The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sony video cameras: world's worst?

We have two Sony video cameras. Neither works. Both are presently in for repair. Now, what strikes me about this situation is that one of the cameras is relatively new, and rarely used. They want almost 400 RM to repair it. The other camera is older, but they also want a considerable sum to repair it, too. That particular camera has already had three major repairs on it, since we bought it: the last two, were just two weeks apart.

Now, my question is: should Sony be selling video cameras which are so inherently unreliable? If so, should they be charging a major chunk of the price of a new camera for each repair? Is the repair of their cameras, in fact a major profit centre for Sony?

We won't be buying a new Sony camera. We will never, in fact, buy a Sony video camera again: we have done so, twice, and twice got a "lemon". Two lemons, from one supplier, in one type of goods, makes me think that supplier just doesn't know how to make video cameras.

What is particularly telling about our two Sony video cameras is that both, although different models, from different years, have a "chassis" problem: whatever that is. Both require major repairs. The first camera has already cost us more in repairs than a new camera costs. The second one promises much the same in a short while, given how quickly it failed and upon so little use. Frankly, I am not impressed.

Sony cannot make video cameras. I wonder if, however, Sony can read? If Sony reads this blog post, perhaps you would like to repair our video cameras for free...or indeed, give us a replacement that is not a lemon - because we are very tired of having to send your cameras for major repair, every few months (or, indeed, couple of weeks). Either that, or please, Sony, stop making and selling video cameras, when you only know how to do the latter - or learn how to make them, in the first place.

In the likely event that Sony cannot read, or don't wish to, we are not going to buy Sony again...and suggest that you don't do so either. Unless, of course, you have a passion for repair centres - in which case Sony is probably just your thing.

The only situation under which it would be wise to buy Sony, is if their repair centres offer full repair services, indefinitely, for free for all goods. Then, and only then, would Sony be a safe buy. Until that moment, spare yourself the suffering, and get a more reliable brand. Suggestions please as to which brands those might be.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:

I also write of gifted education, child prodigy, child genius, adult genius, savant, megasavant, HELP University College, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, Malaysia, IQ, intelligence and creativity.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 4:47 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no. Did you write in to them to voice your displeasure (although i don't think they will respond either)?

Fortunately for myself, my 3 year old sony camera is still in good working condition. That said, i shall take your experience into account the next time i go shopping for a replacement.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

You are lucky. We have never had a Sony camera that worked for long.

I did voice my displeasure, in person, in the repair centre. I said: "Don't you think it is strange that we have two of your cameras and neither works? You should make more reliable cameras."

It got no response at all from the Sony rep. He then, in fact, started talking about the cash deposits we would have to make for them to look at our cameras. To that I said: "We are giving you our cameras: shouldn't you be making the cash deposits with us?"

This time, I got a glimmer of awareness from him that, perhaps, things were the wrong way around, on that point.

Again, however, he said nothing.

The real cost of a Sony video camera is the purchase price, plus the repair costs over time. The latter sum will rapidly exceed the cost of the camera. The situation makes me wonder whether the whole plan is to sell junk to the customer, so that they feel compelled to buy a new camera, with disturbing regularity. Fortunately, however, people are not that stupid: after a while, they will stop buying Sony...permanently.

Yes, it would be wise to take our experience into account. You wouldn't want to get a lemon like ours. There seems to be a lot of them around.

Best wishes.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont thank that he was lucky. rather that you were unlucky. i have owned a sony video cassette and mini dvd recorder and 2 sony digital cameras for a long period of time and have never had any issues with them. it might be because you have bought it from a fraud dealer who sells used or refurbished products. I for one have never used an other media products than sony and find it weird that you complain

2:36 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

No. Both video cameras were bought new from mainstream dealers: one in the UK and one in Singapore. They were not "used" or "refurbished"...however, both broke down fairly early on in ownership and required major repairs.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Again, no. It is rather odd that both cameras, though of different models and years, have the same kind of problem. This either indicates 1) I am being lied to by the Sony technicians who want to make a quick buck or 2) there is a systematic design problem running through many different types of Sony you either have to choose conspiracy to defraud (not likely) or crap cameras.

Then again you should note that the repair centre was quite busy and we had to wait about half an hour to be seen: there were many other people there with defective Sony products. That is what the repair centre does all day every day - deal with disappointed customers and their defective products. It wouldn't exist were there not a problem with Sony's products not working after some time. Were Sony's products extremely reliable there either would not be a repair centre - or it would be very quiet and just exist to reassure the customers. That is not the case: it is busy.

11:04 AM  
Blogger E said...

Sony used to make good camcorders in the 90s, but then they adopted a strategy of planned obsolescence. Everybody should cross Sony off their list for cameras and camcorders.

Now you'd do better to buy a used semi-professional grade Canon or JVC camcorder. (one with a new list price of over $4,000, but used ones are a fraction of that). They last, have much better optics and capabilities and with care you can get nearly all of what you put into them back out on the resale market.

Another option is to use a DSLR, which have some strengths in sensor size and optical quality, drawbacks in distortion of fast-moving subjects ("rolling shutter" effect), sound, and controls, but most importantly can take high-quality photos as well. The Pentax K-x is the biggest bargain in new DSLRs with movie capability, but Canon and Nikon also have excellent products which are more likely to show up on the used markets, but do your research on DP Review and other websites before committing to a model.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

Thanks for the tip re. Sony. I did wonder why they were such crap.

Our next camera will be from your list of suggestions. Thank you.

9:50 AM  

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