Sony quality control problems

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:28 am

Henry you’re correct the Tsunami doesn’t explain the various QC problems that Sony has/had and I wasn’t suggesting that it did. It seems to me that Sony has two methods of dealing with issues, an overt one and a covert one; I’ve seen announcements/bulletins/service notes (call them what you like) issued for other products at Sony Style here but I don’t recall any for Alpha products (I might have missed them of course, I have seen notices for Alpha firmware updates but you have to look for them), and I don’t know how widespread a problem has to be before it qualifies as an endemic problem for a model, the well known clunky CZ16-80 problem and the A700 control wheel problem seemed to slip under the radar at Sony as far as issuing an (overt) bulletin goes.
That’s why I think Sony has used the covert method in dealing with Alpha problems; that way they only fix problems at their expense that arise under the warranty period and those people who go to the trouble of going through the procedure of actually getting it fixed or attempting too.
I wonder how many CZ16-80’s there are ‘out there’ that the owners just put up with the clunky behaviour, being not so bad too begin with.
Or A700’s (and other models now) that have yet to develop the control wheel problem, meaning they may still do so but fail outside the warranty period, in which case the owners are stiffed with the cost of fixing an un-acknowledged problem.
If Sony announces (issues a notice) that there is an endemic problem with the control wheels then Sony will be liable for fixing it even outside of the warranty period; and THAT I think is the reason why it goes un-acknowledged.
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:45 am

Here are two horror stories about Sony service work for the NEX 5N clicking problem:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39514179

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1042&message=39536593

Quality at the Sony service center also needs to be improved a lot.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:53 am

An A65 owner reports lockup problem too:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... e=39539956

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:24 pm

An owner with the A77 v1.03 has big problems:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=39543371

Also, he says v1.03 does not fix control lag problems:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=39542031

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:04 pm

bakubo wrote:
Greg Beetham wrote:Good to see you got back ok Henry. I think the A100 problem is a little strange, I've not had any problems with mine and I drag it just about everywhere I go, oops I tell a lie I did have the sticky shutter button problem which prooved to be dust wedged in between the body and button, the 'fit' between button and body is quite fine, fine enough for even very small dust grains too make it sticky and cause weird stuff too happen with the menu, settings etc. That one was easily fixed, but your problem might not be that of course, it could be something else. I'm wondering if some fine dust hasn't got in the [ok] button in the centre of the rear controller, causing it to go intermittant, or do uncommanded on/off's.


Yes, the A100 during the first 4-5 months back in 2007 had the shutter button problem. At the time I hadn't seen any mention of it anywhere, but I finally guessed why the camera AF, metering, etc. were acting so weird and was able to fix it with a needle. I recall that even with a magnifying glass I couldn't see any dust or anything around the shutter button, but I was able to fix the problem. I will see if it is possible that the other buttons now have the same problem. I hope that is all it is.


Greg, I knew that somewhere someone had posted about my A100, but I had forgotten which thread and even which forum. I stumbled across this old post today though. Unfortunately, that is not the problem. All the buttons are flaky and most of the time don't work properly. You can see that I posted about a similar thing a few years ago, but then it was just one button:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2473#p23082

Just bad design, bad parts, bad something.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Argonaut » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:43 pm

bakubo wrote:A very similar problem, coincidentally in much the same situation, is the A55/A33/(A35 too?) "ghosting" problem. I think it has been a year or more though and, I think, Sony has never acknowledged it and hasn't done anything to fix it for A55/A33/(A35 too?) owners. If I am wrong about any of this [5DII and/or A55/A33/(A35 too?)] then I hope someone will step in and correct me.


OK. The ghost "problem" (g) is a design issue, not QC. The mirror is not malfunctioning.
Sony a77ii, RX-100 I; RX10 iii; Rokinon 8mm f/3.5; Tamron 17-50; Sony 70-400G; Lightroom 6.2; Photoshop CS5; PicturesToExe 8.0.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:10 am

Henry, the only time I've actually had ghosting from the A55 has been when I set out to demonstrate that it happened. In real life, not a single image has been affected in a year. The new coating on the A77 mirror, and presumably some changes to the AF module which I think reflected stray light in the A55, make it impossible to produce ghosts by trying (so far, maybe I'll find an example in due course).

