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


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Old May 18th, 2005, 11:12 AM   #1
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How many have had their DVX in for repair

I'm not trying to start a fight.

I'm sincerely interested in this camcorder but with reservations. I've read elsewhere: a poster said everyone he knows that has a DVX100(A) has had it in for repair in it's first year. Costs for his repair was $800, and his friend paid $1800 - that's half the price of the camcorder (he didn't say what was wrong with the unit). I hope "everyone" he knows just means him and his friend but still, two out of two isn't a good average.

I'm hoping, in writing to this site, to obtain some objectivity and truth that I might not get from a site named after the camcorder. I'm not about bashing Panasonic. If there is a problem, I just want to know about it before making a buying decision, instead of afterward. I also feel that if enough people acknowledge a problem, the corporation is more likely to remedy it, then if people just act like that TWILIGHT ZONE episode with Billy Mumy, where everybody repeats how - "everythings good".

In researching the DVXs' reliability I found a guy that just used his camera ONCE to play back a tape and had to send it in for head repair. A very reliable source from a huge sponser wrote that he always tells buyers never to use this camera to play back tapes because of this flaw. Pany reportedly sent out a whole batch with bad heads. They acknowledged the problem, which is good, and maybe this accounts for most of the problems. I'd like to know. Does this flaw even exist anymore in current models?

One poster wrote he only uses Sony tapes and has never had any problems. I've heard about the Panasonic tapes causeing problems with the Canon XLs' as well. Is this a good work around for this otherwise excellent and innovative camera - only use Sony tapes, and never use the camcorder for playback?

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, I really want to know. If I can get around the head flaw I'll buy the camera, which I would have already done if it weren't for the above concerns. Please give constructive and real world responses. I understand there is a lot of devotion toward this camcorder and judging from the image, I can see why - more film like than any camcorder I've ever seen. Thank you all.

Last edited by John Trent; May 18th, 2005 at 11:13 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old May 18th, 2005, 05:33 PM   #2
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I've had my DVX for almost two years with no problems. I use Panasonic tapes exclusively, and I don't use the camera as a deck, although I have a few times with no problems.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #3
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Although I don't have the DVX, I use the DVC-30 and have 52 hours on it. Both made by Pany and somewhat similar. No problems so far. My two Canons had been in the shop twice before they reached 50 hours.

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Mark
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Old May 18th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #4
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never had a prob with my imported dvx100 but with my A model, dont get me started..

lucky for me i had the whole unit replaced with a brand new build with different firmware
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Old May 19th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #5
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When this cam first came out people were concerned about all sorts of things such as its "plastic" feel when in fact its made of magnesium. Basically time has shown this camera to be extremely reliable under all sorts of circumstances. It has proven itself. I've had it for over 18 months without a problem and shoot it under extreme summer heat in Australia for many weeks. Its a non issue.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 12:46 PM   #6
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I have had my DVX100a for well over a year, have had it dropped, used it as a deck, have over 270hrs on it, have shot over 30 weddings, 10 short films, and various other projects too numerous to count. I have never had a single problem with the camera. After I dropped it, the focus was wierd for a minut, I turned it off and on again and it was fine. This is by far the sturdiest camera I have ever owned, it is a beast, and very well made. If there are any problems, these usually manifest themselves within the first few months, where your warrante should cover, so there really isn't any need to worry.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 12:44 AM   #7
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stabiliser went epileptic on me... as its not an optical element which stabilises the image, but moreso a numbercrunching algorythm, the firmware according to pana reps, was corrupt.

The tape mechanism reset itself. basically when shoointg all is fine, however hit stop and the tape would sometimes "reload" itself into the transport resetting the timescode

rocker zoom lever was sporadic in timing

battery power readout did not read accurately, lucky for me i use high cap batteries, so every 5 hours i would switch

umm what else.. oh, autofocus would play up,

+12 gain was excessively noisy compared to the 100,

progresive scan was as noisy as +18gain

and one tim i have the whole audio track misaligned wiht the video.. it was about 40 frames off..

now i bought the unit in sept last year. less than 80hrs so it was a firmware mainboard defect. i havea new 100a unit which has been solid without any probs
The 100 has also been very solid.

these cameras are build like a brick shithouse, i cannot fault their performance. What happened with me was a once off defect due to bad firmware installation on a mainboard which wasnt supposed to house that firmware version
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 10:15 AM   #8
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I own a personal DVX100A that I bought just over a year ago. I had a problem with a dead Firewire port after about 8 months. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. After some research, discussion, and repairs, I found out that the reason the Firewire port died, was due to a grounding problem with a 6 pin Firewire port on a G5 that I had happened to uncharacteristicly hot swap my DVX into. This isn't the case with all Mac's, or even all G5's. It just so happened that some early model G5's require starting up with component's connected and brought up together to avoid power surges. Connected and start up together should be common practice anyway. And of course you shouldn't be using your camera as a playback deck. It's a camera, not a VCR. Regardless, the Firewire port was repaired free of charge under warranty.

