backfocus problems. I looked at the video and that reinforced my opinion.

Get on the phone to Sony, persist until you find someone intelligent who knows what backfocus is, and ship the camera back again for repair. Looking at the message Sony sent you before it really doesn't look like the technicians understood the problem or knew what they were looking for. They can fix this, they just need to acknowledge and understand the problem. Maybe even send them that footage on DVD, or, even better, do a test with a test chart of some sort and send them that.

HTH

Mark
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #18
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Thanks for looking mark,

Getting sony to recognise the problem, this is exactly what I'm trying to figure out.

"do a test with a test chart of some sort and send them that."

Can you be more specific? I'm not sure what you mean.

My other issue is, I have weddings to film every weekend, so when I send the camera back to sony, I will have to hire another z5 (cosint 100!) while its with them, as they can only send me a loan unit after 7 working days, not ideal.

Anyway, thanks for looking. At least I'm not going crazy (thikning that my eyes had a back focus problem for a minute!)

James
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #19
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James,

What I mean is get a test chart, or a zone plate, or something designed to show focus issues (rather than a wedding shot!) and shoot that in the same way. Start zoomed in and focussed, and pull out. You should clearly see the image going out of focus. Put the video on a DVD and send it to your named contact at Sony.

If you don't know what test charts or zone plates are, search with Google Images. There are plenty out there you can download and print off yourself.

HTH

Mark
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #20
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James,

Do you not have the Sony 2 year Silver Support, I thought you may have got a replacement whilst yours is in for repair.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #21
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The Silver Support's replacement loan only applies if they can't fix and return your camera within their guaranteed seven day turnaround. So you won't be without for more than seven days, but that's no good if you need to use your camera even once in that week!
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #22
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Yeah I've got the 2 year silver support, but you don't get a loan unit until 7 working days after they collect, so had to hire a camera,

Sony looked at my sample and chap on the phone agreed that it looked like there was a fault, they're collecting it (again) on Tuesday, and when it arrives on Wednesday, if, upon inspection, they agree it has a fault, the chap on the phone said they'd send a loan camera the same or the next day.

Hopefully they will honour that.

I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks for the info/suggestions.

James
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:10 PM   #23
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Ian, do you still have the letter(s) you sent to high level sony folk? I'd love to have a read and maybe 'borrow' some choice phrases.

Its such an obvious problem I cannot believe Sony repair center 'tested it over a period of 2 days, and found no fault'


With regards to focus macro, I also thought that since the default setting was on, that it is fine to shoot with it on, i find that it gives you a better focal range (for want of a better phrase)

Anyways, have a look at the file and let me know your thoughts

Again, any help/suggestions are much appreciated.
[/QUOTE]

Hi, James . . .

Sorry I couldn't write sooner. Just got back from a shoot out-of-town.

Please let me know if Sony does, on the next go-around, actually fix your back-focus issues. As I mentioned, this problem plagued both HVR-V1U's - plus two fixed lens HVR-Z7U camcorders. Sony replaced several cameras -- and even replacements needed work before they were acceptable. I believe that there are a lot of cameras out there that have been issued that don't perform back-focus properly - and some folks new to HD may not recognize the flaw. Sony of Canada got Sony Japan involved regarding all of the issues. It was only one really good tech at Sony who was able to manually set up the cameras from scratch to make my Z7U's focus properly. He found a design flaw with the back-flange adjustment system of the Z7U that he is asking Japan to have a look at. He feels a firmware update could fix the issue. This goes back to March - but haven't heard of a fix. As such, there are limitations when using the accessory wide-angle lens with the Z7U unless a Sony tech makes the lens match the camera - this is something that should not be required and as such, the back-flange adjustment can not function as it should.

When you get your camera back, go over the back-focus with a fine tooth comb. All I can say is that over almost 1.5 years my cameras were returned as "repaired" or "fixed" and it appeared nothing was done in the name of improvement.

If everything works great with the next fix, that's awesome. If not, let me know so that I can round up some of the letters that I used that did get support.

The sad thing . . . when Sony was having issues trying to get the back-focus fixed, and they couldn't I would get excuses such as, "you know this is really a consumer / prosumer camera - not a true professional product . . . you are expecting too much from it." What a crock! I didn't accept this since 1) HD is NOT HD when there is little definition due to out-of-focus footage (consumer camera or not) . . . and 2) Sony chooses to market their V1, Z5 and Z7 as "professional products". It's an insult to you, as a consumer, to be told, by Sony, when it suits them, that due to design flaws that the camera is basically a "toy" that should not need to focus accurately.

I'd be interested to hear if you do get an improvement when the camera is returned. If not, you'll need to turn up the heat. I did and it got me working cameras. People shouldn't need to yell, kick and scream to be heard by Sony . . .

Ian

PS: I always shoot with the macro function turned "off". Having it turned off likely won't change your back-focus status . . . for me I find turning it off simply helps getting better accuracy when shooting video with auto-focus turned on.





Ian
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:22 PM   #24
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Duplicate post deleted.

Last edited by Ian Campbell; September 2nd, 2009 at 01:31 PM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:18 PM   #25
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Hi Ian,

I got tired of dealing with the call centre, so I asked to speak to the repair centre technicians directly, once I did, things started to look up.

I explained the fault to the technician, showed him the clip online, and he agreed that its a back focus issue.

This was yesterday.

Today I got a call saying my camera was fixed, "it was a lens problem"

They're going to keep it for testing for another couple of days as the problem was "intermitent rather than constant"

So I'll ost back when I actually get my camera returned, to see if it has indeed been fixed.

Thanks

James
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:54 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Strange View Post
Today I got a call saying my camera was fixed, "it was a lens problem"

They're going to keep it for testing for another couple of days as the problem was "intermitent rather than constant"
James
I would think it would a lens "adjustment" problem as opposed to a "lens problem". And that statement about it being intermitent kind of worries me. How can a physical/mechanical issue be intermitent unless one of the lens elements it sticking and not moving freely. Hmmmm. Good luck. I hope it works this time and I am in error.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #27
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Well, I got my Z5 back, they actually fixed it, EVENTUALLY.

I had to sxend it to them twice, and actually speak to one of the repair technicians, but we got there in the end.

I am happy once more.

Thanks for the input during my time of despair.

To anyone who may have this problem in the future, insist that you speak to the technician who will be looking at your camera, as soon as I did that, I had my camera repaired and back to me within 48 hours.

I spoke to the technician at length about the issue, he said that there is him and one other guy who look at any z5s that are sent back with a problem (so just 2 guys that look at ALL sent back z5s in the UK!), this is the first time the they have seen a back focus issue with the Z5, but he said that it was obvious this was the problem.

He confirmed it has nothing to to lighting conditions, focus macro being on or off etc..

He did say that if you use auto focus, you probably wouldn;t notice if your camera has a back focus isse or not (as the AF would compensate).

I've done a bunch of test at home, and it looks like its been fixed completely.

I'll know for sure thie weekend.

Cheers again

James
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