Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

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robert Hart

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Nov 18, 2019 8:15 am

Steven Fitzgerald.

Maybe your local dealer is playing games or has used up an allowed ration of no-argument warranty replacement stock if that is in dealer's agreements to mitigate against loss/fraud. Maybe BM has used up all its replacement camera stock, a downside of efficient "just-in-time" stock management and tightly controlling the inevitable decline in value of unsold inventory.

Who knows? I certainly don't. I'm just a common-garden mug who looks through viewfinders and presses record buttons.

BM are unlikely to do another URSA turret goodwill gesture and replace obsolete for new or a lot of obsolete cameras will go into microwave ovens, be hung up in front of marine radars or cellphone towers for a few hours to brick them to win a cheap upgrade.
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rick.lang

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Nov 18, 2019 2:30 pm

robert Hart wrote:... Who knows? I certainly don't. I'm just a common-garden mug who looks through viewfinders and presses record buttons...


And I’m another old mug going through a second childhood enjoying what I’ve wanted to do for a lifetime, running to keep ahead of the grim reaper.
Rick Lang
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jwalle

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostWed Nov 20, 2019 1:03 am

Interested in this topic as one of our two URSA Mini Pro 4.6k cameras went out about a week ago right in the middle of a shoot. It was on a tripod recording a static shot and the screen just went blank. Rebooted - menu came up but no picture. Rebooted again and no menu, no picture. Sent it in to Blackmagic in California only to hear back today that "Our repair team confirmed your camera's sensor issue. Unfortunately, this issue is deemed irreparable. Additionally, it is also out of warranty and we are unable to replace the unit."

How can a bad sensor make the entire camera go out? Doesn't sound right. No menu, nothing on the front or back of the flip out LCD panel. Very frustrating.
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Olivier Burri

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostWed Nov 20, 2019 4:52 pm

jwalle wrote: Very frustrating.


I do agree.

Frustrating as it seems there is no real support for BMD customers. They look as they do not care much at all or, maybe, they are overwhelmed with warranty or repair requests and understaffed/funded.

Frightening as a cam or other gear failure can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, especially in the middle of a commercial shot, with no real support.

In those conditions, it's hard to keep your confidence in their line of products, at least for professional work.
Olivier G. Burri
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Stephen Fitzgerald

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostWed Nov 20, 2019 6:32 pm

I’ve definitely learned a lot from my support experience.

I’m still a huge supporter of what BMD has done for the industry, pushing the tech envelope at the price.
I own a C200 and it was more expensive than my G1, but when the canon sensor went down the repair was $500, so BMD at least the G1, is not a viable long term investment if you’re going to need it for your business, if anything goes wrong, sensor wise st least. So while the Canon was $1500 more expensive initially the $500 replacement cost of the C200 vs the $6000 replacement cost of the G1 sensor shows that it’s important to not just see the feature given to you, but also how the company can support their product. Unfortunately why I still own Canon even with their tech shortcomings. Canons support at least in my experience is just so wonderful. They even gave me a loaner camera while it was out for repair, that’s just something BMD can’t do. I live in Burbank so Canon simply had me pick up that loaner next day.

Thank you to the BMD support people, if in anyway I came off as unhappy it was probably due to the lack in communication and unclear understanding of your faulty product replacement policy. Everyone was helpful, but yes, the policies need to be better expressed to your customer base on your top product line for this very reason.
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Vess Stoytchev

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Nov 25, 2019 5:17 pm

Dennis Sørensen wrote:
David Hutchinson wrote:
Vess Stoytchev wrote: - we are out of warranty now and one of the volume buttons on the screen lid broke off. :D
.

I had a similar problem with the volume knob, called English support and they couriered me a new knob next day free of charge...


Me too. It fell off seemingly from nothing. I probably bummed it with my shoulder and it split in the middle. So I think they have a bad mold for the plastic (And just to be clear, the potentiometer (volume knob) works fine even if the plastic part falls off).. But as you said. I contacted support. Had a new one in less than 2 days. And it was completely free of charge. Should it break in the first place, no. It is poorly engineered. But my camera is from 2017, so it is way past its warrenty. So legally they could just say no, or require me for paying for the part+shipping. But they didn't.
https://imgur.com/a/u8qLt


Just got my volume knob aswell! BM support told me on Friday that they will send it and today, monday, the DHL courier delivered it from the UK. Our UMP is out of warranty - as I stated earlier, it is our second/replaced unit after the first one developed a problem.

Thank you BM!

Stephen Fitzgerald wrote:I’ve definitely learned a lot from my support experience.

I’m still a huge supporter of what BMD has done for the industry, pushing the tech envelope at the price.
I own a C200 and it was more expensive than my G1, but when the canon sensor went down the repair was $500, so BMD at least the G1, is not a viable long term investment if you’re going to need it for your business, if anything goes wrong, sensor wise st least. So while the Canon was $1500 more expensive initially the $500 replacement cost of the C200 vs the $6000 replacement cost of the G1 sensor shows that it’s important to not just see the feature given to you, but also how the company can support their product. Unfortunately why I still own Canon even with their tech shortcomings. Canons support at least in my experience is just so wonderful. They even gave me a loaner camera while it was out for repair, that’s just something BMD can’t do. I live in Burbank so Canon simply had me pick up that loaner next day.

