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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old August 24th, 2008, 04:49 AM   #16
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Ian, I'll try to inject some Zen into this thread...

Remember that when dealing with CS reps they are limited by directives, one of which seems to be (something like) "don't accept defective camera's for maintenance upgrades". This makes sense as these have to go through the "repair" process (and will probably also get the new firmare).

Now you could argue that the mic holder being broken makes the camera defective and in need for repair. You could also say it is (almost) a cosmetic issue.

Your options therefor are:
1. Submit the camera for repair (possibly at a cost) for the mic mount
2. Detach the mic mount and don't mention it when submitting for the maintenance upgrade

You can order the replacement part whenever it's convenient for you or try to get it fixed under warranty/silver support. Just decide if you want to go the maintenance or repair route in advance.

George/
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Old August 24th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #17
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Hi George,

Yes I'm one step ahead of you ;-). Before I'd mentioned the mic holder the rep had given me a case number and an email address to send my work address to if I wanted pickup from there rather than the address registered on my agreement.

I've sent the email regardless to see if a collection box turns up. After all there's nothing to lose and if the box doesn't show up or they still refuse to take it I can chase things up with the dealer in a week's time. If the box does show up they may ignore the mic holder and apply the upgrade anyway.

I'll post an update here when things get resolved but in the meantime anybody in a similar position should just avoid any mention of broken mic holders when calling Sony Premium Support.

And I still don't have a reliable answer on whether or not the firmware upgrade is needed for the PMW-EX1 for 32GB cards. A couple of forum posts say yes, but Sony Premium Support and the dealer web site say no.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:25 AM   #18
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In jest... Maybe you need to migrate to Australia. Our Sony professional dealership over here has also done the right thing by me over time.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #19
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Not sure about that Bob!

I had to pay for a new mic holder, so Sony are definitely not admitting that they have a "part that is likely to fail" or anything similar.

Yet this is the first Sony camera I've ever had that has broken a mic holder, and it was just from placing it into a bag!

Cheers,

Vaughan
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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #20
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To ask Sony to pay for a replacement part requires that they (or other reasonable arbitrators) agree that the part is deficient for its intended use. Obviously they think the mic holder performs as designed, and perhaps you didn't try to convince them otherwise. At the other end of the scale, they replaced the lens assembly of my EX1 for a fault they found but I hadn't identified.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #21
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Update

My ploy to just send the camera to Sony anyway failed. Got home tonight to find a message on my phone machine, re-iterating that because the external mic holder was broken this meant the camera was physically damaged and therefore inelligible for a firmware upgrade by Sony Premium Support.

I've disliked Sony with a vengeance after terrible experiences with them: three DAT walkman players (plastic cog invariable breaks after 13 months - minimum replaceable part, the whole unit at 500); portable CD players (cost of repair almost as much as a new unit; 4 months later same fault develops - "Oh repairs are only covered for 3 months, not a year. Didn't we tell you that when offering to either repair the unit or advise spending a tenner more for a new unit?"); video DV tape decks - dead a month after purchase and then sat in Sony repair labs for 4 months before being returned); Vaio laptop ("oh the three year warranty doesn't cover you for the keyboard letters all flaking off, and if you want the dead screen replacing you have to pay to sit on a premium line on hold forever to get us to actually support the warranty we charged you a small fortune for, We'll then tell you to fax us a copy of the warranty agreement on another premium line even though we sold it to you online and not through a dealer, and then keep phoning us on that same premium rate line on a daily basis to find out that it takes us a week to pick up the fax from a fax machine which is on another floor).

Am beginning to wish I'd stuck to my guns and just refused to give Sony any more money, no matter how good the picture quality on the EX1 is. They are far and away the worst, and consistently so, company I've ever had to have any dealings with.

