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Jeremy Loftus-Hills
red dot appears in pic
on Apr 23, 2009 at 1:32:14 am


This is an image of a frame from my most recent shoot. Shooting EX1 PAL at 1080 50P. The frame is cropped in photoshop in such a way that the sample you see represents about 1% of the frame. In real size it appears as a blurry dot about three quarters of the way across the frame at the bottom, and occupies about 2 or 3 pixels. I promise I have cleaned the lens, and inspected it carefully. Still the dot appears. This is an unusually clear and highly colored example. More often it is softer and sometimes barely noticeable. As far as I can tell it is more obvious in some images than others and it seems to depend on the color mix that the area of the CMOS is trying to interpret. Looks expensive! Anyone seen anything like this before?


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Tim Walton
Re: red dot appears in pic
on May 9, 2009 at 11:09:04 pm

I too have a Red or purple blemish appearing on my EX-3. I have only seen this type of blemish when a monitor needs to be degaussed. It just popped up and I do not why. The camera was performing perfectly in all modes. I suspect CCD sensor failure. Anyone else had this problem, I can not find any reference online and of course it's a weekend. Does anyone have a Sony Repair after hours number? (they used to to that)
Thanks in advance
Tim


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Jeremy Loftus-Hills
Re: red dot appears in pic
on May 10, 2009 at 1:59:20 am

Hi Tim

I just got my camera back from the repair shop. The red dot was caused by the failure of the CMOS sensor. Sometimes this can be corrected with software, but in my case the breakdown was too severe for that. So I had to have the sensor replaced with a new one and, since they no longer supply the original sensor I had to have a new ND unit installed as well. Altogether it cost $900 Australian. I traced the problem back to a point in time about one month after the warranty expired! At first it was not perceptible except under some conditions - usually against low light white. It changed quite dramatically after one day's work in the country.

I recommend people have a detailed look at their picture a week or two before warranty expires, and have any slight blip in color lodged with Sony just in case it flares up in the future. The sensors are not made by Sony, and at $470 Australian are cheaper than I expected. So maybe they don't have a very long life? My EX1 had done about 500 hours.

Jeremy


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Tim Walton
Re: red dot appears in pic
on May 10, 2009 at 2:23:15 am

Thanks Jeromy, I got the camera back in November so I think or hope I'm OK with the warranty. I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. How long did it take for them to repair it? I hope the software route is possible, I will just have to wait and see. Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.

Cheers


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Tim Walton
Re: red dot appears in pic
on May 20, 2009 at 5:57:05 pm

Update on "red dot" or purple blob on sensor. Sony has the camera and say's its the prism and are replacing the block and doing a firmware update. I will be speaking to the tech later to determine how often this has occurred (in other cameras). The camera is under warranty and so far they have made good on that aspect. They gave it priority due to the warranty and have been pretty quick. I will advise what they say about this problem. I did see the spot, very faintly in some older footage that I missed, so I recommend checking your clips for blemishes as a rule. That's all I know for now.
Tim Walton



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john lawlor
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Nov 1, 2011 at 4:37:32 pm

Hi Tim

I know this is an old post, but recently I have had the exact same problem as you with my EX1. (see picture)

I read that the problem was suspected to be the prism block, and that the unit is supposedly sealed and costs an unbelievable amount to replace. Can you let me know if you got your problem fixed and how much it cost (i know you spoke of warranty, but an idea of how much it cost as mine is out of warranty)

Thanks in advance

John


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Jeremy Loftus-Hills
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Nov 1, 2011 at 9:05:27 pm

Hi John

There are two fixes possible. One is a pixel remap which is pretty cheap, software driven, not a user repair though. But mine was too severe for that so I copped a $950 repair bill. The technician had to replace the sensor and the ND filters. Judging by your pic I'd say you may be in for the megabuck fix, it looks a lot like mine. Looking back I wonder if my camera got too hot in the field one summer's day.


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Tim Walton
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Nov 1, 2011 at 10:57:06 pm

Hey John, Yes it is a old post, but Sony fixed the camera under warranty and I do not remember any other costs, except shipping. They did expedite it and turned it around quickly. I, (knock on wood) have not had any problems since, almost 2 years now. I sent mine to the L.A. service center. I have to think they have seen this more than they say. I have noticed a similar spot or group of purple blemishes on cameras being used in pro sports, usually in high contrast scenes. This appears as lens flare from stadium lights or sunlight, and looks a lot like tube " burn in" but purple and very much like the "spot" in the ex1 and 3. The cameras I have seen this in are handheld and I suspect they might indeed be EX3's. I have seen them used with CODFM transmitters on the field. I hope you can get Sony to go at least half way on your repair, good luck.
Tim


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charlie kinross
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:57:47 pm

Hi , I've just created a 30 second video of the purple spot in every frame my EX3 now shoots.

Sony are not taking responsibility at this time for this failure inside their sealed sensor unit.

CVP / Mitcorp, who I bought the camera from 4 months ago, are blaming me for "filming lasers"

I don't film lasers.