Thank you to the BMD support people, if in anyway I came off as unhappy it was probably due to the lack in communication and unclear understanding of your faulty product replacement policy. Everyone was helpful, but yes, the policies need to be better expressed to your customer base on your top product line for this very reason.


BM changed our UMP with a new one free of charge. The sensor broke.
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philbradshawDP

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostWed Dec 11, 2019 9:32 pm

I'm feeling the frustration all around. I purchased the G2, received it in August of this year. The first time I used it, I immediately replaced the EF mount with a PL to put a Cabrio 19-90 on for a shoot. Worked wonderfully...then....put the EF mount back on.

My Canon EF lenses were not communicating, so I took the mount off, and found out that the helicoils (don't know how to spell it) that were in the thread mounts for the EF mount, were coming away from the frame of the body. This was causing the shims to misalign and bulge, therefore creating a bad connection with the EF lenses. Sent the camera to Black Magic in CA, and the report was that the camera was "unrepairable" and that if they had a used one in stock they would sell it to me.

I ultimately sent the camera back out to a repair facility in Pasadena, CA who did somewhat of a hack job on the mount/threads. $800 later....

So now, I have an URSA Mini 4.6k G2 with 2.5 out of 4 mounting threads working. But, the PL mount is great!

Overall, my frustration is with the horrible construction of the camera and materials, poor customer service from Black Magic, and the lack of resources or options to repair their hardware. The company leaves you high and dry.

I am happy with the imagery and user interface though - so its just frustrating to have a camera out of commission due to terrible customer service and support. I'm even thinking of buying a second one to have dedicated PL and EF and never change a thing!
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Denny Smith

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostThu Dec 12, 2019 1:17 am

Where was the issue, in the EF mount itself or on the camera body where the lens mount attaches?
I had a Ursa Broadcast, switched lens mounts several times, no issues. Did you use a tourque drive set to the correct torque value, or did you just tighten mounting screws too tight?
Since you got your camera in August, it should still be under the original warranty.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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robert Hart

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostThu Dec 12, 2019 8:06 pm

philbradshawDP


Usually I am inclined to put the boot into BM over a few things relating to the "Big" URSA and affordable product support but there a couple of things in your comment which drew my attention in your post.

"Horrible construction of camera and materials."

Helicoils are not foolproof but are a superior fixing method than cut threads in light alloy. P+S Technik used them in the SI2K which was costwise at the expensive end of what one could buy at the time. I ran into a tight one where the carry-handle attaches and had to be very patient in trying to unfasten the screw.

The BM camera bodies I have violated by visiting the insides of seem to be finely machined, almost exquisitely, certainly not something I could achieve myself.

"Unrepairable" can be a relative term. Reading between the lines it might be translated as "unrepairable by us". My personal preference would have been to try to get through the firewall to BM in Australia and find a second doctor.

US$800 seems a bit steep for extracting unwound helicoils. However having been there, I know it can be a fiddly and time consuming business to extract them out.

By "hack job", Did they extract and re-insert new helicoils or stabilise the old partially extracted ones with adhesive then clean the threads with a thread tap.

If the helicoils were simply cut off where they had partially wound out of their holes and had not been stabilised, they may come out further each time the screws are unfastened.

Before doing anything with the camera, I would first pack the throat behind the lens mount with tissue or cloth to make sure no debris can get in or no tools can slip and hit the filter glass and scratch/fracture it.

My personal preference would be to stabilise the existing helicoils with a two-part slow-setting adhesive, thinned with an appropriate thinner so the adhesive has time with the help of being thinned down to creep around between the helicoils and the host metal they are wound into. I would give the material a few days rest to set and for the thinners to gas off.

With first a tapered tap, then a square-ended tap, I would gently and patiently dress the cured adhesive out of the threads. If the helicoils were originally set into threaded holes which were a bit tight, this might account for the original binding to the threads of the screws.

If this is the case, then the helicoils may want to bind on the thread taps as well. Patience is your friend. Cut a little, no more than ten degrees of rotation at a time and back off at least 120 degrees with the taps. Don't become impatient, go the guts and get the thread taps jammed in. If they jam and snap off, it will be game over.

Try a screw. If it binds, run the thread taps four times again with a slight offset force in 90 degree offsets so the helicoils are dressed down a little furthur.

If the screws still bind and the thread taps continue to baulk and jam, my next personal preference would be to run a thread die-nut over the screws themselves and dress them down deeper by tilting the die as you wind it along the screw threads.

Keep dressing the screw until it will run in the helicoil screwholes cleanly. You may find that individual screws end up with a favourite screwhole. If that happens, don't fight their matrimonial preferences but colour mark them for the future.

Finally, if there are pieces of helicoil sticking out high which is your present problem, I would first stuff cotton tips or greased match sticks down the screwholes to stop hard particles getting in, then dress the helicoil ends down to the surface face very carefully with a cutting or grinding wheel on a Dremel.

Don't cut the matches or cotton tips or matches off. They will be worse than satan to extract with crossed pins or needles.

Rotate the cotton tips or matches in the unscrewing direction while extracting them very slowly at "screw speed" so that any hard-particle debris comes out with them. Use cotton tips or twists of tissue or toilet paper to clean them more.

Try your screws again. If they baulk, clean the helicoil threads and the screw threads again. Blow the helicoil holes out with the straw inserted into a pressure pack of canned air.

