Canon (un?) authorized Repair in Canada at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old November 4th, 2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Canon (un?) authorized Repair in Canada

Does anyone know if there is repair service for an XH A1 other than Toronto? When I bought my XH A1, 3 and 1/2 years ago, the local dealer, accurately or otherwise, said there was one in Calgary. It surprised me there wasn't one in Vancouver and while I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of shipping outside of the city, at least it wasn't to the other side of the country.

What's prompted this post is an issue that appears, at least for now, to have resolved itself. Sounds suspect I know, and I realize it may come back to bite me. About 10 ago, just on my way to a shoot, I discovered there was a white spec on the INSIDE of the lens. As I was packing the camera up to ship it off today, I accidentally gave it a slight bump against my desk. Looking to be sure I hadn't damaged it, I noticed that the white spec of whatever it was, was no longer there. (how did it get in there??? - not lens mold from the descriptions I've read, but I make no claim to being knowledgeable regarding that potential issue)

Bottom line - the online estimate I got from Canon was $299, $480 return 2 day FEDEX shipping including insurance, plus about $500 in camera rentals for the 2 shoots I know about while the camera would be in for service. At least for now, I'm willing to chance I won't regret not sending it in.

So, the purpose of this post? Anyone had a similar experience? Anyone in Vancouver know of a local and reliable, if unauthorized person who can work on these cameras?

And Canon, if you're listening, as much as I've had my eye on the XF 300, I'm really going to have to think very hard about buying a camera that can't be serviced in this country's 3rd largest city. There are at least 2 Sony Authorized Service Centers that I know of that will repair a comparable Sony camera.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #2
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Jase, we hear you. Do you know that white devil has gone or if you give the cam a reciprocal bump will it return. I'd be trying that.

Surely there's a reputable local cam repairer who can dismantle the front end and put it back together. I think the A1 service manuals are available maybe you could do it yourself? Do a web and search here, this has come up before.

FWIW I cover all the 'holes' on my A1/s with black Cling brand low adhesive tape, and keep a Sony pop filter permanently on the cams mic .. to keep the dust and microgrit out of the cams body. Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 02:20 AM   #3
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Allan, I think shaking, bumping and turning the camera upside down will be my new daily ritual at least until I cancel the camera rental reservation I made shortly before "fixing" the problem.

From what I understand, Canon does not release its service manuals, at least not on that camera, at least not in this country and google did not turn anything up, at least not anything I could download onto a Mac. Not sure I'd want to attempt this myself anyway.

The pop filter is a good idea as is the tape. I did shoot in a very dusty environment about a year ago and had the camera professionally cleaned when I got back home. Something inside the lens never even occurred to me. Certainly not dust, looks more like a tiny styrofoam particle.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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Hi, Jase................

On the Canon XL1s, the front element is held on by 4 minute philips head screw.

Removing them allows the entire front element and plate to be lifted clear of the lens, that I have proved because I've done it and seen it done by a Canon tech.

Behind that is a "sealed" lens module that is manufactured as a complete unit and is NOT user or technician fixable. Any problems and it needs to be swapped out in it's entirety, shipped back to Japan and replaced with a new/ refurbished module.

I suspect that the design allows two things:

1. The front element is the most likely to take a hit in any accident, and thus the one most likely to need replacing.

2. The "sealed" lens module is extracted through the front of the lens.

I have had the "sealed" lens module replaced on my XL1s under warranty, as it was behaving eratically.

Much to my and Canons utter astonishment, the "new" "sealed" lens module had what looked like cigarette ash floating around all over the inside of the rear lens.

Needless to say, they swapped it out for another, somewhat shame faced, and were simply speechless as to how it was possible.

Getting back to your particular "non problem", the XH A1 has, on the front lens plate, 4 minute philips head screws, in exactly the same arrangement as the XL1s lens (ring a bell?).

As the lens is fixed permanently to the camera body, I must assume the same construction as the XL1s lens, with an inner "sealed" unit that extracts through the front of the lens barrel.

The numerous reports of crud inside the front lens element testify to the non sealed outer lens barrel. A piece of white expanded polystyrene would hint at introduced during manufacture, not use (I don't think the holes in the outer lens barrel are THAT big).

