X200 lens issue at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 22nd, 2015, 06:16 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
X200 lens issue

I just lost a live shot at a building collapse, thanks to my new X200.

30 seconds out, and the focus cuts out. I mean GONE, inability to manually focus, spinning the mechanism does nothing. AF didn't work either. Had to call off the live hit. Could actually hear/feel some grinding of meshed gears as I tried to focus. Moved the dial forward and back, stuck on very macros.

Anyone ever have this happen before? I shot some video of the problem with my little X70, showing me spinning the focus and nothing happening. So disappointed in Sony. :(

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2015, 09:25 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,936
Re: X200 lens issue

That sounds like a complete backfocus failure. It happens at least once throughout the lifetime of EX cameras. Complete power cycle usually solves itself.

Heat may be an issue too, temporary backfocus failure to my knowledge happens way more often if the camera body is extremely hot.

If doing an Auto FB adjust fails no matter what with the camera on, completely shut it off and wait a while to try it again. If it keeps doing it past 2 days, then you have a problem.

It's weird, right? But I've been there where I've had a complete backfocus failure, only for it to recover and never really happen again after a full shutdown.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2015, 05:35 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

Thanks Jack, that's what I needed to known, that it is common. Power cycling resolved it, but I forgot the X200 power cycles in like just a few seconds. My X180 power cycle takes around 20 seconds or so, which is too long with 20 seconds till live to air to risk! So nice to have a camera that boots in like 3 seconds. :)

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2015, 05:52 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

Damn thing happened again.......had to revert to my station issued HM790 to complete my live shot. It was most definitely in full blown MACRO, and I was in manual focus near infinity. No amount of focus pushing, pulling, spinning could resolve it. Powered off and back on, worked OK for a few seconds then banged back in full blown MACRO. Ran back to my car and threw the POS in the back seat and pulled out my trusted hated JVC HM790....live shot saved.

There is no way this can be a common problem, or one that can in any way be acceptable. I have used this camera for 2 nights, and on both nights, it faulted and could not be reliable enough to complete a live television broadcast. Unbelievable Sony, unbelievable. Both times I was hooked up to the SDI out connection. Maybe there is a glitch in the firmware or something. Is there a way to submit a problem report to Sony on this?

This camera HAS TO GO BACK, there is no way I am going to get in hot water with my news director for missing live shots due to using my own "faulty" gear.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2015, 06:21 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,936
Re: X200 lens issue

That macro switch on the side needs to remain off. NEVER use the free spinning manual focus, only the Full MF mode. It needs to be fully powered down, battery and DC both disconnected.

If it's doing it in Full MF mode, seems likely to be a heat issue. The X200 uses a fan to exhaust the extra heat generated by the XAVC codec while XDCAM HD422 cameras like the 200 and my EX1R don't need a fan.

See if it still does it after firmware updates. (They're 2 separate updates, 1 for the camera, 1 for the network functions. 1 has to be SxS, other uses the Proxy SD card slot.)

If it continues to do it, it is almost certainly a heat issue. I know San Diego has a way hotter climate so hot camera + hot climate doesn't work. If the ambient temperature is low and it still does it, that's creeping into hardware failure territory.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 23rd, 2015, 06:57 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

These issues happened in hard stop full manual, in the 4:30AM arena, cool camera, but the MACRO switch is ON. I will switch it off, and if that problem doesn't happen again, I will assume it is a FIRMWARE glitch with the MACRO function.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 10:27 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

Happened again.....TWICE......during a 5AMish live shot at a fatality traffic accident. It is most definitely the back focus. While zooming to try to fix the problem, you could tell there is a back element involved as the racking of the intense macro would adjust non proportionally to the zooming. This was with the macro function switch set to off.

THINGS SHOULD NOT GET MUCH BLURRIER AS YOU ZOOM OUT! ARG!

Done with this camera. The X200 is going home to B&H as a defective return, not to be replaced with another X200. I am going to stick with my slightly less defective X180 for now, until something much better comes out. How do I get stuck with 3 defective Sony units in a row? WTF is wrong with their quality control these days. I used to be a Sony fan-boy since the Betacam days. :(

Will pull my really sweet PP multi-matrix setting out of the camera before it leaves for B&H, and post them in the PP section.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 06:08 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,936
Re: X200 lens issue

They rushed the X200 out cause they wanted to push XAVC on everyone. The new lens they added wasn't fully tested neither. Heck, the X160 and X180 were also rushed with it's SUPER SLOW firmware.

If you were to go with anything Sony for daily ENG, get a PMW-300 with a full manual 1/2'' lens and a Teradek. You lose 1080 60p, but you gain reliability.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 06:36 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

I truly think the X180 was given ALL the capability, but at the expense of slow menu access. The X200 was given quick menu access, but at the expense of removing capability. Buyers of cheap cameras will deal with close menu access, but users of more expensive cameras like the X200, will not accept that issue.

