Sony RX10 Problems

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Gordale Scar, The Yorkshire Dales. Three image stitch with the Sony RX10.
Gordale Scar, The Yorkshire Dales. Three image stitch with the Sony RX10.

I have owned my Sony RX10 for a little over three years, purchasing it as soon as they were launched. I had a couple of initial teething issues; the lettering around the front of the lens reflected onto my filters, the focus wasn’t quite right and the Stabilisation wasn’t very good. Other than that, it’s been a very useful camera and one that I enjoy using a lot.

In August last year I went to France to visit my daughter, taking the RX10 along. All appeared fine until I noticed on some of the images that they were a little soft along one edge. That’s when I checked the front of the lens and to my horror I could see traces of fungus inside. This was faint at the time and wasn’t sufficient to cause the softness, although that’s what triggered my noticing the problem.

On returning to the UK I made some enquiries with the “legendary” Sony Support (legendary for all the wrong reasons). I didn’t hold out much hope of help given my past experience and unfortunately, they didn’t disappoint. The response was “your equipment’s out of warranty so there is nothing we can do”. Despite my protest that a camera of this age which is well treated and stored with care should not have a problem, they just didn’t want to know other than saying they could me find a Sony repair centre.

Roll forward six months. I had tried to live with the fungus problem, not expecting it to get much worse; unfortunately, I was wrong and it had spread across the inside of the front element. I took the RX10 to Real Camera in Manchester who I have dealt with a number of times and asked if they could have their engineer take a look (if you are ever in the market for a used film camera or need repairs, Real Camera are highly recommended).

I have now received word back from the engineer and the problem is indeed fungus on the inside of the lens. Worse still, it’s not possible to clean the affected elements as the problem is inside a sealed unit where the elements are cemented in place. This means the replacement of that particular lens group. I have authorised the work as it’s still a cost-effective repair but it raises an important question, how did fungus get inside a sealed unit? I have only two possible answers in my head:

  1. The fungus was introduced during assembly which would bring into question the manufacturing.
  2. The unit wasn’t properly sealed, which also brings into question the manufacturing.

In showing no interest in my problem, Sony have, to my mind missed the opportunity to identify and correct an issue. Ultimately, I feel Sony are showing contempt for their future customers by not investigating a problem which (I hope) is unusual.

Whilst I love the results from my Sony gear, this attitude will cost them in the future. I already refuse to use Sony lenses with my A7R as I have never had one that’s sharp into the corner. All have been bitingly sharp in the centre but this makes the edges and corners worse.

I have only one thing to say; Sony, you need to wake up and put customer service first.

6 thoughts on “Sony RX10 Problems

    Kalai Selvam said:
    February 16, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Sorry to hear about yr problem with RX10. I am RX10 user too for last 3 yrs. Its my main camera for photography & video. No fungus issues so far. But my camera’s OS hang up sometime. All buttons stop responding & I need to power off & on again. Not so often but happen when busy shooting. Not bothered to contact Sony Malaysia as I cant prove or make it happen at service centre.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      February 16, 2017 at 7:42 am

      I recognise the problem you’re having. It affects my A7R when the weather turns cold. ☹️

    Chris Whear said:
    February 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Hi, although from what you say I don’t imagine Sony will change their stance on the problem I hope you have informed Sony of the report back from the engineer. I had an issue with a Canon branded wrist strap on my 5D. Unknown to me the lug where it attached to the tripod screw via a hefty plastic plate had no reinforcement inside and after about 2 years of careful use snapped and caused me to drop the camera causing damage to body and 24-70 L series which then made horrendous noises and wouldn’t focus. I sent it to Canon and complained vociferously that this was totally their fault. They said they had never had an issue with the strap and that nothing was wrong with it or the design and manufacture. Repairs were estimated at £400 and the best they would offer was £50 off which after much protesting they increased to £100 but because I had said I would go to the photographic press then wanted me to sign a waiver that I wouldn’t! More complaining and a refusal to do this got the discount but no more and the whole saga took 12 weeks to resolve.

      thelightweightphotographer responded:
      February 16, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      That sounds like a terrible experience also. I doubt the Sony customer service is any worse than any other large organisation but I have never yet had a good exchange. I now buy most of my new kit through Wex (as well as some used equipment). They have always provided me with excellent support.

    Hans said:
    February 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Bad news, I love the rx10

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