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Old May 11th, 2003, 03:08 AM   #1
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mx300 service advice

I currently have my mx300 in for a service and i have since been told that it needs major repairs. The cost running in at over $500. I have had the camera for two and a half years now and over that period of time have had varied levels in glitch problems. More recently the glitch problems have become extreme to the point where i cant view the footage i have taken. The problem is strange though, from one day to the next it comes and goes.

I use the same brand of tapes (sony). The camera has done a lot of work over the last two and a half years----so given this is this kind of wear and tear usual? (the cam has never been serviced or upgraded apart from head cleaning)

I have read in other threads about cameras needing updates to get rid of this glitch problem. If this is a glitch problem caused by poor manufacturing on behalf of panasonic are they responsible to fix it or at least contribute? I realise that im way past my warranty but is there any room for negotiation with panasonic?

If anyone has any personal experience with this issue i'd love to know, or if anyone knows of someone within panasonic i can talk to about it id be very greatful

Thanks again
Richard
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Old May 11th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #2
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E-mail stuartc@panasonic.com.au perhaps, concerning the firmware upgrade.

About the wear and tear, I don't know. How many head hours are on your MX300? The person servicing it can call it up.

Why do you use Sony tapes in your cam? Aren't they "wet" tapes?

$500 Australian is not that much for overhauling the cam.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 09:30 PM   #3
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Hi, Richard.

I have had the glitch problem, and upgrading the firmware to version 1.6 got rid of glitches / blocks that appear when transferring from DV OUT of the MX300 (PAL) into my PC's DV card (Matrox RT2000).

Maybe with that kind of use / over-use / abuse, you may be having glitches / blocks which are due to tape head wear & tear.
If so, the firmware upgrade WILL NOT fix this.

What sort of glitches are you seeing? Horizontal bars with some audio noise or no audio during glitches? Blocks of video peppering the screen? How long do they last?

The firmware fixable glitch occurs for about 2 to 3 frames only, no horizontal bars, blocks which are like a jigsaw puzzle (you can almost piece the blocks back to the right places in the frame). The audio still sounds ok during the glitch.

Maybe you need to change your head, or it could be tape head alignment problems. Try playing back one of the tapes with your glitches in another newer DV cam (with a clean head!) & see if glitches appear too.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:55 AM   #4
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Hey guys thanks for the reply's!

Spoke to the Servicer today and to be exact they are replacing the cylinder unit. It has been quoted at $258 but all up $597 (the rest being labour). I spoke to panasonic today also and my problem has been registered and is being assesed as to whether panasonic will come to the party the consaltant said it could go three ways:
# get nothing towards the repairs
# get a portion or half
# or they may repair for free

Im not sure how this will go as i purchased the camera two and a half years ago.....but i thought it was worth a try.

To describe my glitch problem: The video in playback varied from slightly glitchy with audio glitches to extreme as was the case the other day when i played back some footage shot several days earlier. That same day i shot half a hours worth of footage and viewed it with no glitches at all. I was using exactly the same tapes (new). So the problem comes and goes.

Ive used a mix of sony and panasonic tapes..........mainly sony though(i would say 70% of the time). I havent chosen this brand for any specific reason, Frank could you please recommend a brand? I only found out that using multiple brands is damaging to your cam since joining this forum and from then have only used Sony.

Thanks again for your replies!
Rich
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:59 AM   #5
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Well, you broke the first rule for using miniDV:

never mix brands/types of tape in your cam. So now you've ended up with head problems.

Here's some reading: http://www.dvfreak.com/tape.htm
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Old May 12th, 2003, 03:47 AM   #6
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yes yes....i realise that.......now....Jeeeez you sound like my father :-)

Like i said i dont practice that anymore.....looks like ill have to change to Panasonic tapes.

Thanks for link, gave good advice on quality tape.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 10:22 PM   #7
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Hi, Rich.

Sounds like you have a DV head related problem which causes the glitches. The clue is the occasional audio glitches.

The "fixable by firmware upgrade" glitch problem is unrelated to the symptoms that you mentioned - these particular glitches come when playing your DV tape through the DV out port going to your PC, you will see the blocks in 2 to 3 frames only, and the audio is fine in those 2 to 3 frames.

===

While your cam is there at Panasonic, you may want to ask them to upgrade your firmware to 1.6 or higher anyways.

It will improve the stabilizer so that it will be better at zoom 6x to 12x (less shakes when hand holding). This feature is an UNOFFICIAL side effect of upgrading with firmware 1.6, so if this is the reason you give for the upgrade, Panasonic will not acknowledge it.

The official reason for requesting the upgrade is "I have glitches in my DV output from DV out port to the PC" (DV OUT glitches).
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Old May 13th, 2003, 02:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for your help......

I spoke to my retailer today (my best mate) he spoke to the local rep for me today. His unofficial and off the record advice to me was to keep hounding panasonic about the problem and i may get something. So ill see what happens.

My case is in for review at the moment so i should find out in a week of so....

Ill keep you posted on what happens.

rich
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