I've had my F3 repaired by Sony about 6 months ago for a faulty on/off switch. It was repaired in a couple of days and has worked very well since. For the problems you and others have stated after applying the FW upgrade, I have decided not to upgrade as the problems generated are far in excess of any benifit the upgrade would provide for this camera. FWIW any time that I upgrade any piece of electronics with new operating system software it best to do a factory reset before and after the software is applied. I have done this with computers and smart phones and never have a operations glitch afterward. I am sure these new electronic cameras would benifit from this same proceedure.