i was in the process to buy a DF, i'm afraid now... MLU is my way of shooting !
i was in the process to buy a DF, i'm afraid now... MLU is my way of shooting !
With all due respect, this hardly seems arbitrary. It's good to know that Phase is on it, but I can't find much info on the new DF camera. In comparing technology, what is different in terms of electronics other than the obvious, that affects MFD so much more than 35mm DSLR?
Personally, I'm convinced it is a power issue of some sort that triggers the glitch. In retrospect, having owned the original 645AF nearly ten years ago, the AFD, and Phase 645AF, if offered the choice of transitioning up to the Phase 645DF (in light of the MLU issue), I'd still do it in a heartbeat. It is a better camera in every respect over its predecessors, room for improvements noted.
"Arbitrary," as used here, means "existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance." With all due respect, that seems exactly what it is. If it weren't arbirtary, it would have an identified cause, and would likely be fixed by now.
Stephen, IMO, this seems to be a pattern based on posts here and other forums. It would appear that the only "chance" aspect of this, is if the camera will work 100%
If this problem was "arbitrary" and purely based on chance, due to an undetected software glitch, I would expect it to affect all DF cameras somewhat equally. The fact that some users are having no or minimal problems, compared to others having the problem much more frequently, suggests to me that there is more going on than just a software problem appearing randomly. If user A and user B both have the same firmware, use the same fresh batteries, clean their contacts, use the same lens & back, etc etc -- yet one camera never locks up and the other locks up every 10 to 20 exposures, it seems to me that this statistical difference is meaningful and is a result of more than simple chance. Why would some cameras be affected much more so than others, if the same software glitch is present in all the cameras?
I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that there is more at play here. And as a frustrated DF user with a high lock-up rate, I wish that the auto industry lemon law also applied to expensive cameras.
Overall it does tempt me to switch from the DF system in it's entirety and just shoot with a technical camera and another M9/D3s or D3x system instead. Sad but true, especially since I really really like the LS glass I've been shooting.
For what I mainly shoot the M9/Alpa pretty much covers everything with the exception of occasional wildlife.
Last edited by GrahamWelland; 6th October 2011 at 19:41.
For a great pic, take the cog railroad up Mt. Washington. Or if you're bold, drive the auto road up, but don't look down when you have to pull over to let another car pass, no guardrails and 6000 feet up! Yikes! Enjoy your trip, I'm sure Phase will take care of your DF, just drive the rep up the auto road for some negotiating.
I just got done shooting two weeks in the U.S Southwest, and I had the problem described here every other day. I'm using Mup w/cable release exclusively.
Called Doug Peterson and he is going to upgrade the body firmware as it is currently at 1.21. Of course I absolutely need this update. However, after reading this thread it seems like there may be more fixes to come. I was instructed to removed the battery pack and reinsert. I tried that, but since it doesn't happen all the time I'm not sure what difference that made.
At the end of the day, I was always able to resolve the issue, sometimes in seconds, and at the worst a minute or so.
Anyway, bring on the new body - one as well-thought out as the IQ series backs. (but still $5k right - let's not get carried away)
Just reporting back on my recent experience regarding this issue. I'd previously had quite a few instances of the mirror getting stuck in a lock-up position with the camera body being unresponsive. This happened first on my P65+ and more recently on my IQ180 / 645DF. At Guy's suggestion, I then switched from Eneloop batteries to Imedion 2400mAh batteries. I also upgraded my body and back firmware to the latest versions, which for the body is now v1.25 and for the back is v1.47. I then went to photograph Fall color in NY's Adirondacks.
Maybe it's just a coincidence, but 400+ photos later, all taken with timer and mirror lock-up, and I did not have the camera freeze up once. Fingers crossed, hopefully it stays "fixed" but maybe I just got lucky, and now I've probably jinxed myself!
You probably did . LOL
Well that is good news though and lets hope it holds . BTW I do like these batteries anyway so it is a good buy regardless.
The battery issue should cause Phase to take note. It would seem that if the voltage drops below a certain point, the same experience will continue. Personally, I would be quite annoyed (#*!!!), if I spent these ridiculous amounts for a Phase camera/DB and praised it for not breaking after 400 captures!
