Got my A77 back from Sony Repair for flash issue...

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Gary Friedman
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Got my A77 back from Sony Repair for flash issue...
Apr 26, 2012

Hi, all.

Here's the latest update from my flash exposure accuracy saga with the A65 and A77. Recall that I was having flash exposure accuracy issues at times, which went away (mostly) when flash exposure compensation was set to -1 or -1.3. Others on this forum experienced the same thing; although some happily reported no problems whatsoever. Once the book on the A65/A77 was finished I sent the camera in to Sony with a CD-ROM containing documented examples and the original files so the EXIF files could be examined.

A week in I got two voice messages with what can only be described as an inarticulate Sony repair technician, saying that he's going to replace the hot shoe. I called back almost immediately and left a message reminding him that the issue occurs with the pop-up flash as well, so it's probably not a hot shoe issue. Never heard back from that guy.

10 days later I got my camera back just hours before leaving on our flight to Copenhagen. The enclosed paper said "camera is working within Sony's established parameters" and there was nothing indicating that any work had been done. I fired off a couple of test shots with FEC=0 and sure enough, it looked overexposed. I set it to -1 and packed for the plane. And I've been working / speaking just about every day since I got here so there's been no time to investigate further; however I'm beginning to believe that this is now the new "normal" for Sony's camera bodies. Not only have I had to set FEC = -1 on the A65, but also my new NEX-7 which finally arrived about a month ago.

One of the events I was speaking at on Monday was hosted by Sony Denmark, and I've been trying to see if anyone here can put me in touch with an engineer in Japan to ask about this issue. How is the flash metering done now, since in cameras like the NEX-7 there is no "other" sensor to measure the pre-flash? Are they even trying to make things work predictably like they did in the old days, or is their goal of handling more and more difficult lighting automatically starting to affect the flash decision-making process too? (This was definitely evident in the A550.)

So far I'm still in the dark (no pun intended) about all of these issues. But as long as I keep the setting to -1 or so I'm a lot less stressed about the camera screwing up an important shot. It doesn't seem to happen to me anymore.

But I have more immediate things to worry about now. I'm scheduled to conduct a photo Field Workshop on Saturday and rain is predicted. Off to work out a Plan B...

-Gary Friedman

Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A65 Sony SLT-A77
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