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Customer Review

71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video recording problems, November 11, 2010
This review is from: Sony a55 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm zoom lens (Electronics)
I like everything about the camera when taking still pictures. The video overheating matter is a problem. I found an alert on the Sony website [...] I have since attempted to record videos with the SteadyShot setting in the off position. I am able to record a video for 4 minutes before I get the error code telling me the camera is overheating and then it shuts down.I have paid a great deal of money for this camera and do not believe that this overheating in such a short time is normal for a camera of this caliber. I contacted Sony for technical support. I got an RMA to send the camera to a repair location in Texas (I am in California). When I went to the FedEx drop off center I found that the package was being sent ground. I found this to be poor customer service as I had JUST purchased the camera. I let it go. It has been one month and Sony still has the camera and is claiming that this issue has been well documented and they are sending it back to me without a fix.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2010 10:26:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2010 10:27:11 PM PST
Wow... not exactly the way a company should take care of their loyal customers. I'd like to try my a55 if it gives the same error, but I'm afraid it may give the same result. I never really cared for its hd video recording (since I have a sony cx500 that takes care of that) but it does bother me that Sony may have released this hardware - short of a QC check. Have u tried using the memory stick duo HG edition? It's the fastest card that can handle the camera's demands. My class 10 sdhc was a turtle compared to my memory stick HG card (write-speed-wise during 10fps mode).

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 7:23:32 AM PST
J. Amaro says:
How can Sony expect a free pass on so egregious a malfunction as overheating in HD video mode with the flimsy excuse that the problem is "well-documented"?

The problem is not well-documented unless every potential purchaser is informed about the problem before they buy the camera.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 12:06:53 AM PST
Al.Kia says:
I find it pretty ridiculous that the camera shuts down due to overheating from video recording and some people here say they don't find that limits the camera. Simply shocking what some people will accept even after paying around $1000!

In addition, I am doing some research for any viable alternatives to the Canon 550D, which is what I'm planning on getting, and wrowlands feedback put me off the Sony A55 completely.

So if I want to shoot a longer holiday video or make my own short film, I have to just accept that it overheats and shuts down after 7-8 minutes? Don't think so.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 7:06:56 PM PST
DSLR is a camera guys, not a camcorder. If you want to take video, get a camcorder.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2010 10:38:06 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 14, 2010 3:02:46 AM PST
Randalusa says:
The era of saying that DSLR functions and video are separate operations have ended. We now live in a time when users can have both in one unit, thankfully. Is it not enough to carry a body and 2 or 3 lenses, yet I should lug along a separate video unit?

That also means keeping two separate batteries charged. Moreover, to achieve video quality equal to what a DSLR can provide with its greater light-gathering capability would require spending into the thousands.

And there would be missed opportunities anyway during the period spent setting one down and winding the other up.

So I will keep shopping for units that do both well. My current list is down to the Canon 60D, the camera above (Sony SLT A55) and the Panasonic GH2.

Where Canon goes wrong is insisting on leaving so much information out of the viewfinder. And what is there tends to be cryptic rather than clear and visually facilitating. They put the whole mess together all in the same color down at the bottom. And one must use the manual to figure out what each little dot or star stands for.

Plus video on the Canon is in another league, the minor leagues. Hoping to use the viewfinder while composing means you must shop elsewhere because zero, nothing, blank is what Canon offers up there. All video must be shot through the LCD screen on the back, which is at least (for the first time in an SLR with Canon) made more convenient due to the articulating screen.

Sony and Panasonic are really onto something here. Canon and Nikon will probably play catchup in a couple of years. Now if only Sony can get both the heating problem and what appears from the complaint here to be dreadful customer service conquered.

I have toyed around with the SLT A55 extensively in the store, using my own memory card to examine the results at home. Even in low light it grabs crisp photos and sails through video trials with instant focus during smooth zoom.

I may go back and try a longer video in order to see if this overheating issue can be duplicated. Even if it does show up, the fact is that most DSLR cameras have a limited video recording time anyway, generally less than 10 minutes. In their defense, not too many events lend themselves to shooting video in one capture all that long anyway. Most of my video grabs are less than a minute, occasionally near four or five. And the pieces can easily be stitched together in editing, something bound to become part of the process if wanting to make a long video interesting anyway.