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:32 am

Hmm that’s a shame Henry, looks like you have a clean sweep now of all the Sony and KM cameras you bought, the KM7D the A100 and the A700 all having problems enough to render them unserviceable. I’m really fascinated about what might be wrong with the A100, I for one would like to know what it is; maybe you could get an estimate/quote just to find out if nothing else.
One of the batteries I bought with mine (I bought an extra Sony NP-FM55H battery with the camera) has since developed a problem, it goes flat in a day if I leave it in the camera and don’t actually use the camera, but if I use the camera it seems to last ok…very strange. Luckily the A700 batteries (NP-FM500H) work in the A100 but not the other way around of course, the A100 batteries don’t have the groove on the back and won’t fit in the A700.
Greg
Ps. Just a thought, have you tried all your lenses on the A100 and if so was there any difference between them as far as the problem goes? The lens release button itself is another possible source of gremlins; if it isn’t operating properly it could throw a spanner in the works.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:45 am

How about point sources David? maybe city lights from a distance, you might have to take a standard camera along and take the same shot with each so you can compare the results from both...just to be absolutely sure.
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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:05 am

Argonaut wrote:
bakubo wrote:A very similar problem, coincidentally in much the same situation, is the A55/A33/(A35 too?) "ghosting" problem. I think it has been a year or more though and, I think, Sony has never acknowledged it and hasn't done anything to fix it for A55/A33/(A35 too?) owners. If I am wrong about any of this [5DII and/or A55/A33/(A35 too?)] then I hope someone will step in and correct me.


OK. The ghost "problem" (g) is a design issue, not QC. The mirror is not malfunctioning.


Okay. Canon fixed their similar problem, but Sony can't or won't. David has reported that he has not been able to detect it in the A77 though so apparently it is an issue that can be corrected since the A55 and A77 have the same SLT design. Sony seems to have done something to either eliminate it or reduce it a lot compared to the A55. Fortunately for 5DII owners they didn't have to buy a 5DIII to get the fix. :)

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:12 am

David Kilpatrick wrote:Henry, the only time I've actually had ghosting from the A55 has been when I set out to demonstrate that it happened. In real life, not a single image has been affected in a year. The new coating on the A77 mirror, and presumably some changes to the AF module which I think reflected stray light in the A55, make it impossible to produce ghosts by trying (so far, maybe I'll find an example in due course).


I posted my previous response before reading what you wrote here, but what you wrote just confirms what I wrote so all is good. :) The A77 has a new mirror coating that A55 owners won't get as a fix from Sony.

Yes, everything I have read is that the A55 ghosting is not common. The same was true of the Canon 5DII black dot problem too. It was mostly an internet uproar that affected very, very few photos and users. Canon decided quickly to fix it though to make people happy. The only reason I even brought up the A55 ghosting issue was because someone else here brought up the 5DII black dot issue and tried to make it analogous to the A77 brick problem. Quite different issues, IMO, but the ghosting issue turns out to be almost identical so I thought it was much more appropriate.
Last edited by bakubo on Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:33 am

Greg Beetham wrote:Hmm that’s a shame Henry, looks like you have a clean sweep now of all the Sony and KM cameras you bought, the KM7D the A100 and the A700 all having problems enough to render them unserviceable. I’m really fascinated about what might be wrong with the A100, I for one would like to know what it is; maybe you could get an estimate/quote just to find out if nothing else.


The A100 is just not worth much and certainly not worth spending any money on, IMO. Even if it was perfect I always disliked it quite a bit. My A700 I have always liked a lot except for the problems! That is why the A700 is so frustrating to me. The 4 year wait for a replacement wasn't such a big deal to me, or it wouldn't have been if my A700 had worked right, since even now I still like it and would be reasonably satisfied with it. This would be the year I would replace it though and if the A77 QC fiasco wasn't happening I might even get one of those -- if the new EVF proves to be acceptable to me. Unfortunately, Sony is showing us that rather than improve the QC they have jumped off a cliff and are hurtling into the QC abyss. :( With 4 years to work on the A77 one really should expect better. I imagine Sony will eventually fix all the current problems. I do wonder about what other lesser problems will start showing up over time though? New control wheel problems? Something else? I hope not, but I will wait to see.

I like my Canon 60D a lot and everything works perfectly with no defects (or at least everything that I have tried and use). I have fewer lenses for it though and I really like the SSS in the Sony bodies since it gives me more flexibility on lenses.

Greg Beetham wrote:One of the batteries I bought with mine (I bought an extra Sony NP-FM55H battery with the camera) has since developed a problem, it goes flat in a day if I leave it in the camera and don’t actually use the camera, but if I use the camera it seems to last ok…very strange. Luckily the A700 batteries (NP-FM500H) work in the A100 but not the other way around of course, the A100 batteries don’t have the groove on the back and won’t fit in the A700.


I still have the A100 Sony battery and bought 2 Sony batteries for the A700. They all still seem okay. At least they don't seem to drain particularly fast, but I can't say whether they drain a bit faster than new -- probably do though.

