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Old Jun 8, 2011, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Problem with Sony Alpha 200 - advice please

Hi,

I've had a Sony Alpha 200 for a few years now but dropped it from about a metre at the weekend onto tarmac. The lens UV filter took the impact and the camera outwardly looks fine.

Now, almost every time I turn the camera on, I hear (and feel) a whirring from the camera that lasts approx 1-1.5 seconds. Afterwards, the camera appears to work fine as it focuses and takes pictures OK although I think it can't focus as well as it used to for macro shots.

If I was to guess at the noise, I'd say it sounded like a stepper motor seeking a zero position at power up and not finding it.

Any ideas what it might be? Does this sound like an expensive repair?

Thanks in advance,
DNK
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Old Jun 8, 2011, 4:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnksony_steb View Post

Now, almost every time I turn the camera on, I hear (and feel) a whirring from the camera that lasts approx 1-1.5 seconds. Afterwards, the camera appears to work fine as it focuses and takes pictures OK although I think it can't focus as well as it used to for macro shots.

If I was to guess at the noise, I'd say it sounded like a stepper motor seeking a zero position at power up and not finding it.
Welcome to the forum.

A whirring noise would suggest that it comes from the focus motor.
I don't know much about the Sony Alpha system, but I would suggest
you check the lens and the camera lens mount for any sign of damage.

Have you got another lens you could try? This would help you to
isolate the problem to either the camera or the lens.


Quote:
Any ideas what it might be? Does this sound like an expensive repair?
Unfortunately, a repair shop will probably charge something close to
the value of the camera. If the problem is confined to the lens, you
should be able to pick up a used Sony 18-70mm fairly cheaply. It would
probably be cheaper than getting a broken one fixed. There are several
on eBay at the moment with low starting prices and very little bidder
interest.

Try to determine whether the image stabiliser is working properly.
A few shots of some printed text on the other side of the room
should show up any IS problems.
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Old Jun 8, 2011, 4:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by corkpix View Post
Welcome to the forum.

A whirring noise would suggest that it comes from the focus motor.
I don't know much about the Sony Alpha system, but I would suggest
you check the lens and the camera lens mount for any sign of damage.

Have you got another lens you could try? This would help you to
isolate the problem to either the camera or the lens.


Unfortunately, a repair shop will probably charge something close to
the value of the camera. If the problem is confined to the lens, you
should be able to pick up a used Sony 18-70mm fairly cheaply. It would
probably be cheaper than getting a broken one fixed. There are several
on eBay at the moment with low starting prices and very little bidder
interest.

Try to determine whether the image stabiliser is working properly.
A few shots of some printed text on the other side of the room
should show up any IS problems.
Hi,

Thanks for the reply. I should have added that, even if I remove the lens, when I switch the camera on, I hear the same noise so I don't think it is any damage to the lens itself. As you say, it's probably a motor internal to the camera.

I'll contact a few local camera repair shops to see what the price might be but you've sort of confirmed my fears that a repair might be as much as buying a new camera. Typical, as I go on holiday in a month or so with it.

Thanks again,
DNK
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Old Jun 8, 2011, 5:48 PM   #4
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Does your A200 make the same noise with other lenses? ... with no lens attached?

Since the filter (and lens) took the hit, it could be the lens that's damaged, but a damaged sensor shift image stabilization system could make the same noise. How are the photos?
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 3:35 PM   #5
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Does your A200 make the same noise with other lenses? ... with no lens attached?

Since the filter (and lens) took the hit, it could be the lens that's damaged, but a damaged sensor shift image stabilization system could make the same noise. How are the photos?
Hi,

Yes, the camera makes the same noise with the lens detached. The photos seem fine although not tried a lot of low light shots.

Thanks,
DNK
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 3:43 PM   #6
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Are you sure that it sounds different after the drop?

It's normal for your camera to take around 1.5 seconds to start up, and you'll hear some noise from the camera setting focus to infinity, plus some noise from the camera initializing the Anti-Shake System.
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Old Jun 9, 2011, 9:07 PM   #7
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yes, it's definitely the SSS.
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 1:07 PM   #8
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One thing you quickly learn about this forum: This is no shortage of conflicting expert opinions.
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 4:52 PM   #9
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Default Noise

Hi,

I can't say I noticed the sound before so I definitely think it is new. As I said, the noise happens with the lens removed so I think it is OK.

The camera doesn't always make the noise at power on but it does so perhaps 8 times out of 10.

Is there a diagnostic mode / tool for this camera? For example, if I hold down some button combination at power on, will it self test or report fault codes from, say, a failed motor initialisation?

Also, what is 'SSS' - is that the image stabilisation?

Streets: you appear to have this camera - can you say if you get any motor noise at power up that lasts a full second or so?

Thanks in advance,
DNK
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Old Jun 12, 2011, 7:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnksony_steb View Post
Also, what is 'SSS' - is that the image stabilisation?
Yes. It stands for SuperSteadyShot. Unlike in Canon and Nikon dSLRs, in Sony's dSLRs adn SLTs, the image sensor is mounted in a moveable frame that moves it around to compensate for camera shake.

Unfortunately, this frame is fragile. Replacing it is costly.
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