NO DB?

Discussions regarding Phase One 645 AF and Mamiya 645AFDIII Camera

NO DB?

Postby NN191547UL » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:59 am

I bought a brand new Phase One camera body with a P65+ last year along with a couple of Phase One lenses. I took it to a couple of weekend photo trips for landscape photography and usually the camera perform well for a few hours the first day but usually in the afternoon session or by the second day the camera refuse to work giving me a message in the viewfinder that reads: NO DB - The camera and the back both have plenty of battery left. I have tried to change to fresh batteries, I tried to turn both on and off, changed to different lens and a new formatted card. I double check all other camera parameters, etc. but it kept reading: NO DB (not sure what it means).
Have anyone had any similar problem before? After having such expensive camera system I have not been able to complete my first photo trip as of yet....
I am also having the same battery issue with the vertical grip, in which the battery refuses to come out after pushing the latch away and one has to shake the camera several times to help the battery out of its chamber.... terrible design!!!
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Re: NO DB?

Postby Drew » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:23 am

"NO DB" means No Digital Back, which means the body cannot recognize the digital back.
I would contact your dealer to have them walk through the specifics of your system, odds are its just a mismatched firmware or improper setting on the back.
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Drew
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Re: NO DB?

Postby NN191547UL » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:03 am

I took it to my dealer and they said they could not replicate the problem (BS). They upgrated the firmware and cleaned the camera, but I have the feeling they only tried it for a couple of hours. They made me believe that I did not know how to use it. I tried it again in another trip to Death Valley and it did the same thing. Two other pro photographers were there with me and they had no idea about what was going on either (they only use 35 mm DSLR).
Last week, the owner of the dealer called me and told me that I should buy a new set of batteries for the PhaseOne camera, the Ejji Li-Ion batteries and that would take care of the problem!!, which clearly indicates THEY KNEW what the problem was but they didn't want to tell me at that time. He also mentioned that "many other owners had the same "locking" problem and that by using the new batteries it had solved their problem.
I went back to several blogs and talked to other owners and realized that PHASE ONE actually was aware of this problem all along. It is very insulting and unethical on their part that I was on the phone with them several times and even took the camera to them twice and they led me to believe that "I was the problem" because I didn't know how to use the camera. I eventually purchase the charger and two batteries (they are not made by Phase One), which cost $ 498, and they problem has now been solved. This clearly indicates a manufacturing defect on their part that they have been trying to hide for last couple of years. To make matters worse. Once you install the new battery, the many of us that purchased the very expensive vertical grip for the camera, it would now be totally useless. NICELY DONE PHASE ONE.... ANOTHER DIRTY SCREW UP ON YOUR PART TO YOUR CUSTOMERS>
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Re: NO DB?

Postby Drew » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:17 am

I think you should revisit your dealer and explain the issue further, or simply request to have the unit sent in for evaluation.
The issue that you are describing doesn't fit with what we would associate with low power, possibly what your dealer mistook the issue to be and hoped the third party batteries would address. Instead, your specific issue sounds either firmware or hardware related. As your dealer has just recently upgraded your firmware, we can hesitantly rule out the first option and explore the second.
I apologize for your frustration and further apologize if you feel we're hiding something or trying to mislead you. Our only goal is to get you up and running asap and to do that I think it would best to have your specific system evaluated by Phase One.
Kind Regards,
Drew
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Re: NO DB? - FOUND THE SOLUTION!!!

