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Old April 12th, 2019, 03:15 PM   #1
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Life expectance of a camcorder

Does anyone know the life expectance of a camcorder? I'm asking about camcorders that use media such as CF cards or SD cards. Also, has anyone ever had a camcorder just up and quit on them in the middle of a shoot or while traveling. I'm not talking about dropping it or getting it wet, I mean it just dies? Bob
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Old April 13th, 2019, 05:54 AM   #2
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Re: Life expectance of a camcorder

Hi Bob,

That's a bit of a tricky question and can depend on many factors. It's a bit like asking has anybody had a car just quit on them, did it run out of fuel, blow a tyre, have an electrical disconnection etc. Well a camcorder just quitting is a bit like that. Any electrical or mechanical equipment can have a sudden failure for a myriad of reasons. The likelyhood is low if the camera is properly maintained and good quality consumables are use. I had one of my Panasonic FZ1000s suddenly refuse to turn on, which was due to the on off switch failing after hundreds of hours of use. I've also had a camera stop recording due to a card fault, quickly sorted by changing the card. Modern cameras using memory cards are much less prone to failure as there are less mechanical moving parts, unlike the earlier tape based systems.

Environmental conditions can also cause failure, so if you are using a camcorder where it is going to get wet, make sure you have a fully waterproofed one. Likewise, if you are using it under extreme cold or excessive heat, make sure that the camera is up to the requirements. I use cameras for my living as a wedding videographer and photographer and have videoed many thousands of hours with virtually no problems apart from the ones mentioned above. The 3 Panny FZ1000 that I use have all filmed hundreds of hours over the last 5 years with only the one switch failure. My previous Panasonic 700/800/900s also gave many years totally reliable service. I always have wet covers available in case of unexpected rain and also always have a backup camera to hand to cover unexpected failures, which thankfully, as mentioned has only happened once.

Roger
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Old April 13th, 2019, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Life expectance of a camcorder

Hi Bob

My two Canon HF200s and HF20 are ten years old this year and still going. I treat them with care, but not kid gloves and they are used every week. I am hoping for a few more years from them yet.
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Old April 13th, 2019, 02:31 PM   #4
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Re: Life expectance of a camcorder

I've still got a few of the cameras I had in the 80s that mechanically died, in use as cameras connected to monitors. None have actually failed.
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Old April 15th, 2019, 02:13 PM   #5
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Re: Life expectance of a camcorder

Thanks guys, I was just wondering about that because I do a lot of traveling and usually to remote places without access to a camera shop in case something happened. I have been using my Canon xf300 for seven years now. Bob
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Old April 15th, 2019, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Life expectance of a camcorder

Bob,

It would give you a lot of "peace of mind" to have a backup of some kind with you. Wouldn't have to be as advanced as your main camcorder but something you could complete the part of a project you experienced a failure in.

For that reason I often don't sell off previous models when I upgrade. I've converted to all mirrorless SLR form factor cameras now, when I upgraded to the Panasonic GH5 I hung onto the GH4 and if necessary I can complete a project with either that or a G85.

I even have an 11 year old Canon HF100 still in excellent operating condition.
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