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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old October 9th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #166
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Well this suddenly seems very cheerful and comforting! Thank you all for the comments.

Logic kept nudging me towards the EX1 because of its image capabilities. Then I swung back towards either the Z7 or the Z5 due to running cost factors, then recently I veered back towards the EX1 because you clever lot have worked out a less expensive way to capture using the adapters/SD card route.

Sony should rejoice because I think a lot more people (like me) will learn of this and now go out and buy that camcorder.

One kind forum member is allowing me to see EX1 results on Saturday and talk me through operation. I can't wait.

Cheers
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Old October 9th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #167
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Paul - for the record, I have no problems with the camera. I sent it in after a month because it would not run on battery (there's a thread here on that SNAFU). They replaced a power board along with the camera's back panel (infamous lettering rub-off problem), upgraded the firmware to 1.05, slapped a "do not remove" sticker under the VF and sent it back, no charge. That was the San Jose center and it was a pretty quick turn-around (I'm in San Diego).

I've been real happy with the image quality, ease of use, and work flow (with Avid). I'm just annoyed with this firmware upgrade deal.

Cheers.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
I think Sony need to address this issue urgently. It is becoming a big deal. A piece of cake USB update being charged for in some places. You have to get it picked up and dropped off and also flown somewhere. Waste of money, waste of fuel, bad carbon footprint wise!

Getting in done on Prime Support is fine but it means being with livelihood for a few days. But again waste of energy and every little bit helps.

Why do Sony not let people update the EX1 themselves? It seems crazy to me when the procedure has been proven to be really easy. If a small percentage get it wrong then get them fixed at a charge or on prime support. It seems a lot of resources are being wasted on something my mother could almost do.
That is the corporate policy I find environmentally wasteful. Sony should be leading the way green.

But I've googled and searched, (including this forum) for an official published Sony U.S. policy position on the PMW-EX1 V1.11 upgrade, and can't find one. So Ronn, while you alluded earlier in the thread to your belief that the charge would be $100, (and you cited a Canadian memo), I can't find a similar one for the USA. You asked for and received a quote, with your camera presumably hostage to the USA service center. I think you are on the hook now for those charges, absent of a written quote before the camera was sent in.

The policy is much more lucid for those residents covered by Sony Prime Silver Support.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
That is the corporate policy I find environmentally wasteful. Sony should be leading the way green.

But I've googled and searched, (including this forum) for an official published Sony U.S. policy position on the PMW-EX1 V1.11 upgrade, and can't find one. So Ronn, while you alluded earlier in the thread to your belief that the charge would be $100, (and you cited a Canadian memo), I can't find a similar one for the USA. You asked for and received a quote, with your camera presumably hostage to the USA service center. I think you are on the hook now for those charges, absent of a written quote before the camera was sent in.

The policy is much more lucid for those residents covered by Sony Prime Silver Support.
The charge if any for the firmware upgrade should be consistent. Below are excerpts from this very thread showing that it varies from free to a lot. You'll also see that the $100 was from a US Sony Service Manager...

[snip]

Just confirmed with Sony Australia - updates to 1.11 here are free. Will be sending my camera in for the full facial next week including new boards for battery drain, new case covers with the improved coating on them (so the writing does not rub off) and of course the version 1.11 firmware - all under warranty as should be the case.
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Firmware Upgrade
Hi. FYI. I took my camera into Los Angeles Sony on August 4th to have the Battery Drain warranty fix. I received it back today, August 27th. Battery Drain seems to be fixed and Firmware updated to V1.11_0531. No charge.
PS. They lost the bnc plastic plug!

Rob Fiedler
San Pedro, CA

I am surprised to hear the negative response people have received from Sony. I sent my camera in due to the ND switch falling into the camera 29 July. On my list of items to repair I also asked for the newest version of the firmware. Once the camera was with the tech he called and said it would be a few day delay since he wanted to upload version 1.11 and was I willing to wait. Sure if it is only a few days. Two days later the camera was at my house and to my surprise they installed a new mic holders. I always remove the mic holder since it is just in the way. So my experience with Sony in New Jersey was great. No charge all covered under warranty.
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A couple days later they called me to tell me the 1.1 firmware was going to cost $100. I asked if that was set in stone or if I had other issues if they'd just upgrade it for free. The service manager called me back and said they had received a memo from Sony corporate they needed to charge and they couldn't change that policy, so I agreed to pay for it, so I had to fill out a fax with my credit card number and fax it to them.