FTR, Phase is REALLY CLEAR that if using rechargeable AA's, you need to use ones with at least 2400 mAh capacity, and I have followed that recommendation -- might explain why I've been luckier than others with this issue.
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
It's been about a month since my original post. Thanks to all who've offered suggestions. I just got my body updated to firmware 1.25 yesterday. Unfotunately, I hasn't fixed the problem for me. I did make it through over 100 activations, but then it locked up and I had to do the battery dance to unlock it.
I'm already using the recommended batteries, and all were fully charged at the time. I'm eagerly waiting information about the next firmware update that is supposed to address the issue.
I haven't used my DF for a few weeks as i mainly use my Alpa but my body & IQ with the same versions as you also still crashes. I had three lock ups on Monday in 150 shots.
I had an opportunity to discuss the mirror lock up issue last week with Claus Molgaard, Vice President of Research and Development at Phase One. He assured me that they are working on a fix, which he said should happen before the end of the year. His explanation of why they think it happens is interesting. He claims they have determined that it is timing problem, related to the sleep mode of the back. If (when in mirror up mode) the shutter is released just at the moment the back is going to sleep, it will lock up. He thinks it may be that the shooting style of some users makes the problem more or less obvious. In other words, if you happen to press the shutter release lightly before actually making an exposure, you would be preventing the back from going to sleep before actually releasing the shutter, thus avoiding the bad timing scenario that triggers the lock up. If you shoot without first lightly depressing the shutter release, you run the risk of coincidentally pressing the shutter release at precisely the moment the back is going to sleep, which is what causes the problem. I haven't tried out this theory yet, but I hope he is correct.
He also said battery amperage has nothing to do with the problem, although using depleted batteries may exacerbate the situation. Also, he mentioned that they will be coming out with a rechargeable battery pack as an option for use instead of the AA batteries.
I'm curious if those who have minimal lock up problems tend to routinely wake up the back with a light depression before firing the shutter? I know I usually don't, so I'm hopeful that adopting this habit will help until they fully resolve the issue.
Last edited by multigary; 3rd November 2011 at 19:12.
While I won't disagree this can "cause" it, there is something else going on. I've had the the problem on the 2nd or later shot of a bracket several times. Very maddening because to get it fixed, something is bound to change too far so you have to shoot the entire bracket over. Back is certainly not trying to go to sleep.
And despite what he says about the battery, I just spent 2 weeks shooting on Maui, with fresh energizer ultimate Lithium batteries, and this only happened once (which could have been from the sleep issue). Since I've started using the ultimate Lithiums the problem has been extremely rare. So maybe the batteries have eliminated the causes down to the one he describes, but in my case the batteries definitely are involved.
I agree with with Wayne that the batteries (power) are involved or at least a factor. I don't use rechargeables in my DF. I just have to remind myself not to be a too cheap of an SOB and monitor and replace my Energizer Lithium AAs instead of just running them into the ground... Knock on wood---hasn't happened again since the first/only time.
I'm glad to hear a fix is expected soon. Frankly, I'm skeptical that the batteries are much of a factor - if at all. The mAh rating just specifies how long the battery will last, and the battery type (chemistry) dertermines the voltage. It appears that people using all sorts of batteries have had the issue, and there's not a battery type/brand that's used many people who've never had the problem.
I do suspect that timing is part of the problem. I've noticed that I can rarely create the problem just shooting frames in the studio to check it out. But, when I'm actually standing in front of a sunset taking real frames, it will lock up after somewhere between one to 20 activations. (Then I swear under my breath, do the battery dance, switch off MUP mode and continue shooting hoping that camera vibration won't ruin the image.)
Maybe the camera is devious enough that it knows when I'm taking an important picture and hangs up at just the right time. But, it's more likely that there something I do differently when I'm in the field shooting versus just triggering the camera. It could be the way I check the histogram, or simply my natural shooting cadence in the field.
Whatever it is, I'm curious to hear what actually causes the problem, and very eager to get it fixed.
