Purchased an indipro regulated Sony dummy battery to female barrel connector for a shoot in June from Hot Rod Camera. I was planning to power my camera off of the power out on the handles for my Tilta G1 gimbal. Tested very briefly in store (30 sec) and it worked fine. Took the rig out for this shoot the next morning to a remote location several hours away. Set the rig up and all was well for about 10 minutes, at which point the camera crashed and burned completely. The screen went completely pink and upon any attempt to reboot it would either show solid pink, or a confetti of rgb on the screen in video mode. In photo mode it would give an image that was slowly overtaken by green and magenta noise the longer the camera stayed on. Nightmare. Needless to say the shoot was a complete loss and I took the part back to Hot Rod. They put a volt meter on both the handles (power out) and the cable, but neither showed any voltage issues at that moment. The cable was a little higher than the advertised voltage but I suppose within tolerance. I just cant believe that it could be anything else when the camera I had had for just over a year (1 week out of warranty!) with no issues, could be a complete and total loss after 10 minutes of using this new product.
Hot Rod spent several months going back and forth with Precision Repair (Sony's repair house) but got nowhere. Indipro won't take any responsibility without outside confirmation that it was their product. I'm to the point that I've taken this on myself, and after having sent Precision three emails in two weeks, I've yet to hear a word from anyone there. The fact that Sony's authorized repair facility is this unresponsive and opaque in their process is totally unacceptable to me. I can't believe a company this established has such massively unhelpful customer service. Has anyone else had an experience like this? Is this a total fluke? This is my 4th Sony camera, and 1st that's required any real maintenance, but if this is how things are handled I'm out...
I created an account to warn everyone who will listen. The last few months have been a nightmare come true.
To give you some background, I am a semi-professional landscape photographer who has been shooting for about five years. I purchased a Sony a7s in late 2015 and shot for roughly a year and a half before my camera needed a wet cleaning. I had a few welded dust specs that dry methods could not remove. I, like many others, feared giving my sensor a wet cleaning, so I looked into other options. I came across the sensor gel stick for Sony cameras and saw that it had a few good reviews and was being sold by one of the popular photography educators (a simple google search for Sony sensor gel sticks will lead you to his site). I decided to give it a try. I ordered direct from his site.
From watching videos, it seemed like a foolproof method. I placed the gel stick on the first dust spec, expecting it to be removed without issue. To my shock, the gel stick stuck to the sensor. I immediately panicked and pulled the gel stick off with a fair amount of force and to my horror, it left a large smear of residue. At this point, I stopped thinking clearly and placed the gel stick on one of the sticky pads, thinking that it would make the gel stick usable. I proceeded to place the gel stick on the sensor once again, and to my dismay, it stuck to the sensor once again. I don't think I've been so angry and shocked in my life. I waited until morning to cool down before I shot an email to the photographer. He proceeded to refund my account and told me a simple wet cleaning would fix the problem. He said that the problem was that my sensor had never been wet cleaned, so the gel stick would stick to it. Not wanting to take any chances, I sent my camera into Sony's repair service provider. I received my camera back after a few weeks. To my dismay, the sensor was clean but it had a few new dust specs, plus there was a very faint mark at the bottom of the sensor. I thought maybe they didn't get all of the residue. I sent it back in, but received it in roughly the same condition.
I concluded that the only way forward was for me to remove the specs and mark myself. I decided that since I would be doing the wet cleaning, I might as well give the gel stick another try on the dust specs since the sensor now had two wet cleanings performed on it. To add insult to injury, the gel stick left more marks, though not as bad as the first time. That was the last try for the gel stick. I went ahead with a wet cleaning. I used a few different products to remove the residue and dust. The mark was unable to be removed. At that time, I realized the mark was not residue but rather a scratch. The scratch is located exactly where I first placed the gel stick. I sent the photographer an email about this and received no response back. The product is still being sold on his website with the same disclaimer that he is not responsible for any damage from use of the product.