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Old May 1, 2007, 4:34 PM   #1
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Hello all

Apologies for posting this here but no one seems to have any ideas in the Minolta section.

The other week I managed to drop and kill my beloved Z3. As I've run Minolta cameras all my life I didn't want to quit early due to my own stupidity and so managed to source a new Z6. However, there was what appears to be a polarization problem with the display. I googled the problem and couldn't find any reference so I contacted the seller and he immediately exchanged it for a new one - which is just the same.

I have dropped a line to Konica support as I don't want to keep going back to the seller if I can help it. Below is what I sent to Konica;-


On looking through the viewfinder, in natural, bright light conditions, a pinkish purple cast can be seen. The intensity of the cast changes according to where the camera points (being most apparent the more the sky is on screen - if two thirds of a view is sky, it can become difficult to discern any detail in the remaining third of the screen as the discolouration becomes very strong though this is probably just a shutter stop issue). At the same time, any strong vertical features in view generate vertical artifices - effectively putting stripes on the image. If I rotate the camera to portrait viewpoint, the artifices rotate as well becoming horizontal though the objects that cause the artifices change.

On depressing the shutter far enough to allow the lens to focus, the discolouration and most of the artifices disappear. I have been unable to check many pictures for quality on the computer as my USB ports are currently dead but what I did manage to check seemed OK (better than the on screen view) though one was slightly pinkish but that may have been coincidence.

I have also noticed that the effect becomes increasingly strong the wider the angle of the lens - at high zoom, it is not noticeable at all. On discovering this, I contacted the supplier who immediately sent a replacement - which behaves in exactly the same way.

I couldn't manage to photograph the lcd so below I've tried to mock up how the LCD looks as best as I can - not spot on but it indicates how detrimental the effect is to the business of taking pictures!

If anyone knows anything about this - maybe it is just me that is defective (!)- I'd appreciate it.
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Old May 2, 2007, 7:18 AM   #2
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The discoloration could be partly from the auto white balance trying to make sense of what it's seeing; as it changes its settings, you see a color cast come and go (and/or change). I see that with my Z1 sometimes. The color cast can vary in intensity as the camera adjusts exposure settings, too. Try selecting a specific white balance setting (like sunny or cloudy, depending on conditions outside), and see if the color cast goes away.

As for the vertical dark bands, I haven't seen that, but I do get vertical bright lines occasionally. These only appear in the viewfinder, not on pictures. No idea what causes them, but since they're just narrow stripes, I just live with 'em.

What mode do you have the camera in when you see this? (Or does it happen in any mode you select?) Try fiddling with some settings--aperture, shutter speed, ISO--and see if anything changes. Not that this would help me solve your problem--I don't know how--but it might give us a little insight into what's causing it.
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Old May 7, 2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I've mucked around with the basic settings but it makes no difference. It is far too strong to be designed that way - neither my crappy Olympus nor the Z3 ever did anything like it.

Note - nothing actually appears on pictures afaik. And it looks fine when the camera has been focused. This effect is only seen in the screens and when the shutter is not partially depressed.

It isn't an effect you'd want to live with!

I'll try the helpline again tomorrow.

Regards...Rolf
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Old May 8, 2007, 2:39 PM   #4
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Does this affect both the viewfinder and the LCD? If affects both I'd suspect the video driver hardware. If it affects only one then it is that display. Affects both the display and the photos then the sensor.
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Old May 8, 2007, 3:23 PM   #5
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It affects both - though both are lcds. It was the same on the other camera. Photos are ok.

Not heard anything back from Konica still though I've been a bit busy and knackered in the evening to want to try a call. The vendor has no more stock so I'm hoping that the manufacturer can be a bit more useful!
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Old May 8, 2007, 3:36 PM   #6
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If it affects both displays I'd think it would be the "video card" rather than something with the sensor and/or the image processor.Playing with white balance etc. wouldn't have any affect as you've found.


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Old May 8, 2007, 3:50 PM   #7
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How odd would it be then to affect two cameras from the same shop (ie is this sort of problem common)?

What I don't get is how this works - I'd have thought that an inability to polarize would be some sort of optical problem. It seems odd (to my fairly ignorant self) that a software problem would do it.
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Old May 8, 2007, 4:30 PM   #8
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Actually I think it is likely a hardware problem with the chipset that drives the display although it's conceivable that it's firmware.You might checkKonica/Minolta's web site to see if therea firmware update available and see what its supposed to fix.

Yes, it seems a bit strange to have identical problems on two cameras and not have anybody aware of it on the Minolta forum.
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Old Jul 2, 2007, 2:19 PM   #9
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Update!

Thanks for the feedback. I have now sent the camera to Minoltas choice of repairer and the following followed!

First of all I got a letter saying the ccd needed to be replaced and that would cost me about £130! I rang the company and explained the camera was new only to repeatedly be told that as the Z6 was not on the ccd recall list, I'd have to pay for it!

Eventually, I did manage to speak to someone with more knowledge and he told me that (of course) I was correct and that as proof of purchase had been supplied I wouldn't have to pay.

However......

He also said that they are meant to be like this (ie as described in my first post!). If so I am surprised that nobody else on this forum said that the cameras are supposed to have a dreadful ccd that goes purple in sunlight. I've done everything I could - described the problem in detail, even posed the idea on two occasions that they were meant to be like this, and I was still told to send the camera in. I have checked all the reviews I can find online (including one 12 page one) and can find no mention of this colour aberration. Neither can I find it in any of Minoltas own publicity shots.

It seems bizarre to me that anyone could seriously suggest that a company such as Minolta would produce a final camera of such poor quality - for me the camera is not fit for purpose.

The chap at the repair place did say they'd discuss it with Sony though that just puts me in the middle of 3 companies! Any confirmations one way or the other as to the accuracy of the verdict on the cameras ccd would be much appreciated.

Taaaaa......Rolf
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Old Jul 13, 2007, 12:15 PM   #10
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Come on! Please help!

Just spoken again to the repairer who has said they compared my camera to the Z5 and Z3 as well as other Z6s. In the case of the Z5 and Z6 they said the purple tinge was the same and as it was meant to be (lcd rather than ccd) - they said the Z6 should some evidence of the problem but rather less (though I never noticed it on mine). They say that this effect is common on many digital cameras though I've yet to see it anywhere else.

So they can't really repair it (though if it is meant to be like that, how come no-one on this forum has reported it?) so they dumped me back on Minolta support. Where I spoke to an obnoxious bloke who made the company come across like a cowboy organisation ("we don't do cameras any more, it's your problem, we aren't going to help etc"). Basically, all they say is return it to the seller. But that means more costs both for me and the seller - when it was Minoltas advice in the first place that made me send it to the repair company (JP Services) rather than returning it.

I've had nearly quarter of a century of quality from Minolta and they go and spoil it right at the end.
Sony

I really would appreciate some suggestions here.
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