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Sony Finds Defect In Digital Cameras 181

gbobeck writes "Sony announced Friday that it found a defect in 8 Cyber-shot compact digital camera models. 'The liquid crystal display screens of eight camera models might not display images correctly, images could be distorted or cameras might not take photos at all.' The affected models were sold between September 2003 and January 2005 globally. According to Sony spokesman Chisato Kitsukawa, 'Sony will repair for free only cameras that show signs of the problems.'"
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Sony Finds Defect In Digital Cameras

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  • Is it just me? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Or is Sony really going downhill between the laptop batteries, the PS3 and now this?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by goddidit ( 988396 )
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias [wikipedia.org]
      It is just you.
      Only about four failures in one year and you are ready to condemn the whole company.
      • Re:Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:27PM (#16977632) Homepage
        Only about four failures in one year and you are ready to condemn the whole company.

        It's not just the failures, it's what they are. Frankly, after the whole root kit fiasco, I gave up on Sony. The rest is just reassurance that I made the right decision.
        • ...the rootkit "fiasco" was Sony BMG, which is pretty much run by Bertelsmann (the CEO is a German and everything is run in europe). The rootkit would have been 100% their idea and decree (there's not a single Sony exec in a high-level position in the company).

          Let's not forget the head of SONY has gone on the record as saying that he thinks music downloads are overpriced, he'd prefer the 25c mark and higher volume.
      • Gee man, just little things like:

        -Infecting their users computers.
        -Making batteries that may explode in your lap (watch your crown jewells).
        -Making cameras that may not work.
        -Harrasing enthusiats developping for the PSP with constant firmware "updates".
        -Killing the Aibo.
        -Recognized the bet in the worn technology (plasma) in the plasma vs LCD TV wars.
        -Not figuring at all in the portable music player market, which the used to dominate.

        Honestly man, you are going to heaven, such a kind soul should receive some
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      They probably accidently hired a monkey, and due to the beaurocracy within the company they haven't been able to fire it. It just keeps getting transferred.

      The same thing happened with Ford, except in their case they accidently hired seven polar bears. They were responsible for the Pinto fiasco.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by surfdaddy ( 930829 )
      Don't forget the rootkit!. There's also the mini-disc, the memory stick, and other attempts by Sony to lock you into their proprietary technologies. Shades of Microsoft, I put Sony right up there in the pinnacle of company ethics. Couldn't have happened to a *nicer* company (tongue in cheek).
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by evolseven ( 941210 )
        the memory stick was probably unnecessary, I will give you that one as there were other less proprietary formats out there that could have fit the bill (sd or CF).. But mini-disc.. I actually own a net-md player, and I love the thing.. Yah I am nowhere as cool as the guys with the hard drive based players.. but were there any alternatives at the time?? it was smaller than a cd.. and basically scratch proof... so what was wrong about introducing the mini-disc??
        • by grazzy ( 56382 )
          Same here.. my net-md has been thru much with me.. it still rocks. I love that it comes with a AA-battery addon that makes the battery time virtually unlimited for me since I always carry rechargable batteries for my cameras anyway. Minidiscs rule for many reasons, re-recordable, cheap, safe, small, great sound quality.

          I hate sony just as much as the next guy, but md will never be a good example of something bad coming out of sony :p
    • by Old Man Kensey ( 5209 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:52PM (#16978354) Homepage
      Remember the CCD deterioration fiasco [imaging-resource.com] caused by faulty CCD arrays manufactured by Sony?

      It's echoing what others have already said, but there was a time I looked for the Sony name on electronics and bought their brand (or others that used their components) almost exclusively. Sony Walkman, Sony stereo, Sony Trinitron TVs and monitors...

      Since my wife got hit by the Suncomm DRM on a Sony/BMG CD about a year ago, I've still looked for the name -- to avoid it. No one I know is buying a PS3 -- everyone wants a Wii and has or wants an Xbox 360. No one I know is buying high-def movies because they're waiting for Blu-Ray to inevitably crash and burn so the format war will be over. Seems like the last year or two Sony has lost it so badly it may be impossible for them to get it back.