On a more serious note, I too find that the lockup doesn't seem to be related only to sensor wake up. I changed to Ken's Lithium battery recommendation and it seems to have reduced the frequency of lock ups although of course this might just be wishful thinking.
Battery voltage does drop as the battery is depleted, as well as the draw on the battery. I believe most battery indicators are based on the current output voltage. The lithium batteries made by Everready, while expensive have 3 times the capacity of alkaline and are affected much less by cold weather. I have had much better success with these, while having frequent problems before.
Yes, some posts stated that switching to Energizer Lithiums helped, while others have said that switching to Maha Imedion or Sanyo Eneloop (both low discharge NiMH batteries) helped. So far, I haven't heard anyone say "when I switched to XYZ battery the problem completely went away" which is why I'm skeptical.
I am curious about the V-Grip since it provides a completely different power supply. Is there anyone who has had the MUP problem, but it completely went away when they started using a V-Grip? Or, conversely, are there people using MUP and a V-Grip who are having the problem (which would indicate that it's not a cure)? It would certainly be interesting if there are no reports of the MUP problem when using a V-Grip.
The posts did cause me to revist my CF setup and I discovered that I had the alkaline battery type chosen instead of NiMH. The manual states that it only affects the charge indicator, but who knows. I also switched the sleep time from 15 to 30 seconds.
Certainly there is more than just the battery going on. Before switching the the Lithiums it happened about 2% of the time ... at least once in every 50 captures, sometimes more. Since switching it rarely happens (1 out of hundreds). When the Lithium's start to lose charge it seems to start happening, installing new batteries and problem is basically gone.
So I agree there is more to it than just the batteries, but I also know that for me, the Lithiums eliminate it to the point that it doesn't bother me.
As far as the v-grip not sure. I couldn't stand using the thing ...
You might also see
Seriously, I note Drew from Phase One in your posted link states, "...ultimately the error you reported is typically due to inadequate power from the back to the body and thus incorrect communication." (emphasis added).
It seems to me weak batteries, whether from run down AAs or rechargeables, will have lower output, and at some point, inadequate power leading to problems between the back and body. The V-grip with its two rechargeable 7.2 volt Li-ion batteries probably has quite a bit more capacity.... but I'll stick to my Energizer Lithiums (and keeping a few extra packs on hand).
So you guys just need to lug a 12V car battery and a set of jumper cables with you all the time and you should be good to go!
Yup just hook me up to the nuke.
I actually have a V grip coming Monday but not for this reason. Shooting a lot of fashion lately and it kills my hands flipping body over but I have arthritis in my hands so it's just easier on me after several hours of shooting. I'm not crazy about the ergos on it but it should help the pain.
Guy & All
It´s really amazing. There are people here who care for their gear, buy equipment in the 5 digit range to do the best possible photography and then run into this low voltage, low battery status because of non controlled load and powerstatus of the used batteries. (which are by far the cheapest part in this chain)
These batteries are made in China and are a mass production item. Their power output, load status and stability under consumption on low temperatures do differ, according to the life cycle and former usage (memory) of these batteries. And especially the most chargers are not properly working. I have answered this in a thread on LuLa
And I have offered a solution too. And ...obviously people don´t believe it.
This is not the fault of Phase One. And this has got nothing to do with a firmware upgrade. If anything Phase has failed is not telling People about the nature of these batteries and supplying this Hähnel charger which I think is crap. Again - no power - no proper function of an electronic device.
Period. If you want reliable operation make sure your power is there.
Using toy chargers is not professional. Learn from the video people.
take a look what they do. It´s maybe a bit overkill to buy Anton Bauer batteries and chargers, but please think about it !
Greetings from Munich
Stefan, while I do agree with you with regard to the Hahnel charger (it works but none too impressed---the lights stopped working on one of my charging bays---so "toy charger" description is not far off) the power output issue here seems to be more from the AAs that power the DF body, not the 7.2 volt rechargeable battery that powers the back. Perhaps the rechargeable pack that Gary mentions above would help address this issue. Then one needs only to look for a better replacement for the Hahnel charger. Until then, the Energizer Lithium AAs to power the DF body work fine for me.
