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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 March 15th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton View Post
Hi Alister,
I take it, then, that the battery drain problem has to be corrected by Sony.
Is this an expensive fix?
Malcolm
When I sent my EX1 to Sony for firmware upgrade last year, they also replaced a circuit board that was responsible for the battery drain. This was done under warranty at that time. I have no clue what it would cost otherwise- but it is a "known defect", so maybe you could make a good case for it even if out of warrenty
The new board dramatically improved the drain problem, but didn't eliminate it completely.
I've noticed with the EX1r that the situation is even more improved, but battery will still drain over a peroid of several weeks. Seems like with my prior Sony cams (PD-170, etc.), you could leave it for months and the battery was still good.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #122
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Hidden USB port - frustrating

The set up procedures on the Sony Sony | Micro Site - XDCAM EX
site failed to mention the USB connection on the EX-1 is not the USB port you use for file downloads. There is a hidden USB port next to the normal USB port. It is hidden by a tiny black panel. You need high quality precision Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw.

I spent over an hour trying to connect by the normal USB. I finally stumbled on video that revealed the hidden port

Once I had the correct USB port connected the update using my Vista 64 machine went smooth and took about 20 minutes.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lagerstrom
The set up procedures on the Sony Sony | Micro Site - XDCAM EX
site failed to mention the USB connection on the EX-1 is not the USB port you use for file downloads. There is a hidden USB port next to the normal USB port. It is hidden by a tiny black panel. You need high quality precision Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw.

I spent over an hour trying to connect by the normal USB. I finally stumbled on video that revealed the hidden port
I'm going to bust you on this one Rob. Page 2 of the installation instructions have a drawing that shows removal of the little cover plate and connection to the upgrade USB connector. Sony does a great job of detailing the upgrade process.

For anyone who wants to do the upgrade yourself, be sure to carefully read the instructions.


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Old March 15th, 2010, 07:10 PM   #124
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Blog post about bricked EX3 due to firmware update

Posted a new blog about my bricked EX3 due to correct use of their firmware upgrade tool - and their denial to pay for the repair:

Beware of Sony EX3 firmware update ? camera bricked due to software malfunction, Sony ?Prime?Support denies to pay for repair | Nino Film - Blog - Nino Leitner
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Old March 15th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nino Leitner View Post
Posted a new blog about my bricked EX3 due to correct use of their firmware upgrade tool - and their denial to pay for the repair:

Beware of Sony EX3 firmware update ? camera bricked due to software malfunction, Sony ?Prime?Support denies to pay for repair | Nino Film - Blog - Nino Leitner
Sorry to say, but something that works faultlessly when instructions are followed for everyone else but fails on your computer, indicates it highly likely your computer that failed, not the software.

That's probably the Sony default position, and a fair one. You need to prove otherwise.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #126
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I concluded I'm going to pass on the upgrade, for now. Seems like most people aren't having an issue; but I've always been the exception, so I'll wait.

Beside: I hear Sony's got a new camera coming out at NAB that's between the EX3 and the PMW 350. I'm definitely interested. And I don't want to be stuck trying to sell a brick.

I don't know how anyone can stand to look at COW. All those flashing ads gave me a headache. They're very distracting. The stuff here is more subtle, and does draw me in from time to time.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:03 PM   #127
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Several people out of tens of thousand perhaps may have poor quality or failing motherboards which don't have properly working USB ports. Some older VIA based board are notorious for this. I'm not arguing with you, I'm highlighting the logic applied to computer problems.

When most work, and a small percentage don't, that's the way the problem solving flow chart works.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #128
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Third-party USB-based ExpressCards

Does anyone know if third party cards such as this http://www.amazon.com/Transcend-32GB-ExpressCard-SSD-MLC/dp/B000SK9DLY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1268702097&sr=8-4 work with the firmware upgrade. I'm assuming that if SXS-1 cards works perfectly with the 1.20 firmware, then other USB based cards should have no problems.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #129
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Or maybe Sony's software will fail in certain unanticipated configurations that Sony did not test for. While Sony may have made a best effort it's ultimately their responsibility.

If during a shoot my camera fails due to a mechanical malfunction I'm still liable to give the client a positive outcome.

