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EX3 Focus Glitch

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Michael Coward
EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 24, 2008 at 10:49:42 pm

Just wondering if anyone else is having a problem with both the manual focus and auto focus freezing on their EX3. We just took delivery on 2 of these otherwise fine cameras, and have had the focus "freeze" on each of them on numerous occasions. To solve the problem in the field, we have to switch back and forth between auto and manual focus, rotate the focus ring several times, and switch back to manual focus. Wondering if there is a firmware problem with the cameras, since it is happening on both units after they have been in continuous operation for 30 minutes or so. Any answers??? Is there a Sony Rep with specific knowledge hanging out in the forum?



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Don Greening
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 25, 2008 at 5:50:59 am

I used to have the iris ring lock up on my original EX1 but never the focus ring. I used to have to turn the camera off and then on again before the iris would unlock. My replacement EX1 is fine. Your issue with the focus ring is the first case I've heard. Having the same issue on two EX3 cameras is quite interesting. Make sure it's not operator error and that you're not unknowingly hitting the full auto button. The buttons on these cameras are pretty small and it's not unheard of to activate something by mistake. If that's not the case and the full auto button is not lit up when the focus ring locks then the only thing I can suggest is to phone Sony Repair and tell them about it.

- Don


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Michael Coward
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 25, 2008 at 2:07:22 pm

This problem happens in either position. Turning the camera off and then back on again does not solve the problem. BTW, the focus ring does not freeze. It still rotates freely, just has absolutely no effect on the focus. Have tried to get ahold of a Sony rep, but no luck there, unless you consider massive hold time lucky. Any suggestions?



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Don Greening
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 25, 2008 at 7:48:55 pm

Hi Michael,

I just checked my EX1 and went through the 3 focus modes:

- focus switch set to auto and focus ring in forward position: twisting the ring changes focus.
- focus switch set to manual and ring in forward position: twisting ring changes focus.
- focus switch set to manual and ring pulled back: twisting ring changes focus with positive stops.

Note that when you physically pull the focus ring back you're entering full manual mode regardless of the positioning of the focus switch.

This was all tried with the magic button (full auto mode) off. I'm assuming that if you pull the focus ring back into full manual mode you are able to affect focus with positive stops at both ends? And it's just with the focus ring pushed forward and focus switch set to auto that twisting the ring does not change focus?

If this is the case and it's with both of your EX3 cameras I can only conclude that either both cameras have the same problem or there's nothing wrong but there's a fundamental difference between how an EX1 and an EX3 operates in full auto-focus mode.

- Don


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Michael Coward
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 25, 2008 at 8:48:19 pm

Thanks for the info Don. I finally got through to a Sony Service Rep and explained the problem to him. He said that it seems that it is probably a problem with the lens on each camera, and advised me to send them back to Sony for repair or replacement. Nice guy, very helpful. They're even going to send me a loaner camera while the others are being repaired. I guess that we are experiencing the same problems that always crop up when purchasing new technology before the bugs have been worked out.



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Eli Kabillio
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 26, 2008 at 2:33:20 am

Had the same problem with one of 2 new EX3s. Ability to focus would be lost in all modes and would only return when turning the power off and then turning the camera back on. This was a real bummer as it first happened while shooting a concert. EC Professional in NYC was great and immediately replaced the entire unit, even though they though it was only a problem with the lens.

I finally used the new camera for the first time, and the replacement seems to have the same problem. Will be returning it tomorrow. There's obviously something wrong.

Eli M. Kabillio

http://www.maddogfilms.com
MacPro 8 Core 2.8Ghz, 6G RAM, AJA IO/HD, FCP 6.04
MacPro 4 Core 2.66Ghz, 6G RAM, BlackMagic MultiBridge Pro, FCP 6.04
Sony PDW F350 XDCamHD


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Dave Jenkins
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Sep 27, 2008 at 4:22:12 am

Have you tried reseting the camera? We have two and were going through the menus changing setting and we lost focus on both cameras. Not sure what menu or menus that made it happen. We reset both cameras and the focus came back. Haven't recreated it, haven't really tried.