This material is a hydrocarbon so my indulgence is to first wear safety glasses, then turn the can upside-down and give very quick shots of liquid gas into the holes which helps to flush out stubborn particles.

Do not give it long shots as this will freeze the holes, fracture the adhesive and next screw-out may dislodge the helicoils.

Finally, do not overtighten the screws. Rotate to first resistance, then no more than 60 degrees of rotation. If the mount becomes loose, back the screw off 60 degrees then rotate it to resistance then 60 degrees but no more. It may take a few cycles but eventually it should become secure.

Finally, proper engineers and camera techs will positively cringe at my suggestions. If any of them chime in with contrary comments, pay heed to their advice. They know what they are doing compared to myself who is a desperation mechanic at best. If nothing else, my wordstuff will prompt them to contribute and not sit back and just read.

Good luck with your endeavours.
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Diego Sarmiento Herencia

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat Jun 06, 2020 1:55 am

Joshua Helling wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:...

Joshua, may I propose a suggestion?

Me - and I think most of your customers - does make the thought of what would happen when something happens out of warranty to our cameras, quite nervous. I also don't like the throw away aspect from an environmental perspective.

We all understand that Blackmagic is a business and cannot give away money, but we - your customers - cannot do either.


We try to repair all that we can. And what we can repair changes occasionally as our satellite office tools improve and parts are made available. In the case of this camera about the only thing we can't repair is the sensor. It's the most expensive part of the camera and it also requires a clean room. We have a clean room which allows us to service much of the camera but is not sufficient for fully opening the sensor.

Defective product makes it's way back to HQ. In our office we do our best to reclaim as many useful parts as possible. This varies, depending on fault and product obviously.


Robert Niessner wrote:What I'd like to see is an improvement for those kind of situations:

1. Offer us to buy extended warranty packages, like 3, 5, or 7 years to protect our investment
2. Implement regional certified third party repair shops with access to spare parts and service manuals for paid out-of-warranty repairs.

It would be really cool if you could spark an internal discussion about this to improve things for the benefit of all. :)


1. This is something that comes up often internally. And I think we'd really like to do something like this. This has been discussed positively.
2. In the US we are of course that shop, and I suppose we could work with a dealer that wished to do so but not many dealers are both interested and qualified. I have a few territories that can do repairs in South America and have access to parts. They do both in warranty and out of warranty repairs.

Rest assured, these issues are discussed, we just don't typically discuss this stuff until we're ready to roll something out.



Hi Joshua,

This is my story:

First of all I want to acknowledge that I love Blackmagic Cameras and everything I've learnt from using them. But right now I'm frustrated and quite sad.

A couple of days ago, out of the blue, my UMP (First Gen) failed on me. First an almost imperceptible flickering on the LCD. I checked around to see if maybe a light was flickering... but soon I realized that the only light that was on at the moment was the sun. Then some horizontal lines appeared on the screen. The fan kicked in. I turned the camera off. Waited for a while; maybe the whole thing could be attributed to a temporary insanity. Turned it back on. Same problem: flickering and then the lines. I power cycled the camera one more time. Now the lines appeared immediately. The issue (I'm no camera technician) appears to be the sensor. I asume that because I tried recording something and after ingesting the footage to DaVinci, the lines were there. (you can download the footage —in MP4— and a pic here: https://we.tl/t-oS1Mv8VHqn).

I have to point out the the camera has never been dropped or hit by anything. It has been operated only by me. And, exaggerating, it has operated for no more that 70 hours in total. It's practically new.
Now, this is my second UMP. The first one had LCD problems but after a terrible experience with the RMA (Not Blackmagic's fault, but a local distributor's) this second one worked perfectly... till last week. It lasted me 1 year and 7 months.

Right now I'm torn. I really don't know what to do. The camera is out of warranty. Blackmagic support tells me to send it in to their US offices in order for them to check it out and see if it can be fixed. I read in your post that you have offices in South America that can do the repair, cause I live in Perú (we are currently in lockdown because of COVID-19). I have no way of knowing how much money a repair could cost, Blackmagic can't give me an estimate without looking at the camera, obviously. Sending the camera from Perú is going to be expensive as well. So... is it worth it? Will I end up expending more money on an outdated camera than the money I could invest in a new one? What would you do in my place?

As I said at the beginning of this message, I still have faith in Blackmagic. I had the original pocket for years and it is still working perfectly for it's new owner. Maybe I'll be better of purchasing a new Pocket 6K (it makes sense since all of my lenses are canon and it has native EF... the S35 sensor size is also welcome). Is it reliable? I was planning on shooting a feature film with the UMP next summer (we are currently in preproduction) now, even if it is fixed, I'm not sure I can trust it. I need a reliable camera.

Please let me know what you think. I'm lost here.

I hope you are safe and well.

Cheers,
Diego Sarmiento Herencia
Indoquia Films
BMPCC4K
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Michael Odhiambo

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat Jun 06, 2020 6:42 am

I have just gone through the same thing with my camera.

My camera, a G1 had intemittent freezing/hanging. It would not boot. The problem started a few months back and stopped. A month ago, became worse. The camera would fail to boot completely. IF it did, it would freeze after 5 seconds. Pinkish artifacts on the histogram and audio levels.
BM didn't even give me an RMA. They said this is not repairable because they have no more PCB's. The camera is not new, maybe 3 years old... but scares me from investing in their future cameras if they cannot support the camera after a couple of years.

