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Old Dec 16, 2003, 3:04 AM   #1
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Default Problems with crashing G400

I received my new G400 Tuesday last week and I have managed to get the camera to hang four times resulting in that I have to remove the battery to get it operating again. Each time I have to set the clock again... the G400 was suposed to be one of the fastest small cameras on the market but if you have to remove the battery and set the clock to take a picture it is a lot slower than my old sony.

What happens is that, I set the camera to S-Continus and I take 3 pictures in a row, this is indoors so the flash is used. After this the red auto focus light on the front is constantly active (on), the green led at the view finder flashes green and the autofocus symbol on the screen is flashing. The camera is not resonding to any buttons except to the lens cover which turns the camera off. If I turn it on again it goes back to the locked state. The only way to get it working again is to remove the battery for a few minutes. From the begining I thought that it might be the camera processing the taken pictures but after 5 minutes it should be finished. After reseting the camera the 3 pictures taken are available on the card.
I have also managed to get the camera into this state twice having the self timer on and taking a picture.
Always when the camera hangs it is quite dark and it is indoor so I supose there is a problem in the auto focus software.

Have anybody else experienced this behaviour? I'm thinking if it is a general software problem or if I have a hardware problem in my camera.

I wrote as mail to Minolta last week but they have not resonded so far...

The camera is bought in Switzerland.

Cheers,
Bosse
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 5:19 AM   #2
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I have also bought th G400 (in CH), I think you have an individual problem on the camera, because i don't have this problems.
i think it's a problem with the internal battery. In my computer i have problem like so your problem with the camera, and i change the internal battery and it was good.
You must return your camera to Minolta (by the saler or your self), and ask if you can have an other camera (it's quickly to change camera that send camera to change internal battery).

what you think about quality image? for me, the quality is good until 100 iso, after there are some noise. I am happy with this camera but it is not for me, the camera is a gift to my parents, because i have a g5.
Some pictures of g400 are on my gallery:www.Pbase.com/richardjo
(part g400 )
P.S: je suis Suisse si tu veux on peut parler en franšais.
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 2:01 PM   #3
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I think you are probably using an incompatible Memory Card (or have a bad card).

I've seen these types of problems reported before in Konica Cameras (the Minolta DiMAGE G400 is the same camera as the Konica KD-420z)

There are 3 manufacturers of Secure Digital Media: Toshiba, Sandisk, and Panasonic. If you are using a different card, chances are, it's just a "rebranded" card from one of these three "real" Secure Digital Manufacturers.

In sizes up to 128mb, all cards should work fine. In 256mb size, only cards made by Panasonic and Toshiba are considered compatible. In 512mb size, only cards made by Panasonic are considered compatible.

Sandisk standard SD cards (and cards using Sandisk controllers and chips) are NOT considered to compatible with your camera. Symptoms may include very slow startup times, failure of the camera to recognize the media, camera malfunctions including errors, corrupted files, failure to format the media, etc. The Sandisk Cards made in Taiwan seem to have the most problems (some are also made in Japan, and these are a little better, but I still would not advise using them).

Likewise, I've seen users report problems with some Memory Sticks (I've seen 2 users report similiar problems using the Lexar 128mbx2 Memory Stick, requiring the camera to be turned off and back on after it fails).

Although, I'm using one in my camera with no problems, I'd suggest sticking with genuine Sony brand Memory Sticks. Also note that Memory Stick PRO cards are not compatible.

Do you still have the Secure Digital Card that shipped with your camera? If so, remove any other cards from the camera, and try using just it (and format it with the camera first).

If the problems do not occur using the supplied Memory Card, and they do occur with a different Memory Card, then your problem is with the Memory Card (either faulty, or incompatible).

Although I cannot confirm that they are made by Panasonic, I've also seen users report that Simpletech's Standard 256mb cards work fine in Konica cameras, as well as Lexars "32x High Speed" Secure Digital cards in 256mb size.

Here is a Memory Compatibility Chart for your camera (note the camera malfunction warnings in footnote 8 concerning using Sandisk 256mb Secure Digital Cards). Many other manufacturers of Secure Digital may also be using rebranded Sandisk SD components. So, I'd strongly recommend use of Panasonic Secure Digital in larger sizes. Panasonic's 256mb and 512mb Secure Digital Cards are rated at 10mb/second (around 5 times as fast as Sandisk Standard SD in these sizes). Smaller cards are slower.

http://www.minoltausa.com/eprise/mai...ity/DiMAGEG400
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 3:26 PM   #4
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I dont think it is the memory card or minolta has screwed things up really bad.
The first crashes I had was with a 128meg sony memory stick and the last crashes has been with a 256meg panasonic SD card so I think that rules out the card problems.