Keith Moreau
Brisbane, CA
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Old October 10th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #170
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Sony Ought to Change its Firmware Policy

I called Abel NY last week. I love them and they always do right by me. They told me to bring it in when I asked them about the firmware. I was hoping it could get done locally, but they said they had to send it in to Sony Japan, which I really find hard to believe. Anyway, it went to Sony someplace and I got the estimate call a few days ago: $177 total for a firmware upgrade. I am doing it, but that's just not right. Sony will lose customers, and not just in the long run, but fast, if they keep doing that.

Nikon learned that with their pro DSLR's and firmware upgrades are now done by users. Sony makes decent gear, but has really bad customer service, and this seems to be worsening.

Anyway, props to Abel, thumbs down to Sony. I am still waiting for my camera and will look at other brands the next time I buy.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #171
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Others have said that Sony New Jersey will do firmware upgrade/have done firmware upgrades. DVi posters have said as much. Previously the only EX maintenance place in the USA was San Jose, which is still closer than Japan.

BTW one of the more interesting reasons I've heard as to why Sony insists on doing the firmware upgrades themselves is a fear that someone will be able to hack the firmware. Given any professional authorized Sony technician should be able to do the upgrade (but apparently isn't allowed to) might indicate there's some truth to that.

Look at how vigorously this community has researched the use of non SxS cards (successfully). I can well imagine some people having the wherewithal to enable such features as record cache for example if the had a good long look at the firmware.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #172
 
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I've not read every page in this thread, so I may have missed it, but why does Sony charge for the installation of a firmware upgrade that is to correct previous camera errors?
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #173
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I have no idea why, but I am going to look elsewhere for my next camera. I am brand loyal to a fault, but have my limits.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #174
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I just received a phone call from Sony Service Western Canada in Vancouver.
One hour service appointment if you bring the camera to them in Coquitlam, go for a coffee.24 hour service if couriered in, same day service if delivered before 3pm . $100 doesn't seem do bad and as we have read there are other issues that are dealt with too.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #175
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Sony only seems to charge for the upgrade in the Americas and the cameras there are at least 20% cheaper than in Europe. So even if you do have to pay $100 for the upgrade you seem to be the winners. ;-)
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Old November 28th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #176
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I've just got my camera back from Prime Support overhaul, and am very satisfied - they did more than I expected.

One thing makes me interested: I might be wrong, but before the fw 1.11, there was no "Auto black balance" in the maintenance menu, right? Well, now it's there (just like with the EX3), but grayed out...

Can someone explain?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 08:56 PM   #177
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So I just checked my firmware version and it's 1.05, the older version. I live within driving distance of a service center in Vancouver, Canada. It sounds like most Sony centers are charging $100 for just a firmware upgrade if that's all you're getting. But if I had a problem with my camera, even a minor one, and took it in under warranty, they would fix the problem and upgrade the firmware as part of the fix at no cost? Am I right or will they charge for the firmware regardless?

I do agree it's pretty bad they charge to fix their own software issues. That should be free.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 11:06 PM   #178
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Good luck.
One thing is if you make an appointment with the center, it can be done the same day.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #179
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Chad,

When I sent mine in to San Jose a couple weeks ago, they replaced the back panel (worn paint), battery drain circuit boards, and upgraded the software to 1.05 (I think to be sure there wasn't a problem with back focus using the ND filters). They called and asked if I wanted the upgrade to 1.11. I played dumb and asked what it would do for me, and how much it would cost. $100.

Since I have the upgrade software sitting on my computer, I politely said no.

I have heard stories of people getting the firmware upgrade for nothing, but I'm not sure what kind of warranty problem you'd have to have to get it for free.

I've been waiting for the warranty period to be over before installing the firmware. If I was certain that it wouldn't cause warranty issues, I'd have installed it already.

Pete
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #180
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I have the extended 3 year warranty.

It's probably no big deal...
I seriously doubt they are going to research when you got the software upgrade completed.
Heck, new cameras are even coming with the upgrade.
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