Dajen Productions
Santa Barbara, CA
Mac Pro 2.8 Octo - AJA Kona LHe
Huge 1.2 Raid
FCP 6.0.2-OS X 10.5.2-QT 7.4


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Rob Kassabian
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Oct 1, 2008 at 9:30:29 pm

I've been having the exact same issue with my EX3. It drives me crazy. Guess I need to take it in to Sony. It only seems to happen when the camera has been shooting for a long period of time. Thought it might be a problem with the electrical connections on the lens/ body and it does seem to help to take the lens off and then reattach but I don't really want to do that frequently. Switching from Manual to auto fixes the problem sometimes. If anyone has a fix let me know.

Cheers!
Rob



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Rob BURROWS
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Oct 29, 2008 at 7:58:03 pm

Hi,

I have experienced what appears to be the same issue. I loose manual focus control after switching back from auto focus. The problem is not easily replicated and has occurred 4-5 times over about 2 months of intermittent use.

I have to switch the camera off and on, this takes time but it has always revovered function this way.

The problem has been as live events (a Team Extreme Sports event) last week where I had to loose footage while down.

I am hoping that there is a fix, my impression was that this was a software issue as rebooting sorted it.

Rob



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Rob Kassabian
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:27:13 pm

I had the same issue (see above). I called the Sony rep in NJ and he had a courier pick the camera up within 2 hours. They picked it up on Monday replaced the lens and calibrated it on Tuesday, messengered it back to me on Wednesday , and I shot all day with it on Thursday with no focus issues. i think the problem was fixed with the lens replacement and I have to commend Sony on the quality of their customer service. Good luck!

Best,
Rob



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Harvey Barnes
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Jan 13, 2009 at 7:52:46 pm

I just bought an EX3 last week and I am experiencing a similar (the same?) problem. The focus ring becomes non-functional. It happens in both “Full MF” and “MF*” modes. This condition is repeatable.

So far, the problem only seems to happen when “Focus Assist” is on. Here’s how I reproduce this problem condition:
- In “MF*” mode, turn the focus ring to it’s maximum short-distance focus then put the lens into “Full MF” (pull the ring back).
- In “MF*” mode, switch between “MF*” and “Full MF” modes a few times

After doing either of these, turning the focus ring no longer changes focus.

To get the focus ring working again:
- Switch to “MF*” mode then slide the “Focus” switch to “Auto”. Once the lens finishes focusing, slide the “Focus” switch back to “Manual”. The focus ring now operates (until you repeat the steps above).

Once again, I do not seem to have a problem when “Focus Assist” is not used.

It’s just speculation but perhaps the lens gets confused if it is switched to “Full MF” while the lens is trying to do an auto focus operation.

I emailed Sony Canada asking for assistance the other day. So far, no response. The dealer is trying to find out what Sony’s postion (and remedy) is. Has anyone heard any more?

Best regards,
Harvey



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Harvey Barnes
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Jan 14, 2009 at 5:34:00 pm

Both Sony Canada and the dealer have contacted me about this problem. They are investigating it and will let me know more shortly.

Harv



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Nino Leitner
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Jan 25, 2009 at 4:13:20 pm

Hi Harvey,

Thank you for this precise reproduction of this camera malfunction.

I purchased my EX3 a week ago and was quite disappointed to discover this glitch when trying to learn this camera's functions.

I assume this is an issue with every EX3 unit, because I was able to exactly repeat the problem (and its solution) on my camera.
For that very reason, I am yet undecided if I should call Sony Support to demand a repair or replacement unit - not sure if this helps anything at all.

Therefore, here's my request to anybody who had their EX3 already replaced because of this issue:

Can you please try to reproduce Harvey's description of the problem and tell us if you still keep getting this problem when following the guidelines?

If the answer is no, it is advisable to let Sony replace the EX3's of the rest of us.

Thanks in advance!



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Don Greening
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Jan 25, 2009 at 4:54:14 pm

This EX3 focus glitch issue is fast becoming just as common as the vignetting/back focus issues with the EX1 during the first half of last year. Hopefully when it's time to buy my EX3 this year Sony will have it all figured out.

- Don


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Harvey Barnes
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Jan 26, 2009 at 2:28:01 pm

Sony has informed me that they have a fix.
I am about to send the EX3 in for a firmware update.
I will let you know if this works.

Harv



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Harvey Barnes
Re: EX3 Focus Glitch
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:47:18 pm

I am Happy to report that Sony Canada went out of its way to make sure I was happy. I received the camera back after Sony updated the firmware a few days ago.

I haven't had much time to test it out, but so far the I have a no problems with the focus.

The camera is great. Thank you Sony.

Harv



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