I know that in a previous thread Guy mentioned using the Pearstone charger, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...arger_for.html
I know you have found a better solution/alternative as well for the Hcam. Would you mind sharing a better description of your charger, pricing and ordering information?
yes I know, this is about the body, but I suspect this is a connected system and both batteries somehow throwing differing voltages at this system cause these hickups.
There are some pretty good Chargers for Lithium Mignon Batteries - I use an Ansmann which also does cycle the batteries.(there are pretty good chargers used in the model car and plane scene (in Germany you can take a look at the Conrad catalogue, I´m sure in the US something similar exists) I would also advice anybody to take at least one or two sets of high grade Batteries (non rechargeable) with them as a backup as these have higher voltages anyway which may be essential especially on very low temperatures. The Phase vertical dual battery grip is also a solution.
If anyone is interested about our charger, I am working on a website upgrade to put this online. We can already deliver this in Europe and also directly from the US (we have a cooperation with this American Maker), we can do all combinations 4x low voltage (standard Phase Battery) or 1-4 high voltage slots mixed with the low voltage. We can also attach directly powered Firewire 800 and USB3 hubs to the charger (=optionally, will still determine about pricing), we even think about putting a buffer battery on it for use off any powerlines.
The actual version is 595,-€ in Europe, if we sell this directly in the US we can sell this for 650 $+ shipment (and sales taxes- don´t know exactly how this is handled- from state to state ?) There is a delivery time of about 2 weeks, the chargers are built on order.
Just send me an email with your order and I get back to you with all the needed infos ASAP.
Greetings from Munich
If the DF takes 6 AA batteries that means a max total of 9 volts (1.5 volts each) when using alkaline batteries as apposed to 7.2 volts (1.2 volts each) for rechargable batteries. If the DF needs say 7 volts to work, it doesn't take much of voltage drop (depleting batteries) with the rechargables to freeze the camera up.
So, to Stefen's point, if your using a cheap charger to charge you batteries that only sees the batteries as one block it may not be charging them efficiently and charging one more than the other. That results in each battery holding different charge states and with each additional recharge the difference can get greater. As the batteries are used in the camera, one will deplete faster and the voltage will drop sooner.
For all my rechargables I use one of those fancy computer controlled chargers that individually monitor each batters and also allows discharging and refreshing cycles. It would be interesting to know what chargers people are using to rechrge their AA camera batteries as the normal fast chargers do not charge all the batteries equally and are known to actually damage batteries as they make them so hot when charging.
Maha Powerex MH-C801D Eight Cell 1-Hr PRO AA/AAA charger and Powerx AA batteries in the DF. Wouldn't call it a "toy charger". I've tried Energizer and Eneloop AAs, and the Powerx batteries seem to perform best. Haven't tried Lithium non-rechargeables (yet). I just returned from a trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks where I experienced a few lock-ups each day, usually (if not exclusively) with MUP and self-timer. Doing what people are calling the "battery dance" solved the problem each time, even with temperatures of 20 degrees F at sunrise. I doubt whether this is just a battery voltage problem and am patiently awaiting a solution from Phase One.
Joe Colson Photography
I think the central interest has to be put on the discharge current.
We have seen such effect with our HCam-B1 camera when we use the larger 4800 mHa batteries these are not lasting twice as long, they last 2,5x or 3x as long/shots as the smaller 2400mHa batteries. Especially when the temperature is lower. It seems that the stress that is put to smaller battery units on heavy load is causing the voltage to drop faster.
I am not an electronics engineer, but I am sure there is someone here on the forum who can explain this in technical english, frankly I am lacking these special electronic english terms. So I am nearly 100 % sure that doubling the overall capacity of the used batteries as in the Phase Vertical handgrip will solve this lockup problem - which would be the proof of my theory. It does work like this on our Hcam-B1, this I already know and it´s the exact same shutter as in the M645 DF so we should have pretty much comparable power usage.
Greetings from Munich
Found a link explaining the facts about battery discharge current:
and here something that shows the complexity about charging modern batteries
Greetings from Munich