They want $2500 ( £1700 inc taxes ) to fix it

Here's a link to show the problem I'm suffering.







This sounds like a growing problem, and one Sony should be offering to fix for free, as there is no way to clear the dust out of their "sealed" sensor unit. If it is "sealed" then the dust got in there during the manufacture of the unit ......

Any help please let me know: charlie@fliptopfilms.com


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john lawlor
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Nov 1, 2011 at 10:10:23 pm

Hi Jeremy

I suspect that it will be a replacement of the sensor alright as the camera was already in for cosmetic repairs as it had a fall a few weeks back, which is probably what caused the sensor block to let in dust or dirt (the fall must have broken the factory sealed unit). Plus the spots seem to have shifted which would lead me to believe that it's dust or dirt.

I'm just wondering if I'm better off writing the camera off now and getting a newer model, with less hours on it, instead of forking out even more money (the initial cosmetic charges were £900 (1400$) to have some plastic panels replaced and have the back focusing re-alligned) so another charge like this will be half of the cost of a brand new camera.

Do you know if there is any way of simply cleaning the sensor instead of having to repair the whole thing?

Thanks for your advice.

John


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charlie kinross
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Jan 17, 2012 at 1:04:51 pm

Hi , I've just created a 30 second video of the purple spot in every frame my EX3 now shoots.

Sony are not taking responsibility at this time for this failure inside their sealed sensor unit.

CVP / Mitcorp in the UK, who I bought the camera from 4 months ago, are blaming me for "filming lasers"

I don't film lasers.

They want $2500 ( £1700 inc taxes ) to fix it

Here's a youtube link to show the problem I'm suffering.







This sounds like a growing problem, and one Sony should be offering to fix for free, as there is no way to clear the dust out of their "sealed" sensor unit. If it is "sealed" then the dust got in there during the manufacture of the unit ......

Any help please let me know: charlie@fliptopfilms.com


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Morne TerBlanche
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Feb 24, 2013 at 11:59:57 am

Hi to all!!

This is now becoming a massive problem - and i hope sony will read this!!

I have used the Sony ex3 and ex1 cameras for a couple of years now. Filming wildlife documentaries in South Africa, Zimbabwe and more recently Qatar in middle east. Its never failed me - but in 2012 this small red spot has made its appearance ... like a "virus"!

I have a total of 21 Ex3 cameras - a mind-blowing 14 of these cameras have been "infected"!!

2012 I bought 11 ex3 cameras ... 9 have the spots and are collecting dust!! AND THEY DONT CARE - I HAVE SPOKEN TO MY SUPPLIER - HE CONTACTED SONY DIRECT - I HAVE CONTACTED SONY DIRECT BUT THEY ARE NOT HELPFUL AT ALL!!

How can it be wear and tear if 9 out of 11 cameras from 3 different orders are doing this!

5 cameras going down on 1 shoot!!

SONY - the reality camera operators we use are some of the best in the world .. SURVIVOR US, THE BACHELOR, FEAR FACTOR ect...

2 points on this ..

- cant see them not knowing how to operate a ex3

- trust me - they are spreading the word very very fast about this camera - and maybe even the brand!! ( 5 cameras on one shoot - and its my problem ... yea thanks SONY )

Sony - feel free to contact me

morne@rockwallabyproductions.com


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Kara Stephens
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:53:27 pm

Has anyone ever heard from Sony about this? I purchased 2 EX3's in 2012 and one of them just got a red dot - of course, right after the warranty ran out. Now Sony wants to charge me $2500 to fix it. I've used these cameras a ton in the past but I've never had so many problems. So far I've had each camera in twice for dust inside the lens elements, which I've never seen before, and now this. Did they change production plants or something?


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Tim Walton
Re: red dot appears in pic
on Aug 1, 2013 at 1:03:12 am

Kara, oddly enough I had a recurrence of the purple smudge or red dot in my EX-3 a few months ago. I noticed it would appear in certain light and showed up on old footage after I took a look back. Sony did replace my prism, cmos block under warranty in late 2009, at no cost.
They now tell me the engineers say the prism is contaminated, and the replacement cost is 2k, 1500.00 for the prism and 500 labor. They did offer a 10% discount.
The problem is of course, how does the prism become dirty producing the spots on the sensor when it is SEALED when built? I asked directly if this problem had been addressed, I was told no it had not. I also asked why would someone replace the sealed block with no assurance of a recurrence. The answer was the same, no reassurance.
You might be aware of the replacement camera for the EX-3 is coming out soon (PMW-300,PMW-400 ) with the same "Sealed " block.
I asked why would one buy the new camera with the same problem pending. The answer was "we don't know".
I can't even sell my EX-3 the way it is and block replacement would not fix it for a buyer. So I am thinking of switching to Canon as I know they take customer support more seriously than Sony. Good luck, by the way the service center I deal with is Los Angeles.
Good Luck
Tim Walton


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