Sony quality control problems

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bakubo
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Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:45 am

As some of you know I have been having problems with my A700 and A100:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2473&start=15

A long thread I started about the A700 control wheel problem is here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=30539266

Over the years these are all the cameras I have owned:

1968 Diana -- 120 film, wasn't called Diana then, but is identical (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_camera)
1970 Polaroid Colorpack II
1973 Mamiya-Sekor 1000 DTL
1976 Minolta XK
1981 Olympus XA
1983 Minolta X-700
1986 Olympus Infinity Twin
1988 Minolta Maxxum 7000i
1991 Minolta Alpha 7xi
1992 Olympus Stylus
1995 Minolta Alpha 707si
1996 Olympus Stylus Epic
1996 Minolta Alpha 9xi
1997 Yashicamat 124-G
1997 Canon Canonet 28
2000 Olympus D-340R
2001 Olympus D-510Z
2002 Minolta Maxxum 7
2002 Minolta Dimage 7i
2003 Canon EOS Digital Rebel/300D
2004 Canon A70
2005 Konica Minolta 7D
2005 Konica Minolta 7D (had problems with both 7D bodies)
2006 Canon EOS 30D
2006 Canon A540
2007 Sony Alpha 100
2008 Sony Alpha 700
2008 Canon A590 IS

Cameras in red are the *only* ones to ever have *any* problems. Sure, I know, that others can probably point to how their Sony camera is problem free whereas a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, or some other camera had problems. All I know is that my experience has been that only KM and Sony have had problems (2 each) and it is our own personal experience which trumps everything else. I am convinced that in the case of the Sony cameras there is a design defect or faulty parts with the control wheels. I really like the A700 package of features and performance and SSS is my number one feature, but do I really want to buy another Sony? The *most* important feature of any camera for me is reliability since it is so often very difficult for me to send in for repair. Sony really needs to work on quality control.

Okay, what is the point of this post? Well, I guess I just want to ask what others have experienced? Also, to be honest, I just want to vent a bit. I am very disappointed in Sony (and the camera business they bought from KM). Unfortunately, I am not so interested in the Canon 50D. I don't pay as much attention to Nikon since I have no Nikon lenses and no experience with them. Maybe my A700 will get fixed and I can use it awhile longer. But what next? Maybe there will be an A700 replacement this year or next and I am sure I will be tempted to get one, but right now I just don't see buying another Sony. Of course, my mind is subject to change. :)
Last edited by bakubo on Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:57 am, edited 6 times in total.

Javelin
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:32 am

the only trouble I had was with my A700 when it got waterlooged and had to have the"AM board" replaced. my a200 is problem free. my F717 had a CCD failure. My P50 and assorted other small P&S cameras the family has are all fine W's and T's I haven't payed much attention to.

First my F717 had the sensor replaced inside of 3 days for free 2 years after warranty expired.

My A700 was repaired inside of a week and was also replaired for free with a foreign warranty and full of water. even aftr telling them I was going to hae to pay for it and to call me with the estimate first.

I read all the reports I see of problems with these and other camreras but particularly the Sony's and can tell you the most reported problem is this control wheel problem on the sony cameras.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby peterottaway » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:03 am

I had a Contax S2 die on me after 2 years - main board problems. But a circa 1980 Yashica FR1 ( Contax RTS ) is still going strong. Never could buy much Contax gear.

My first digital camera a Nikon D70 died with a power unit failure as did a KM 5D from the same problem. Perhaps a less than perfect design from an OEM supplier ?

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:46 am

I returned 2 A200's for large particles in the VF

Aside from that everything ok FBF 5d fixed for free

Himatic F still working

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:14 pm

Javelin wrote:I read all the reports I see of problems with these and other camreras but particularly the Sony's and can tell you the most reported problem is this control wheel problem on the sony cameras.


