Kyocera Japan, the company behind the Contax brand, has announced a product recall on the N Digital - a $6999 camera that uses a full 35mm frame-sized sensor that's been shipping in the USA for the last couple of months. According to the announcement (translated in part below to the best of our abilities), there are three main problems fixed in the service:
- Lockup due to insufficient power in continuous mode
When using NiMH AA batteries, depending on the charge level, the camera can lockup due to insufficient power, and the camera must be power-cycled. Parts are replaced in the service to fix this issue.
- Incorrect EXIF data recorded
The lens focal length value is incorrectly recorded in the EXIF image data when using lenses from 128mm to 255mm. The camera firmware is changed in the service to fix this issue.
- Battery loading problems
To prevent incorrectly loading the NiMH AA batteries in an incorrect position, a metallic guard will be fitted during the service.
The service is being performed free of charge in Japan, with N Digital owners being asked to return their camera C.O.D. (or by hand) to one of six service centers. The repair work is estimated to take one week.
We've not heard anything regarding this matter from Contax USA, but have a query in with them to confirm whether the problem is limited to Japanese N Digital cameras, or will be addresses in the US as well. However, we note that Dirk Seffern, Webmaster of the unofficial Contax User Site and Photo Gallery, has posted in his forum that the problem "seems to affect only" Asian cameras. Note that this information is unconfirmed at this time...