Anyone that tells you they had a DVX that required an expensive repair within the first year, either damaged the camera themselves through abnormal use, or is lieing. Panasonic covers ANY AND ALL possible repairs that may arise from any camera defect within the first year. And extended warranties can be purchased for the timid. In my experience with Sony, JVC, Canon, and Panasonic, there are very few repairs that could arise from normal wear and tear that will cost you more than the average cost of any extended warranty evn after the first year. Of course, this doesn't eleminate the dumbasses who will drop the camera off a roof, in a pool, or in a sandbox who will then complain that they had to pay to have the camera fixed due to their stupid mistake or abnormal use of the camera.

I just returned from a month long documentary shoot in Germany, Russia, South Africa, and Jamaica with two DVX100A's. Never a single problem during the entire shoot. From the dry inviting climate of Samara Russia, to the unbearable heat and humidity of Kingston Jamaica, both DVX100A's performed flawlessly. And I've shot plenty of projects in New York's freezing cold 15 degree winter, with 3 feet of snow on the ground, without any problems.

The DVX is by far one of the best performing and best built MiniDV cameras around.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 12:09 PM   #9
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Need Repair Now

Hey, I love the cameras, have two of them. However, my DVX 100A seems to need some kind of repair. I have a DVX 100, and a DVX 100A. The DVX 100A is suddenly MUCH softer, especially noticeable in wide shots. It's like the ability to focus is gone, or as if the focus mechanism can't quite finish it's job when in wide. Any recommendations for service? And do I send it back to Panasonic or to local people - I'm in San Diego. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 04:30 PM   #10
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Mark,

Let first say that without seeing the problem are describing with my own eyes, the following is merely speculation...

It's more likely that the camera is fine and that you are simply seeing the limitations of the camera and the MiniDV format. Standard Definition DV camcorders do not handle wide shots very well. Never have. Especially when it comes to holding detail in distant objects.

There are a few things you can do to help acheive slightly better results though. First, switch your V DETAIL FREQ to THIN. This will capture the full vertical resolution of the Progressive Scan mode. Second, remove any diffusion filters. Third, turn the DETAIL and V DETAIL LEVEL up a notch or two. Not too much! Just a little to sharpen the image. Now, use the EVF DTL button on the back of the camera to turn the peaking on, in the VF and LCD. Zoom all the way into your subject, manually focus, and then zoom back out to your framing. Assuming your camera isn't defective in some unique way that only effects wide shots, this should improve the clarity of the picture.

IF this doesn't help and the camera really does have a defect that requires service, then go to Panasonic's website and enter your zip code. This will tell you the nearest Panasonic authorized repair center. I'm sure there's one in San Diego that you could take your DVX to. If it's less than a year old, then it's still under factory warranty.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #11
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I have a DVX100 with 67 hours on it. The camera has been excellent up till this point.

I have what looks like the "OIS" Gyro stablizer issue except I don't get any kind of warning..none..it flicks on and off when it choose's (sometimes repeatedly), with OIS on, with it off, on a tripod, or hand held.

I must state how "excited" I am to have this problem...since it started today and I have a shoot on Monday! I'm glad I pulled it out to test batteries so I'm not surprised in the morning.
I have never seen anything like it, I have worked in television and treat this camera with the utmost respect.

I'm not sure where to go from here? I have a contract with this client and I now have a unreliable camera.
I hope this helps.
Good Luck,
Mick
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Old June 5th, 2005, 09:24 PM   #12
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Mick,

Sounds like the OIS button may be stuck. Try pressing it a few times repeatedly. If that doesn't help, turn the camera off, disconnect the battery, press the reset button, then reconnect the battery and turn the camera back on.

Unless the camera is having other problems, the OIS coming on and going off shouldn't render the camera unusable... or unreliable.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #13
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It flickers on and off meaning black runs over the tapes.

but I got it.

Good Luck,
Mick
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Last edited by Mick Isdes; June 10th, 2005 at 07:39 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 11:56 PM   #14
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Hey,
The camera has reached the point to where it's states STD 17% and is black nothing just black. I have no warning displays on the LCD. I really enjoyed the footage I had gotten off this camera until this point. I can set the camera on the table and it would flicker on and off. I am going to post some video from about 4 days ago while it had some picture. I post with video and maybe this will help with suggestions.
Thanks
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Old June 15th, 2005, 07:15 AM   #15
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I have had my dvx for a 1 1/2 years and I have had only one problem. My zoom ring doesn't zoom in as far as it use too. It just zooms half way on automatic zoom and all the way out with manual. I'm not sure what I did to it. I am waiting until after my movie is done then I'll send it off to get fixed. Has anyone has this same problem.
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