Dealer will be back next week so hopefully I can get things sorted then, but I just wish Panasonic or Canon would get their act together and offer a reasonable alternative so I never had to give Sony another penny again.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #22
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Did you send it in along with the broken mic holder? Or did you remove the mic holder and send the camera without it?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #23
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Might be worth ringing Citizens advice bureau. I would be steaming mad if they had told me that, after paying out that kind of money...especially with a 2 year silver support included. Thats just rediculous. I have an EX1 myself and rung them up to ask if I could carry out the firmware upgrade myself, to which they replied, "we dont let end users do that task as we regard it as a dangerous process".
I've carried out a lot of firmware upgrades for various computers peripherals and motherboards, and whilst they are a process that can be dangerous if you are not careful, they are actually pretty straight foreward. This really should be an end user upgrade.

Good luck with sorting out your problem. I would feel very cheated by Sony if I were in your shoes.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #24
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I've downloaded the EX1 version 1.1 firmware, step by step instructions are included, don't know if i feel confident enough to try it though.

Paul.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #25
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Well, my poor experience with Sony with my first batch Anycast wasn't a good experience, but I put that down to just one of those things - but having sat on the HD fence for quite a while now, after reading this bizarre interpretation of their service agreements, I think I shall go with P2 - XDCAM was looking like the winner for me, but looking at my current kit - lots of it shows signs of stress - I broke the mic holder on my JVC 5000 series and repaired it with the bracket of my old Beta SP. I think I might ask Sony for the wording of their warranty so I can make my mind up for certain.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 01:10 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
Did you send it in along with the broken mic holder? Or did you remove the mic holder and send the camera without it?
I didn't send it. I emailed them, as originally requested before telling them about the mic holder, to confirm that the address to return the camera to/ pick it up from was different from the registered address (ie my work address not my home address). The phone call was in response to that email, effectively saying "It doesn't matter what address you give us we're not taking it in".
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Old August 27th, 2008, 01:37 AM   #27
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Just detach the the mic mount and tell them you fixed the issue, then verify you should only send the camera without accessories. Then order a replacement part through your dealer if you want.

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Old August 27th, 2008, 02:47 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Smith View Post
I didn't send it. I emailed them, as originally requested before telling them about the mic holder, to confirm that the address to return the camera to/ pick it up from was different from the registered address (ie my work address not my home address). The phone call was in response to that email, effectively saying "It doesn't matter what address you give us we're not taking it in".
This doesn't make any sense.

It's like saying that they won't fix a camera because it's damaged. However, if it's not damaged, they'll fix it.

Is there someone higher up the chain of command to whom you can make an appeal?
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Old August 27th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #29
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Sounds like embargo-on time if they keep this up. I would hope it is more of a translation problem somewhere along the internal communications path between Sony Japan and the local dealerships.

There is a labour cost to install the upgrades. There have been incidences of grief and lamentation when JVC owners have tried to do their own. Sony may well have decided if its worth doing, its worth doing properly. There might be some contention over labour costs and who pays, the dealerships or Sony if the upgrades end up being an unforshadowed impost on the dealerships.

If JVC goes next generation with the GY-HD--- family and match the EX1 and EX3 performance, there may well be a jumping off the Sony ship. RED's Scarlett may also be hanging around in the wings for those who do want to jump in other directions. With the RED, you go in eyes wide open knowing that much is still in beta and the promise that the upgrade support will be there.

With a large outfit like Sony, one assumes the products are already turnkey and proven, not in beta test.

For myself, the only camera failures have been operator induced, small things like hostile environments, being dropped once, service has been good, legacy support for a 30 year old product still existed about a year back, so I personally have nothing to complain about.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 27th, 2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: added text
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Old August 27th, 2008, 04:25 AM   #30
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Sometimes when faced with a situation like this I ask the person, "If this were you, what would YOU want done?" I use a tone that's reasonable and not threatening.

It sometimes makes stop and think, realizing that while they might be following company policy, what they're really doing is depriving a legitimate customer of what they deserve.
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