RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

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PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 196
RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
1

I am contemplating buying a Sony RX10 IV. There is only 1 left, in one store, among the 8 stores served in my area. Considering the price of this item, if I pay full price for it, I would prefer to get an instrument that has not been already used too much, since "open box", "refurbished", "used", "wrecked" items ought to have their own price schedule.

I don't want to discuss here the validity of my preference (that's another topic), but I would like to know if there is a way to assess, not with certainty but with some reasonable confidence, the "newness" of the item upon purchase, or just after purchase. A little bit like the difficult-to-tamper-with odometer of a "new" car help to objectively assess the "newness" of that car.

From what I have gathered already (sources are not verified), it seems to be difficult, or maybe impossible to do so, since:

1. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way (Ken Rockwel review; and other post(s)

2. Shutter count is apparently not accessible through SONY or 3rd party software on this model. (then what's the point of counting?)

3. Image numbering can be reset through Factory Reset or the Menu (?... I don't know)

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

Sony RX10 IV
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 20,345
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
1

PhotonTrapper wrote:

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

Those are pretty old references ... but to my knowledge, still true of the RX10IV. Thus the answer is no.

I will say there might be a shutter count recorded in EXIF with each image file and/or stored somewhere in the camera, but so far I know of no software that can recognize and read it if it's there.

Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,415
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

sybersitizen wrote:

PhotonTrapper wrote:

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

Those are pretty old references ... but to my knowledge, still true of the RX10IV. Thus the answer is no.

I will say there might be a shutter count recorded in EXIF with each image file and/or stored somewhere in the camera, but so far I know of no software that can recognize and read it if it's there.

+1

-- hide signature --

Steve

Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

sybersitizen wrote:

PhotonTrapper wrote:

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

Those are pretty old references ... but to my knowledge, still true of the RX10IV. Thus the answer is no.

I will say there might be a shutter count recorded in EXIF with each image file and/or stored somewhere in the camera, but so far I know of no software that can recognize and read it if it's there.

It may or may not be recorded internally (who knows?), but it's apparently not written in the exif.

I'd suggest that the best way to see if an RX camera is used is to examine the body very carefully. The RX10 soft rubber grips soon show wear and finger-nail marks, and the metal edges get shiny.

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
Jerry045
Jerry045 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,834
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
2

While it may be very difficult to determine if a given camera was used or demoed or pristine, might I suggest purchasing it from a reputable vendor with a good return policy.

If for any reason it's parentage is misrepresented after careful examination, it could be returnable with no penalty.

 Jerry045's gear list:Jerry045's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Sony RX10 IV +2 more
newbie Regular Member • Posts: 434
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
1

When I bought my RX10 a few days ago I was concerned if it was a  demo or had been refurbished. It was at a very good price so that increased my concern. When delivered the box was sealed, this is in Australia cannot say for other countries, and the box looked pristine. On opening the camera also looked pristine and all this alleviated my angst It may be refurbed but it has the normal new warranty so am not worried. Came to the conclusion that no way to tell.

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The Point and Shoot Pro
The Point and Shoot Pro Senior Member • Posts: 1,493
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

I am contemplating buying a Sony RX10 IV. There is only 1 left, in one store, among the 8 stores served in my area. Considering the price of this item, if I pay full price for it, I would prefer to get an instrument that has not been already used too much, since "open box", "refurbished", "used", "wrecked" items ought to have their own price schedule.

I don't want to discuss here the validity of my preference (that's another topic), but I would like to know if there is a way to assess, not with certainty but with some reasonable confidence, the "newness" of the item upon purchase, or just after purchase. A little bit like the difficult-to-tamper-with odometer of a "new" car help to objectively assess the "newness" of that car.

From what I have gathered already (sources are not verified), it seems to be difficult, or maybe impossible to do so, since:

1. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way (Ken Rockwel review; and other post(s)

2. Shutter count is apparently not accessible through SONY or 3rd party software on this model. (then what's the point of counting?)

3. Image numbering can be reset through Factory Reset or the Menu (?... I don't know)

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

The best thing to do is to negotiate a lower price and include a return policy of some sort,  or see if there is an extended warranty that you can add for a little money to protect your investment.  The RX is an expensive camera, and I think I would buy the warranty to go along with it.

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Kerusker
Kerusker Senior Member • Posts: 1,310
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - 'Date & Time set?'