Now, I'm not suggesting this, mind, just speculating, OK?

Armed with a decent jewelers screwdriver set with philips head bits, a can of dry air , a steady hand and a bit of care, I bet you could blow that sucker right out the equation should it return, all in about 5 minutes flat.

Don't try this at home, boys and girls.


CS
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Old November 5th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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Ah, but Chris, speculation is surely the mother of many a disaster... :-)

And I should state for the record that its a rare day I'll use an emoticon, surely one of the banes of the virtual world.

I do thank you for your input and your words of caution. My only question (so far) is if you know (at least from your experience on the XL1s lens), that the front element simply slides in and out once unscrewed. Any chance for putting it back in, out of alignment, assuming of course one has put it back evenly as far as the eye can tell.

I have wondered if said particle in my lens was introduced during manufacture and for a brief moment had a wonderful time telling myself how that had to have been the case. And how Canon would not only pay for the repair but my shipping and rental as well. But I do digress...

Thanks again
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Ah.........

Well, if one did, indeed remove those 4 screws, one would find (speaking entirely hypothetically, of course) that the front plate and lens simply slides out of it's circular tube with a faint pull and cannot be replaced in any fashion except that in which it came out.

There is nothing to get out of alignment.

A certain individual, who shall remain nameless, can indeed confirm that this works exactly the same on the XH A1 as it does on the XL1s, as that individual has, to prove a point, performed both procedures, the latter only this morning, it being a slow news day.

Did I mention I have both a XL1s and a XH A1, by any chance?

And a set of jewelers philips head screwdrivers?

No?

Most remiss of me.

Just don't lose a/ the screws and don't drop any crud into the hole and I'd say (hypothetically, of course) you'd be good to go.


CS
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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Jase, if you get good at fixin' cameras, I'll bring mine to you for some cleaning :)
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #8
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Chris, I knew you had an XH A1 but I had no idea you'd be the kind of guy who had jeweler's screwdrivers as well... I'll get to it in the next day or 2 and will let you know how it went, assuming of course, both doctor and patient survive.

Don, I'll let you know when I set up my (un)authorized Canon repair service.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #9
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Jase, time how long it takes you to fix it, so you can work out a rate card. Make notes like they do defusing a mine .. and all the best with it.

Cheers.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #10
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Extraction

Chris

The four screws of which you write, at least on my camera, simply allow removal of an outer housing which has the filter threads and onto which one snaps on the lens cap. In order to remove the front element there are at least 4 more, if not 8 more screws to remove. One set of 4 is further recessed and I'm guessing have nothing to do with it. The other 4 are on tabs which protrude from what appears to be the front element housing. Its also very clear that once they're removed you'd have to give a slight turn to the housing in order to remove it. Its the turning part that makes me cautious. (took apart far to many mechanical toys as a kid not to have learned that what comes out easily, may not necessarily go back in as easily)

Awaiting any further input from you... or your friend... before proceeding.

Jase
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Old November 9th, 2010, 06:01 PM   #11
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Hi, Jase...........

Dork! Me, not you!

Just did it again and realised I still had the UV filter on which I "just assumed" as I didn't look carefully, was the front lens element.

I see what you mean.

By the look of it, those four screws in the tabs need to be removed and the tabs need to be turned to clear the projections above them - ah, but which way?

However, I'm not sure now whether all you're going to get is the front element or the entire lens module complete with ribbon cables and all.

The closer I look at it, the more convinced I am you're going to get the bleeding lot, lock, stock and barrel.

I can't see why a single element would require such a monumental belt and braces mounting system.

Having never had any inclination to become a Bomb Disposal technician, I think at this point I'll just back away from the camera on tiptoe and pray.


CS
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #12
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Jase, have you had Heinz over at Camtex have a look at your camera?

Dave
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #13
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Hi Chris

I knew there was a good reason I had dismantled, aka destroyed all those toys way back when. The fruit has come to harvest. Walking away too. But many thanks for the effort.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #14
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Hi Dave

How are you? I did phone around a little in town but not to them. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll let you know what they say.
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