I have owned 8 BM cameras since 2013, 3 more that I re-sold within a short time and 1 replaced by Insurance. I have the ATEM, Web Presenter, and VA, a couple of SDI-HDMI convertors. So, for my biz, i use many of their products and love love love the image and more so the value. I may continue buying their products, but i can no longer recommend them to others in the market because of this lack of future support. Reason being, I use my gear alot and meet my ROI under 6 months. Unless a potential buyer can meet the same ROI or better... BM products are not sound investments.

I am down to 3 cameras now, 2 G1's and a Panasonic S1H for my travel needs (sold both 4k and 6K pockets).
Side note: I managed to fix it, tested it and it has run for a total of 4 hours with no issues. It will be the B cam for atleast the next 10 shoots before I can commit it to be a main cam again.
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Diego Sarmiento Herencia

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSun Jun 07, 2020 1:05 am

Michael Odhiambo wrote:I have just gone through the same thing with my camera.

My camera, a G1 had intemittent freezing/hanging. It would not boot. The problem started a few months back and stopped. A month ago, became worse. The camera would fail to boot completely. IF it did, it would freeze after 5 seconds. Pinkish artifacts on the histogram and audio levels.
BM didn't even give me an RMA. They said this is not repairable because they have no more PCB's. The camera is not new, maybe 3 years old... but scares me from investing in their future cameras if they cannot support the camera after a couple of years.

I have owned 8 BM cameras since 2013, 3 more that I re-sold within a short time and 1 replaced by Insurance. I have the ATEM, Web Presenter, and VA, a couple of SDI-HDMI convertors. So, for my biz, i use many of their products and love love love the image and more so the value. I may continue buying their products, but i can no longer recommend them to others in the market because of this lack of future support. Reason being, I use my gear alot and meet my ROI under 6 months. Unless a potential buyer can meet the same ROI or better... BM products are not sound investments.

I am down to 3 cameras now, 2 G1's and a Panasonic S1H for my travel needs (sold both 4k and 6K pockets).
Side note: I managed to fix it, tested it and it has run for a total of 4 hours with no issues. It will be the B cam for atleast the next 10 shoots before I can commit it to be a main cam again.



Hi Michael!

How did you fix it?

Thanks!
Diego Sarmiento Herencia
Indoquia Films
BMPCC4K
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awppollock

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Aug 04, 2020 6:47 pm

I am having a similar issue. Unrepairable camera. Blackmagic asking me to buy a new lightly discounted camera while holding the broken one hostage. Deeply upsetting. Does anyone know if there are other services that can or have repaired Blackmagic sensors? I was honestly so excited to work with this company and now I’m kind of blown away and feel like a fool.
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Ulysses Paiva

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Aug 04, 2020 8:35 pm

I couldnt read all comments but I read Joshua's explanation and I find it very reasonable. If they propose themselves to do a service, it has to be done the right way. If they cant garantee that, they cant do the service. So far, ok.

But...

I think BMD should offer the option for the owner to carry it however they see fit. Many years ago I had problems wiht an already trashed BMCC. At the time, we didnt have any authorized services here in Brazil. After some conversation, I assumed all risks and eventual outcome for trying to repair it myself and support was supportive enough to sell me the parts I needed and I managed to fix it myself and squeezed some lifetime out of the camera a bit more. If the owner assumes all risks, maybe he can perform a fix or have someone he trusts to do it if BMD sells the parts needed. It might not be the perfect service but it might work well considering the gear situation. And everyone wins at the end.
Ulysses Paiva
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ricardo marty

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostWed Aug 05, 2020 4:04 am

I think BMD should keep spare parts available for couple of years after the equipment losses warranty. The parts are probably cheaper for them plus it could be extra income. They should know by now the percentage of broken equipment they receive.

Ricardo Marty
Resolve Studio 17.4, Lenovo 7i15, i7-10750H Processor, 6 Cores, Nvidia 2060 6Gb, 32Gb ram, Drive m.2. Sony FS700R, Bmp4k, Sony A6600. Focusrite Ableton
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostThu Aug 06, 2020 11:40 am

Ok. I've skipped most of the thread. Now that BM's prices are so much higher, and they are established, they can afford to over engineer their cameras to offer a ten year warranty. Frankly, a camera should average 10 years life, or more. I've got people here expecting me to get a nearly 20 year old consumer camera working to take pictures for them (we'll see). How much more something 20x the price? No big budget studio is going be happy with something that could break down. That's the territory from the lowest to highest camera, in that territory they are going expect quality, past fpga. Look at Red. Sure they had features due to the novelty of it, but the horror stories of yesteryear (well horror for people responsible for pushing ahead film crews sitting around for a million dollars a day). What is happening now, I don't know, but bank in the day, once the thirty day (*****ead) warranty ran out, a board problem meant a several thousand dollar board replacement. So, what, a capacitor, or a resistor so small you don't notice it, and you might buy a thousand say, for a cent, blows, you have to dish out $7000 US? Talk about not hearing about the term loss leader. I decided not to buy one after I heard that.