      We're a long way from "Sony -- because Caucasians are just too damn tall."

      • by sco08y ( 615665 )
        No one I know is buying a PS3 -- everyone wants a Wii and has or wants an Xbox 360.

        You missed the stories about people trampling each other to get PS3s?
        • No, I saw them, I just don't know anyone that daft.

          Let's be honest: you could put a horse-apple in a box, call it by a fancy-sounding name, announce it will be available in limited release on a certain date at a price of $1000 each, and people would line up to buy it just to be OMG FIRST!!!! It doesn't matter that it's (literally) a piece of crap -- to them, it's a symbol of exclusivity, and that's all that matters to some people.

          The people I know don't tend to be the stand-in-line-for-a-week-before so

        • They put so few machines in the market that the few derided people that did not reserve their machine in advance (honestly, what kind of loser do you have to be to stand in a queue for hours instead of reserver your products a few weeks in advance) were completely desperate to get one.

          Lets wait for sales figures over a longer period of time 9once hype has subdued and the machine has to satnd on its own merits.
      • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
        You are one of the few that is 'In the know'.

        You read the tech news or the gaming blogs, or whatever you read (Slashdot apparently).

        Sony hasn't even come close to losing its 'quality rep' in the eyes of the average consumer. If you don't know people who want the PS3, you probably hang out with a very specific crowd. I know a lot of people, and many of them know I'm a serious gamer with a rep of buying almost all of the platforms. One of the first questions people have been asking me over the last few weeks
      • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
        Also, the reason people aren't buying high-def movies is that most people don't have HDTVs yet, and of those that do, many find up-sampled DVDs to be high enough quality to satisfy their needs (They probably bought the HD set to watch football, and not movies anyway).
    • Won't Buy Sony (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )
      There are a lot of reasons I won't buy Sony any more. They used to be at the top of my list of favorite tech companies, but because of the way they've embraced the worst of copy right protection schemes and other suppressive practices, I've given up on them, PS3 or no.

      Microsoft, Sony... there are others on the list that I won't do business with unless I absolutely have to. In my work I needed a very high quality portable digital audio recorder and the Sony was the only one who had what I needed (at a cost
    • If someone at Sony is rude to an old lady in an elevator, it's headline news on Slashdot.
    • You can easily find the financial report concerning sony's expected revenue [cio.com] after ps3 and battery recall:

      The battery recall costs them about 440 milion dollar. They expect a loss of about 260 milion dollar due to the startup costs for the ps3. Also they sold less PSPs, 9 milion instead of the 12 milion they expected.

      They still expect a 440 milion dollar operating profit over the year, though, even though last year it was almost 2 billion dollar. I guess if they take this hit now, they'll still have a ch

    • Sony used to have good shit. Not top of the line, but I wouldn't mind spending a little more for Sony if I was buying a CD player or whatever. Then it seemed that their quality control really went downhill. It appears that right after NAFTA passed, Sony quickly set up factories in Mexico. And quality went to hell. I stopped buying Sony years before the root kit deal. And everyone who says Sony music has nothing to do with Sony the company are just Sony fanboys who need to go away.
  • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:02PM (#16977406) Homepage
    Seriously, I cannot grasp why companies continue to do business with Sony. With the exploding batteries, defective CCD and LCD components, and their sneaky software practices, you'd think corporations wouldn't want to touch them with a ten foot pole. I certainly won't buy any of their products, and I'll try to avoid anything that contains a Sony component. /Dell-Sony battery recall really pissed me off.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      Bcasue overall sony has high quality for consumer devices.

      Overall they still do.

      If this turns into a trend, I will be mighty suprised. KNowing how large corpotration can be fractures, an issue in one division does not mean other division will suffer the same issue.

      • Bcasue overall sony has high quality for consumer devices. [...] Overall they still do.

