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Sean Reid
04-06-2005, 05:49
I'm scheduled to have a teleconference with Phil Amato (Epson product manager) today at 1:00. In addition to some technical questions we're planning to discuss, I planned to raise the following:

1. Firmware revision for camera to retain histogram review setting even when powered off or going into sleep mode

2. Hot pixels

3. Viewfinder alignment issues

4. RF adjustments out

5. Having a repair/adjustment supplier for cameras as needed instead of replacing them. I'm suggesting Stephen Gandy and DAG.

Anything else Epson should know about?

Cheers,

Sean

rover
04-06-2005, 06:04
Thanks for the update Sean. I may be wrong, but there seems to be a spike in customer complaints regarding the new products coming out of Cosina. The R-D1, new Voigtlander cameras and lenses, and the delays in the supply of the ZI stuff. I assume that they have a capacity issue which may be effecting quality. I wonder if Epson would discuss any "speed bumps" they may have experienced in the manufacturing process.

Of interest, at the Photo Plus Expo in NYC the Epson Rep demonstrating the R-D1 did mention to Huck Finn and I that there was a set production schedule for the R-D1 which he felt may result in a backorder problem, again pointing to a capacity issue.

jlw
04-06-2005, 06:26
Three things from me:

-- I'd like to know if there's any chance Epson will get to parity between the Windows and Mac software bundles. As a high-volume shooter and Mac user, I find it really inconvenient that I don't have access to the batch-conversion utility for Epson raw files.

-- Performance of auto white balance seems erratic under tungsten light (and maybe other conditions; I haven't used auto white balance very much.)

-- US tech support (online and phone) for the R-D 1 seems somewhat lacking in depth. The few times I've called, phone-support people don't seem to know much about the camera, and the online info is sparse.

I suspect that the white balance issue and possibly some of the hot-pixels issues (e.g. hot pixels only at high ISOs and/or JPEG but not raw) might be fixable via a firmware update, but wonder if Epson is really pushing R-D1 development aggressively or just saying, "Oh, why bother, it's a limited-production camera..."?

Sean Reid
04-06-2005, 06:55
I've added the above (both posts) to my list.

Thanks,

Sean

driggett
04-06-2005, 07:59
Sean,
I would add,
1) raw+jpeg mode like Nikon has.
2) If they are not going to service htem how about a field service manual that owners could purchase.

Thanks,
Chris

chametzoo
04-06-2005, 08:40
Sean...good luck with the conference. I posted to 'driggett's' thread ("Talked with Epson's Advanced Product Support - APS") yesterday with my own first hand experiences with the R-D1. The experience was unfortunately plagued with difficulty. 2 bodies with serious near range focus problems on a number of M lenses and finally a refund from Epson. Good folks over there, but they seem to be rather impotent at this point as far as solutions are concerned. I'm glad you're pushing them on this. The news about DAG having success with straigtening out some of these problem cameras is encouraging. I'm even considering giving a 3rd body a try if I feel confident enough about DAG's role and what you discover in your conference. Here is a post at Photo.net where some of my issues are summarized:

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a...g?msg_id=00AsvB

I know you'll be reporting to them on a number of things, but see what you can find out about what they are learning about this problem. Have they developed any solid leads as to what the focusing problems are about? The photo forums are abound with theories...it would be great if they were able to start to have some indication of the problem and solutions.

Thanks! We'll all be waiting to hear what they have to say....Michael

wlewisiii
04-06-2005, 08:50
Sean,
It's good that you're doing this with them. This kind of feedback, if they are willing to listen to it, is invaluable to a company trying to carve out a niche like this one.

But for me, unless sales are such that they can justify an "entry level" model, I doubt I'm going to be getting one anytime soon. The camera company catch-22: I can't afford it but unless enough people do they can't afford a cheaper one... :(

One other thing I've heard mentioned in passing is that the viewfinder is limited in what lenses can be used without an external finder due to the magnification of the VF and the sensor size. Is there any thought being given to a lower magnification finder version being made?

Thanks,

William

jlw
04-06-2005, 09:01
I think it's great that Sean is doing this, and I hope he'll report back to us what he finds out.