It's all about statistical averages. It does not matter if the camera is not worth fixing, you incorporate extra margin in the price to cover the extra costs. You make the product better and increase the margins to give extra quality for the required amount of time. Now, here is something else:

A friend of mine who used to run the clerical side of the court house, told me what a Judge said to him. The Judge had bought a nice car. But the car was a lemon, it had a few little issues. The judge wanted his money back. Australian car companies are legendary for not refunding or replacing cars. The biggest class actions in the country used to be with car companies not letting it go through to a verdict. One guy in town years ago, bought a new car, drove it either away, or the next day, and the engine light came on for a split second or do and the engine blew up. The only option was repair. The judge, on the other hand, took it to court and got a refund. He said to my friend that in our state we had the toughest warrantee laws in the world. I don't know the details, but it seems that it isn't just about the state laws, but nationally in Australia. There is a reasonable expectation of how long a product should last etc. A common man in the street agreement on expectation, sort of legal. I have had to use it a number of times, and should have got my car replaced, as it was a big lemon which they spent more money on than it probably cost them to get it here. It certainly cost me so much. More than it was worth. The car industry went through a lot of losses since importing certain countries, the parts were abysmal, and they got caught up in this. Now the car industry has closed down. It's not racism, certain people believe they are self entitled to do this to others.

It goes fix, exchange or money back, with fresh warranty for new replacement. And it applies, I understand, to the retailer aswell as the manufacturer. So, even if the manufacturer is not distributing in the state, the reseller is.

So, if you are fortunate to live, or have bought in, a place with such laws, it's worth finding out what the case is where you are.
aIf you are not truthfully progressive, maybe you shouldn't say anything
bTruthful side topics in-line with or related to, the discussion accepted
cOften people deceive themselves so much they do not understand, even when the truth is explained to them
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Wayne Steven

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri Aug 14, 2020 2:57 am

robert Hart wrote:Rick Lang.

Except for the benefit of maintaining diversity of enterprise and risk reduction, don't dismiss BM getting out of cameras entirely, badge-stickering third-party product or confining itself to the high-performing "consumer level" models which the BMPCC4K and BMPCC6K identifiably are to most folk. Grant Petty is no spring chicken any more. The enterprise has to follow the money after all or die on its bum while sitting down doing nothing. BM of course might do a RED and split to truly professional level modular enduring cameras at the necessary prices for this to be viable and sell a low-cost low-endurance product into the consumer marketplace. Striking the balance between eating away the higher-end product marketplace with low-end product of competing performance will be challenging. Red has visited the idea but not really succeeded. Poor-brother RED product models have not hung around for long. One sellout or takeover and it is all done for. Take cineform for example. Legacy product support and re-registration of old locked up software versions disabled by equipment failures? Forget about it. Several softwares have gone the same way after predatory buyouts and shutdowns.


Robert, class action, people are still entitled to use their paid products after take over or shutdown, and change of equiomdi, and mechanisms should be built in to survive those. You paid for continual use while it still functioned.

P.S, I think Red's big issue, was the onset stories apart from the war themes.
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Weston Woodbury

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat Sep 26, 2020 9:38 pm

Joining the party here. We've integrated 13 UMP's for a client's studio over 3 years (with loads of accessories including full smpte chains). One day, for seemingly no reason, one of them started showing a black frame and having issues booting up. It's a camera that's literally lived on a stationary mount, never used and abused, no harsh conditions, always kept safe.

The BMD phone and email support has always been great for me overall, in being helpful and even integrating suggestions/fixes down the line, credit due there. Once we diagnosed this camera issues and tried some things, they requested it sent back. Now for the bad, this took way too long to hear back after it arrived, considering the customers are professional users. Refer to companies like HP and Netgear for how this kind of thing is properly handled for their professional lines of products, whom understand/cater to the fact that people rely on the gear they've bought from them.

Eventually they got back and same story as this thread.. deemed unrepairable, out of warranty. Zero to no insight on what happened or how it could be avoided going forward. They offered a replacement at a "discounted" price that actually isn't a discount it's just a direct sale.

Anyway I'm not here to gripe. I do understand BMD is making the cameras numerous times cheaper than competitors with similar image quality/features, and to do so things have to sacrificed such as unifying the body and streamlining the production building. I'm not so sure 1 year is a reasonable warranty length for their higher end products, but okay. I do understand the cost of just buying another body is probably less or about the same then getting a Sony or whatever repaired.

What I am posting for is that I am wondering if anyone has had any luck with 3rd party repairs, or like someone mentioned "hiring a skilled electrician" to take a look??

If these cameras are bricked anyway, it's worth a shot.

The strange thing about the one we sent in, is that I can get the sensor to read out occasionally. They are saying it's a defective sensor, but it seems a lot like a bad connection somewhere. As if the camera is working okay under the hood, but just the image isn't getting out to the rest of the electronics somewhere. I could get it turning on and outputting an image after trying a firmware update, things like that, and as soon as I got it back from RMA support I plugged it in and it fired right up as if it's normal, and have been letting it run since then just for kicks.

Any experience, suggestions, recommendations on out of warranty repairs?