According to the Instruction manual

https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/res/manuals/4725/47257441M.pdf

on page 18

Step 3: Setting the language and the clock

Date and time are set for the first time. (I don't remember if there is a default or not set at all).

Once set, you can't go back to 'not set' (easily).

Maybe new owners can tell how the RX10 M4 comes out of the box.

-- hide signature --

][.Kerusker
we don't see that we don't see (eye's blind spot)

 Kerusker's gear list:Kerusker's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Pentax K-5 II Pentax K-1 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4
elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 17,606
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
5

a few precautions, comments

1. IF new, open box, (if the receipt does not say refurb or used) the receipt establishes the initial date of sale, and that begins the full Sony 1 year warranty. ALL you ever need is a copy of an original sales receipt to show Sony.

Thus, a camera could be sold an endless amount of times, they don't even ask, they just need a copy of that original sales date.

Also, (haven't checked, they used to) within a period of time, Sony gives original buyer of new or open box the option to buy their extended warranty.

2. None of my 5 Sony RX boxes were sealed.

3. Look at manual on-line before you go, or it's booklet in the box, "what's included", verify all is there, strap adapters ....

4. Other papers with offers, warranty registration card .... present?

5. Reset. If it has been messed with, by sales person, or potential customer, settings may have been changed. Go into menu, do a full reset.

5. Test Shots in the Store. (take your own memory card).

a. If you bring a tablet or laptop with you, inside the store or in your car, you can evaluate them on-site, buy or fly.

b. near, medium, far shots in the store. Auto Mode should be good enough for flat stationary subjects with detail to observe. Again, viewing on tablet/laptop you will see more detail.

c. spots on sensor. Aperture Mode. f8, find a bland light colored wall, take photo. F11, repeat. check for spots: much easier on a large screen. If check for spots on camera's LCD, view, enlarge, rocker over the entire frame area. Note: buying used, I always have seller take and email me f8,f11 images.

note: these 1" sensor sizes reach full focus depth at f5.6, and diffraction detriments start after f5.6, therefore it is unlikely you will want smaller than f8. However: if clear at f8 but spots at f11, you might pass as whatever that spot is could move, turn sideways, ...

6. return policy? Even if salesman says no, you could ask a/the manager to sign a 30 day return period on the receipt. That has worked for me.

7. your best Credit Card protection?

8. Buy Square Trade Warranty from seller? On-line: check on-line or call square trade, they sell warranties based on $ amounts. I have dealt with them very successfully, and, their warranties are transferrable, so if you sell, any warranty left, may help sale.

Great camera, good luck

Elliott

 elliottnewcomb's gear list:elliottnewcomb's gear list
Sony RX1R Sony RX100 III Olympus Stylus 1s Sony RX100 VI Sony Xperia XZ +1 more
OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 196
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
2

Thanks all for your detailed insights and advice. That helps.

Calling the store again, I had another rep admits that at least one of the 2 units is in fact a "demo", even though it is sold full price (he would not budge on that when I asked him). That made me wonder how many returned items (within the no charge return period, a week I think ) are just reset to factory, carefully repacked and also sold as "new", at full price, or if the client ever expresses some doubt, as "demo", which, according to them, is as good as new and deserves the same price tag anyway.

Incidentally, I am now wondering if the fact that Sony (and maybe other brands/models) does not facilitate easy tracking of usage after the unit exits the factory (which would be very easy, technically, to implement), for this model at least, is simply because its authorized sellers would have too much trouble getting rid of those demos and other quickly returned units with embarrassing odometers readings, that are best resold as "new". In another words, the generous 1-week return policy (no charge, no question asked) comes with its counterpart: a camera sold as "new" might not be so literally "new".

Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,415
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

Thanks all for your detailed insights and advice. That helps.

Calling the store again, I had another rep admits that at least one of the 2 units is in fact a "demo", even though it is sold full price (he would not budge on that when I asked him). That made me wonder how many returned items (within the no charge return period, a week I think ) are just reset to factory, carefully repacked and also sold as "new", at full price, or if the client ever expresses some doubt, as "demo", which, according to them, is as good as new and deserves the same price tag anyway.

Incidentally, I am now wondering if the fact that Sony (and maybe other brands/models) does not facilitate easy tracking of usage after the unit exits the factory (which would be very easy, technically, to implement), for this model at least, is simply because its authorized sellers would have too much trouble getting rid of those demos and other quickly returned units with embarrassing odometers readings, that are best resold as "new". In another words, the generous 1-week return policy (no charge, no question asked) comes with its counterpart: a camera sold as "new" might not be so literally "new".