If Sony's software fails during an install they should still be liable for a positive outcome.

If the failure rate is so small, Sony should be able to make good with little cost to keep a customer happy who may spend many thousands of dollars or euros on future Sony products. It's not like he dropped the camera on the floor or committed some act overtly warned against in the instructions.

One uses Sony's software with the belief they have made a reliable program and will back that with a warranty agains failure during a normal upgrade process.

I can PERSONALLY attest that when Sony did my EX1 upgrade to 1.11, it was botched (and I do not blame the technician) and I had to bring the camera back for the upgrade to be redone. Their software is fallible and they should take responsibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
Several people out of tens of thousand perhaps may have poor quality or failing motherboards which don't have properly working USB ports. Some older VIA based board are notorious for this. I'm not arguing with you, I'm highlighting the logic applied to computer problems.

When most work, and a small percentage don't, that's the way the problem solving flow chart works.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Or maybe Sony's software will fail in certain unanticipated configurations that Sony did not test for. While Sony may have made a best effort it's ultimately their responsibility.
The are literally billions of hardware combinations out there, and not every PC component manufacturer makes their parts fully up to spec. What you are asking Sony to do is totally impossible. There are so many variables. Every single piece of software ever written will have some issue with some combination. That's just the way it is, and likely the reason Sony were reluctant to allow user firmware flashing.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #131
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And Sony's massive savings by releasing the firmware to the public would more than offset fixing the few cameras that get bricked in the process.

When any company releases any hardware or software to the public they take on the responsibility of fixing those issues they missed.

There may be no way you can anticipate equipment failure in a shoot, for example, you still do your best to keep the client satisfied.

It's called Customer Service. It's also called good PR. If those with bricked cameras spread the word widely, Panasonic, JVC, Canon will benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
The are literally billions of hardware combinations out there, and not every PC component manufacturer makes their parts fully up to spec. What you are asking Sony to do is totally impossible. There are so many variables. Every single piece of software ever written will have some issue with some combination. That's just the way it is, and likely the reason Sony were reluctant to allow user firmware flashing.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #132
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I believed this update is an option so the older cameras can use the alternative medias better. Those who are using the Sony SxS Pro card don't need this update.

Besides when run the update firmware, an user accepted the "End User License Agreement". We should be extra careful to follow the instruction line by line or good chance it will failed. (same as we update any bios on your computer - firmware) Or ask someone in your area to help you out.

However, I hope Sony can offer a solution for the failed update.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 11:49 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
And Sony's massive savings by releasing the firmware to the public would more than offset fixing the few cameras that get bricked in the process.

When any company releases any hardware or software to the public they take on the responsibility of fixing those issues they missed.

There may be no way you can anticipate equipment failure in a shoot, for example, you still do your best to keep the client satisfied.

It's called Customer Service. It's also called good PR. If those with bricked cameras spread the word widely, Panasonic, JVC, Canon will benefit.
Why quote my post? A total non-sequitur. You can generate random reason why Sony should do this, or Sony should do that, ad infinitum. These are not arguments, it's your wish list, I'm just telling you that is how it works.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 12:19 AM   #134
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should not upgrade EX1 unless have at least v1.13

Being nervous about upgrading firmware (although I've never wrecked anything), and noting the above posts about bricks, I checked with our local ASC (authorised Sony Centre) about the costs of them doing it for me (and resulting cost if I failed).
Although the upgrade has been released for user implementation, it seems that a bit of crucial information has been omitted from the documentation:

"The EX1 must at least be at V1,13. – preferably at V1,14 prior to the V1,20 upgrade.
If upgrade to V1,20 is done from earlier software versions, the camera operation becomes erratic. Therefore, the EX1 should be upgraded to V1,20 by ASC’s. Hence, should a camera fail after a DIY upgrade, costs to recover the camera will be for the customer."

Now I know many people have reported success upgrading from versions earlier than 1.13, but mine is v1.11 so I'll be getting it done by my ASC.

EDIT: I haven't checked, but I presume that in my case the ASC will need to first upgrade the firmware to v1.14.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; March 16th, 2010 at 01:43 AM. Reason: to add comment.
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Old March 16th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #135
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Many thanks for pointing this out Serena.
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