        They do? Seriously, what does Sony make that's 'high quality' (and not just "adequate") anymore? Their monitors are mediocre. I've had two sets of their headphones in the last year. The noise cancelling ones were a joke and I returned them. Another standard pair were OK, but disintegrated in like 4 months (and the carrying case was unbelievably stupidly designed and a PITA).

        Maybe the PS3 has a few good games, but it

        • On the other hand, my year-old CyberShot works flawlessly (despite having been dropped on concrete several times). My dad's 2-year-old CyberShot works flawlessly. My 9-year-old PlayStation (which i bought second-hand) works flawlessly. My 5-year-old PlayStation 2 works flawlessly. My brother's (newer) PlayStation 2 works flawlessly. My brother's 5-year-old Trinitron monitor works flawlessly. All the Sony accessories (controllers, memory cards, Memory Sticks) we've ever bought for any of those things still w

          • My playstation was literally flung across the room onto a wall causing the game inside to popout. It was then slammed into the cd that popped out causing it to shatter (first time i've ever seen a CD shatter). The playstation still continued to run all games flawlessly (other then the shattered CD!). It also fell down a flight of carpeted stairs once.

            I'm baffled whenever i here of overheating playstations (i've played in carpet for at least a few hundred hours although i try to keep it on some platform)
    • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
      I cannot grasp why companies continue to do business with Sony.
      Who says they do? I stopped getting Sony at my company when the rootkit hit, but we still have a DVD burner (that works fine) and a digital camcorder (with software that simply refuses to install on Windows 2003, which is what my desktop that doubles as a minor server runs) by Sony. I don't think many people went out and destroyed their Sony stuff the moment they decided the company was crap.
      • We used to buy prosumer Sony Hi8 camcorders and VCRs. Got two camcorders and one VCR. We had so many problems with them, versus our older VHS equipment manufactured by Matsushita, that we switched to Panasonic DV camcorders. Never had a problem yet.

        Later I made the mistake of buying a Sony DVD recorder. The thing malfunctioned just after the warranty expired. Now I buy NEC recorders.

        I should have learned by now, but I got some Sony earbuds. The thing disintegrated in a couple of months. First it was

        • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) *
          I learn fast now.

          When our Dell account manager(s) started to suck (quoting for the wrong thing, not having a clue about technology, weird delays) I made one attempt to get someone who didn't suck and when that didn't go anywhere I dropped them. This saved our staff from having to endure the GX270 train wreck.

          Similarly, most Sony stuff bought before the rootkit is okay, with older stuff being better. From what I know of Sony purchases from other people, most Sony stuff bought after the rootkit has at least

          • I agree with all your picks. I will add some of my bargain experiences:

            I have had 2 Samsung monitors and they so far have served me well. I also like Cherry [cherrycorp.com] keyboards, they are pretty plain but sturdy, never had one break on me and I type pretty hard. I currently use a Logitech mouse after having trouble with a Microsoft Intellimouse which cost twice as much and got broken after the warranty expired.

            I also prefer Western Digital as you do, none of my Western Digital disks have failed and they are usu

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gggggggg ( 862650 )
      "battery recall pissed me off"...You talk in past tense! Lucky you.

      Here I am, months later, still waiting for 3 of the 4 batteries I requested.
      I wonder how they've managed that. The 4 were ordered at exactly the same time. Only one made it here.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      The reason should be called "Microsoft Syndrome". Seriously. I'm not even trying to troll.

      Thanks to the prevalance of bugs in what has become an essential piece of software which runs on most computers, consumers and businesses have become accustomed to frequent failures in their electronic devices.... Sure, there was buggy software before, but it never captured the business of so many users. Windows was really the first electronic product to become so widespread and accepted containing as many flaws as it
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:05PM (#16977430) Journal
    might not display images correctly, images could be distorted

    It makes my gut look small, so I'm keepin' it!
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:08PM (#16977454)


    "Sony will repair for free only cameras that show signs of the problems, Kitsukawa said. He refused to say how many cameras might be affected."