Yes, I think that, unlike Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc., Sony can't seem to figure out how to design control wheels or figure out how to manufacture them.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:30 pm

maybe they didn't know it was a problem untill they got enough cameras out there? if they only had minolta sales to rely on for feedback then all of a sudden they get so many more out there. in the book for the A700 there is the Sony opart number for the assembly that contains both wheels but there is also another part number and I assume that means a third party supplier. it'll be interesting to see if the A900 book or the new cameras show a part with the same sort of part number. if those books become available that is.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:33 pm

just thinking my 717 has a control wheel too but it's also a button. never had a problem with that one either. I also dont remember seeing any (or many) reports of wheels failing on the other cameras. just the A700 so maybe it's isolated to just the one model.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:35 pm

This happens to me too .. it keeps the camera on too if you don't let it time out before you drop it on your belly ..

Sonolta wrote:For sure. Sony control wheel design is horrendous. My problem is that the rear wheel will easily turn while the camera is hanging on my strap! The wheel will spin to a different setting just by bumping your body while hanging! As far as the switch/wheel itself failing mine has only went bezerk a time or two, and then for just brief moment, so I did not report that as a problem here.

-Sonolta

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bakubo
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:53 pm

Javelin wrote:just thinking my 717 has a control wheel too but it's also a button. never had a problem with that one either. I also dont remember seeing any (or many) reports of wheels failing on the other cameras. just the A700 so maybe it's isolated to just the one model.


See the link above where DK said the A100 has known problems with the control wheel. I have a problem with my A100 *and* A700.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:09 pm

Sonolta wrote:
Minolta sold something like 16 million lenses, they produced plenty of cameras with control wheels. Not to mention the fact that they made arguably the best bridge cameras on the market which also used plenty of control wheels and dials. The 7Hi, 7D & A2 were the most wheel and dialed prosumer digital cameras built at the time...Sony had plenty to go on, including being huge in consumer electronics, cameras, and video for decades themselves.


Minolta did. I don't think Konica did them any favours. those bridge cameras may have been as good as you say they were but they sure didn't set the world on fire and really thats not the topic here other than Sony put out a lot more bridge cameras than KM did. every one had at least one wheel but they also were a button to lock the selection. so you rotated the wheel to get the change you wanted (seen in the VF or on screen) then pressed the wheel to make the change. that would have been an improvement over these, that like you say make changes by accident, because you just rotate them and leave them

Sony should have known better, but I suspect they preferred to go this one on the cheap.

Probably right. the part does contain both the wheels in one piece (part numer) but theres nothing else to compare it to (no books), the A2/3/350 don't seem to have these problems. A100 is older but only has 1 wheel (and not as many sales so fewer reported problems. Henry's is the only one I've seen recently but there was a couple others) and the other 3 are newer (with higher sales numbers) with a finer wheel detent pitch and diferent feel so maybe they already fixed it?. The wheels like these were never on Sony cameras before so I think the design was inherited from KM, The ones that were on Sony bridge cameras sort of had a click feel to them but didn't really click so you could hear them and the clicks were a lot finer still like a wheel mouse wheel.


FTR and IMO the Sony top plate button positions just suck (unless you are wearing gloves, which I never am). Sony should have used a different scheme because my fingers and thumbs do not easily bend in L shapes. I never had that L problem until Sony decided to redesign proven and time tested button layouts and arrays. Sony Quicknav is cool but I prefer to make almost all of my setting adjustments on the fly through the finder..via the buttons, dials, wheels, and knobs.


I Don't have any problems with the buttons there. on other cameras there is an LCD that wastes space and I appreciate the buttons instead. and they do work well with gloves. It would have been ok with the dials the 7D had but I think I prefer the buttons like these that show in the VF when you make changes rather that too small a display that tried to show everything at once like the D90. on the 7D if you changed a dial did it show in the VF what the changes are?


-Sonolta

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:14 pm

I haven't seen one recently other than your but yer ther was a few that cropped up. SOny may have a diferent wheel in the A200 on cameras. it feels diferent anyway but even whenn they fix yours i'll bet they put the same part back in

bakubo wrote:
Javelin wrote:just thinking my 717 has a control wheel too but it's also a button. never had a problem with that one either. I also dont remember seeing any (or many) reports of wheels failing on the other cameras. just the A700 so maybe it's isolated to just the one model.


