Started Oct 2, 2018 | Discussions thread
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stopandwatchthesky Forum Member • Posts: 67

Hi everyone,

I will try to be as concise as possible, forgive me if I am not, as I am not that good of a story teller. Bottom line in case you don't want to read all this: eye-AF is very much a real problem and there is something that can be done. It has nothing to do with adapted lenses or firmware updates. The units displaying the problems are faulty.

I live in Argentina, and I don't travel to US.

I preordered my A7III when it was first announced and I managed to have someone bring it to me. Roughly from the moment it was delivered it in California until I finally managed to receive it in Argentina, around 3 weeks had passed.

I was excited to use this new camera, specially coming from a Canon 5D Mark II. I wanted to use eye-AF so so bad! So I arranged a photoshoot and took my brand new camera for a test. I was absolutely delighted. Everything was just like in all youtube videos and reviews.

So I got home after a long day of shooting, and while editing I found that my images were slightly out of focus. You can search my user history and you'll find the threads where I discuss all this.

Many users had the same problem as me, while many others were desperately trying to discredit me and prove me wrong, calling it "user error", or due to me using adapted lenses and not native. I refused to accept this as a normal behavior, and actively tried liaise with Sony. They asked me to send the camera to be reviewed.

I sent the camera from Argentina to NY, so it could be sent to Precision Camera. The same day they received the camera, they reviewed the camera, and within 2 hours, they sent it back, claiming the sensor had been calibrated. I received my camera one month after I sent it NY (I had to actually ask someone traveling to Argentina to bring it back with them), only to find out the camera had not been touched at all. A few sample pictures taken by the repair team showing clear signs of front focusing were inside the camera, and the had not even been reset to factory settings. I was furious.

After about 2/3 weeks I managed to find someone who was going back to US so they would take my camera, yet again. Off they went, all the way back to NYC, were they sent the camera to Precision Camera. After a whole 2 weeks of delays and tests... they claimed Sony was contacted and that they deemed the camera as working within normal parameters, so they returned it without ANY work done the camera. I was fuming. After such a long time, they were giving me a camera that was not working properly, and there was nothing I could do.

Then.... one very friendly user here in this very forum, advised me to send a email to Sony's CEOs in US and Japan, and explaining my ordeal to them, and how disappointed I was with the customer experience. At this stage, I was still waiting for my friend in NYC to receive the camera, which was on its way.

To my surprise, I received an email from the Sony Alpha support team, asking for my phone number. They called me and the gentleman I spoke to was named Israel, who was calling on behalf of none other than Mark Weir. I spent about 30 minutes with Mr. Weir trying to figure out what was wrong with the camera. He asked me to perform a very simple test once I had my camera back with me: He wanted me to take a portrait wide open using eye-AF AF-C, and then a picture of a portrait. In this way he would be able to identify the problem as a front focusing one, and not related to facial features of the subject.

I needed to wait for my camera to arrive to NYC, and then my friend was to bring it to Argentina. So far so good, given the situation. At the very least someone from Sony was willing to help.

My A7III arrived to NYC 2 days before my friend was leaving, so it was all good.... except Precision Camera not only failed to fix my camera, but also... SENT ME THE WRONG F****ING MODEL. They mistakenly sent their own A9 instead of my brand new A7III....They were extremely quick to ask me to return, which I did, on the condition they would make sure my camera (which had not been fixed) would be sent to Argentina, and all customs and import duties would be taken care of. Normally I would not ask this, but since they made the mistake, it was up to them to sort it out. They agreed.

Given the international shipping was taking a very long time (over 2 weeks) I asked the Precision Camera's manager to get in touch with Sony and perform the tests they originally asked me to. The outcome was as expected. The camera shows clear signs of front focusing, and the problem IS REAL. They accepted to exchange my camera for a brand new one. They will even send it to Argentina, given all this confusion and poor performance from Precision Camera.

To all those of you who claim the focusing problems are not real, I say: You were wrong all along. Sony has tested my camera and acknowledged it as faulty.

To those who have cameras with this problem, do what I did. I sent emails to Sony's CEOs in US in Japan.... and you know what? I got a reply.

Below you will find the samples from my old camera vs my new replacement, taken by the actual Sony Alpha Support team, not a lousy 3rd party service center.

Sony a7 III
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