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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 12th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #1
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Sony EX1 problems

I'm considering an EX1 but am reading about lots of problems that require users to send the camera in to the factory for repair.

Are these problems fixed with shipping units now, or should I just wait until Sony can get it right?

Thanks.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #2
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All shipping units should have the latest firmware (v1.11), but it doesn't hurt to make that a condition on the purchase.

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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #3
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In my opinion Sony have always been a company that treat the consumer as if they were their R&D department. The PMW-EX1 is symptomatic of that. Some really great stuff goes hand-in-hand with basic design decisions that a schoolchild would have sorted out before going mass market.

That being said, most of the initial problems have been fixed and so long as the camera you buy has the latest firmware version on there's little to complain about, other than the usual Sony concept of customer support, service and pricing thereof being something of a joke.

Unfortunately there's no real competition at the price point of the PMW-EX1/EX3 so you either have to put up with the niggles and hope you don't get a problem with your camera or just decide that the cost of "Sony" being the manufacturer is too high a price to pay and shop elsewhere for something that's inferior.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #4
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Quite an amazing camera

The EX-1 is an amazing camera. The lens is incredible. Very sharp. Nice wide angle. Great mechanical function. The larger chip makes for easy shallow depth of field. The picture is sharp with very little noise.

The biggest legitimate complaint is about awkward hand-held use. It requires a bit of work to figure out a method that works comfortably. The EX-3 is an improvement in that area.

Otherwise all the other little criticisms of this camera are pretty much that...little problems. While I think that Canon's cameras benefit from better design, the EX-1 delivers an amazing imaging system in a compact package.

Ultimately you can do great work with this camera. Good luck.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #5
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I don't know why so many people seem to think Sony's after sales support is so poor. My experience has been nothing but positive. The camera's (in Europe and the USA at least) have a 2 year full warranty. Turnaround on repairs is normally very quick and if they can't fix it quickly you should get a loan unit. One of the reasons why there is often a long delay between seeing a new Sony product at say IBC for the first time and the final release of the product is because of Sony's quality control process which puts the cameras through extensive checks before being released. Yes some small things do get through which should not, but Sony do try to put this right as quick as possible. Issues getting discovered by users is not a problem unique to Sony.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I don't know why so many people seem to think Sony's after sales support is so poor.

So you think that a flimsy plastic microphone holder snapping off making Sony Support refuse to upgrade the camera firmware to fix basic problems because this means the camera is "physically damaged" is NOT "poor"???!!!

Or insistence that a camerea be returned with loss of 2 weeks income for an upgrade process that any idiot could carry out themseleves is NOT poor sales support??!!!

Or that charging over USD100 for a firmware fix, and being inconsistent in how that charge is applied (or indeed how much it is), when the fix just brings the camera up to its advertised spec is GOOD sales support?

I wonder what you'd regard as poor customer support if this is good!
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Old October 14th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #7
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I have had to use Sony Silver support. I speak from my own experience and not from hearsay or from angry customers. All I can say is that the service was polite, prompt and it took 5 days from collection to return.

The microphone holder is meant to break off if abused to prevent damage to either the microphone or other parts of the camera. I've taken my EX1 and EX3 all over the world in some pretty inhospitable environments. I've been shooting with EX1's since this time last year and yet mine has not broken.

The firmware update is free in Europe. I can't comment on the situation in other countries. If you purchased a car and the manufacturer later released a version that had a bigger fuel tank would you expect the manufacturer to retro-fit you car for free? If the upgrade is taking 2 weeks then that is bad, but from what I have heard delays like that have been due to dealer errors and not Sony.

Not every "idiot" can or want's to do a firmware update. What do you do if the flash fails and your camera ends up dead? If the firmware fails to load correctly you will need to replace the main cpu board inside which will cost a lot more than $100. If Sony screw it up they would have to supply you with a new camera. While you may be prepared to take a chance with a 4000 camera, many are not.

I take it Ian from your comments you have used Silver Support and found it lacking?
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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Alister, in the event of a software upgrade failure, the EX camera should have a jumper or switch to "ready" for software download.
If they don't this is a serious mistake.

Having said that, you would still need to send it in regardless.
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