That's entirely true. It pays to stick with dealers that have a good reputation and you trust. I would love to see Sony, and others, seal their boxes. It most likely won't happen. Too much pressure from the dealers.

-- hide signature --

Steve

elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 17,606
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

Thanks all for your detailed insights and advice. That helps.

Calling the store again, I had another rep admits that at least one of the 2 units is in fact a "demo", even though it is sold full price (he would not budge on that when I asked him). That made me wonder how many returned items (within the no charge return period, a week I think ) are just reset to factory, carefully repacked and also sold as "new", at full price, or if the client ever expresses some doubt, as "demo", which, according to them, is as good as new and deserves the same price tag anyway.

Incidentally, I am now wondering if the fact that Sony (and maybe other brands/models) does not facilitate easy tracking of usage after the unit exits the factory (which would be very easy, technically, to implement), for this model at least, is simply because its authorized sellers would have too much trouble getting rid of those demos and other quickly returned units with embarrassing odometers readings, that are best resold as "new". In another words, the generous 1-week return policy (no charge, no question asked) comes with its counterpart: a camera sold as "new" might not be so literally "new".

A bought/return to the store is not new or open box. Sold a second time: it then depends on what the seller will put on the receipt: your receipt would need to say new, open box (demo is an open box if the dealer calls it an open box).

IF/when warranty is registered (many never register the warranty), that is official start date and the serial # is in the system, and a copy of that receipt would need to be shown to Sony for the rest of the warranty (same as buying any used camera)..

In that case, will the store give you a copy of the original receipt? Best Buy definitely refused, it would have the prior person's information.

Elliott

 elliottnewcomb's gear list:elliottnewcomb's gear list
Sony RX1R Sony RX100 III Olympus Stylus 1s Sony RX100 VI Sony Xperia XZ +1 more
Garyster Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
1

Is the discounted price enough to overcome your fear of possibly getting a second hand camera?  How much is the store selling it for?

If within reason, buying from Amazon with a credit card that offers at least a 1 year warranty extension (mine actually gives 2 additional years) is prudent on a relatively expensive piece of gear.

g

cheddarman Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

PhotonTrapper wrote:

I am contemplating buying a Sony RX10 IV. There is only 1 left, in one store, among the 8 stores served in my area. Considering the price of this item, if I pay full price for it, I would prefer to get an instrument that has not been already used too much, since "open box", "refurbished", "used", "wrecked" items ought to have their own price schedule.

I don't want to discuss here the validity of my preference (that's another topic), but I would like to know if there is a way to assess, not with certainty but with some reasonable confidence, the "newness" of the item upon purchase, or just after purchase. A little bit like the difficult-to-tamper-with odometer of a "new" car help to objectively assess the "newness" of that car.

From what I have gathered already (sources are not verified), it seems to be difficult, or maybe impossible to do so, since:

1. Sony does not seal its boxes in any way (Ken Rockwel review; and other post(s)

2. Shutter count is apparently not accessible through SONY or 3rd party software on this model. (then what's the point of counting?)

3. Image numbering can be reset through Factory Reset or the Menu (?... I don't know)

If the above is true, is there anything else left to rely on other than a totally blind trust in the seller?

If you're in the UK there is a 30 day "cool off period" on just about any purchase and if YOU are in the UK shop with confidence at Panamoz My experience with them has been very positive and their three year warranty is what it says.

CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,687
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

One of the drawbacks with buying cameras from small, local stores is that the store can't afford to buy enough copies of any one camera/lens to guarantee that every stocked body has never been opened or demonstrated to a customer. When I spent almost $10,000 on cameras and lenses at a local store a few years ago, I figured that one or more of the items I bought had been demonstrated to other customers first.  But I bought them since they appeared to be in great shape and I trusted the camera store. There really is no way to guarantee that your camera has been untouched by human hands since it left the factory. You might have better odds buying at a huge internet camera store.  But there are dozens of threads on DPReview about buyers questioning their gear is untouched from almost every source.

Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?
2

CameraCarl wrote:

One of the drawbacks with buying cameras from small, local stores is that the store can't afford to buy enough copies of any one camera/lens to guarantee that every stocked body has never been opened or demonstrated to a customer. When I spent almost $10,000 on cameras and lenses at a local store a few years ago, I figured that one or more of the items I bought had been demonstrated to other customers first. But I bought them since they appeared to be in great shape and I trusted the camera store. There really is no way to guarantee that your camera has been untouched by human hands since it left the factory. You might have better odds buying at a huge internet camera store. But there are dozens of threads on DPReview about buyers questioning their gear is untouched from almost every source.

