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Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-08-2014
Message 1 of 4 (5,422 Views)

Firmware update problems with Sony alpha series cameras and the RX series

I'm not looking for tips or advice, simply solidarity and an indication of support for a Sony camera user community group effort to get better service from the company, and better software, at least for Mac users.

It's no secret that many of the firmware updaters for alpha cameras (e.g., ILCE-6000, ILCE-7, ILCE-7R) simply do not work on Yosemite (Mac OS X 10.10.x). Sony finally got around actually to tell people on their support site who were about to download this firmware update, as of the past 45 days, it doesn't work on 10.10.

I have a tip. It doesn't work well, certainly not reliably, especially on later model Macs, which run natively in 64-bit mode (and the latest models cannot be forced to run in any other mode), if you use any version of Mac OS X after 10.7 (and some people report problems even with that). I dug up a 2009 vintage Mac Mini and degraded the operating system to 10.6.8 (the last version of that series), simply to be able to use Sony's badly conceived updater software.

I'll digress for a moment to point out as others have that major competitors of Sony, with equally good cameras, and probably no better experience at writing software (some of them also produce printers or computers, some not) have managed to find ways to update firmware on their cameras, completely reliably, safely, and with no problems, regardless of computer hardware or operating system, by the simple expedient of putting the update programming in the camera, in every camera, from point-and-shoot to professional DSLR. I know, because I have used Canon digital cameras for 12 years. All you need is cleanly formatted flash memory card suitable to that camera, and sufficient battery life to run the camera safely during the update. Sony, of course, requires connecting the camera physically to your computer, and running the updater app through the computer CPU (introducing a variety of variables that make the operation riskier and more complicated).


I have so far had experiences, almost all of them bad, trying to update brand new alpha NEX-6, alpha a6000, alpha a7R, and the Cybershot series RX100MkIII. The last camera was beyond redemption by me, who has patiently dealt with the strange problems computers present for over 30 years. I don't lose my cool, but try alternatives and workarounds. I retrieved the NEX-6 and the a6000 from the seeming dead of brickdom. I was defeated only by the RX100MkIII, which required that I return the inert camera to the Sony support depot in Laredo TX (at a personal expense of 80 dollars to send it overnight to them to reduce the turnaround time). The fix in the latter case must have been minor, because they set the camera right, updated the firmware and returned it the day they received (and, no, they don't send it back by overnight delivery...). Only the alpha a7R presented no problems.


It did get unnecessarily hairy with the NEX-6 and its successor model, the a6000. Both of these resulted in a repeated "abort" message from Sony with each attempt, until, groping in the dark (because Sony, in their wisdom, blank the camera screen during the update operation—all the information you get is on the desktop screen, and if the updater aborts, there is no information).


Sony, I believe, must do something to change their camera/software interface design strategy to make it more reliable, less difficult for the consumer, and more straightforward and informative.

I'd be very interested in seeing if there's interest in doing more than griping (here, or on fan boards, or to the Sony customer support line, which is totally useless endeavor—the salaried people on the other end would lose their jobs if they merely expressed sympathy, never mind concurrence with the inadequacy of how Sony has planned this aspect of product support). Cameras are designed and marketed to be very good, but not perfect (or they'd never make it to market), which is why responsible manufacturers issue periodic firmware updates during the viable marketing life of the camera. This makes safe and substantive firmware updates vital to customers spending sometimes thousands of dollars on this equipment—never mind the fact that sometimes their livelihood depends on its reliable operation.


Does anyone have any good ideas on how to get Sony to sit up and take notice and actually do something about this? Assuming there is anyone out there who agrees with me. Thanks for reading.

Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-10-2014
Message 2 of 4 (5,386 Views)

Re: Firmware update problems with Sony alpha series cameras and the RX series

I can't believe how ****** sony softwares are on OSX

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-27-2014
Message 3 of 4 (5,290 Views)

Re: Firmware update problems with Sony alpha series cameras and the RX series

[ Edited ]

Sony - I love the a6000... BUT... if I can't update the software to use the advertised features (Wifi->iPhone) it's going back.


I'm running Yosemite on my Mac... Not supporting a major OS is a huge problem.


I'm not going to buy another computer... or deal with dual booting.. or downgrade my OS... or go to a friend and ask them to update the firmware for me...


What gives with not being prepared for this?


This update should have been out within weeks of the problem being identified...   or, better yet, have better relationships with OS providers to keep software compatible.


The devices are going to be judged on the overall usability - not just on the features of the camera device itself.  


If something is great on one front, but a PITA on another, it'll get dropped..


Please, add support for the firmware updater for Alpha 6000 for Yosemite ASAP.

Posts: 15
Registered: ‎01-16-2015
Message 4 of 4 (5,098 Views)

Re: Firmware update problems with Sony alpha series cameras and the RX series

I wholeheartly agree. Not only the support is lacking but phone techs don't seem to acknowledge that Sony is slow to support Yosemite. Won't boor you with details but I did get my a6000 firmware updated to 1.1. Why Sony doesn't simply allow download to a memory card and then use that card to update camera firmware I don't know. I moved over from Nikon and that's how Nikon does it.


I want to use the camera apps but am unable to do so. It seems a SonyEntertainmentNetwork account can't be created with Yosemite. Sure would help if phone techs or Sony site, or here (!) would alert users. Explaination as to how to download these apps is non existent. My guess is create a SEN account, go to Playmemoriescameraapps site and login, then attach camera, and then I quess camera is registered and one can then download over wifi camera apps.


I can't do any of the above because cannot login SEN with yosemite.  


Or and the "Send to Smartphone" on a6000  via Playmemories iPhone app worked a month ago when phone tech told me to turn off Bluetooth on phone (can't find that info anywhere in manual) but now no longer works.....don't know why....

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