    If I had one of these cameras, I want a NEW camera. Period. End of sentence. How do I know that the defect is gone if it is fixed? With their track record of late, I don't. Presumably they have fixed the defect in their manufacturing environment, so why not send a new one out (maybe with a free memory stick or something) to get some POSITIVE mindshare?

    I guess that would make too much sense or something.
    • by Xemu ( 50595 )
      How do I know that the defect is gone if it is fixed?

      Customers with strict requirements on visual accuracy that can only be measured using advanced technical devices are probably few as they would not be using a low-end digital camera in the first place.

      One might argue that if you can't see the difference it might not be important for most customers. Does the camera have a problem if you don't even notice it?

      I hope you do not assume other manufacturers cameras are "accurate" or "correct" just because of th
  • Which models are affected? The article's pretty useless, and I don't even know where to begin on the Sony site.
    • by cliffski ( 65094 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:23PM (#16977578) Homepage
      Here aqre the affected ones; (from http://www.sony.co.uk/view/ShowArticle.action?sect ion=en_GB_Support&articlesection=2&article=1128075 116465&site=odw_en_GB [sony.co.uk])


      I'm not karma whoring, I actually own one of these pieces of shit (DSC-P72). I bought a replacement camera (non-sony) 2 weeks ago. Bastards. I'm still going to ensure they fix the piece of crap.

      • I may not be the brightest spark - but I have to take my shoes and socks off to count the number of cameras you've listed there and that means there are more than 8 them. (And even if I was Jake the Peg I still couldn't count them all... diddle, diddle, dum.)

        Since when did 8 = 28?
        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
          Since when did 8 = 28?
          For very large values of 8.
        • They seem to be including all models of the same letter code and ignoring the digits. If you count them like that, there are 8 models. That is at least from a cursory overview of the list.
        • If you'd read page linked to by cliffski, you'd have seen this:

          We have now discovered that in addition to the models covered by the announcement made in October 2005, 8 further Digital Still Camera models (DSC-T1, DSC-T11, DSC-T3, DSC-T33, DSC-U40, DSC-U50, DSC-F88, DSC-M1) may suffer from the same condition

          and then the big long list.

          I, too, am saddled with a DSC-P72, but sadly the shitness described seems to be a different kind of shitness from that exhibited by mine, so no free fix for me. On the plus sid

      • I have a DSC-F717 which was affected with this problem about a month ago. Everything was fine up until then. When I went to turn the camera on, the display was all streaky and green, except the menu overlay looked just fine. I didn't actually try to download pictures I took with the LCD like that. Instead I called Circuit City, with whom we had a support contract. They sent a box, we sent them the camera, and we were sort of crossing our fingers hoping that they would decide it wasn't worth repairing, and t
      • This sucks so badly.
        I'd had my F717 for years, and it worked perfectly.
        Suddenly, it started doing the weird LCD trick. I kept it for 6 months more, waiting to see if there was some type of common solution - then finally threw it out 2 months ago.

        These types of things suck.
      • by mzs ( 595629 )
        Like the article said, last year it was announced for a number of other models and it happened to ours as well back then. Good luck finding any info about it on the US site. Anyway at first the LCD started behaving oddly (lines and greenish colors) and then finally it just went to a mode where it was basically all white but not uniformly so. I had to call and was on the phone for more than an hour until I got someone with any knowledge about the free repairs program.

        But Sony would charge us shipping (to the
  • by Thansal ( 999464 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:15PM (#16977502)
    These cameras are almost entierly 2+ years old! (September 2003 - January 2005)

    If I had a defective camera, I would not hold on to it for 2+ years, I would have returned it to the store that sold me the piece of junk in the first place.

