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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 December 3rd, 2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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PMW-EX1 power-up problems

I tried to power up my PMW-EX1 today before going on a shoot. The LCD monitor didn't come up. I looked into the EVF and it was stuck on the XDCAM welcome screen. I closed the monitor, powered off the camera and tried to power it up again.

After attempting to the turn the camera on and off a few times I had the following symptoms:

1. It took about 2 minutes for the LCD to come on (it just flickered into life).
2. Record was sluggish to start.
3. Front and rear tally lights were flashing.
4. Could not play last clip.
5. Could not view any clips in clip review mode.
6. It took about 1 minute for camera to power off.
7. I got really annoyed at Sony.

I tried 2 fully charged batteries and the AC power supply and the camera still had the same symtoms. My EX1 is only 3 months old and there are only about 50 hours on this camera. The firmware is up to date as far as I know.

I called Sony and explained what was going on. The tech rep didn't even bother to tell me to reset the camera; he just told me to send it into the repair center in Teaneck. I tried "reset-all" anyway and it just hung up.

From the lack of troubleshooting questions, I am guessing Sony has seen this problem before. Has anyone else had this problem. Any ideas on how long Sony takes to turn a warranty issue around or any thoughts on how to expedite the repairs or get a loaner? Like everyone else, I have a schedule to keep and can't afford delays.

Thanks in advance for advice or tips anyone might offer.

Bob
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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I can't speak to your specific issue but Sony Teaneck seems to take about 3 weeks to turn something around.

There is one authorized Sony dealer that will give you a free loaner if your camera goes in for repair but I can't mention them because they're not a DVInfo sponsor.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #3
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Thanks Craig,

I checked on the status of my EX1 today. Parts are on back-order and I have not been able to get a straight answer why this unit failed or when I will get it back.

I'm going to call the dealer where I purchased the camera and see if they can help me out.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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It's amazing that no matter what happens, the parts are always on back-order. It seems the only make parts for service on an as needed basis.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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Just had similar problem except it never booted at all - It would keep attempting and turn itself on and off never getting past the XDCAM logo. The camera was almost 2 years old.

Never got a straight answer as to why it happened. One guy ( not Sony) who looked at it speculated that perhaps I might ( emphasize might) have changed a battery without turning off the camera or some version of that which might (might!) have caused a power surge. Only every tech I spoke to outside of Sony said all cameras should be built to withstand that because it happens all the time. It did happen in between battery changes.

The first guy had to send it to Sony eventually and they just changed a board which was backordered for about 5 weeks. I talked to the Sony repairman and he had nothing to add. He didn't care and had no interest in why it failed - they just change the board. $2047 for a new board not counting labor. (Fortunately the extended warranty from my AMEX card covered it.)

I must say that along with others on this board it seems to me that much as I love this camera it is more prone to problems than any others I have known. - Buy an extended warranty!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #6
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after (only) reading the manuel on all these cameras, the first thing i would try with the OPs specific symptoms, is different properly formated memory card.
it sounds sort-of like the mem card is trying to be accessed/read and has various corruptions on it, and therfore locks up the processing trying to see/access it.
poor widdle computer in the thing, that is how a real computer might act with a corrupt or poorly connected hard drive.
so you "boot" the computer, and then disconnect any drives that are attached that might be locking up the system on boot.

send it in to service, and do you get it back with one more problem ?
every small but highly sofisticated video device i have sent in to service has come back with one MORE problem that it didnt have before . then it cost me 1/2 the thing, and starts into a service loop , that takes weeks on end. so now if things break, i will fix it myself, and if that doesnt work into the trash it goes, the only difference being i dont have that problem again :-)
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Welk View Post
send it in to service, and do you get it back with one more problem ?
every small but highly sofisticated video device i have sent in to service has come back with one MORE problem that it didnt have before . then it cost me 1/2 the thing, and starts into a service loop , that takes weeks on end. so now if things break, i will fix it myself, and if that doesnt work into the trash it goes, the only difference being i dont have that problem again :-)
If its a Viper please put it in my trash can :)
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #8
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Marty, my experience was send it into service and it came back with new problems. In my case I sent it in to service for Firmware upgrade and battery drain issue. Those were done and then SDI out and playback of clips didn't work right. I'm only about a half hour drive from Sony Teaneck, NJ facility so we drove right back. I told them I thought the firmware upgrade was the issue. They checked while I waited and found no obvious hardware issue so, on my suggestion, they redid the firmware upgrade. Problem solved. They did all this while I waited. If I had to send it back it probably would have been a series of back and forth phone calls and another three weeks.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #9
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so now we have to know how to flash a "dead" camera :-) reminds me of PDA and smart phones. guess i am all prepared for everything but eventual Beta "software" and firmware updates that add "features" with new bugs.

i see a glorious future , mabey they can get with Adobee and add in 50 layers of frilly useless code done in xml and html and flash.