Postby NN191547UL » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:33 am

This is a follow up reply on a very serious issue I had with my $ 53,000 USD camera and lenses I purchased from PhaseOne two years ago: PhaseOne Camera, P65 digital back and several PhaseOne lenses... the best they have to offer. Also purchased the vertical grip (this later one was a fiasco to say the least).
My overall experience was as follow: I took my "precious" gear to three overseas trips in the first year: two trips to Africa and one trip to Indonesia; not to mention the few trips I took here in the US (Death Valley, White Sands, etc.). In all of my trips the camera managed to take several images in the morning or until the battery ran to about half way its charge, or if I would let the camera go on rest mode (put it down for more than 15 to 20 min without use) and try to shoot with it again after the morning session, the camera would malfunction to NEVER work again for the rest of the trip!!!!
It would show an error message showing: NO DB, as if it was not recognizing the digital back. In several occasions in different trips I tried putting all new fresh batteries, new formatted cards, restarting both camera and back, changing lenses, etc., etc. Spoke with tech support with Phase One and took it to inspect and repair... they said they found nothing wrong with it. They went as far as suggesting (more than once) that it was my fault and that I did not know how to use the camera (I have been in photography for 12 years and have use digital medium format - Mamiya 645 AFD - for 4 years prior). I felt not offended but pissed off by now. They said that they tried the camera over a couple of days and could not replicate the problem.... the picture count on the digital back only changed by 12 (twelve) images. The only thing they did was to upgrade the firmware, and the camera kept doing the exact same thing. It just happens that three world recognized wildlife photographers where there on my trips and witnessed what my camera was doing and tried to help as well as many other photographers... no one could figure out what the problem was, but many mentioned that the problem appeared to be "in the electronics"... or whatever that meant. I called my PhaseOne rep again and his suggestion was for me to go Atlanta or Miami to "take a class or seminar" on how to use the equipment. At that moment I realized that I had a $53,000 piece of junk that would be very hard to get rid of but that I was willing to sell at any price. I offered to sell it back to them at "any" price, and as I suspected, they do not buy them back since they have a huge inventory of used equipment already. I was ready to sell it on ebay when the interesting part of this story happened..... HERE WE GO:
I got an email from my rep several weeks ago stating that there was a new rechargeable battery for the PhaseOne battery that he was confident would solve my problem. Some other customers that had been having the same problem had their problem solved by installing this battery rather than using alkaline batteries on their cameras.....WHAT???? All along he has been telling me that there was nothing wrong with my camera and it turns out that he was well aware there were many others with the same problem..... WHAT THE F...???? This new battery system: the Ejji Lithium battery last for more than several thousand exposures before it runs out of juice!!, but it also cost a lot of $$$ with the charger. I Googled about it and indeed it turned out that there were hundreds, and who knows how many users were having one or other form of problems with their equipment as a result of this "battery" issue, which suddenly were solved after switching to this new battery. PhaseOne is now pushing all users to change to this battery and it is obvious to me now....
PHASE ONE has known all along the problem with the camera but failed to acknowledge to their customers what the problem was so they would not have to cover it under the warranty. Possibly they did not even had a solution at that time and even sent a sent a defective product into the market. The fact that my rep and even tech support failed to recognize that there was a problem with the camera it was clearly a way to delay UNTIL THE CAMERA WAS OUT OF WARRANTY. Once you are out of the warranty period.... you are on your own. I added the new Ejji battery and so far the camera and the back are working flawlessly. I am soooo disappointed that a company like PHASE ONE has done such dirty thing on his customers, especially when one pays so much money for a photo equipment. European companies are known for their excellent warranties and tech support, but this move on the part of PhaseOne has a category on its own as one of the worst cases affecting a large number of their customers.
Whether many of their customers are able to recognize this or not, many of you that are still having, or ever had similar problems with their camera with curtain lock up, cameras not waking up, cameras not working even when there is battery charge left, etc., etc., it may be worth thinking about it....
I myself lost several thousands of dollars in overseas trips and then not been able to use my brand new $40,000 camera. I was lucky because I do this as a hobbie, image if I was a proffesional!!!
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Re: NO DB?

Postby Drew » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:50 am

Hello,
Just trying to look into this a bit further I am having difficulty finding any Support Cases lodged with Technical Support regarding your issues. Perhaps they are listed under a different email address?

I do apologize that you feel the circumstances were not handled well and if there was something wrong with the system an additional battery pack would not be a viable solution as more longevity in the cameras battery life would not circumvent any electrical error.

If you can please provide more details I would be happy to look into the issue further.
Kind Regards,
Drew
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Re: NO DB?

Postby NN191547UL » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:48 pm

Hi Drew,
I do not know how much more detail I can provide. I spoke with Phase One tech support several times, spoke with my rep at the Atlanta store several times over a course of a year and half and even took the camera there to be checked and nothing. One thing became clear to me: it appears that as soon as the camera would loose 20 to 30% of the battery power it would start malfunctioning, and it would not work for a couple of days even if one would put fresh new batteries. This was the behaviour the camera consistently showed for over two year in every one of my trips. I would have to let the camera sit for a couple of days before it would start working again.
I have no idea what is was the fact that I would have to turn the camera off and let it rest for a couple of days before I can turn it on again and magically it would work again (with a new battery), before it would start doing the same thing again after a couple of hours of shooting, and yes, I make sure the back has good charged batteries!
Since I replaced to the new Ejji batteries it has worked fine so far. So now, you tell me.... after loosing hundreds and hundreds of images in very expensive trips overseas you can only image my frustration and dissapointment.
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Re: NO DB?

Postby Drew » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:47 am

If you could, please create a support case and address it to me. Please provide serial numbers of your hardware so that I can have a closer look.
http://www.phaseone.com/en/SupportMain/ ... pport.aspx
Kind Regards,
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