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Old March 5th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #1
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Paint & Battery Drain - My Experience - What's Yours?

To cut to the chase, with my usual over elaboration following.

RE PAINT: After no paint problem with 11 month old EX-1, just received camera back from Sony Los Angeles Service (second trip to Sony Service), and NOW, AFTER service, paint chipped from back panel and number "2" gone from ND Filter switch! They did it, as it had perfect paint when I sent it to them! My question - if you have seen these kind of symptoms, does it get worse? If your experience is affirmative, I have six days left on warranty and will send it back for replacement of back panel and left side shell. Note of any actual experience will be much appreciated.

RE BATTERY DRAIN: Had requested service re typical serious battery drain issue, and issue greatly reduced, but still extant. For anyone's information, here are my results! After service, installed fully charged Sony BP-U30 Battery (with 31 charges thus far) on EX-1. Initial read out on LCD panel indicated 142 minutes of battery power - this was with LCD and eye piece both powered, in record mode, but with no recording in progress. Camera immediately turned off, and later turned five times, on less than 20 seconds each time, to determine point at which one-half battery power used in camera during OFF condition. Results were - 71 minutes (one-half) power remaining, with identical settings, after 6 days, 9 hours, 38 minutes, or 153 1/2 hours! Nuff said!

Now, back to the paint issue, about which I am concerned, and which I am looking to you for your actual experience. In more detail, here is my experience regarding treatment of the camera from the time of purchase, up to the present. After purchasing the EX-1 almost a year ago, I tested the unit and found that it was suffering from the same faulty back focus issue then experienced by many other - I sent it back to Sony, asking that this be corrected, and about 28 days later they returned the camera to me, and the issue was taken care of by them. About a month an a half ago I again sent the EX-1 to Sony Service for correction of the battery drain issue and installation of the latest software upgrade, which Sony accomplished in about three weeks or so. After a delay of over two weeks after receiving the returned camera, I set it up for testing, prior to putting it back into production. My very preliminary testing is accomplished, indicating the above results re battery drain, affirmation of the upgrade, and confirmation that the backfocus and other major functions are still as they should be - when I examined the camera, all of the PP settings and other setups were as they had been when I sent in the camera, except that I was totally unable to move the shutter speed out of "Auto", no matter what, until I did a complete reset of the camera, which now appears to be functioning normally.

Now, specifically, about the paint issue! I have pretty much treated the camera with kid gloves, transporting it in a Kata padded bag (boy, do I love Kata!), including several air trips with the bag in the overhead. During all of my shoots, the camera has never been subjected to any drops, abrasion, or any other ill treatment. During the two times I sent it back to Sony for repair, it was wrapped in the clear plastic and inserted and sealed in the Sony cardboard assembly and box in which it had originally arrived. When sent to Sony for the latest repair, its entire surface was in an impeccable condition, as are my other seven Sony cameras, two going back to 15 and 18 years. When I began to test the EX-1 this time after its return, I noted that the edges of the cutout around the on off switch on the back panel had the paint scraped off, exposing the white (aluminum?) underneath - the paint was also scraped off on the edge of the battery compartment at the base of the back panel - now this is obviously minor, but given reports from so many, I wonder if it is a precursor of worse things to come? Second, I also noted that the numeral "2" on the left side panel, for the ND switch, was now gone! I have used this switch extensively, and had
no prior issue of any kind until noting its absence after Sony service. I intend to continue to treat this camera with respect and care, but given this experience, I cannot help but wonder what's next! Further, unless those of you responding indicate that your experience is that a little wear like this is an indicator of much worse things to come, I will probably avoid sending it back to Sony for replacement of the panels in the very short time remaining under warranty, on two grounds. First, I will miss an event shoot I had been planning for this camera, for over six months, and will have to revert to an FX-1. Second, I have noted in the case of three individuals posting on this forum and elsewhere that in replacing the rear panel, Sony caused further grievous damage to the camera, which in each case had to be sent in AGAIN for service, to correct the newly introduced problem!

