I killed my AF...

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Amamba, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I picked up a glass of water that I thought was empty.. it wasn't and just a bit of water splashed on the back of my F3. Coulnd't be any more than a tablespoon. I promptly wiped it off, pulled the battery out & wiped it (a bit of moisture, not really wet - but still shows that the fit of battery door to body is terrible). The camera operated fine, so I thought that was it. My Canon DSRLs were through much worse.

    The following day, we had a weekend trip to Chicago. I packed Sigma 19 as my main lens, Sigma 30 just because I don't get to use it often, and at the last moment threw in Minolta MD 50/1.7 just in case I want to take some bokeh portraits. When we came to the hotel and I pulled the camera out, there was no communication to the lens. I take another Sigma, same thing. The contacts leading to the lens are either fried, or wet and shorting. I assume they are fried, since it's been 4 days now, but keep the camera in a bag of rice just in case.

    So, now I have no AF, no OSS, and no ability to change aperture on any of my E-mounts. I can still use Sony lenses wide open, but Sigmas are focus-by-wire so useless.

    I spent the weekend in a city filled with skyscrapers, having only a short tele... still managed to get some great shots.

    Now, I need to figure what to do. I am bummed that it took such a small spill to kill the AF - as I said, I had much much worse accidents with my non-weather-sealed Rebels over the years. The back of the camera under LCD screen and the battery compartment seem very poorly protected and full of gaps. The top of the camera, by contrast, seems much better designed.

    Anyway, I can use MF only lenses for a while, this 50/1.7 really came through for me, but there are many situations where I need either AF (moving objects) or OSS (really low light).

    So, unless lens contact miraculously comes back, my choices seem to be :

    1) Get another Nex. Either F3 (cheap variant), 6, or wait to see what they announce in September. May be they will finally bring IBIS to the Nex line. Would be the natural solution, but now I am starting to question the reliability of the system. I don't want to spend $xxx on a camera that's as finicky as a smartphone. From what I can read Sony's Customer Support post warranty is spotty (Canon has been known to forgo repair charges now and then if they felt the problem was at least partially their fault). While spilling the water was my fault, the bad fit of battery lid to body, the lack of a simple rubber gasket, and the gaps all around rear back are design problems. Even on a camera that's not designed to be weather sealed, there are some basic good practices that I don't think Sony engineers followed.

    2) Get a Sony Alpha SLT. I just got an old Konica Minolta with two lenses as a gift, and I already see what IBIS can do. With Alpha, I could get good DR, EVF (which I really like as opposed to OVF), and IBIS, and hopefully a more robust system. The lenses can be used on Nex, if I ever get another Nex. The problem is, DXOmark kills it in High ISO tests, and I do a lot of low light shooting. Also, it's an expensive system overall. And Sony's reliability / customer service. Finally, it's still a large camera...

    3) Get a Nikon, either D7100 or D5200. They have shining marks from DXO, actually slightly higher DR and higher ISO ratings than Nex line. Nikon is a proven reliable system. The problem is, again, going back to a large camera, plus the video is not so good, and the lenses will be incompatible with Nex.

    4) Look into other mirrorless systems - this way I could reuse all of my manual lenses. However, I don't know if any of them are more reliable, and I don't want to go to a smaller sensor.

    I don't want to go back to Canon - while they are very rugged and reliable, and have great lenses, and great colors, the dynamic range is not there, and the high ISO isn't very spectacular either.
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Bummer. :(
     
  3. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    That sucks.

    Why bother looking at a different mirrorless solution though. If you decide not to get your F3 fixed, it still will work as a manual lens camera along side what ever you choose and the other systems wouldn't work with your E-mount lenses anyway.

    Since you can still use the camera with manual lenses, I would wait and see what happens in September
     
  4. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Just buy this and you'll be all set.
     
  5. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Nice tip :)
     
  6. Electric Shepherd

    Electric Shepherd TalkEmount Regular

    103
    May 12, 2012
    Leicestershire, U.K.
    Ben
    Sorry to hear that, that sucks.

    Personally I'd hang in with MF for now and get another Nex body depending on forthcoming releases. I run a Nikon system too, but as you say, it's large and bulky so the Nex is great for travelling light or discreetly. Also, since you already have E mount lenses, I'd say it's a no-brainer to get another Nex body despite their rather flimsy build quality.
     
  7. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    The only really expensive E-mount I have is SEL50F1.8, the Sigmas were part of B&H $200 deal so I could sell them at a little loss.

    I may either get that F3 fixed, or just get another used one. At the end of the day, it's still a great camera.

