Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding Phase One IQ4, IQ3, IQ2 and IQ1 series digital camera backs.

Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:37 pm

I've only used Phase One cameras for a few years and I've kind of gotten used to how unreliable this system is, but I wonder how things are for other people.

On every shoot I have at least a couple of instances where the camera just locks up or won't fire. Usually the display says 'Err DB' or 'Cap DB' or 'Battery' or 'Battery DB' (with full batteries), but often the display says nothing at all. These lock-ups usually go away after removing the lens or body battery or back battery or all three, but it's still highly frustrating to have to stop in the middle of a shoot because the camera simply refuses to work when I press the shutter.

My entire system has already been back to Phase One for a complete check-up but they said they couldn't find anything wrong. Does that mean that this is just par for the course when shooting Phase One? I shot Nikon for six years before switching to Phase One without ever having a single problem. Even today when I get out my D800 for the occasional shoot it's a breath of fresh air to have everything just work fluently without any hiccups.

Is this normal? Do you experience the same and just tolerate it? Or am I just extremely unlucky?
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby Drew » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:51 am

Details on the system specifics and workflow would help to understand why you may be seeing these errors.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby NN634966393449299109UL » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:43 pm

This is totally normal. It happens all the time.

I've got 9 IQ backs, and all are on Phase bodies. We affectionately think of it like changing film backs, or the stuck shutters on the old Hasselblads. If everything worked perfectly, a caveman could do it. When it fails you, remain calm and just work through your list of potential fixes. When the camera comes back to life, you're a hero again.

Some days our cameras perform very well for 10 hours straight, but they are never flawless. It is something you come to accept, and joke about over drinks after the shoot with your colleagues.

At the end of the day, the pictures always get took, so think of these little hiccups as your moment to shine and show your digital tech why you're the boss.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:19 am

Thanks NN634966393449299109UL, what you say seems to be consistent with my experiences and those of the other Phase One users I've talked to.

Drew wrote:Details on the system specifics and workflow would help to understand why you may be seeing these errors.


My system is an IQ160 with 645DF and 645DF II bodies. I bought the II body because the other one was going wrong so often but it hasn't helped one bit. My main lenses are Schneider-Kreuznach LS (55/80/110) which all have been serviced and had their shutters replaced because they completely locked up and stopped working. My entire system has had a complete check-up at Phase One a few months ago.

As for workflow, sometimes I shoot tethered and sometimes I shoot to card. I don't know what else to say about my workflow other than I push the shutter button and I would like the camera to take a picture. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I can usually get the camera working again by removing the lens or body battery or back battery or back or any combination of all four. I've gotten really quick at doing this because it's such a routine for me, but I want to figure out is whether this is normal for Phase One systems or if mine is a lemon.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby flashsplash » Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:35 pm

Hi all,

When I started with the IQ's and the 645DF+ , it was suffering from the occasional lock-up. But then again the quality that this camera/back produces made me forget the issues. Of course I have had a few shoots at the time when it really went wrong, no matter what I did , the lock didn't clear.

Meanwhile I have gone through a few upgrades of both the Back and the Camera firmware, and I need to say that my camera system has become very stable. I can not recall a lock-up for several months. Its like driving a formula I race car, it takes maintenance and care, and yes it might lock-up sometimes. But then again it is a performer :D like no other.

I did the PoCT course and that really helped me, in the sense that I can now understand , log and capture any flaw or abnormality. See , my point is that we as the consumer are part of the P.O family and as such we can and should contribute to the P.O product by providing our experiences to the P.O group through the dealers or direct on the support line. One thing is for sure, P.O is here for us and has so far always supported me very well. The same applies to my distributer/service center.

As a last note, nothing is perfect. We can all positively contribute to make it perfect by formulating, documenting and providing the data to P.O

Sa far my view….
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby NN159009UL4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:42 pm

Nikon Will Replace Faulty D600s (If Necessary) Even After Warranty Expires. Wake up Phase One.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby flashsplash » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:00 pm

@ NN159009UL4

A D600 has a value of 1/10 of a Phase One IQ140 system. So that is an unrealistic comparison.
I have been shooting NIkon for many years D700, D3S, D800E and I still do besides P.O. They all have their purpose, place and time.
I can assure you that Nikon support is far from what P.O offers. My P.O kit gets replaced within 2 hours when it fails for free. That is part of the extended service. Try this with a D600 :)

Kind regards,

Steve
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby NN159009UL4 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:43 am

In my opinion, and likely that of many other users, the premium price of Phase One equipment warrants an even more robust warranty, particularly when the issues that arise are often the result of poor engineering and/or manufacturing flaws. How does the lower price of a Nikon or Canon camera mitigate the responsibility P1 has toward is customer base if it is to maintain it's limited market share in an increasing competitive environment? You can no longer stay in business selling cars with a limited 12 month warranty and fail to recall units with known manufacturing or design defects for customers will just go elsewhere no matter how souped-up the engine.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Fri May 02, 2014 8:44 am

I just came back from another 5-day commercial shoot in Morocco and by my best estimate, my 645DF+ with IQ160 locked up an average of 50 times PER DAY. I've had these problems and many others on and off about as long as I've had the kit and i've been back to my dealer more times than I care to remember. Proposed solutions have been to purchase the new li-ion battery for the 645DF I was using (which I did) and when that didn't help, to purchase a brand new 645DF+ body (which I also did). The entire kit has been back to Denmark for a check-up, and I have bought replacements for literally every part in the system except the back. Still Phase One insist the back is not the problem so they don't have to help me under the 'value added' warranty I paid for.