:mrgreen: W
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostThu May 20, 2021 11:48 pm

Recently my Mini Ursa 4.6k LCD screen was not turning on consistently... you can see it powers on but no feed... makes it impossible to adjust the settings of the camera. Occasionally the camera turns of fine. BMD has told me they wont even accept the repair since its out of warranty. They said after speaking with me they believe the camera is unrepairable due to the motherboard MAYBE needing to be replaced. I only want the camera repaired and will consider any payment, but they clearly dont even want me to send the camera in to be evaluated. Here is the email I received.

"Unfortunately, I was not able to get approval to set up this RMA to have you send it to us. Based on the reported behavior, we are not confident that anything we do will allow for continued use of the camera. The behavior seems to indicate that there is a problem with the main board on this camera. We do not have that part available to do the replacement for it. So, even if there was anything we were able to do to get it back to working order, we would not be confident that this repair would stick based on it's current status. Also, any repairs on units that are beyond their warranty would require payment. If these payments were made for repairs, and the unit failed shortly after, we would not be able to provide any refunds for them. We are really sorry about this. In any case, let us know if you have any other questions and we will do what we can to provide the information you are looking for.

All the Best"
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri May 21, 2021 1:54 pm

Reading this response as well as the follow up email that was sent from the agent indicates that this is a main board issue and is not something that can be serviced and thus the reason for being unable to evaluate/service the camera.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri May 21, 2021 2:27 pm

This BMD repair policy is exactly the reason I hear many professional say to be the reason they stay a way from BMD cameras.

Not taking even a look of the camera, by the description this could be just loosen or broken display cable connector.

But if the camera has been badly hit or has been on wet conditions, it could be indeed difficult to repair reliably.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri May 21, 2021 4:05 pm

I dont understand the connection between it being a main board problem and being unrepairable. Why would the company not carry replacement parts for cameras only 5 years old?
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri May 21, 2021 4:22 pm

Looks like they are leaving it up to the owner to investigate as they have no spare boards for the five year old camera. If you’ve read the posts from Robert Hart, you can probably at least see if it’s just a simple cable connection issue but be careful. Robert cobbled two 4.6Ks together to get his working again.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostFri May 21, 2021 4:37 pm

I did not realise it is that old camera, so the time flies.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 6:05 am

It's been mentioned, but here in Australia. Australian Consumer Law is fantastic! Computers are 3 years of coverage. despite sellers stating it has 12 months of warranty. The same with Whitegoods, but they have upwards of 5 years. This includes tvs and similar equipment. Any "Extra" coverage is generally just a sales add on.

Definitely pursue it in events such as the ones described here.

No one or company is above the law :)

Check out ACCC!!
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 2:11 pm

Just four short years out of warranty and coincedentally four years after it was discontinued? The outrage.

Good Luck
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 6:24 pm

Travis Hodgkinson wrote:It's been mentioned, but here in Australia. Australian Consumer Law is fantastic! Computers are 3 years of coverage. despite sellers stating it has 12 months of warranty.


In Sweden for example there's a huge difference between warranty when a private person buys a product and when a company does it.
Warranty under consumer law is distinct and can not be reduced or restricted although a warranty can be agreed upon to be longer or with additional coverage etc.

But when a company is registered as the buyer on the invoice the warranty is dispositive can be what ever is agreed upon.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 8:04 pm

Travis Hodgkinson wrote:It's been mentioned, but here in Australia. Australian Consumer Law is fantastic! Computers are 3 years of coverage. despite sellers stating it has 12 months of warranty. The same with Whitegoods, but they have upwards of 5 years. This includes tvs and similar equipment. Any "Extra" coverage is generally just a sales add on.

Definitely pursue it in events such as the ones described here.

No one or company is above the law :)

Check out ACCC!!



I think consumer laws like this are aimed at the general public and items like what BMD sell would be considered outside of the the ACCC purview.

These are aimed at commodity items like mobile phones, washing machines, televisions, whitegoods. Stuff that "everyone" buys.

I don't think any of BMD's product really fall into that classification.

I would add here, that your warranty in Australia IS NOT with BMD, but is in fact with their distributor in Australia, which is actually New Magic.

http://www.newmagic.com.au

BMD may run the RMA servicing side, but it's usually done and decided by local distributors in each territory.

Every territory and global region has it's own methods for dealing with this. This is also why you seed weird supply chain issues sometimes. It seemed that every time a new camera was released those in the UK always had to wait a lot longer than anyone else to get their cameras.

I'm not making excuses, just explaining that most users don't realise that there are companies in-between you and the brand on the product you have bought and that the warranty is usually actually with the distributor in the territory where you bought the camera. By agreement, most distributors agree to service other territory's product should they happen to be presented in their home area. (US bought camera presenting in AU for service and same in return)

I think with low cost cameras under 5K it's not that reasonable to expect a 4 or 5 year old camera to be "serviceable"

I have said before I wish that BMD offered an AppleCare style extended warranty that you could buy. When you buy a 10K camera it is going to hurt when you try to get something fixed at 15 months after purchase. They could well say it's going to cost 6K to repair. Who would take that seriously if it was "just a board".

They just aren't set up to do commodity type component repairs. They tend to change over whole parts. It would cost too much and the way the cameras are designed they are all on a few boards. It just isn't economically viable to repair after warranty, and certainly not after a few years post EOL.

This is the reason they are so inexpensive to buy in the first place. They aren't designed to be serviceable in an individual component type way. They are optimised to be efficiently made and assembled.

JB
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 8:12 pm

Weston Woodbury.