For those of us who have posted concerns, though, let's not be too disappointed if we don't get all the comprehensive answers we'd like.

Sean is going to be speaking to Epson USA's R-D 1 product manager, and (speaking as someone who works for a large consumer products corporation) I can tell you that in general, while it's a product manager's job to know everything about the marketing of the product (including its features, capabilities, etc.), and while product managers usually know a lot of technical info about the product's development, and monitor product complaints at least in summary form -- the in-depth R&D details are usually not totally that person's department.

In other words, he probably won't be able to tell Sean things along the lines of, "The RF accuracy problems are caused by an out-of-tolerance compensation cam rubbing on the ribbon connector to the circuit board of the fresnic freen modulator, but you can fix it yourself by sticking a #00 dental explorer tool into the coupling arm slot and applying 3.7 centimeter-grams of torque to the eccentric pin" or "The secret bad-pixel-mapping function can be engaged by powering the camera on, turning the jog knob exactly 17-1/2 turns counterclockwise, then pressing down the white balance lever while releasing the shutter."

Or, even if he does know stuff like that, he's probably not allowed to tell...

Sean Reid
04-06-2005, 09:03
I've just made notes summarizing the points above and will raise as many of them with Epson as I can.

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
04-06-2005, 09:45
Hi, Sean -

I came across an article on another website that talked about camera-lens compatibility, by which the author means that every time you test a lens, you are not just testing the lens, but you are also testing to what degree you will achieve optimal performance on a particular camera body.

Since Epson is an electronics company & not a photography company, I doubt that they will have much to say about this - especially since their primary goal is to sell cameras & represent this camera with capable with any M-mount lens you can think of . . . & Ltm for that matter as well.

However, they may just have some insights either from their own R&D or from Cosina's about optimal lens matches for this camera.

skimmel
04-06-2005, 10:08
Hi, Sean -

I came across an article on another website that talked about camera-lens compatibility, by which the author means that every time you test a lens, you are not just testing the lens, but you are also testing to what degree you will achieve optimal performance on a particular camera body.

Very interesting Huck. Would you happen to have the link to that article?

Thanks.

Sean Reid
04-06-2005, 11:27
OK, just finished the Epson conference.

1. Epson doesn't have plans to upgrade the firmware in the camera right now but will be reconsidering this so that changes could potentially be made with respect to: RAW + JPEG simultaneous recording, WB, hot pixel mapping, and preserving the review mode setting even when the camera goes to sleep mode or is powered off. So they're willing to look into this further and will be.

2. Repairs and Adjustments: Epson will look into possibly working with a professional service (such as DAG and/or CameraQuest) to make adjustments to the cameras when needed (rather than replacing them). I've made them aware of the three main defects that people are experiencing: RF out of adjustment, finders being tilted and hot pixels.

3. Epson has become aware of this RFF R-D1 forum and may be looking in on it from time to time.

4. Mr. Amato will request that the software department look into developing a Macintosh version of PhotoRAW.

5. <G> Epson will finally send me my welcome gifts. <G>

6. Epson is aware that there needs to be expanded training of their customer service folks so that they are more knowledgeable about the R-D1. They'll be working on improving that situation.

7. Epson will be working with PhaseOne to develop support for the R-D1.

I covered as much as I could in the time we had.

Cheers,

Sean

jlw
04-06-2005, 11:32
Good job, Sean! Sounds like mostly positive answers, at least in the sense of their willingness to contemplate the possibility of change.

Sean Reid
04-06-2005, 11:35
That was my feeling. Phil Amato seems genuinely interested in doing the right things with this camera.

Cheers,

Sean

Huck Finn
04-06-2005, 12:45
Very interesting Huck. Would you happen to have the link to that article?

Thanks.

I'm sorry, skimmel. I've looked, but I can't find it. :bang: The authors point was that when you are testing a lens, you are also testing the camera & that the same lens will perform differently on different camera bodies.

Huck

skimmel
04-07-2005, 07:43
I'm sorry, skimmel. I've looked, but I can't find it. :bang: The authors point was that when you are testing a lens, you are also testing the camera & that the same lens will perform differently on different camera bodies.

Huck

No problem Huck. Thanks so much for looking!