I suppose the problem with such gear isn't that it might have been demonstrated to a few people, but that it was purchased and returned because it was a lemon. For example, if the lens is decentred, it might be returned without comment by a customer who simply wasn't impressed by the image quality, without knowing the actual issue. Or, perhaps one of the controls was stiff/loose.

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Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,687
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

Digital Nigel wrote:

CameraCarl wrote:

One of the drawbacks with buying cameras from small, local stores is that the store can't afford to buy enough copies of any one camera/lens to guarantee that every stocked body has never been opened or demonstrated to a customer. When I spent almost $10,000 on cameras and lenses at a local store a few years ago, I figured that one or more of the items I bought had been demonstrated to other customers first. But I bought them since they appeared to be in great shape and I trusted the camera store. There really is no way to guarantee that your camera has been untouched by human hands since it left the factory. You might have better odds buying at a huge internet camera store. But there are dozens of threads on DPReview about buyers questioning their gear is untouched from almost every source.

I suppose the problem with such gear isn't that it might have been demonstrated to a few people, but that it was purchased and returned because it was a lemon. For example, if the lens is decentred, it might be returned without comment by a customer who simply wasn't impressed by the image quality, without knowing the actual issue. Or, perhaps one of the controls was stiff/loose.

You are so right. But anyone can return anything to any seller and you have to rely on the honesty of that store not to resell defective merchandise.  I like to support and I have to trust my local store.  I've seen more complaints on these forums about people getting defective stuff from the major internet retailers than getting defects locally.  And I'm guessing that those customers who buy three different versions of a lens to test and return the two they don't like are more likely to shop the internet rather than a local store, so odds are I won't be getting their two "rejects" locally.

Garyster Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

......... I've seen more complaints on these forums about people getting defective stuff from the major internet retailers than getting defects locally. ........

This is probably because 90% (just a guess) of this type of gear is purchase online as opposed to locally so, of course there will be many more issues.

We have virtually no local stores left in my area.  When there were, I would opt for them vs online, as long as the price was within 10% or so (it almost never was).

g

OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 196
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

Garyster wrote:

Is the discounted price enough to overcome your fear of possibly getting a second hand camera? How much is the store selling it for?

If within reason, buying from Amazon with a credit card that offers at least a 1 year warranty extension (mine actually gives 2 additional years) is prudent on a relatively expensive piece of gear.

g

The rep on the phone explained that one of the 2 cameras in stock is in fact a "demo". I had asked before how much they were selling the RX10 IV. When I then asked (only by curiosity, since I am not interested in buying a "demo") if he would be applying a discount on that "demo", he answered no, the camera is "like new". So they are selling both cameras (a demo and a supposedly brand new, non open box) the same price.

OP PhotonTrapper Regular Member • Posts: 196
Re: RX10 IV "Not an Open Box" - Is there a way to evaluate that?

Digital Nigel wrote:

CameraCarl wrote:

One of the drawbacks with buying cameras from small, local stores is that the store can't afford to buy enough copies of any one camera/lens to guarantee that every stocked body has never been opened or demonstrated to a customer. When I spent almost $10,000 on cameras and lenses at a local store a few years ago, I figured that one or more of the items I bought had been demonstrated to other customers first. But I bought them since they appeared to be in great shape and I trusted the camera store. There really is no way to guarantee that your camera has been untouched by human hands since it left the factory. You might have better odds buying at a huge internet camera store. But there are dozens of threads on DPReview about buyers questioning their gear is untouched from almost every source.

I suppose the problem with such gear isn't that it might have been demonstrated to a few people, but that it was purchased and returned because it was a lemon. For example, if the lens is decentred, it might be returned without comment by a customer who simply wasn't impressed by the image quality, without knowing the actual issue. Or, perhaps one of the controls was stiff/loose.

I agree, it's an important point.

More generally, I think that those cameras are very complex opto-electronic devices that are very difficult to properly test right after purchase (among other thing, to detect said lemons). If, on the top of that, one have to deal with potential damage resulting from mishandling or tampering by random users having free temporary access to said device and accessories (like the battery pack), it is then unfair to ask full price for it.

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