In your instance, there may have been a dry joint between contact surfaces of the plugs and sockets within the camera or a dry joint in the soldered connections of the main board or the sensor board. The jolting of the journey for assessment and repair may have polished off some resistive buildup. The camera may live on for years or may lay down again tomorrow. Who knows?

The electronics of the most damaged camera body of the two I blended, had gone faulty for the seller. The knocks and jolts of shipping to Australia fixed it but I opened everything first and checked there were no shorts caused by broken pieces of metal before I powered it up.

If you are transporting your Mini Pros for jobs, I suggest that they are not upright in their cases but resting on their left sides, not carried rear of the rear axle in vehicles but on a soft seat or a thick soft chunk of compliant foam mattress on a van floor with padding between the straps and the case to reduce mechanical vibration being transmitted from the vehicle body.

It is also best to transport the cameras without a battery or lens attached to avoid warping the internal frame of the camera body and disturbing conductive joints.

Dopeslap your camera assistants or be gentle and instead give them a severe scolding if they slam the batteries onto the camera or even worse chatter the battery back and forth in the mount until it finally latches firm. They should just hang a fingernail under the latch lever and tease it into place.

There is a certain cachet in slamming things into place decisively to save time and look efficient but the heavy mass of a battery does the structure of the camera no favours when it hits hard. There is also a pinch point between the AB mounts and the camera body when the thin power wires may chafe.

You have to take care to avoid this when adding your AB plate to the rear of the body. There may otherwise develop a resistive short to the metal body of the camera as the insulation of the trapped wire crushes and breaks down.

If you have a camera which no-starts due to a lowered voltage or early shutdowns caused by a resistive short, a pinched wire might just be a cause though it seems that most often something worse has happened deeper in the brains of the machine.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat May 22, 2021 8:35 pm

All good points. I never attach a battery (unless it’s the internal battery) when traveling even short distances (and cushion the camera).
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 12:21 am

Not trying to tempt fate but My P4K is 18 months old now and I'm wondering what the policy for repairing these cameras. I read many of the above posts and I hope things are good for Canadians who only get a one-year warranty.

I have had excellent customer service for my issues but now I'm out of warranty...,I wouldn't mind paying what other brands charge for major repairs. It seems reasonable to pay around 40% of the price of the camera to get it working again, especially if it was my fault.

So what's the deal?

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 12:23 am

drknsss wrote:Not trying to tempt fate but My P4K is 18 months old now and I'm wondering what the policy for repairing these cameras. I read many of the above posts and I hope things are good for Canadians who only get a one-year warranty.

I have had excellent customer service for my issues but now I'm out of warranty...,I wouldn't mind paying what other brands charge for major repairs. It seems reasonable to pay around 40% of the price of the camera to get it working again, especially if it was my fault.

So what's the deal?

-GC


Have you asked them?

If it's a "current" camera that's not EOL they will often repair if they can. It depends on what it is that's broken.

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 2:19 pm

There is a movement in many countries for the “Right to repair”

It may seem costly to have spare parts for something “cheap” but cheap to someone is a lot of money to another.

Another can of worms is the disposable society that we have become. How much garbage is created by not being able to repair is mind boggling!


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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 2:27 pm

Patrick Spectra wrote:
Another can of worms is the disposable society that we have become. How much garbage is created by not being able to repair is mind boggling!




I agree.

The majority do not. They want cheap. They don't care about these issues.

It will larger planetary issues like climate change that will finally change these attitudes. Maybe.

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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 2:38 pm

John Brawley wrote:
Patrick Spectra wrote:
Another can of worms is the disposable society that we have become. How much garbage is created by not being able to repair is mind boggling!




I agree.

The majority do not. They want cheap. They don't care about these issues.

It will larger planetary issues like climate change that will finally change these attitudes. Maybe.

JB
Maybe is an overstatement… lol


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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 4:00 pm

Maybe some of you who have had off warranty BM repair experience can give us some prices and repair time?

(I guess the answer to the BM off warranty issue is getting blanket insurance for my equipment)

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Sep 14, 2021 4:43 pm

Which is always a good idea if you are seriously working with your gear.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSat Oct 16, 2021 8:50 pm

Are there any illustrations or videos on disassembling the UMP? I'm sure many of us would like to open it up and be able to attempt to repair since BMD has deemed them unrepairable...
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSun Oct 17, 2021 7:57 pm

FWIW, the repaired Ursa Mini 4.6k is still living. I had it out today gathering some ground-to-air aviation footage. So far I have not found another dead one which can provide an intact piece of frame which I patched up with JBWeld tacking the broken pieces together and to an abutting piece of the frame. There is something to be said for that product as I have been hanging a heavy lens off the front whilst chasing aeroplanes and it has not let go - yet. I do use a set of rods and a prop once the lens is in place. The prop has to go in after the lens is mounted due to the shape of the lens. I am getting to like it in its ProRes mode.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSun Oct 17, 2021 8:34 pm

Demetrius Spencer.

Somewhere here or on BMCuser, I posted two responses which described how to dismantle the URSA Mini Pro. I have not been able to find it just now. Someone else may remember it and can lead you to it. There was a lot of wordstuff and regrettably I did not take a safety copy of it.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostSun Oct 17, 2021 11:46 pm

robert Hart wrote:Demetrius Spencer.