So there are the options. The best manufacturer (Canon) is punting in the video category, merely offering customers a make-do add-on while two of the other players are creating true hybrids that blend both functions from the ground up.

In the end, I might get the Sony anyway, especially if shooting video in VGA mode results in longer times without heating.

Come to think of it, I really don't see the big deal about widescreen and HD in either case. My old Fuji S5100 shoots 640x480 video that looks fantastic both on my computer and once uploaded to youtube.

Are most of us cinematographers needing a wide screen to spread across a theatre filled with seats and keep popcorn munching audiences entertained? No. If you have anything interesting to produce, I guarantee people will like the product just fine in 4x3 and normal resolution. Save the hard drive space unless creating a documentary of nature and get the moments in good old VGA.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2010 3:36:38 AM PST
rbucla says:
but we are now in the era where camera and camcorder can all be in one unit or would look really funny holding a videocam and a cam at the same time i think.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 10:41:29 PM PST
B. Coffey says:
wrowlands, and others, I have a question that I think y'all may be able to help me with:

I have a tendency to be a bit wordy, so if you can help me, but would rather not know my exact situation and thought-process, then please refer to my last couple of mini-paragraphs/lines for my inquiry.

Basically, fellow photography buffs, I am facing a purchase in the next month or two. For the past week or two I have been dedicated to reading and reviewing images of the best cameras in the entry-level/midrange DSLR category. I have narrowed it down to these two cameras: Canon EOS Rebel T2I and the Sony Alpha SLT A55

I have never owned anything more than a cheap point and shoot. Hence, when I started my research there was an abundance of seemingly basic terms that had no meaning to me (shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc.). But I am happy to say that I'm learning fast.

I want/need this type of camera mainly because I have traveled an awful lot in my life and seen some truly incredible and beautiful things, and it dawned on me recently that I really should start documenting these things properly. I will be studying abroad in South America for 2 and a half months this summer, so I want to buy a camera and have a enough time to learn how to use it properly before I fly away in May to take millions of pictures.

It appears that both cameras have received generally universal acclaim. However, in most (not all) of the reviews I have read, the Rebel seems to continuously edge just ahead of the A55. Nevertheless, I am leaning toward the Sony; for whatever reason, it just appeals to me more. I like some of the features that the A55 has that the Rebel doesn't, such as the continuous autofocus and the electronic viewfinder. I haven't had the chance to play with either camera, but I briefly fiddled with an A33 and really appreciated those features, and the feel of the camera in general.

Basically my priorities are 1) Image quality potential 2) Ease of use

So I ask you a few questions:

1) Which camera would you recommend, based on your knowledge/experience and my priorities?

2) I don't know how you would know this, but do you think there is any chance either camera could receive a price drop in the next couple of onths? I want to have the camera ideally by March, but I'd also like to pay less than both cameras are currently advertised for (don't get me wrong, I will pay the current price if I have to).

3) Do you think there is a chance that Sony could release a version of the A55 without the 50 sec. lag after full use of its 10fps feature? Or with a stronger battery pack? With the current battery life, I would undoubtedly purchase a second rechargeable battery.

Full disclosure: I have also considered and disqualified the following cameras: Nikon D90 (love everything about it, but just that little bit out of the price range I am willing to pay for my first camera+its a little dated)
Nikon D5000 (I can't remember why, but one serious thing turned me off this camera)
Canon EOS Rebel T1i
Nikon D3100

If you can provide a reason why I should reconsider any of those listed above, then I'm all ears.

Let me know what y'all think, even if its a few words! Detailed answers are, of course, most appreciated!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 7:44:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2010 12:04:09 AM PST
lee280zx says:
James, that is a ridiculous comment. They advertise it as a camera that takes HD video. That means it needs to do so without overheating. Your comment is like saying you should not complain about a radio that fails in a new car because the car is made for driving. It always surprises me how poor logic most people have.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2010 7:48:26 PM PST
lee280zx says:
Your comments about 4x3 vs. widescreen are inane. You suggest that only professionals should want their results in widescreen, when everything from your TV to your computer to your cell phone is now widescreen.
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