    Meh, I don't get it at all.
    • by cliffski ( 65094 )
      it took 2 years for my camera to start to go wrong. (I own a DSC-P72, since replaced by something non-sony).
  • by ewl1217 ( 922107 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:17PM (#16977524)
    At least the cameras [slashdot.org] don't explode [slashdot.org]...
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 )
      At least the cameras don't explode...

            They plan to "correct" this with the "repair"...
  • Not so associated with quality now are we?

    BOOM! Its a Sony.

    Going forward I see Sony increasing its quality further and screening its suppliers in a more tough way, at the cost of higher product prices.
    Indeed their products have high quality, but things can go wrong with everyone. Think of Apple, Nasa, Microsoft, Diebold, Nortel, IBM (deskstar), AMD and whoever are the makers of Duke Nukem Forever. Sony really must succeed with the PS3 and hopefully 4 years later I'll be able to buy a used one for $300. Don'
    • BOOM! Its a Sony.
      From now on, as far as I am concerned, that is the Sony corporate slogan. Hilarious.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2006 @04:19PM (#16977546)
    You guys don't get it. This is clear evidence that SONY IS THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY.

    Have you never watched Star Trek? Who do you think manufactured all those exploding computer displays?
  • by pr0digy25 ( 915443 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:10PM (#16978038)
    ...but I remember a day when "Sony" meant a product of superior quality. It's too bad those fond memories seem distant and are slipping from my mind.
  • by cdn ( 552565 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @05:41PM (#16978260)
    Don't be too hard on Sony. I recently had to get Canon to replace my PowerShot A70 with a A530 (better res, flimsy camera body) because the image sensor was defective. It was a known defect but they couldn't come up with the replacement part for 2 months.
  • by level4 ( 1002199 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:10PM (#16978514)
    I used to be a big Sony fan. My friends would make jokes about how much of a Sony fan I was - Sony TV, Sony monitor, Sony CD players and headphones. The whole deal. Not fanboy mind you, just a genuine fan of a great company.

    About 5 years ago my opinion of them slowly began to sour, like a lot of peoples' it seems. And now, looking around me, I don't have any Sony stuff at all - I gave it all away during my natural cycle of replacements. My new generation of stereo equipment, for example, is heavily informed by the existence of iTunes & iPod, and where I once would have had nothing but Trinitron there's now Samsung and Apple.

    So I've got pretty strong feelings about Sony. I used to love them, before they started going wrong. They used to be the best in so many categories, now I couldn't name any area in which I think they are. It's a kind of bitter feeling for me at least, watching a company you used to love go bad. I've often wondered about what really caused it .. buying that record company is high on the list of possibilities. Taking a king hit from Apple and/or Samsung that they never really recovered from, maybe. Or perhaps just inevitable corporate cultural decline. It's an interesting, but depressing, story.

    But no matter how bitter I feel about them, I'll never dig this kind of overenthusiastic schadenfreude that I see here, gleefully revelling in every little misstep, like a bunch of stupid little brats in some playground. Sony used to be great. What's happened to them should be a sobering study in corporate cancer, not an opportunity for some cheap yuks at any possible bad news.

    I think there's a lot of entrepreneurial wannabes here, maybe like me. Sony used to be the kind of company I aspired to. Maybe not realistically expecting to mirror their successes but, you know, "if I could have any company, it would be Sony" kind of deal. But now, seeing what's happening to them, I wonder if any company can keep its integrity or whether companies that get too big just inevitably rot from the inside, as seems to be happening here. I'd love to have intelligent discussions about what the hell went wrong at Sony, how and if other companies can avoid this kind of cancer, try to find the inflection points where decisions were made that were critically wrong in hindsight.

    But fuck this childish mocking! Are there really people here who take actual pleasure in seeing once-great companies falter? If so, that's just pathetic.
    • But fuck this childish mocking! Are there really people here who take actual pleasure in seeing once-great companies falter? If so, that's just pathetic.