Somewhere here or on BMCuser, I posted two responses which described how to dismantle the URSA Mini Pro. I have not been able to find it just now. Someone else may remember it and can lead you to it. There was a lot of wordstuff and regrettably I did not take a safety copy of it.


Thank you Robert!
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Oct 18, 2021 6:12 am

robert Hart wrote:Demetrius Spencer.

Somewhere here or on BMCuser, I posted two responses which described how to dismantle the URSA Mini Pro. I have not been able to find it just now. Someone else may remember it and can lead you to it. There was a lot of wordstuff and regrettably I did not take a safety copy of it.


I think those are the threads you are looking for:

ABSOLUTELY RUINED URSA MINI OR MINI PRO.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=128033

URSA MINI SEMI-PRO 4.6K???
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=130122
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Oct 18, 2021 4:34 pm

[quote="Denny Smith"]Sony wanted $200 (minimum shop cost at the time) to replace a $5 backup clock battery in my ENG camera, and the camera was a brick without this small battery.
/quote]
I have heard of this issue before and in fact more from Black Magic cameras where the $5 backup clock battery dies and the camera that is out of warranty is brick without this small battery. BMD would not repair or it cost a lot to repair. I personally think that the backup clock battery should always be replaceable even how old a camera can be (or at least within 7-10 years). If they charge shipping and labor of $100 to change a dead backup battery, I think that is fair. For future design, they should start making this battery accessible (maybe at the base of the camera) allowing the camera owner to change it themselves.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Oct 18, 2021 7:09 pm

Eh, there is no backup battery - only a super capacitor.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Oct 18, 2021 7:55 pm

I can second Robert Neissner's comment that there is no perishable backup battery in the big URSA or the URSA Mini 4.6K but instead there is a supercapacitor which looks like a permanently connected tiny coin battery.

As far as I can tell, the camera's operating system does not rely on a backup battery so the camera should not brick if the supercapacitor which functions as a backup battery completely discharges. The operating system I think is loaded to non-evaporative memory. How the upgrades supplement the original firmware I have absolutely no clue. I assume that the memory which retains the original firmware is not accessable as permanent memory.

So far as I know, all you will lose will be the date/time/seconds/frame of the timecode with each powerdown if a supercapacitor somehow becomes disabled. That affects the order in which your individual shots become arranged.

Each time the camera is switched on without a functioning supercapacitor, it counts forward from its birthday unless you manually set date/time with each boot-up. so with successive boot-ups, later shots will become repositioned in the playback order. It is not a biggie but is inconvenient and confusing.

There may be other functions which are affected but so far as I know, the operating system is not one of them.

The BM techs may be having a little horselaugh at my layman's comments on what I think may be going on.

Don't pay too much heed to my comments.
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostMon Oct 18, 2021 9:37 pm

Bob, you seem to have know where to find the spare parts and the know it all now about the URSA and in light that BMD has not done anything about warrantees and how to offer repairs to out of warranty URSA cams, maybe you should put up show and offer 3rd party repair work or come up with a repair manual for us. :)
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Re: Just Out of Warranty Unrepairable Cameras?

PostTue Oct 19, 2021 11:04 am

Ellory Yu.

I wish. As far as parts are concerned BM is the only source and sensibly keeps its precious and its IP held close. Anything I got hold of came from eBay after some very careful choosing.

I dived into camera innards out of necessity driven by low financial means.

The essential hearts of the cameras are not modular. There are two significant separate pieces, the mainboard/motherboard which mounts the Xilinx processor and memory and the sensor assembly.

That motherboard/mainboard is also a single part along with another transverse sub-board which is permanently attached with a broad ribbon cable.

Even for New Magic who are the Australian healers, mixing and matching of sensor assemblies and mainboard/motherboards is about as good as it gets regarding sudden-death brickings, munted images and deaf sound systems. Board level repairs are not undertaken.

Multilayered boards with many absolutely tiny surface-mounted parts are extremely difficult to work on and the failure rate of of new boards is very high. The rate of in-factory unsucessful reworks of failed new boards is also high. So the risk of unsuccessful repairs is unacceptably high, especially when customers are likely to wail and lament if the repair is unsuccessful.

Peripherals like LCD screens can sometimes be separately sourced by web searches for part numbers if they are on the parts. I managed to find some bits for the SI2K camera that way.

When BM says the camera is not economic to repair, they mean it.

There are rare exceptions where a physical injury has occurred to a camera and amateurs like me can repair them.

As for publishing a repair manual, in this litigation-happy modern world it is not worth it. Years ago there was a very good free post-production solution published. That joy ended when some disgruntled peasant sued for work lost, the people who made the free software available.

I am taking a chance just commenting on these forums. If I was sued, the best relief any aggrieved party could hope for would be stones and grass.

There can be no effort -v- reward balance. If there was, BM would have gone there.

There is a young electronics wizard guy asking on Facebook and other forums about getting hold of dead production equipment. He had a big URSA on his bench. He may be the way of the future for ex-warranty work. His enthusiasm may wane once he becomes established in his industry or a repair does not endure and the customer comes back screeching and hooting.

LATE EDIT:

The young guy is named Ash Warren. He has posted on Broadcast Gear For Sale, a closed facebook group looking for busted equipment to practice on and repair.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/broadcastgearforsale
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