Thanks for your patience in reading all this - I hope that you find the report re the "corrected" battery drain issue helpful, and I again thank those responding about their experience with deteriorating paint on this sometimes otherwise splendid camera.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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If they haven't replaced the rear and side panels get them to do it, it will get worse, it can get to the point where all writing will rubbed off. Your EX1 like mine doesn't seem too bad as we've treated the camera well. The other EX1s where I work that are in heavy use as rental cameras quickly lost much of their lettering. We've not had this problem with any other camera after years of heavy use, get the panels replaced. No matter how careful you are it will get worse.

I don't know why Sony elsewhere on the planet are messing clients around so much. When I sent me EX1 in for 'upgrade' they did all work known to be needed. That's a new lens, three new PCBs and back and side panels replaced and all done very smartly.

That the camera continues to use some power from the battery is not unusual. All cameras use some battery power when off. The EXs even after upgrade just seem to use more than the older cameras. In any case I find it good practice to remove the battery. Putting the camera away with it accidentally On is not a good thing. Removing the battery is a wise safegaurd.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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i just got mine back from service two weeks ago, they replaced the back panel
but failed to replace the side panel with the ND filters on it. NOT sending it back in
for that for 3 more weeks. as far as battery drain goes, Sony NJ replaced the circuits
but I never leave the battery on the camera anyway.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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Bob & Scott - Thanks for your prompt response! They have led me to contacting Sony Service for return of the camera for replacement of the back and side panels because of defective paint! When and if Sony takes positive action regarding this, I will post here the outcome in, what, 30 days or so?

And regarding the battery drain, I only brought up the whole issue and posted my results since I had noted other threads and posts by people who had indicated acceptable battery drain in repaired units, but no one had quantified the drain, and I thought it might be helpful! In any event, I would never leave a battery on the EX-1 overnight - and for anyone who thinks that the very significantly reduced drain in repaired EX-1s is acceptable, I have to wonder! Noted in my original post, above, in this thread, is the fact that I own seven Sony camcorders, two going back to the early 90s. And as noted earlier, NONE show the paint defects, after ALL these years, that are now EXTANT with the EX-1. But also, with EVERY ONE of these previous Sony cameras, I can leave the batteries in the cameras for MONTHS, with, of course, the power switch set to off, and everyone still has power months later. What is this Mickey Mouse!

When I contacted Sony Service, I received objection to my statement that Sony Repair had caused the paint problem - initially I was told that the (apparently single "Engineer" working on EX-1 Repairs would have to be consulted to determine if he had any occasion to throw the ND Switch, thereby causing the loss of Number 2 painted indicator -initially it was also suggested that I needed to take photos of the camera illustrating the paint problems, and send them to Sony. Well, after further discussion, it was agreed that this would not be necessary. And further, and without any prompting, the Sony Service rep offered a Fed Ex number so that I could ship the camera back at Sony's expense!!!!! Wow!
Well, you better believe, that after spending more than $500 (shipping and insurance) on the two previous send backs, I accepted their offer.

I also included, along with other necessary documents, a four page letter, with a brief intro outlining what I hoped they would repair (replacement of rear and side panels, as well as any other case items - particularly the currently impeccable handle, which I have read here has so often peeled). And I then elaborated on my request that current, apparently sound paint surface items be replaced, based upon their empirical results showing what else was expected to fail because of the initial faulty production run. I also commented upon the idea that it didn't matter who caused the disappearance of printing on the camera - the engineer who handled the camera, and who almost undoubtedly showed reasonable care, or I, who certainly did - the issue was Sony's production of a camera with faulty paint!

After being a loyal Sony fan for over thirty years, and after touting their products to anyone who cared to hear (including many in the home theater area, of which I am a consultant, and an expert one, far more than in the event videography area), I do not intend to ever purchase another Sony product. What a shame, and particularly with this
potentially wonderful device which can't even be approached by anything else on the market within shooting distance on the price. Yeah, I know all about that new Panasonic shoulder wonder, but it has only smaller sensors.

