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Old May 11th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #16
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Kabul
Posts: 1
Re: HVX-200 back focus issues?

I know it's been awhile on this one, but here's confirmation of another person having the same issue with a Panasonic HVX-200. There are three of these cameras in my shop, and the person I replaced and whose camera I took over said she always shot on auto-focus, but didn't say why. I found out soon enough when I went out to shoot some footage of a ceremony and switched it to manual. Zoomed in for critical focus on the speaker, zoomed out for a long shot including the crowd, and everything was soft. I tested it on a back focus chart when I got back to the office. And, yeah. Way off. However, the other two HVX-200s in the shop are perfectly fine. According to Panasonic, the camera needs to be shipped back to them for calibration, and of course, the warranty's expired. Go figure.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 10:36 AM   #17
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 236
Re: HVX-200 back focus issues?

Hey Sarah...

Well the fact they are at least willing to admit it needs to be "re-calibrated" is a good sign I suppose. Any camera can have a shift in back focus if it takes a hit or even just from extreme temperature exposure in the case of these light weight cameras like the HVX-200.

I think my anger was with the rental house wanting to make the issue go away and not admit there was something wrong. All I was asking was that they simply address it and move on. In the end they did give me a full credit for the rental and offer a freebie for the next time. Since then I've found a source closer to home and have had no issues with his two 200's.

In the good old tube camera days Sony came out with something called the DXC-M3A camera with mixed field diode gun tubes. Magnetic focus and electrostatic deflection for the beam. This was a bid deal because up until then cameras used magnetic coils for both focus and deflection and they would interact with each other making critical beam focus impossible.

I got one of the first cameras and found right off the bat there was an issue. It was called the butterfly effect. In the blacks you could see this butterfly shaped pattern caused by the fields mixing with each other. Sony knew it was there but would not admit it. I told the dealer to take the camera back and return my money. At first they balked saying there was nothing wrong with the camera. They said the head of Sony's regional sales wanted to come to my office to "discuss" the issue. I showed him a 3/4" tape that I made clearly documenting the problem. He looked at it and said nothing. Now, I cannot prove he took it, but the next day I went to show that same tape to a shooter friend and I could not find it anywhere.

Go figure!
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