After my last shoot I called again and now (after two years of problems) they say new body firmware should probably fix it. I'm highly sceptical but I'll give it a go.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Fri May 02, 2014 8:53 am

flashsplash wrote:@ NN159009UL4

A D600 has a value of 1/10 of a Phase One IQ140 system. So that is an unrealistic comparison.


Indeed. A professional camera system 10x the price should have BETTER reliability and BETTER after-sales care than a medium or low budget semi-pro camera. Too bad the inverse is true. My Phase One camera has been failing since I got it and after two years P1 still haven't solved the problem. If their latest proposed solution doesn't work I'm going to have to look into what legal steps I can take under European lemon laws.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby Drew » Fri May 02, 2014 12:57 pm

David,
We just spoke the other day and I was happy to explain the circumstances surrounding your specific issues as well as provide the solution. I guess I'm a bit confused by the pleasant and understanding tone of our conversations compared to the rather unpleasant posts on our forum. I can understand that you are frustrated but publicly stating you are going to look into "lemon laws" when you haven't tested the solution we provided earlier this week seems alarmist for anyone else following our forum.
We've acknowledged that you indeed have had issues in the past. We've been happy to look at all of them first hand and we have supplied you with the details surrounding every aspect of your system and services performed. We're always happy to help you and, as you have our number, you're always welcome to call us if you continue to have issues.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Fri May 02, 2014 6:02 pm

Drew wrote:David,
We just spoke the other day and I was happy to explain the circumstances surrounding your specific issues as well as provide the solution. I guess I'm a bit confused by the pleasant and understanding tone of our conversations compared to the rather unpleasant posts on our forum.


Yes we did have a pleasant conversation on the phone, why wouldn't we? The staff at Phase One have been nothing but friendly to me, and I do believe you are honestly trying to help. This is not a personal matter.

But at the same time, yes I am extremely frustrated. I bought an expensive professional camera system 18 months ago that STILL doesn't work properly. With any other electronic device it would have been replaced under warranty a long time ago, no questions asked. But because this is a multi part system you guys can always say the problem is the 'communication between the parts', which doesn't help me at all. Some of my dealer's 'solutions' thus far have been to ask me to spend more money replacing parts of the system, which I did to no avail. Even the extended 'value added' warranty I paid for hasn't done anything to help me.


Drew wrote:publicly stating you are going to look into "lemon laws" when you haven't tested the solution we provided earlier this week seems alarmist for anyone else following our forum.
We've acknowledged that you indeed have had issues in the past. We've been happy to look at all of them first hand and we have supplied you with the details surrounding every aspect of your system and services performed. We're always happy to help you and, as you have our number, you're always welcome to call us if you continue to have issues.


I understand that you are here to help. But what frustrates me is that after a year and a half, YOUR product not working is still MY problem. I have replaced every part but the back and I have seen my dealer more than I have seen some of my friends. I've spent countless hours struggling with my malfunctioning camera system. The proper thing for Phase One to do would be to simply take the system back and replace it with one that works, so that figuring out what's wrong with it is no longer the consumer's problem.

That's it really. All I want is a camera that works. I don't want to be troubleshooting or beta testing or driving back and forth to my dealer for the next 'solution'. I want a camera that works, because that's what I paid for. I don't think that's asking too much.

Maybe this new firmware will finally solve all my problems. If it doesn't... Well you tell me what you think I should do?
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby Drew » Mon May 05, 2014 9:21 am

David Cohen de Lara wrote:Maybe this new firmware will finally solve all my problems...


I guess I'm just a bit confused why that Firmware has not been tested yet when the errors you've mentioned are the ones that it address. Rather than continue this thread with frustration, lets have you test that Firmware and then take the next necessary steps should you still be unsatisfied.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby David Cohen de Lara » Mon May 05, 2014 7:15 pm

Sure. Let's do that.
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Re: Who's ever had a shoot without the camera malfunctioning?

Postby NNN635093062880184082 » Wed May 07, 2014 2:27 pm

Wow, so sorry to hear you're having problems with your camera.

I've been a long time Canon user and in the last couple months I've been wanting to make the jump to Medium format, but the stories I read hear are pretty scary.

After sales and customer service is definitely not what I would expect for a system at this price.

It's a shame..
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