For those of you who are proud new owners of EX-1s and 3s, I assume that the back focus, battery drain, program update, and paint problems are not an issue. But boy, keep your eyes peeled (the pun is intended, thereby obviating it as a pun), here at this wonderful forum and be alert for any other product defect issues, particularly while you're in the warranty period.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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After TWO firmware upgrades (now 1.11_0531) I STILL have battery drain issues. Nothing has changed. I can't leave a battery on the camera when off or it will suck it dry. Sony- all Baloney.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronn Kilby View Post
After TWO firmware upgrades (now 1.11_0531) I STILL have battery drain issues. Nothing has changed. I can't leave a battery on the camera when off or it will suck it dry. Sony- all Baloney.
Upgrading the firmware will not address the battery drain issue, period.
To fix the issue three PCB assemblies need to be replaced. I'd add that "fix" needs to be qualified. It'll extend the time it takes for the camera to discharge the battery from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

Although I'm curious as to where the current from the battery is going I really don't see this as a show stopper. Yes, even after the PCBs were replaced my EX1 when Off drains the battery faster than say our PD170s, all cameras do drain some power from the battery. It's at least used to run the time of day clock in the camera and retain camera settings. If you take the battery off the camera then these are powered by the backup battery.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Urschel View Post
I do not intend to ever purchase another Sony product.
Sure, I feel your pain. But for me the incredible features Sony packed into this 'new model' far out way the few short comings. Sony service can definitely improve, as well as quality control. Huge corporations can always get better.

I've been more fortunate with service. I live near the San Jose, ca service center so I walked in to drop off my EX1. A day and 1/2 later the called and I picked it up. Back focus, battery drain fixed, upgraded firmware, and replaced back panel.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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William,

I just got my EX-1 back from Sony to do the firmware upgrade, check the backfocus (which was fine) and replace the shell since the numbers on my were worn off too for the ND settings. They also said they gave me an "upgraded" handle, but I fail to see what difference there is from the old one. BTW I purchased mine at the end of March last year so it seems they had a batch of cameras with the letters wearing off.
Now the camera is back and is working fine and looking good too.

-Phil
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Old March 16th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Urschel View Post
To cut to the chase, with my usual over elaboration following.

RE PAINT: After no paint problem with 11 month old EX-1, just received camera back from Sony Los Angeles Service (second trip to Sony Service), and NOW, AFTER service, paint chipped from back panel and number "2" gone from ND Filter switch! They did it, as it had perfect paint when I sent it to them! My question - if you have seen these kind of symptoms, does it get worse? If your experience is affirmative, I have six days left on warranty and will send it back for replacement of back panel and left side shell. Note of any actual experience will be much appreciated.

RE BATTERY DRAIN: Had requested service re typical serious battery drain issue, and issue greatly reduced, but still extant. For anyone's information, here are my results! After service, installed fully charged Sony BP-U30 Battery (with 31 charges thus far) on EX-1. Initial read out on LCD panel indicated 142 minutes of battery power - this was with LCD and eye piece both powered, in record mode, but with no recording in progress. Camera immediately turned off, and later turned five times, on less than 20 seconds each time, to determine point at which one-half battery power used in camera during OFF condition. Results were - 71 minutes (one-half) power remaining, with identical settings, after 6 days, 9 hours, 38 minutes, or 153 1/2 hours! Nuff said!