Greg Beetham wrote:Ps. Just a thought, have you tried all your lenses on the A100 and if so was there any difference between them as far as the problem goes? The lens release button itself is another possible source of gremlins; if it isn’t operating properly it could throw a spanner in the works.


Most of the time the A100 has the Sigma 18-125mm that I put on it when I gave it to her in 2007. From time to time I take it off and put a body cap on though for when I take it from her for a backup body on one of my trips. So far, I don't think I have used it on any of the trips though so it just sits in my backpack with the body cap on it. I have mounted the 11-18mm a few times, but not recently and also the 50mm f1.7 and Sigma 24mm f2.8. I will check to see if putting a different lens on the A100 makes a difference but I really doubt it.

It just occurred to me that I should try the contact cleaner I bought for my A700 on the A100 buttons. It never helped much with the A700 control wheels but it might with the A100 buttons. Ironically, the A700 buttons are okay, but the control wheels are bad. The A100 control wheels are okay, but the buttons are bad. :lol:

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:05 pm

Henry's posts are giving this forum such a negative feel that I doubt we will have any Alpha users left soon. I have owned KM7D, KM5D, A100 (x2 together), 200 (x2 together), 700 (x2 because of issue), 350 (x3, still got two), 550, 580, 900, 55, 77, NEX-5 and also used for test purposes several others.

None of these cameras has ever developed the kind of issues others encounter, maybe I don't use them enough. The only one with what I would consider to be a defect was the A700 with a faulty CMOS sensor, a line of bad pixels. But it was no worse than both the Canon 7Ds I've had to test, which had random bad pixels and banding patterns at higher ISOs.

The Alpha 77 does not, in my opinion, have a QC problem - it has an actual mistake. My package included the previous version of the Sony software burned to CD, incorrectly labelled with the new version. The installation for Mac was actually a full year out of date and of course wrong for A77 files. The camera seems to have included the wrong firmware version. Could these be connected? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on whether there is a process where final firmware is burned shortly before delivery and manuals and CDs are added. The manual comes with an erratum sheet which indicates there was a clear change to an intended specification.

SanDisk trusted the Alpha 77 enough to use it at their big London event last week, because the Alpha 77 is the only camera made which can use their new ultra fast SDXC cards - clearing the buffer in 18 seconds after a 12fps RAW burst, instead of the 45 seconds reported for SDHC cards of the fastest current speed. I would hazard a guess that latest firmware versions were used.

I think QC is not exactly the same as errors of the firmware/software kind. QC on the camera components and assembly was probably carried out diligently and they may prove very reliable and well-made. But the same could be said of a perfectly well-made computer which is hopeless because a poor operating system or the wrong BIOS has been loaded. It's QC but not manufacturing QC or component sourcing QC. More human error I would guess - and that happens.

When I find an problem, I report. But I don't keep reporting the same issue for post after post, or putting a link in one thread and then posting a new thread with exactly the same link just to highlight problems. Nor have I, so far, removed any such repetitive posts. But I'm getting fed up with the general tone of several parts of the forum. If I was an interested visitor, I'd have stopped reading and probably forgotten any ideas of being interested in the Alpha system by now.

David

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:25 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Henry's posts are giving this forum such a negative feel that I doubt we will have any Alpha users left soon.


David, it is your forum and you should do what you think is best. If you want to delete a post or thread or every post and every thread on this forum then you should go with your gut. Especially if you think that there aren't enough positive posts by other people to give the forum a positive feel. This one thread about what I think is a pattern of poor Sony quality with lots of links to other people's bad experiences is, I would think, easily ignored by anyone who doesn't want to see it since the title is a reasonable clue to most people what it is about, but I realize that some people might stumble into it not realizing what they might be inside. :)

It would be nice if you and others would post more positive threads and more photos to help give a more positive feel to the forum. I try to do my part and post photos and start new threads (some photo threads, some gear threads), but I guess this thread just annoys too many people so it is all they see.

Anyway, just do what you want and no hard feelings.

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Re: Sony quality control problems

Unread postby artington » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:32 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Henry's posts are giving this forum such a negative feel that I doubt we will have any Alpha users left soon....


When I find an problem, I report. But I don't keep reporting the same issue for post after post, or putting a link in one thread and then posting a new thread with exactly the same link just to highlight problems. Nor have I, so far, removed any such repetitive posts. But I'm getting fed up with the general tone of several parts of the forum. If I was an interested visitor, I'd have stopped reading and probably forgotten any ideas of being interested in the Alpha system by now.

David


Bravo, David! The whole tone of this forum has become disproportionate in my opinion.


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