Warning: to play this video clip your camera will have to install Flash #10 and OS13 :-)
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Old December 11th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #10
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Well, just got an online update on my Camera which was sent in for what looked like dust on the sensors and what do you know Parts on Back Order is the update... This lack of parts and also the amount of Ex1's on this board that seem to be having issues after a year or two seriously worries me about how long this camera will last me... or cost me for that matter... My extended warranty expires March of 2011 then what??? Seems like every repair to this camera is at least 2G.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #11
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Did you ever buy a really inexpensive inkjet printer and were in awe of the quality of the photos and art prints it made. Then you discovered that the cost of replacing the ink each week was greater than the price of the printer itself.

I think Sony has found a way to enter into "make money off of consumables" market. We now find that once or twice a year there's a $2000 repair bill. The parts are "back ordered" since they only make them as needed to further keep their costs down. There's no parts in the channel and the wait until they amass a threshold for a certain part before they order just enough to cover those repairs in the cue.

My aren't I the cynical one today. There is a pattern emerging though.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #12
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we put external Tanks on the epson DVD printers, to solve the overpriced ink problem. they sell this contraption that has about 10-20times the ink , and uses hoses to get to resettable cartriges. i can print thousands of dvds now with the epson printers, without changing the ink carts. i still dont see any improvement from using 6 carts either besides.
so
i have this huge tank hanging outside of the printer with tubes going to it.
i suspect that with this memory stufff, if i want a editable less compressed full resolution full framerate picture, i am going to have to do the same thing :-)
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Old December 17th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #13
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Update

Well, it took exactly 2 weeks to the day for Sony to get my camera back to me (including shipping time to/from Teaneck). I was nice to tech support and they were friendly and understanding. I was a bit persistent and called every day for an update as I was in the middle of a shoot. I ended up borrowing a Canon from a friend (so much for the 100% tapeless workflow).

Like most people, Sony would not tell me why it failed they just said "Error on display, replaced needed parts to restore unit to proper functions, realigned, upgraded software to the latest version, performed all adjustments, checked all functions, test rec 100 min on SxS media, unit works proeprly (SIC)."

It's a brand new camera; I am uncertain why it needed a software upgrade. Perhaps the tech just cut and pasted the engineering notes from another older unit with the same problem?

I called and asked what they did to fix the camera and the tech told me the part number of the circuit board they replaced which of course meant absolutely nothing to me.

When I got the EX1 back, there was a rolled up piece of paper stuffed in the handle with "Important Sony i.LINK installation instructions" Might be worth looking into if you use the i.LINK connection.

I didn't use the i.LINK ... like Leonard my unit stuck on the XDCAM screen. I may have just waited longer than he did. I too suspect it had to do with the battery connection causing a surge but I doubt I would have replaced the battery with unit powered on.

I should have learned my lesson with Sony after the Grand Wega TV I bought developed blue splotches and the cost to repair was $1,400 to fix a $2,400 TV. Sony had a "secret" recall and extended the warranty.

I'm off to see if my EX1 actually works; I have not tested it yet. Thanks for the comments ... Have a happy and safe holiday season everyone!

Last edited by Bob Basile; December 17th, 2009 at 11:50 AM. Reason: typo
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Old December 17th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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Bob - just out of curiosity what was the board # they replaced.
Mine was DPR -289.


Re upgrading software. It changes pretty often so just because you bought it new doesn't mean that's what was in it when it got boxed up. Consider yourself lucky you didn't need to send it in for the upgrade.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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Update on my camera- Parts that were on back order came in pretty quick.. As now the repair is in process. Service Manager told me the Engineer should have my Camera completed by early next week... also he was to call me once he starts the work on it to discuss the issues found and my other concerns. I will be asking some detailed questions and will report back here once I have some answers.
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