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Old November 27th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #1
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Loosing the ability to focus with Sony EX-3

Hello,

During a recent shoot I lost the ability to focus with my EX-3. I always shoot in manual, so I donīt suspect the auto/manual switch ring to be the cause. This seems to be a software issue. Shuting the camera down and power it back again solves the issue. But I must admit this is a very annoying bug, and I donīt dare to think about what will happen if Iīm not able to reset the camera during an important session (which most of them are). Anyone experiencing the same issue? And are there any permanent solutions to this annoying bug?

Thanks.

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Terje Rian
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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I have had the same problem on long shoots with the camera essentially in free run record mode for over an hour. I have also seen other forums on this issue with the EX3 but I am not sure if it has been documented before today on this forum. Could be wrong though.

The present known fix is to "reboot" the camera by turning it off and then back on as you have discovered.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #3
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I've been recently told by Sony Canada that a firmware update to fix this problem will be available sometime mid-December.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 01:59 AM   #4
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It's a bug that hit my new EX3 in september within the first shots. I sent it back to Sony. They didn't manage to reproduce the problem but they believed me and send me a new one - now I film without any problems.

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Old November 28th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #5
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Thank you for confirming my findings. After posting here on dvinfo I found threads that describes similar behaviours of the camera. Itīs a shame, itīs such a nice camera. Iīm happy to hear about Sonyīs quick response though. Itīs time to contact Sony tech support.

Best,
-terje
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Old November 28th, 2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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Terje,

I have experienced the same issue in a very funny situation. It was a showroom item in Vienna where I went in August to try the cam. During the trying session this same thing happened and the Sony guys had no clue what the heck it was about, they tried a lot of things before they switched it on and off - and then the focus was back again.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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anyone notice if this is hapenning while coming out of the macro setting? cause it just happened to me three times, and every time it was when I would either turn the macro on or off.

its three days old, so I am just gonna send it back. hopefully the next one doesnt do it too!


edit--

I should describe it better, its when I slide the focus ring forward, then back that will get it to stop focusing. but not every time. I just spoke to someone else here in des moines who has the ex3 and theirs does it too. if a firmware update is coming out, might just be better to wait for that, rather then send it back twice. right?
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Old November 28th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #8
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Iīve been in contact with Sony here in Norway. They confirm what Mr. Hama suggests earlier in this thread. It seems that Sony has a firmware update ready in December. I
canīt be sure of this, of course, but I find it difficult to believe that Sony would ignore a serious issue like this.

Mr. Planchon, I canīt confirm your findings. Everytime Iīve lost my focus Iīve paused to reframe. The first time it happend it was of course really scary. Hopefully the issue will be solved real soon, or Sony will end up with a non-selling camera model.

I find the lack of a statment odd. It would calm the users, or at least provide some information about the issue. Itīs obvious that Sony know about the focus issue with the EX-3. My telephone conversation earlier today confirms this. What I donīt understand is why just a few of the users experiences this problem? If itīs just a software issue most users should get the same problem eventually? (Iīve had the EX-3 since July, but havenīt used it more than about 15-20 hours in total.)

Well, letīs hope for the best, and that the issue is possible to solve.

Best,
-terje
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Old November 29th, 2008, 05:28 AM   #9
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focus

Never lost focus, but have sometimes a feeling of slow focus tracking. I always use manual focus. Looking forward to an upgrade!
Ap
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Old November 29th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #10
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Well, I have come across this too. I was doing a lot of macro work yesterday then reframed for a more distant shot of something 12 feet or so away (after I'd turned macro switch off) and could not get focus with focus ring in AF/Manual or Full Manual position or with Autofocus switched on or off. Rebooted the camera and all was fine (except I'd lost a little confidence in this great cam!)

Hmm! Let's see what Sony's new EX3 firmware promises next week
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Old November 30th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Well, I have come across this too. I was doing a lot of macro work yesterday then reframed for a more distant shot of something 12 feet or so away (after I'd turned macro switch off) and could not get focus with focus ring in AF/Manual or Full Manual position or with Autofocus switched on or off. Rebooted the camera and all was fine (except I'd lost a little confidence in this great cam!)

Hmm! Let's see what Sony's new EX3 firmware promises next week
yeah, thats exactly what happened to me.

new firmware next week?? I thought it was december.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:13 AM   #12
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I've been considering the EX3 but now I'm not so sure. I've been reading similar reports elsewhere. There was one report of the fix being a lens change...is it definitely the firmware?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:24 AM   #13
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Well, I wouldn't let something like this put you off getting the EX3!!! Sure, it's a pain in the neck but Sony will resolve it and, so far, it is simply sorted by rebooting the cam. Sure, that's sometimes....often.... the last thing you want to do at a critical moment but at least it is a temporary solution. I for one will keep this thing in perspective. For what I'm doing I can simply reboot - for now.

It's new technology (....well nearly new, it's just a re-packed EX1 really!) but it's stunning technology. As always, us early adopters do a bit of the 'Beta testing' for the manufacturer, in this case Sony....it's always been like this and it always will...and in the meantime we get the advantage of 'bleeding edge' technology that would otherwise been out of our budget. Every new leap-frog (i.e. step) in technology brings things like this as we all know.

This will be resolved by Sony as we've learnt from this and other forums they are aware of the issue and they certainly won't want this to impact any on the fence potential purchasers of this pro cam as the world economy heads south.

It's been reported that some EX3's, apparently, have this issue (mine included it seems) and some don't. This suggests, at least to me, that it might be the lense rather than software (as the software would be the totally identical for all EX3s, but manufacturing/assembly tolerances in the lense might be different - if you follow my logic).

I read a post on another board from a guy that has two EX3s, one with this issue and one without. Now if he could swap the lenses over and see if the problem transfers from one cam to the other we would have our answer as to if it's the software or a lense issue. Simple as that.

Whilst we await the solution from Sony I'll just carry on using the thing to get the stuff that no other cam I've ever owned came close to enabling me to do (I just won't do lots of macro and longer range shots back to back at critical times!)
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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like andy said, its not something that should turn you away from the camera. its still sweet as ever. in my case, I least I know what to avoid doing in order to maintain focus. luckily, I dont need the macro very much. some arent as lucky though, and it happens randomly. but again, like andy said, its a simple reboot for now.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:09 AM   #15
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Loss of EX3 focus seems intermittent

Try as I might I was unable to reproduce this fault again on my EX3 this morning, it all worked perfectly as I went to and from macro to longer shots where I was using either full AF or (more typically for me) full manual. Focus behaved exactly as it should. I definitely had this issue late last week as reported above so it looks like it's intermittent on mine. This might explain why it's taken so long for me to experience it, I've had the cam since late July. When I noticed the issue last week it was after using the cam for many hours. The camera was very cold today (and it was outside in sleet). No idea if temperature is important but I'll try it again sometime after hours of heavy use.
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