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Old February 3rd, 2003, 04:21 AM   #1
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more pana PAL firmware glitches!

Richard Onslow writes:


Hi

I am trying to research if other people have a problem like myself and a few others have with our Panasonic cameras. In the UK my model is known as NV-DS38B (the B is for UK model, I think). The problem seems to be similar in some ways to that experienced by some MX-300 users until a firmware upgrade became available which amongst other things corrected glitches during DV out to other equipment. I have had some problems convincing people that the camera is at fault. My camera is currently with Panasonic in the UK but I have heard nothing in almost 3 weeks. Should you have any knowledge of such a problem---I get audio glitches/dropouts only but a guy on this thread I started gets video problems too:


http://www.dvdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubb/...ML/002157.html

This is a follow up:

Hi Frank

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for your advice/Aussie contact. I will post on those forums tonight if I get time. I am hoping to get some news today from a guy in Australia whose picking up his camera today from Panasonic after a firmware upgrade. However, he's not too hopefull of it being fixed. If you are interested he will post the result after doing some tests on his thread here:


http://www.colinbarrett.com/simplyBB...783&forum=2&13

He may also post on the dvdoctor thread I started and pointed you to in my email.
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 04:45 PM   #2
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Follow up

By the way, the Aussie guy got his camera back but he still gets audio dropouts. He's testing out a possible workaround so check here if you are interested:

http://www.colinbarrett.com/simplyBB...783&forum=2&14
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Old February 5th, 2003, 12:05 AM   #3
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My first actual posting here so hello to everyone and thanks to Frank Granovski for starting the thread off on my behalf.

The workaround referred to in the previous post seems to be holdng up. Unfortunately, it is probably of no use to people with models like the NV-DS28B ( i.e. the UK model) which does not have AV In, if the presence of an incoming signal is the key feature in the method. The Australian DS28 does have AV In evidently.

It would be interesting to know if anyone with an MX300 who has had glitch problems but has not yet had a firmware upgrade gets any improvement using this workaround. I assume the MX300 has AV In.

Richard
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Old February 5th, 2003, 02:30 AM   #4
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Welcome, Richard!

I have the version 1.5 fimware upgrade, not the newest 1.6 version. Before I had my firmware upgraded, I uploaded into my friend's MAC a few times. I did not notice any glitches. But I only did this a few times.

I agree: perhaps someone with a MX300 can try this "workaround."

Even with this "glitch," I presume the best solution is to simply use a deck---there go more bucks, er, Pounds!

Keep us informed, Richard.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 02:54 AM   #5
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I heard yesterday that Panasonic UK are unable so far to reproduce my audio dropout problem although they have tried various computers. This seems amazing to me as I have tried 3 different computes and get dropouts on all 3! I think Monday will be the last day they try.

By the way Frank can you explain what you mean by:-

"I presume the best solution is to simply use a deck---there go more bucks, er, Pounds"

I am new to video cameras etc. so don't kow what you mean by 'deck'. Are you suggesting buying another piece of gear?

Sorry If it's a dumb question

Richard
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Old February 8th, 2003, 03:05 AM   #6
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I meant that instead of uploading from the cam, take the tape out, put it in a deck, and upload into the computer from the deck. But a good deck costs a lot of money.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 03:47 AM   #7
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No surprise, Richard, that you are not familiar with DV decks.

As the MiniDV format is mostly targetted at home and semi-pro level, and in most other parts of the world, MiniDV cameras are sold as Cam-corders, there is really no serious needs for decks.

A MiniDV deck looks just like a VHS deck, allowing record, play back and most other editing function. AV and DV in/out would be available, too. Since the manufacturers assume that only pros need decks, the decks are in the range of US3,000! That means that you may be better off buying a cheap camera with lousy optics just to use as a deck!

My first encounter with a MiniDV deck is at my friends production house (semi-pro) which he owns a Sony MiniDV-cum-VHS deck. In Malaysia, it costed him more than RM15,000 a few years back, that's about US4,000.

I would be interested if anyone wants to sell a MiniDV cam with working AV in/out and Firewire in/out but busted lens or CCD!
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Old February 9th, 2003, 08:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for replies. I must admit I thought the only thing that recorded on/played back a mini DV tape was a digital video camera. I am definately only into video at amateur level and not looking to spend loads of money. It's just a shame that this hobby. for me, has turned into something of a consumer nightmare where I cannot get acknowledgement from Panasonic that a problem actually exists! I can only assume that there is something about the way or the conditions in which they are testing my camera that means dropouts don't occur. But I would've thought the first thing to do if a problem could not be replicated would be to check through things with the person who has experience of the problem i.e. me, but nobody from Panasonic has ever rung me to discuss anything about it. If they did I might feel like I was getting some 'customer care'
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Old February 9th, 2003, 07:41 PM   #9
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I feel your pain, Richard. Yes, it is a very expensive hobby, one which I cannot afford either. I only use AV and S-video out, then use these VCRs as my decks. However, I have good friends with high-end equipment coming out of their ears. So I get to borrow a DV deck, editing laptop, and even mics, when I ask. One guy I know works for the movie industry and makes big bucks. To avoid paying any taxes he spends like crazy on the latest DV gear and computers. But because he's always busy working, his toys collect dust. That's where I come in! What are friends for? Actually, I do him a lot of favours as well---tracking down equipment for him.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 01:38 PM   #10
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I phoned Panasonic UK at Bracknell today and asked to speak directly to the engineer working on my camera. I thought I would be able to double check exactly what they are doing in order to discover why they can't replicate this problem. However I found out that Panasonic UK have a policy which forbids the customer from talking directly to the engineers. I can email and it will be passed to the engineer but I cannot speak to him except through a customer service representative as it were. I have been thinking of actually going to Bracknell with my computer but if I can't speak to an engineer on the phone it is unlikely I will be allowed to meet with one in person. A discussion with an engineer may be all that's required to highlight why we get different results and resolve the problem quickly. Why do some companies not realise that customer care involves actually caring for the customer and adapting to help the individual customer's needs. I asked if an exception could be made but was met with a flat refusal. I have not had a single telephone call from Panasonic or an email requesting any further information from me on this problem. Why is nobody from Panasonic asking me for any details? If they are struggling to replicate a problem after having a customers camera for over 3 weeks why not contact the customer rather than return the camera and say 'unable to find any fault' which the way things are going could quite possibly happen. Why not invite me to Bracknell with my computer? Now that would be cutomer care.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 06:50 PM   #11
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That's so strange and tacky that they wouldn't go for this. I presume they are afraid that they have no immediate solution for the firmware glitch. I guess it is a way of protecting themselves.