      There have been a number of reports of Sony making what seem like very arrogant comments. Do a google search with Sony, arrogant, and PS3 for starters. People tend to feel some pleasure when an arrogant showoff finds out he isn't all he made himself out to be. Childish mocking can be found in nearly every slashdot thread but I think the perceived arroga

  • Kudos to Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gamer4Life ( 803857 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @06:14PM (#16978536)
    They announce a problem with a model that is 2 years old - and say they'll fix it. Most warranties only cover a year or so, and some will even ignore the problem unless there's threat of lawsuits (think personal injury).

    Compare this to Microsoft and the Windows OS.

    Microsoft fanboys (including Zonk) may bash Sony like they're getting paid, but this is can be considered a positive for Sony's customer service.

    On the other hand, Sony's hardware with the exception of the PS3, has been disappointing because all the company's resources are being diverted to the content and media side of the business. You can blame Howard Stringer and the rest of his media group for this.
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      they knew about the problem before, and are hoping everyone threw the F*cking things out just like the defective launch PS2
      • they knew about the problem before, and are hoping everyone threw the F*cking things out just like the defective launch PS2

        How do you know they knew about it? Who exactly threw PS2s out? You have somthing to back this up or you just talking out your ass? All I know is they are willing to stand by their products, which is more than can be said about 99% of companies. I owned a lot of sony products over the years and I can't say I was dissatisfied with any of them. I own a camera on that list and I see this

        • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          i assume they knew just as they knew about the ps2 problems, which took a class action lawsuit to get straightened out.
    • my jeep cherokee just had a recall issues a few months ago for wonky software and possibly a rotten catalytic convertor. the car is a 1996 model! seems crazy to me, but i took it in and they replaced the catalytic convertor for free after doing the software update. i had been planning on replacing the cat before my inspection, and was expecting to pay a few hundred dollars for it. if it was some failure with the brakes or or some safety issue, i can see a massive recall, but for an exhaust component? seems
    • Well, gee, I am so fucking grateful for Sony comming forward. 200, 300 400 US$ fone bad in 2 years.

      Man, I am really grateful for their due care and consideration.
  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kuukai ( 865890 ) on Friday November 24, 2006 @07:05PM (#16978956) Journal
    Nintendo replaces defective product, everyone cheers. Sony replaces defective product, everyone boos. Any peripheral PR problems aside, I don't understand how making a mistake and offering to fix it makes Sony evil and anyone else virtuous. Really though, I guess this is a side-effect of branding. Sony isn't one entity, it's hundreds of thousands of people, making thousands of products and services of the varying levels of quality you'd expect from such a large group of people and products. Unless defective products can be linked to flawed policy, I don't think you can peg these things on the company--the people involved come and go, some were probably fired for this. I'll probably get attacked for defending corporations, but what I'm trying to say is that "corporations" don't exist. They want you to think they do, which is the point of branding and PR and instilling "company spirit" in employees, but a Sony factory executive in China and an Sony advertising executive in Europe work for virtually different companies...
  • Beware of sending anything into Sony to have the warrenty work done on it. Fuck that, beware of anything having to do with Sony.

    Let me tell you a tale of my Sony PDA, a Th-55. As far as PDA's go I though sony made the best, the sony th-55 was great. Well I had mine for a few months then it died. It was still under warrenty so I shipped it off to Sony to be fixed. A few MONTHS later they told me it was going to cost 695 bucks to fix it. Fix something still under warrenty.

    After fighting through the

  • In opposition to all the Sony bashers here.

    I have several Sony products here which work perfectly well, and always have. One is a VAIO PCG-FXA36 laptop [amazon.com] with a 1 GHZ AMD cpu, firewire, 15" screen, tv out, dvd/cdrewriter, and floppy drive, which I bought in december 2001. Another is a DCR-PC9 miniDV cam [amazon.com] with nightshot, steadyshot, firewire, usb, memory stick, tv-out, 10x optical zoom, 120x digital zoom. bought at roughly the same time.

    Both these items were taken on a long trip to various places, like across

I've got a bad feeling about this.