    Can anyone tell me if LAEA2 on CDAF bodies like F3 makes a lot of difference in AF tracking speed ?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Moshe

    Moshe TalkEmount Regular

    44
    May 25, 2013
    Man that really sucks. I too have a F3 and I am not confident with the build quality.

    If my camera breaks I would probably check the better build Sony Nex 6 or go to micro 4/3rds as their IQ is pretty good despite the smaller sensor, plus lenses and IBIS seem to be a huge advantage to that system. The OMD EM5 is weather sealed which is great and is made out of some sort of metal which means that it feels rugged and build to last.

    The Sony Nex F3 feels to me as it was made to break in a few years.

    I actually bought the Sony Nex F3 because Trey Ratcliff recommended the Sony Nex 7 and because the F3 was on sale, but I have learned about micro other systems and the micro 4/3rds are booming right now and produce excellent pictures from what I've seen.

    I do enjoy taking pictures with it though and people ask me about the camera all the time. I love using manual mode, really fun for me and has allowed me to learn more about photography.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  9. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Hi Moshe,

    As I said, F3 is built like a smartphone. So if I do end up getting another one, I will treat it like such.

    I am hesitant to go the m43 route for a couple of reasons.

    First, the DR and high ISO ratings of, say, EM-P5 are below F3. So I an kind of back to my Canon days. Canon also had great colors, but now that I'be seen what a good DR can do, it's hard to go back.

    Second, at 2x crop factor all of my manual lenses become too long. The 28mm becomes 37mm, 35-70 becomes 47-93 (in Nex terms). So I would have to buy a fast wide angle lens, as a minimum. And spend quite a bit of money on top of body purchase.

    A more reasonable way seems to wait for September and either buy the new Nex (if it gets IBIS and keeps good DR and high ISO) or a Nex 6. I hope 6 is built better than F3. The 3n seems like a total downgrade, and 5 lacks the built in flash which I find indispensable.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    All I can say is that I'm sorry :) and hope you can get it fixed...

    I know that if something like this happened to me (hope it doesn't :p ) I would still choose to use the Nex system.
    My 2nd option would be Sony Alpha SLT
     
  11. Moshe

    Moshe TalkEmount Regular

    44
    May 25, 2013
    I understand your concerns.

    I really like my Sony Nex F3 but I am a little hesitant about the build quality, that's why I would really want to see the Sony Nex 6 in person to convince me that it will last.

    If you are invested in this system i would just stay here. As far as me goes I'll look into other alternatives when the time comes but I'm happy with my purchase for the time being, and I also agree that the 3N is a downgrade.

    What I would do in your shoes is buy a used F3 in mint condition and use it until they announce the new Nex 7, or just go ahead and get a Nex 6 since it just came out and it is an excellent camera from what I've read.

    A lot of people seem to be happy with their Nex 6 and they are about 800.00 on amazon with kit lense or 650 for just the body.

    I hope everything goes well with your decision :)


    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks,

    It's hard to judge Nex 6 built quality from just looking at it or holding it. Who knows what's inside and how well or how poorly it is designed. But the same would apply to any mirrorless wouldn't it ?

    I know that even the entry level Canon Rebels are extremely durable, their Customer Service is more or less good, and I would buy a mirrorless from them in a heartbeat if it wasn't such a dog in terms of sensor performance and video. With Sony, I pretty much have to take a bet that camera will survive for 4 years.

    That's another thing - they depreciate like crazy. An XTi body that I paid $630 for six years ago still can fetch $150-200 today. I doubt that anyone would pay $250 for Nex 6 in 2018.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. Moshe

    Moshe TalkEmount Regular

    44
    May 25, 2013
    Exactly, I remember that as I was growing up, Sony was renowned for being top quality, not sure about that these days.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  14. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Can't speak to the F3 or 6 but the 7 is well made. I spilt water, got caught in the rain and even dropped it on a hardwood floor and it's been great.

    There is some luck involved with water and non weather-sealed cameras. Any of them can fry with the tiniest bit of water if it goes in the wrong spot.
     
  15. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    You're right of course, but it's the designer's job to make sure the "wrong" spot is well protected by design.

    Non weather sealed shouldn't mean "full of gaps". The difference between weather sealed and non weather sealed is in the testing specifications, it doesn't mean that non weather sealed body should die of a single small splash of water. The fact that everything else works tells me that the lens contacts shorted, most likely from water seeping from the back of the camera. I would be incredibly p@ssed at Sony if I paid $500 for this camera. And I am a reasonable person and usually blame myself for breaking things. It's like a car - if you hit a tree while parking at 3 mph and your front bumper is damaged, too bad, it's your fault; but if the engine falls out, the manufacturer has some issues.
     
  16. Moshe

    Moshe TalkEmount Regular

    44
    May 25, 2013
    This is refreshing to know. I really want to see and handle a Nex 6/7 in a store but i don't know if any place that would carry them.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using TalkNEX mobile app