Has anyone else's viewfinder quit mid-job? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 15th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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Has anyone else's viewfinder quit mid-job?

I was shooting yesterday with a rented HD100 on a pretty high end wedding with another cameraman shooting steadi-cam with an HVX200. It was my second shoot with one of these, both rented, and I was enjoying again it's lightness & balance compared to my DSR 300A. And the sweet viewfinder on it. I say sweet because with peaking cranked I can easily focus with it and what a joy to have color with punch in the viewfinder.

The first hour and a half was all hand held for pre-wedding footage. Everything functioning perfectly. Then when I get to the church and am setting up where my tripod is going to be, I discover that I have nothing on the viewfinder....just plain dead. No bumps in between or jarring and carefully put into its custom case. No amount of unplugging / replugging, on / off cycling or light jostling could bring it back.

I was screwed because I had no choice but to make the best of it. Tripod work at the church and during speeches later was fine as that LCD monitor is decent. But give me a break...could they not have engineered a much better constructed mounting / articulation setup than that?? That thing I knew was one false move carrying it around from leaving me totally blind, with only an A1U as backup and it simply is tuff in low light to focus with either viewfinder or LCD.

But the handholding was a bear. With the need to get the LCD far enough from my eye for minimal focus I had to put the back bottom corner of the camera / battery brick against the front side of my shoulder and support most of the weight with my arms. Plus I had to tilt my head backward as far as I could to get to where I could focus reasonably well. Really uncomfortable on my neck for shots I had to hold a long time. Plus telephoto shots with the need to follow focus, like the wedding procession were really tough & literally made me see double at times. But props to me I think I was still able to get great footage captured while under a lot of duress.

Any ideas what might have been the cause? We ran through the menu again which had all been set up the night before, but I didn't change anything between the 1st part of shoot to 2nd.

Edit:
Or your viewfinder just stopped working period at some point while you've owned one or were using one, whether in the middle of a job or not?

Last edited by Ron Fabienke; October 15th, 2006 at 04:32 PM.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #2
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The incidents of a viewfinder actually failing to work have been very low. A few have been cracked under high stress or impact conditions, but they continued to make a picture.

With a rented camera, there's no way to know for sure how the camera had been treated before you got it. The problem may be in the viewfinder, the viewfinder cable, or the connector on the camera. Please advise the rental house of your problem, and suggest that they have the unit looked at at the JVC Pro factory service center.

Regards, Carl
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Old October 15th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Hicks
A few have been cracked under high stress or impact conditions....
Not exactly. It doesn't take much to crack the viewfinder. Day to day operation will crack it, but it doesn't prevent the electronics from working.

Attached is the actual part that cracks very easily and if you take a look at the way it's engineered you can see why. There is no reinforcement.

S.Noe
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Old October 16th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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Hi Stephen,

My personal experience in my territory has been a very low incidence of this problem. If you've had this problem, please get the unit into our factory service center for repair.

Also, note that our factory engineers have noted this issue and they have made some improvement in the design to resolve this issue.

Regards, Carl
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Old October 16th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Hicks
Hi Stephen,

My personal experience in my territory has been a very low incidence of this problem. If you've had this problem, please get the unit into our factory service center for repair.

Also, note that our factory engineers have noted this issue and they have made some improvement in the design to resolve this issue.

Regards, Carl
I can't see this particular photograph offered by Stephen due to a frustrating situation I finally emailed Chris about, where half of the time when I'm asked to log in to be able to view a photo link or footage link, it just bounces me back into the blank log in fields. Though I'm actually logged in at that point.

But, I'm guessing the picture was of the thin plastic support that slides in and out for viewing comfort, which is supporting the eyepiece? It doesn't seem very sturdy. And in fact when I returned the camera today they took the viewfinder into the back room and played with it a little bit because they noticed the eyepiece had tweaked into a slight separation at that 90 degree junction. When he pushed it back more tightly together it started working again, but will still need to be sent back for lasting repair. Certainly nothing I did.

Carl, which model after the HD100 going forward has the improved design on that? How about the relatively flimsy mount for the LCD flip out? Are the 110, 200 & 250 still the same?

Thanks
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Old October 17th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Fabienke
I can't see this particular photograph offered by Stephen due to a frustrating situation I finally emailed Chris about, where half of the time when I'm asked to log in to be able to view a photo link or footage link, it just bounces me back into the blank log in fields. Though I'm actually logged in at that point.

But, I'm guessing the picture was of the thin plastic support that slides in and out for viewing comfort, which is supporting the eyepiece? It doesn't seem very sturdy. And in fact when I returned the camera today they took the viewfinder into the back room and played with it a little bit because they noticed the eyepiece had tweaked into a slight separation at that 90 degree junction. When he pushed it back more tightly together it started working again, but will still need to be sent back for lasting repair. Certainly nothing I did.

Carl, which model after the HD100 going forward has the improved design on that? How about the relatively flimsy mount for the LCD flip out? Are the 110, 200 & 250 still the same?

Thanks
Hi Ron,

Running changes were made to some of the internal parts that make up the viewfinder sometime in the life cycle of the GY-HD100U. So, late model HD100's and the newer models like the HD110, HD200, and HD250 all have the improved design. If you or any customer has trouble with their viewfinder, please send it into service for repair. Our service staff is there to help.

Regarding the flip-out LCD: Personally, I know of no customers who have had problems or failures of this item. If you or any customer has trouble with their LCD, please send it into service for repair. Our service staff is there to help.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 04:17 AM   #7
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One other possibility - because the VF and LCD cannot be active at the same time, it is possible that the manual switch that turns the LCD off when you close it may have been stuck (excuse the extreme use of technical language). I've read of one instance on this forum where the reverse was happening and the LCD would not turn on.
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