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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #1
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Panasonic PV-DV953D Problems

Has anyone had a problem with the Panasonic PVDV953D not recognizing miniDV cassettes? I get an "Incompatible Tape" error even though it recorded on the tape initially. None of my previously recorded tapes will register. I have tried in camera mode and play back in vcr mode.

This is quite the bummer since the unit is less than 90 days old and Panasonic wants me to pay to ship it back for repairs.

Any thoughts would be appreicated. Panasonic was less than helpful when I finally got to talk to a real person. Also their support on their web site is dreadful. Buyer beware of the 953 and the crudy customer service that Panasonic provides.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:39 PM   #2
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Don. I agree with you about poor Pana USA service. JVC is just as bad. Them's the breaks! Have you tried using a head cleaning tape? If that doesn't resolve the problem I would send it to Pana. Don't you have a Pana repair center in your neck of the woods? Every major city in Canada does. But for many problems the cam has to go back to the big brick building, and sometimes even back to Japan. So your warranty has run out? No extended warranty? :(
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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #3
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Thanks

Frank,
Thanks for the advice. I will try to head clean first before mailing it in. It has very little time on the heads though. No, I had not gotten around to an extended warranty yet. I could not even figure out how to register it on their web site. It was working fine and then just nothing. I reviewed a tape after shooting last week and then put it away. Turned it on to transfer the tape to computer today and nothing worked except for zoom, menus, stills etc. I guess I will have to send it in then start shopping for something else.
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Old August 20th, 2003, 09:45 AM   #4
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Hey Don,
Also try to use the reset button on the cam. Before that leave it without the power source for a while - it might help too.

You know the vitz for the computer engineer who was with friends for a mountain ride. When the old car gave up on the hill he proposed everybody to go out shut the doors then enter again and that's it - car should work again (just like restarting PC).

Cheers, Bogie
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 11:35 PM   #5
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Pana 953

Well, just an update on why never to buy a Panasonic camera again.

I sent it in for repairs just before the 90 day warranty was up. Panasonic did manage to repair after having it for a month. They did not stock the parts and had to get them from Japan.

Anyway, I got the unit back (they were nice and did ship it overnight). I put in a tape and shot some footage in mid-October. I got busy and did not even have time to look at the tape until the 1st of December. I was able to download the footage and went to take the tape out. When the transport opened a screw and white plastic parts came flying out. Now the transport just wobbles around. Guess what it is just about another 90 days.

I was just preparing to use it for another shoot and needed a new tape. So that makes a grand total of about 6 tapes throught the machine and two repairs.

I had to pay $40 to ship it back to the factory repair the first time. I asked for a replacement and Panasonic said they did not have new machines to replace it with and one break does not make it a lemon. I wonder if two breakdowns of the same thing makes it a lemon now!

I think I will get it fixed and sell it or maybe just trash can it.

This post is to let other know of my BAD experience with the PV-953.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 12:07 AM   #6
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That's too bad. But I would push Pana to fix it or replace it. Here in Canada, this cam costs $1000 more, but we get a 1 year warranty. Only problem is, major repair work most likely requires a trip to Japan.

As a consumer, you always have the option of the small claims court route.

I wonder if when you bought your new cam, it wasn't actually new, but a damaged return. Where did you buy it? And..., what tapes did you use with it? If you bought it at B&H, they probably would have replaced it for you.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 12:14 AM   #7
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Bad Panasonic

I bought it from a camera store in ST Thomas. They sell quality merchanize and have bought other brands and cameras from them.

Panasonic was nice enough, but they just don't carry parts. If I had know that parts were not stocked stateside I would not have purchased the camera. I just can't believe that the parts inside just break with no abuse (even the factory made replacement part) or USE.

I will post after talking to them again. I was just preparing to buy the extended warranty when this happend. Supposedly, I was supposed to get a second 90 days after the fix. By then I will have $80 invested in shipping 2 months of 6 downtime and then will have to look at the additional $200 in extended warranty that I don't think includes shipping. By then I will have about 1/5 of the purchase price wrapped up in repairs and 6 tapes.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 12:15 AM   #8
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Don, I feel so sorry for you, being the really tail end of the statistics. I cannot assume to say that I can relate to you on this really bad experience, because nothing as bad has happened to me yet. My own MX3530 went with me for about 1 year plus, shot documentaries, weddings, home-video, adverts and my several hiking and trekking trips in pretty harsh environments, including construction sites (I work as an engineer). Has not died on me yet. I have clocked about 150 recording/playback hours on the MX350 already.

Maybe Panasonic should really practise service recovery (product recovery, customer satisfaction) by giving you some good stuff and repair the set for free, maybe even a voucher for the next purchase!
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Old December 4th, 2003, 12:21 AM   #9
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pv 953

I will let you know if my trust in Pana is increased after my next discussion with them. I have had a Panasonic analog camcorder vhs for years with no trouble at all. I guess brand loyality is a thing of the past.
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