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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:31 AM   #1
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EX1 firmware upgrades

Just wanted to pass along a bit of info from the Sony repair station that I heard today.

Sony Hawaii sends the EX1 to a repair station on the Mainland for any firmware upgrades. The process is more than just uploading software into the camera. The camera also goes through a series of tests, and that test equipment isn't available here in Hawaii.

It's also the reason why there might be a fee to do the firmware upgrade, depending upon where you are and if you purchased any service support plans.

So while it might be possible to "homebrew" the process yourself, I personally would rather have it done by Sony. That way I'm absolved of any possible harm if something goes wrong. And I can be assured that it's being done under lab conditions. The camera is what I use to earn a living and I'd rather be certain my tools are working right.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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Dean,

I'm not too far away from one of the two Sony service centers that do that. When I got my camera back from them, I discovered they did NOT do the firmware upgrade properly. Apparently their testing missed something (mine didn't though). We drove back and had them to the upgrade a second time.

I'm also an even shorter distance to a "third party" Sony Professional Authorized Service Center. They are NOT permitted to do the upgrade. They HAVE a full maintenance lab.

Sony does not want the firmware to fall into the "wrong" hands so they guard it closely. Basically the firmware could be modified to add additional features and I think they are trying to prevent hackers from doing such.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post
The process is more than just uploading software into the camera. The camera also goes through a series of tests, and that test equipment isn't available here in Hawaii.

It's also the reason why there might be a fee to do the firmware upgrade, depending upon where you are and if you purchased any service support plans.

So while it might be possible to "homebrew" the process yourself, I personally would rather have it done by Sony.
Your own reasons for sending the camera are logical and make good sense. But I do not agree that the main reason there is a fee is because of the added series of tests. I believe it is the other way around, that the series of tests were added so that there could be a fee.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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I find this hard to believe. My camera was working fine. Went to Sony for the firmware upgrade. Came back with no ability to record audio. They clearly hadn't run any kind of test as part of doing the upgrade and I had to send it back again.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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The quality of workmanship, and the attention to detail seems to vary from one location to the next.

I'm lucky that the service available here is good. One of the cameras was sent in previously for the paint and battery drain problem, and it came back working just fine. The firmware was upgraded to 1.04 or 1.05.

The only drawback to not having the firmware done locally is the longer turnaround time. The camera I just sent in isn't expected back for a week or so.
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