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-   -   some practical questions for KM/Sony (

B1ue Jan 19, 2006 5:57 PM

Many of us are understandably concerned about KM dropping their photo business. I just received my 5D this week and so far it lives up to all the great reviews! I'm really impressed with the low light shots. But I'm considering returning it while I still can and getting a different brand. I'd like to get more information before I make a final decision.

I thought I'd start a thread for equipment and support questions. I'm sure there are issues I haven't even thought of yet. Here is a start:

1. Which KM cameras will Sony support and for how long?
2. Will support be from Sony techs, or are KM techs joining Sony?
3. How long will parts be available?
4. Will Sony continue to support KM's RAW format?

I hope others will contribute questions/answers here. Let's try to cover the practical stuff and keep the freak out to a minimum ;)

nooner Jan 19, 2006 7:17 PM

Only Sony can answer those questions not any of us.

Rambler358 Jan 19, 2006 8:09 PM

As stated above, only KM/Sony knows the answers for certain. Any future warranty issueswill likely be serviced by Sony.

My concern is a lack of firmware upgrades for existing KM models.

B1ue Jan 20, 2006 2:19 PM

I spoke with someone at the KM service center in NJ today. They said regular warranty repairs, and extended dealer warranty repairs, will continue to be handled by KM. They don't know if firmware upgrades will be released for the dSLRs or if Sony will continue to support KM's RAW format.

B1ue Jan 20, 2006 2:43 PM

Just got off the phone with the Sony support rep. He said they will only provide support for Sony branded products. Regarding current KM products, there is currently no plan for Sony to support the firmware, RAW format, etc. He just advised me to call KM. Looks like those of us with the 5D/7D probably have no upgrade options now.

mtclimber Jan 20, 2006 3:05 PM

It appears that the situation is getting mudier by the day. Thanks for the research B1ue.


djwittmier Jan 20, 2006 3:23 PM

Having beenunwillingly involved in a few of these corporate merger/takover situations (7 at last count), I can assure you that most Sony employees know as little as we do. Whatever agreements have been made by the higher powers won't trickle down to the rank-and-file workers (including middle management) for some time.Usually they (i.e. their service departments) won't know how they will be involved and what they will become responsible for until they are told to handle it. At this point they are dealing with rumors and speculation, just like the rest of us. Only time will tell.

B1ue Jan 20, 2006 3:25 PM

Hi MT,

As mentioned above, I'm still within my return period and trying to decide what to do. I'm really enjoying the 5D so far, great photos, very sturdy build. Low light performance is fantastic. The AS is great. I don't do this professionally, so I wanted a good, relatively inexpensive dSLR that I could grow with for the next 5 yrs+. In your work you deal with all the major manufacturers and lots of cams. What would you do in my shoes? Keep the cam? Or switch to something else? Don't mean to put you on the spot. I appreciate everybody's feedback but I'd really welcome the opinion of a pro like you. Thanks!


Mercury694 Jan 21, 2006 7:58 AM

On firmware, if the camera functions fine and the write speed to the media is good, there is little need for new firmware. It isn't like a PC where you will be throwing new tasks towards it in the future, it will always only take pictures. The RAW software we already own works fine with the 7d/5d, and if sony changes format on that, you'd have to buy a new body to utilise it. It does appear at this time that KM will still be making the bodies and lenses but marking them "Sony". (from what I read at I wouldn't sell your 5d, if you're happy with it- KM will honor the warranty.

My issue with Sony taking over is their whole business seems to be designed around getting premium prices for mediocre products. At least with Minolta, I felt I was getting a superior product at a premium price.

rjseeney Jan 21, 2006 8:23 AM

I wouldn't be concerned. I've owned several digicams (2 canons, 1 KM, 2 Nikons, and 3 sonys) and only one has received a firmware upgrade. Firmware upgrades do not happen all that often, and if there was serious problem with the firmware, I'm quite certain it would have been addressed. RAW support is already present for the 5 and 7d and will continue to be present. New cameras will probably use Sony's RAW format, but again that will not affect support of the 5d and 7d. In terms of service, the life cycle of most digicams will probably prevent parts from being available after a few years regardless of company, and you'll probably be buying a new digicam before your current one wears out.

I agree KM pulling out is sad, but this does present a great oppotunity to maybe get a great camera when prices start to drop.

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