Scary but random DVX100a problem - at

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The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.

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Old April 22nd, 2005, 11:20 AM   #1
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Scary but random DVX100a problem -

Hey guys - slap my hand if this has been brought up before: I was shooting an infomercial last night with another member here and had a very scary problem that has only happened one other time with my camera 7 months or so ago.

Before packing for the shoot, I checked my camera for correct functionality as I always do and it was fine. Once we arrived to the location and after setting up lights and mics, I pulled out my camera to start setting exposure but everything was completely blurred. I couldn't get ANYTHING to focus on either side of the zoom range. I tried to go completely auto settings, changing scene files, turning the camera on and off and removing the battery etc. with no luck. The colors were correct for the room (meaning all my blurs were from the room colors, pointing it at a light resulted in bright blurs etc) and when I would zoom in it was almost as if the zoom had been reversed with weird motion of the blurs, very odd looking. Again, we're not talking just out of focus, there was no resemblance of room shapes or items in front of the camera, just a completely blurred screen with a few different shades of orange and flares (it didn't look like a digital chip problem, it seemed all optical lens associated). Now desperate, I hit the reset button bringing the camera back to factory settings STILL with no luck. By this point I was sweating bullets as this shoot was on an extreme time crunch and the other camera man had vouched for me on this job. I ended up turning off the camera, tapping the barrel with my palm a few times (no, not out of frustration, my thinking was perhaps a chip or plate or whatever had come loose or out of seat), then put it back in the case perhaps for superstition reasons. I waited 10 seconds, pulled it back out and powered back on thankfully to have it finally work. This actually happened to me one other time about 7 months ago when I was just doing some test shots in my house but it simply took two power offs and ons for it to come back so I thought of it as just a weird fluke where I might have hit a setting somewhere. Has anyone ever heard of this before? Good thing I spent the big bucks on the 4 year warranty -

Just as a background of my camera, it does not have an exceptionally high number of hours on it as I professionaly edit but sometimes camera man gigs are thrown my way and there's ofcourse a few short films and docs we do which is why the camera was purchased in the first place. The camera has also never been serviced (though is in need of its first yearly checkup, I've owned it for 1.3 years now) I honestly can't send it off for service right now though as I have a required shoot this coming Tuesday and the 48 hour film festival next weekend in DC. How long can I expect warranty or service to take? A month? A couple months? Eveyone cross your fingers for me -
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 04:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
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ive had this happen twice in 120hrs operation..

ive needed to shut it down for a minute or so...

it came back ok..

one thing though, is that i no longer leave the battery in the unit for extended periods of time.. i usd ot jsut leae the batteries in there until they drained just in case i needed teh cam off the cuff, but i dont know what difference it woudl make..

this issue i have only seen on the original release.. my 100a, hasnt had this problem so far.. however i have noticed BOTH cameras to get "jiggly" with the OIS at full zoom..
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 09:26 AM   #3
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Interesting..... I never leave the battery in the camera and my hard shell case doesn't really even let me so every time I pack up, I always put the huge battery back into its respective slot. I wonder if I can explain this to the Mack Camera Warranty people or if sporadic behavior isn't covered. Regardless I'll send it off for excessive picture noise (I got to compare my picture quality with a 2 week old 100a Thursday night). Anyone else had a discombobulated dvx? It seems to only happen when I first turn on the camera, after I've been shooting a while its fine....
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 09:45 AM   #4
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Did you get a chance to output the camera signal to a television monitor to see if the problem related only to the viewfinder? Assuming the viewfinders come off, maybe having a spare viewfinder might not be a bad idea.

There is a trade off to owning cameras that cost 2 - 4 x times less than they did 10 years ago and are smaller, but the lower cost should allow one to own an extra camera.

I did a side by side between a 100 and a JVC KY-27B (a 10 year old camera) and found the two cameras to be very close in quality. the KY-27B new cost around 10-12K and is a bigger camera. So 10 years later, an equal quality camera is available at 75% off! Wow.

Couldn't you buy 3 or 4 100's for the price of one KY-27B? I'm not saying buy that many but the problem you describe is something that crys for having a back-up camera for only one chance productions.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 12:58 PM   #5
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Allesandro - I agree with having a backup camera and mine currently is unfortunately a 3 year old Panasonic DV852, a little one chipper that used to cost 1k and was great for the time. My budget simply won't allow for another dvx100a, not to say that they are extremely expensive but for my few camera gigs that are thrown to me, I just don't have the budget to buy another dvx. I also didn't get a chance to view it on a production monitor as we were working all in camera. I wish I would have rolled some footage onto my tape to see if that same image was being captured, but alas I was panicking simply to get the problem fixed, not investigate, but next time I'll know what to do.
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