See the link above where DK said the A100 has known problems with the control wheel. I have a problem with my A100 *and* A700.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:45 pm

Javelin wrote:This happens to me too .. it keeps the camera on too if you don't let it time out before you drop it on your belly ..


Yes, there is a bug in the A700 sleep mode design or code when eyestart is turned off. See my long thread about it here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=25606801

You have to read through it quite a bit to see how the analysis of the bug evolved over time. Here is what I posted on the Sony blog a long time ago. It appears that the post has disappeared from their blog though. In fact, I can't find another post I made also. Last time I will ever go to trouble to post there again.

The behavior of the A700 when eyestart is turned off with regards to sleep mode is strange and, I think, faulty. It causes my battery to drain much faster than it should. For example, turn eyestart off, set Info.disp.time to 5 sec, and Power save to 1 min because it will be easier to see the problems.

The first problem is that the A700 continues to use the eye sensor and that prevents the camera from going into sleep mode. While carrying the camera on the neckstrap (around your neck or over your shoulder) the eye sensor will often sense something close by and will keep the camera awake. When eyestart is turned off then the eye sensor should not be used to keep the camera awake. The eye sensor can still be used to detect that the eye is close and turn off the LCD, but after the 5 second time has elapsed *even* if something comes near the eye sensor the 1 minute sleep timer (power save) should not get reset and start over. This behaviour is okay when eyestart is turned on, but when eyestart is turned off the camera shouldn't be ruled by the eye sensor. Also, even if I hold the camera by the lens very still for 5 seconds to allow the display to go off and start the countdown to go into sleep mode I have found that outside in sunlight the eye sensor sometimes seems to be detecting something and the LCD will not go off. By the way, if someone wants to turn off eyestart but keep the LCD on for much longer then they can select a longer time for Info.disp.time and/or Power save.

The second problem is that even if the LCD goes off and 1 minute later the camera does go to sleep it is too easy for it to awaken. In order to awaken the eye sensor must detect something and the grip sensor needs to be touched. I walk around and carry my camera a lot for hours at a time (I do a lot of foreign travel photography) and because of the weight I usually have the camera strap around my neck and I am holding the camera in one hand to reduce the weight on my neck, to keep the camera from swinging around too much, and so it is instantly ready. I cannot hold the camera with my right hand because it will touch the grip sensor and the camera will awaken. I am forced to only use my left hand to hold the lens and it gets very tiresome to not be able to switch hands sometimes. Also, I have noticed that sometimes just a slight brush of my hand on the grip sensor while the camera is hanging from my neck will be enough to awaken it. With eyestart off the A700 should require a button to be pressed to awaken the camera.

By the way, the A700 designers themselves have set the precedent for ignoring the eye sensor sometimes. Another bug is that if I hold the camera to my eye and then change the ISO the LCD strangely lights up. I am looking through the viewfinder and ISO is displayed in the viewfinder. There is no reason to light up the LCD. That is a big nuisance in a dark theater or other place to have the LCD light up for no reason. The eye sensor is ignored which is strange.

I have owned and used several DSLRs from Canon, KM, and Sony. My Canon 30D did not have an eye sensor and it required a button press to awaken the camera (I usually just did a half-press of the shutter button) and it would go to sleep after the time out without any weird shenanigans like in the A700. I think that when eyestart is off the A700 should behave the same way. There have been threads about this subject on some of the digital camera discussion forums also.

I was hoping this would be fixed in the v4 firmware because it is my only major issue with the A700. Otherwise it is my favorite of 5 DSLRs I own or have owned.
Last edited by bakubo on Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:54 pm

Ok here is a question for you.

How do you change AF point when you eye is to the viewfinder on the A700?

Not being smart, just I don't see it! Maybe I missed something. Do you just use the joystick thing??

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Javelin » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:56 pm

Yup just joystick around and the points light up on the screen. A200 works the same way with the er .. I guess Joypad

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:59 pm

I was just wondering aka position of the joystick, being left eyed..it pushes my face across that area!

Hence my question. Any left eyed shooters around??
A200 and 5d joypad is somewhat lower. Any issues with nose jobs on the A700 :mrgreen:


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