A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

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marktuma
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A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:53 am

Hello All,

This week I had a scary moment with my A100 when the SSS failed while I was in the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton. I got quite down about it, with visions of having to shell out a couple of hundred pounds if I wanted it fixed. The symptoms were: on power-up the camera would buzz for much longer than usual; the area to the right of the screen became hot; there was no stabilization; and all frames taken showed the curve of the lens' image very visibly on the left edge (which I assume is because the sensor was 'parked' way off-centre).

However, when I left the musuem and got outside SSS sprang back in to life and has been fine since. This all happened during a week when I was camping in a muddy field , and it was a wet day, and relatively warm and humid in the museum. The question is is this an indication that my A100 is on it's last legs, or is it a known phenomenon for SSS to fail like this and then come back fine?

Thanks for any opinions!

Mark

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:08 am

Let us hope that it was due to moisture, the SSS got sticky and then after getting dried it went back to normal.
My advice is to use your camera extensively for a week, and if it doesn't repeat then everything is fine. :D
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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:16 pm

Agreed. It could have been caused by something coming loose and jamming the mechanism though, so give the camera a good shake with the shutter open (cleaning mode) while aiming the lens throat downwards. If anything falls out, keep it carefully and consider whether it needs putting back in...

David

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:54 pm

Well, I gave it a good shake as David suggested and I'm happy to say no bits fell out! I guess my A100 is mechanically sound, so the suspect must be the moisture in the environment. All seems well with it still...

Mark

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:08 pm

I think I spoke too soon, the SSS is still failing intermittently. I think I may want to send it in for repair, but I recall reading about a high minimum charge for repairs, can anyone shed light on UK repair costs for me please?

Mark

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:33 pm

It's unlikely to cost under £100, and if the sensor assembly needs replacing with no warranty protection, it might be £200+.

With the A200 at £230 for a body only, you would have to weight this up carefully. The A100 is in some ways a better camera than the A200, but the A200 also has some advantages.

David

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:48 am

Thanks for the info David, am I right in thinking there are no independent repair centres for Alpha cameras in the UK as well?

Mark

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:12 am

It seems so. You must go through Sony at present, and even JP Solutions who they have engaged to do the KM line, can't touch the Sony gear.

David

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby Wes Gibbon » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:24 am

David Kilpatrick wrote:It's unlikely to cost under £100, and if the sensor assembly needs replacing with no warranty protection, it might be £200+.

With the A200 at £230 for a body only, you would have to weight this up carefully. The A100 is in some ways a better camera than the A200, but the A200 also has some advantages.

David


I think that, as with a lot of modern electronic equipment, the purchase of a digital camera should be regarded more as a lease than an outright purchase - after a certain period, it will be time for it to be replaced even if it is still working. Of course, you would expect a camera costing over £1000 to give you several years of service, and it would be worth spending over £100 on a repair. For an A100, it's probably better to replace with an A200 (or maybe an A100 on Ebay) and console yourself by working out how much you saved by not using film.

When buying a sub-£300 camera, I suggest that one should budget for replacing it after no more than two years.

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:58 pm

I'm not a fan of the idea of disposable technology, on all sorts of levels! Especially when I paid £450 for my A100 (and I'd pay about £30 for the rubbish kit lens that I got with it, no more), I think it's reasonable to ask it to work for more than 14 months!

Cheers,
Mark

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby Wes Gibbon » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:16 pm

I sympathise, but that is the way with modern electronics. Particularly at the comsumer end, products are designed to be cheap to manufacture and thrown away when they stop working, though it is unfortunate that your camera failed so soon after the warranty expired. If the cost of repair is, say £200 then it is probably uneconomic to go ahead with the repair, but that is not because the repair exceeds the cost of your original purchase, but because Sony can now churn out A200's for £230! One of the reasons why this technology makes such a poor long-term investment is that prices of new equipment are falling all the time. If you wish to take advantage of modern technology, that is the price that has to be paid. Also remember that if you buy a camera when it is first available, you will pay appreciably more than if you wait a few months (D700 prices already seem to be dropping a bit). The alternative is to invest in traditional mechanical equipment. A Leica will probably serve you for a lifetime, which is why it will not be cheap.

I think you have to regard the cost of a digital camera as an ongoing cost - sometimes you will be unlucky and it will last 14 months, sometimes it may give several years' good service, but in a few years' time most A100 users will have invested in a replacement when technical advances make it worthwhile, even if the A100 is still working.

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby marktuma » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:12 pm

I agree that's they way it is, I just don't like it! ;)

With a slightly more thought out point - One of Sony's issues seems to have been variable quality of QC on stuff leaving their factories, whether it's A100's with focus issues, A700's with dead lines on the sensors, or CZ 16-80's all hand checked by J Koike and still not right! I wish they would put that reputation to rest once and for all by being obsessive about quality and reliability.

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:43 pm

Sony has increased production roughly tenfold over KM's last days. Even with the Alpha 100 alone, it was trebled. It is difficult to increase output, with new products, and avoid some QC problems.

David

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Re: A100 SSS failed, and then recovered!

Unread postby Wes Gibbon » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:31 pm

Getting back to the original problem - I'm no expert on consumer legislation, but if you can argue that with normal wear and tear a camera costing £450 should still be fully functioning after 14 months it is possible that you may have a case against Sony. I believe that the 1 year warranty has no relevance to your rights as a consumer. It might however depend on how adverse the damp conditions were - I believe that A100's were never intended to be fully weatherproof. It might be worth trying Sony to see if they will be willing to show 'goodwill' (if you haven't done so already).


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