Now, back to the paint issue, about which I am concerned, and which I am looking to you for your actual experience. In more detail, here is my experience regarding treatment of the camera from the time of purchase, up to the present. After purchasing the EX-1 almost a year ago, I tested the unit and found that it was suffering from the same faulty back focus issue then experienced by many other - I sent it back to Sony, asking that this be corrected, and about 28 days later they returned the camera to me, and the issue was taken care of by them. About a month an a half ago I again sent the EX-1 to Sony Service for correction of the battery drain issue and installation of the latest software upgrade, which Sony accomplished in about three weeks or so. After a delay of over two weeks after receiving the returned camera, I set it up for testing, prior to putting it back into production. My very preliminary testing is accomplished, indicating the above results re battery drain, affirmation of the upgrade, and confirmation that the backfocus and other major functions are still as they should be - when I examined the camera, all of the PP settings and other setups were as they had been when I sent in the camera, except that I was totally unable to move the shutter speed out of "Auto", no matter what, until I did a complete reset of the camera, which now appears to be functioning normally.

Now, specifically, about the paint issue! I have pretty much treated the camera with kid gloves, transporting it in a Kata padded bag (boy, do I love Kata!), including several air trips with the bag in the overhead. During all of my shoots, the camera has never been subjected to any drops, abrasion, or any other ill treatment. During the two times I sent it back to Sony for repair, it was wrapped in the clear plastic and inserted and sealed in the Sony cardboard assembly and box in which it had originally arrived. When sent to Sony for the latest repair, its entire surface was in an impeccable condition, as are my other seven Sony cameras, two going back to 15 and 18 years. When I began to test the EX-1 this time after its return, I noted that the edges of the cutout around the on off switch on the back panel had the paint scraped off, exposing the white (aluminum?) underneath - the paint was also scraped off on the edge of the battery compartment at the base of the back panel - now this is obviously minor, but given reports from so many, I wonder if it is a precursor of worse things to come? Second, I also noted that the numeral "2" on the left side panel, for the ND switch, was now gone! I have used this switch extensively, and had
no prior issue of any kind until noting its absence after Sony service. I intend to continue to treat this camera with respect and care, but given this experience, I cannot help but wonder what's next! Further, unless those of you responding indicate that your experience is that a little wear like this is an indicator of much worse things to come, I will probably avoid sending it back to Sony for replacement of the panels in the very short time remaining under warranty, on two grounds. First, I will miss an event shoot I had been planning for this camera, for over six months, and will have to revert to an FX-1. Second, I have noted in the case of three individuals posting on this forum and elsewhere that in replacing the rear panel, Sony caused further grievous damage to the camera, which in each case had to be sent in AGAIN for service, to correct the newly introduced problem!

Thanks for your patience in reading all this - I hope that you find the report re the "corrected" battery drain issue helpful, and I again thank those responding about their experience with deteriorating paint on this sometimes otherwise splendid camera.
I just had a problem with the LA Service Center as well. I took my EX1 in three weeks ago to get the firmware upgrade and have the battery drain problem fixed. They didn't even touch the camera until 2 and a half weeks later. I went to pick it up this past Friday and it wasn't ready even though they had called and said it was. As soon as I showed up they realized that they had reinstalled version 1.05 which was already on the camera when I bought it. Why in the world would they put OLD firmware on the camera when it was already on the camera? So on Friday they put version 1.11 on it, even though I understand now that there is a 1.12, and they shipped the camera to me. The invoice says they replaced the power block, so I'll check the battery drain problem out in the next day or two. I had actually written on the work order to replace the three PCB circuits after reading this forum so hopefully replacing the "power block" does that. If it doesn't, it's going back. Also, I'm missing my numbers by the ND filter and I'm sure they were there before I took it in. Bottom line---don't send your camera to the LA Service Center. If I had it to do again, I would have shipped mine to San Jose.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #10
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I've got two EX1s v1.05.

I don't trust Sony enough to turn my cams over to them. What a roll of the dice that is. yeha, no thanks, I'll just hold on to my cams and accept the battery drain issue.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Craig Terott View Post
I've got two EX1s v1.05.

I don't trust Sony enough to turn my cams over to them. What a roll of the dice that is. yeha, no thanks, I'll just hold on to my cams and accept the battery drain issue.
You really need version 1.11 to use the SDHC cards as well as the 32G SXS cards. There are also a few other new menu items.
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