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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old February 20th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #16
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Updated

I called Sony. Described testing procedure to them I used. They tested and didn't see the issue on their camera so they said to send my camera to Sony San Jose, CA. Which I did and paid for out of my own pocket. $130 UPS overnight plus insurance. Ouch!

I spoke to Sony San Jose and they're going to replace the camera. I gleaned a few bits of info, again only from Customer Service and not a tech.

They've been backlogged with repairs around a couple of issues which does include the zoom issue I had.

They attempted to "upgrade" my camera and still had problems. That seems to have involved placing an entirely new lens mechanism on the camera. I infer by the term "upgrade" that they've changed how the lenses are being manufactured due to the issues they're getting.

They are going to send my camera from San Jose, CA back to Japan so Sony can see it.

They are awaiting approval to get me a new camera.
They will test the new camera before they send it.
The told me to call this Friday to give me an update and info about shipping me new camera.


Additional Comments:
It seems they're getting a lot of cameras back and it apparently is NOT just the vignette issue. Folks REALLY TEST YOUR CAMERAS.
It's interesting that they referred to Upgrade and NOT Repair. It implies they've made a design change. I asked they to differentiate and they wouldn't other than to say the Tech described it as an Upgrade and not a repair.
It's interesting that even with new lens they still had issues. Apparently this is very finicky and the Tech was NOT happy with the results.
It's interesting that they told me the camera was going back to Japan to deal with. Apparently the San Jose techs are seeing something they want Sony Japan to pay attention to.

The good news is that Sony did NOT try to send a camera with an issue back to me with an unsatisfactory repair errr upgrade.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #17
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What tests should one do and how do you do them?

I'm concerned as even though I waited till now to buy my US camera was a low seriel number 100135.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #18
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My serial number is/was 100808.

The vignette issue test has been posted in that thread.
To test for zoom issue set low zoom speed to something like 3 or 5.
Zoom all the way out with the grip zoom rocker.
Zoom in with the top handle zoom control through the entire range and then zoom out the entire range.

There my be a long delay between pressing the top handle and when the zoom starts to engage.
The zoom may "step" rather than zoom smoothly at points.
The zoom may stop/stall entirely at some points.

Sami posted video where you can see the stepping.
Apparently only Sami and I have had the issue but judging from my conversation with Sony we're not the only ones.
Given that Sami is in Finland and I'm in NYC, USA it may not be a specific batch or set of serial numbers affected.

Keep in mind this is NOT affecting all cameras. It's probably a small number but apparently enough given this and other issues that Sony San Jose has a backlog.

Sami do let us know if Sony in Europe says anything.
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #19
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Hi,

A guy from Sony called me again today to reassure that they're looking into the issue but they dont know what it is yet. So at the moment Im just waiting to see what happens.

I havent shipped my camera to them and they are only looking at the footage I put online.

Sami
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Old February 20th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #20
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Odd response from Sony for you. I'm reluctant to speculate but apparently they feel sending in the camera won't do any good and they're waiting to see how Sony wants to handle this. Obviously they couldn't "upgrade" my camera.

Unlike the vignette issue it's apparently not as simple as a re-calibration or changing (upgrading?) some parts or the lens itself.

The issue is apparent with your camera and I was getting the exact same thing with mine.

I guess they're waiting to hear from Sony about the issue. It obviously doesn't affect every or even most cameras though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sami Sanpakkila View Post
Hi,

A guy from Sony called me again today to reassure that they're looking into the issue but they dont know what it is yet. So at the moment Im just waiting to see what happens.

I havent shipped my camera to them and they are only looking at the footage I put online.

Sami
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:38 AM   #21
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Zoom Servo

Sony shipped me a new camera which I'll have on Monday.

On another forum someone else has experienced the Zoom Servo issue much more severe than either Sami or I. Person is also in USA (like me but unlike Sami).

BTW Sami, I really think you should send your camera in to the appropriate place in Europe.

I'll excerpt below.

_______________

During comparison test, the brand new EX 1 failed. Lens servo broke or something - back focus completely out; would zoom out, but not in. Almost seemed like it was stuck in "macro," which was 'floating.' When panned, objects appeared to "fly through" the frame - as if the steady shot feature was failing to center the image. Totally weird behavior.

Sony phone support talked me through a nifty procedure: push the "menu," "select," and "cancel" buttons, all at the same time. This brings up a whole new level of diagnostics and, as the tech told me, "stuff you shouldn't fool around with."

He did have me go the "M" (for "Maintenance") menu, where the "FB adjust" function can be found (I'm not 100% sure I got the acronym correct - I mailed the camera to Sony within a short time of doing this diagnostic, and didn't write down the exact menu command - it's the last one in the "M" list, if I recall). "Execute" will cause the camera to rack focus and focal length repeatedly as it, I guess, adjusts back focus. It failed on my camera - it either hung, with "executing," displayed, or it displayed the error message, "NG - timeout."

So, when I talked to the folks at the San Jose Sony service center (the only place in the U.S. that is servicing the camera) I got the distinct impression that this was a known issue. My camera serial number ends in 375, which leads me to believe it's 'early' in the series.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:40 AM   #22
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Hi Craig,

I havent heard from Sony since they called me last wednesday. I will give them a call on monday. Thanks for the update. Hope the new camera will be fine.

Sami
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Old February 25th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #23
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Got new camera from Sony.
New serial number 103861 (was 100808).
Went down to zoom speed of 2.
Smooth as silk.

Looks like they've changed the design of the HD-SDI plastic cover. Seems to be a very snug fit now.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #24
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I forgot to call them today. But good news Craig! Does the new cam seem a-ok in all aspects?

Sami
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Old February 25th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #25
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I'll be checking though aspects in greater detail but so far so good!
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Old March 18th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #26
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So after a month of sending emails and calling Sony Prime Support they finally decided to take my camera in. It came back today accompanied by an email stating:

SWITCH BLOCK CONTROLE ON THE HANDLE PREVENTIVE REPLACEMENT,FIRMWARE UPGRADE AND FLANGE BACK ADJUSTEMENT

But I tried the camera and it still has the exact same problem with the zoom as before. So off to call Sony again...

Sami
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Old March 18th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #27
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Sorry to hear this Sami. Sony admitted they couldn't fix my camera so they sent me a new one. That saved me another round of back and forth that apparently a few people are going through with various issues.

They did tell me they tried to "upgrade" the camera but that didn't work. It was at Sony a few extra days while they got approval to send me a new camera but it was worth it. I have a hunch that's what they'll end up doing for you. Why they didn't just do that the first time, I don't know. I did call to "check up" on the progress while it was "in the shop" though.


At a zoom of 2 it's now nice and slow and not "steppy."
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Old March 18th, 2008, 08:43 PM   #28
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I posted a thread a few weeks ago about a problem I had with my EX-1.
Zoom would work in one direction and not the other or not at all and if the zoom worked then the focus would not ,not even auto focus. It happened after only 4 days and Sony gave me a replacement and I love my new camera. Another person from OZ had the same problem.
I wonder if the problems are related?
Hope you get the problem sorted out ASAP Sami....Good Luck
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Old March 19th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #29
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ok, so Sony called and said "they do not guarantee the zoom operation at hyperslow settings. The zoom operation changes due to enviromental issues, lighting (sic!) and other conditions". So I wont be able to use zoom setting 1 at all on my camera.

I also had the back focus issue which I wasnt aware of and it was fixed at Sony.
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