I have a friend here in Vancouver, who used to hire me for shooting, and his Panasonic woes were a lot worse. One time, Panasonic had his cam for 6 months! And when it cam back (from Japan), it still wasn't working right. It was an expensive cam too. He finally just threw it in the garbage - about $5,000 Canadian down the tubes. It's too bad that some of these cam companies aren't held accountable.

I have been lucky. All my JVC and Panasonic cams have never given me problems.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 08:01 PM   #12
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Hi, Richard.

Sorry to hear about your troubles with glitches & Panasonic. I truly sympathize with you, because I have gone through similar treatment with Panasonic Malaysia. Remember: only Pana Australia knows about it.

I've had lots of troubles with my MX300EN (PAL) cam bought in Malaysia: dirt inside viewfinder (twice), DV out glitches, more than 20 "always on" pixels on the LCD, color accuracy problems on LCD & viewfinder that needed recalibration.

Today, I am totally satisfied because all these problems were fixed :) :). They cleaned my viewfinder, the DV out glitches were fixed via firmware upgrade 1.6, totally replaced my LCD, took many visits to eventually fix the color accuracy / calibrate the colors on the LCD. All at no charge.

I trusted them, and they delivered, eventually. It's been with Panasonic Malaysia from the next day following my purchase, for a total period of 7 months (!), but in between fault repairs I got back the cam. I must have gone to the service center about a dozen times, to rectify the faults. I would collect it, check it at home, and unfortunately some color on the LCD wasn't correct, so I would send it back within 3 days. So in that 7 months I think I played with my MX for like a total of one month. :(

It was also a learning process for them, especially the firmware upgrade to fix the DV out glitches. It's their first time doing firmware upgrades & LCD color recalibration. For the glitches, I even offered to bring my PC to the service center & they took the bait 'cos they didn't know what else to do. You HAVE to demonstrate the problem without doubt to them, before they can do anything.

One problem was company policy: I showed them all the mails between Stuart of Pana Australia & Frank, even gave their contact numbers. They couldn't talk directly to Pana Australia (different subsidiary) they could only talk to, and get their orders & firmware from Pana Japan! The PDF that Stuart gave me (I've passed it on to Frank, it's available from Frank's website http://www.dvfreak.com) FINALLY did the trick. Patience paid off: I got the 1.6 firmware which is newer than Frank's 1.5 firmware.

I've learnt a lot of patience and dished out a lot of understanding for the Panasonic techies. Being a techie myself for bar coding equipment (Symbol brand) I can empathize with them. All I could do is to dream about the future, that one day my MX will be totally cured... Hope kept me going ;)

Some theories about why Panasonic doesn't allow you to talk directly to the techie: 1) If a customer can talk directly to the techie, he would be always "hassled" to get things done fast, and perhaps even verbally abused. This affects his / her performance. Imagine having 5 or more irate customers hassling you everyday :(
2) There is no black & white / documentation. Nothing to forward to your colleagues in Pana Japan or wherever, if they needed help solving it.
Each visit to the service center, I submitted a thorough explaination of the problem. Typing "DV Out glitches" in the service request report didn't do the trick. A thorough explaination with pictures did it.

All the best to you!
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Old February 11th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #13
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Thanks for the replies Frank and Steven. I've got to rest from typing and clicking the old mouse too much tonight ( maybe longer ) as I think I am getting symptoms of repetative strain injury in my right arm. You certainly have a lot of patience Steven and I agree with you that they don't want customers pestering the engineers all the time but you think they might at least call the customer once to verify the facts of the case to make sure that the problem is understood correctly. Would go on but arm needs resting

Cheers
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Old February 14th, 2003, 06:09 PM   #14
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My MX300 has been at the repair shop twice last year for about 3 1/2 months total time out. on its second visit to the repairer they said they did the firmware update (1.5 I think) but using the camera last week it still has problems. audio droped out twice over 40 minutes and video glitches remain too.
I'm very disappointed!
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Old February 14th, 2003, 07:21 PM   #15
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Really? With the firmware version 1.5 upgrade you still get the interrupted video?

What was wrong with your MX300? Just curious.
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