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Sony Alpha 100 Firmware update.

Russell Wheeldon , Sep 19, 2007; 07:33 p.m.

I thought that those Sony Alpha 100 owners who are waiting for a firmware update would be interested in this reply that I got from Sony UK support today. I was hoping that they might do something about the noise issues above 400iso or at least release v1.04, but this looks not to be. As I commented on Dyxum, this attitude has totally put me off considering an Alpha 700, good that its noise levels may be, if Sony are to be so dismissive of their coustomers concerns.

Dear Mr Wheeldon Thank you for your recent response.

With regards to this I can confirm that there are currently no plans for a new firmware upgrade to be released for this model. Firmware upgrades are usually only produced and released in response to any problems or inherent faults that may develop with a unit. If you have any problems with your camera, I would recommend you have the unit checked by one of our qualified engineers.

If you require any further assistance then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely

Adam Callow For and on behalf of Sony United Kingdom Limited


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Michael Hohner , Sep 20, 2007; 01:45 a.m.

I see nothing wrong in this answer.

Bob Gentile , Sep 20, 2007; 01:52 a.m.

Nor do I.

Richard Harris , Sep 20, 2007; 01:32 p.m.

Maybe the noise issue above ISO 400 is beyond the help of a simple firmware update...?

I've just got my A100. Not sure if its had any firmware update or not. Is one really necessary? (RAW+PP[noise ninja)=Okay results at ISO800)

Richard Evans , Sep 21, 2007; 01:43 a.m.

My A100 came with 1.04 so I have the latest. Sony has been very quiet about what the different firmware changes were for but obviously there was a reason. I've read that 1.03 addressed CF card compatibility. I would certainly want that upgrade if a new CF card wouldn't work. Why Sony isn't releasing 1.03 and 1.04 for the A100 is a mystery. Russell's point is entirely valid. It's completely reasonable to ask these questions regarding a current model with four firmware revisions. Why is Sony hiding the answers? Corporate policy that treats customers like little children. Personally I grew up questioning authority and I would encourage Russell not to give up until he gets a satisfactory answer.

Michael Hohner , Sep 21, 2007; 01:28 p.m.

If you are a manufacturer and have a new firmware version that, quite obviously, has no significant changes, and your customers experience, quite obviously, no problems with the earlier version, and upgrading firmware by customers is always risky and generates higher service efforts, you think twice before releasing new firmware to the general public. Also, sometimes new firmware is required because of hardware changes during production, and while it's necessary for new hardware (and comes pre-installed on this new hardware), it brings zero advantage for old hardware.

I absolutely understand Sony when they only release firmware updates that are actually beneficial for customers.

Richard Evans , Sep 21, 2007; 09:00 p.m.

Basically then what needs to happen is full disclosure of why 1.03 and 1.04 aren't available for distribution. If there are as you say hardware revisions then the serial numbers should be listed so that owners can get a clear understanding of this mystery. Companies need to be upfront with their customers. The OP received a standard boiler plate corporate answer to a technical question. I too would like to know why there were two additional revisions. Why keep it a secret?

Craig Gillette , Sep 22, 2007; 01:23 a.m.

Full disclosure? Send Money! (Buy them out kinds of money) Companies don't reveal design changes willy-nilly to customers nor the competition. While in the past, many types of products were fairly readily repaired by the consumer or even trained repair techs, current electronic products generally are not. You aren't apt to find full design details or even repair manuals detailed below a certain level outside of company precincts.

Since past customer installed f/w update exercises have resulted in the expense of documenting the processes in sites and languages wherever product is distributed and inspite of their best efforts no small numbers of killed (or at least traumatized) cameras. Since design changes after the item goes into production are usually costly, they are avoided if possible. Yet components may become unavailable or as production transitions from low early rates to higher rates, or processes and methods are refined, changes may be incorporated that improve the manufacturability of the end product, etc. Small changes in circuit design, replaced components or component location may require corresponding firmware changes. Since the "item" is different, the part or version number is changed. It's almost always invisible to the end user.

Or it's part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Jedidiah Smith , Sep 22, 2007; 03:10 a.m.

Craig, I concur. Oh, wait a minute...I am part of that vast right wing conspiracy! :-)


Richard Evans , Sep 22, 2007; 07:45 p.m.

That's right, keep the consumer in the dark. They're really too stupid to understand and we CSR's have been so well trained in double speak. Perhaps the term full disclosure was the wrong term but how about a real answer when it is a known fact that 1.02 addressed data loss problems. There is speculation that 1.03 addressed CF card compatibility issues. I've been able to gleen this much by reading various forums, most notibly Dyxum.com. Now go back to your double speak; hardware CSR: the problem is with the software; software CSR: the problem is with the hardware.

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