It would be wonderful if in future f/w releases, the X180 got quicker, and the X200 got the same functionality that the X180 has. I really do prefer the X180 menu structure, much better and easier to read than the X200. I do however really hate that the X180 doesn't have PP's. You can save and switch camera PP's from an SD card or internal camera memory, but doing so is not what I would call convenient, and you don't get that cool ability to toggle between different settings at will.

I may eventually gander a PXW-X300, but it would have to do much better than a 14x or 16x lens! It would also have to be equal to the weight of the X180, because my arm can barely handle that weight. The X200 is much lighter in the hand, and smaller in all dimensions!

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 08:22 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 400
Re: X200 lens issue

I suspect the underlying cause of all these servo lens problems is the AF/servo manual focus compensation mechanisms and the algorithm needed in order to maintain the focus in real time (or close to real time) as the lens autofocuses or zooming is activated. As far as I know probably no built-in lens in any camera in the Sony X180/200's price range is a true parfocal lens. Back in the days when I used my Sony EX1R, similar back focus or zooming-related focus problems cropped up from time to time though nothing as bad as Paul has experienced. Fortunately, I shot mostly in AF mode with manual assist from time to time and though the camera AF was quite slow it was sure to lock on and reliable. I tried the Canon XF300 which had a similar lens system on loan from my dealer for a while while my EX1R was in repair and loved the camera. However, as good as the XF300 lens was in terms of sharpness, absence of CAs and overall performance, it was also not truly parfocal. In full MF mode, when I zoomed in at the max, focused on the subject, and then zoomed out to the intended framing, the focus always shifted slightly forcing me to compensate every time I zoomed out. Nothing to worry, however, in the AF mode as the AF always compensated for the shift as I zoomed and the camera even had a face-tracking function which was very useful.

I'm not sure how the smaller and much simpler X70 (speaking of lens functions) behaves in MF. I have the AX100 but use it almost exclusively in AF mode so I have no idea.
Wacharapong Chiowanich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 08:59 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

I've never had a focus issue with my little X70. I am also new to the one piece camera designs. I have always shot on broadcast B4 lens camera, with real lenses. This "floating" always moving backfocus element confounds me.

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24th, 2015, 09:38 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 400
Re: X200 lens issue

Paul, from my experience when shooting with one of these handycams in the palm-sized class of Sony camcorders, it's often best to use the touch-to-focus or in Sony's speak, spot focus function on the LCD screen if you don't normally use full-time AF. It's smooth and reliable and once it locks on whatever you've touched it mostly stays locked. I have also found the AF system in conjunction with this spot focus feature to work so much better on Sony's palm-sized handycams than it does on their larger one piece cameras (if they have one).

This, of course won't help if you shoot mainly with the VF and not the LCD.
Wacharapong Chiowanich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2015, 01:54 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 51
Re: X200 lens issue

Paul, I feel your pain. I'm experiencing the EXACT same issue. I've owned and operated a lot of these XDCAMs and I've NEVER experienced this before. 1) The full shut down will sometimes fix it, other times it will not. It's a crap shoot and I will not take this camera out into the field. Will use the PMW-200 until it is fixed. 2) It happens regardless of temperature, usually when I first turn the camera on. 3) The camera is straight out of the box. No prior use, no damage. I just updated the firmware / wifi version-up and the issue was not resolved. I've noticed a loud "click" (louder than I've heard on other XDCAM cams) coming from inside the camcorder when I power it up. Seems as if there's something sticking internally. Also, the indication on the screen is that the iris is closed, even though I open and close it.


Last edited by Anthony Trotter; June 25th, 2015 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Performed a firmware upgrade, report that it had no affect on the issue. Made a video showing prob, posted link.
Anthony Trotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2015, 06:52 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego, Califonia
Posts: 1,246
Re: X200 lens issue

Arggggg! Sony!!!!

Well, I have identified design flaws in the X180 lens and the X200 lens. I am glad I decided to ditch the X200 series all together now. I will stick with the lesser problematic X180.

Can't believe I paid $6800 USD for a camera with a design flaw........ugh.

Again, where can we report this issue to Sony?

Paul
Paul Anderegg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2015, 04:31 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 2,936
Re: X200 lens issue

Well, this is going to sound like a broken record but...

This camera was rushed out to market.

The PMW-200 never had this issue cause it re-used the lenses from the EX1 and EX1R. This is a completely new lens which hasn't been tested enough before they had to release it.

If you are going to consider the PXW-X300 when it eventually comes out, avoid using the stock lens cause the same issue will arise. Pay for a full manual. Front element focus lenses will breathe, but it's better for that to happen then backfocus loss. ESPECIALLY for ENG.

Edit: (Re: Anthony) Click? All I feel is a soft bump on the older EX1R on boot, so that does sound like something is so up with the backfocus. The iris indicator not updating is also of great concern.
__________________
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:25 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network