What might be the problem is that the camera can not handle two cards at the same time. The first setup I had was with the MS128 (prefered) and the SD16 that came with the camera, the second setup I have is with the SD256 (pref) and the MS128. But if this does not work I think they have to change the specifications for the camera.

I will try to do some tests with only one card and see if things seems to be more stable.

/Bosse

P.S: jojo, je suis Suedois et mon franšais est pas de bien
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Old Dec 16, 2003, 3:47 PM   #5
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Format both with the camera, too.

BTW, I'm using a Lexar 128mbx2 (256mb total) Memory Stick, and a Toshiba Secure Digital Card at the same time, with zero problems -- regardless of which one is preferred (under the Memory Priority menu).

However, I have seen two other users with problems using a Lexar Memory Stick. So, it's possible you have a defective Sony Memory Stick.

A faulty memory card (either SD or MS) can cause problems (whether it's due to compatibility, or due to a card being defective).

As someone else mentioned, your battery could also be at fault, if the voltage from it is too low.
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 3:51 AM   #6
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I have now done some more testing with freshly formatted memory cards,
Portrait mode, s-continues, highest res, quite dark room.
first with the following set up 128MS(prio) & 256SD
after aprox 40 pics I got the error.
Removed the MS and left only the 256SD and continued taking pictures, took
aprox 40 pics nothing happened. Enabled the 3s timer and starting taking
pictures and after aprox 15 pics I got the error again. I repeated the last setup and got a crash again after aprox 25 pics.

So either both my Sony MS and Panasonic SD are bad or the problem comes from something else. The Sony MS I have used in my Sony camera for a few years without any problems, the SD is new. For the time being I would rule out faulty memory cards being the problem Minolta should not be allowed to put either the MS or the SD logo on their camera. I tried a bit with the suplied 16 meg Toshiba card but got tierd having to format the card again and again because it gets full.

The battery seems to be ok, I used to develop mobile phones both hardware and
software so I have quite a good experience from small devices and I can say with 99.9% accuracy that the battery is not the problem. The first times I got the problems the battery was fully charged and I used the continus mode to shoot 5 pictures. With the following crash tests the battery has been anything between full and half empty. It might be that the problem is more likely to happen when you drain the battery, like taking 15 pictures with a flash in a row, but I would say that the normal behavior of the camera if the battery performance is going down would be to give a warning not to crash...

Now when I have seen several crashes it seems that the camera locks up 1-2 seconds after the picture is taken.

I guess it is time to take the camera back to the shop to try to get it replaced.

What I find bad is that the Minolta camera support has not replied to any of my mails


Thanx for the input guys,
Bosse
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 9:14 AM   #7
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............Always when the camera hangs it is quite dark and it is indoor so I supose there is a problem in the auto focus software..........

Yes, and the flash is always re-charging with mega current drain and firing with potential for interference spikes. Don't forget, the first flash is always OK as that's energy stored over time, it's the subsequent flashes whilst processing that may screw up things. I'll bet if I tried to take a macro pic of my auto ignition leads under the hood, the camera would have a hard time as well!

So my first test would be to run multi-shot modes with flash disabled and test with different resolutions (output file sizes). If the camera crashes here with larger files only, it's not the battery but could be memory card speed. If all OK then suspect the flash drain and try with large mAh batts or a mains power unit. If OK with the mains power unit, suspect batts have too low internal resistance giving too high flash re-charge times and low current to the processor. Between shots, is the camera waiting for the memory to finish writing or the flash to re-charge - I'd suspect the latter. Try flash multi shot at close range and higher ISO to reduce the flash output and speed up re-charge.

Does your camera shoot movie mode? If it does, can you shoot a continuous movie and fill a card with one file? VOX
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Old Dec 17, 2003, 9:25 AM   #8
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Yes, it sounds like you may have bad camera, perhaps with component breaking down when it gets hot, or drawing too much power. I'd try to get the camera swapped.

Good Luck!
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Old Jan 19, 2004, 6:07 AM   #9
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Hi,
I got my camera back from Minolta after having it on repair for a month. The firmware has been replaced.

The interesting thing is that I still get the problem described above, the camera locks up, the red light is continiously on on the front of the camera, the AF icon is flashing in the display, no menu buttons are working. If I turn the camera on and of it is still in the same state. But the difference is that if I press the shutter button a picture is now taken and the camera goes back to normal - not perfect but it is better than having to remove the battery to do a total reset each time.

I will now test it a bit to see if I can live with this problem or if I need to turn it in again.

/Bosse
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