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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old July 15th, 2008, 05:51 AM   #1
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Urgent problem with HDR FX1

Come to use the camera for capturing this morning and its not playing ball.

Firstly wont be recognised by my pc - tried other pcs, cards and cables - absolutely nothing.

Secondly it started turning itself off in VCR mode - and went round in a few cycles

Thirdly it started turning itself off in CAMERA mode - and went round in a few cycles

Now its constantly turning on and off. I've sent it back to Sony today

If anyone has experienced anything similar, please contact me.

Thanks guys

Last edited by Tim Sargent; July 15th, 2008 at 11:01 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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Thankyou to the person who emailed this to me.

"Sorry you are having problems with your FX1. FX1 is NOT a professional camera, not meant to be used 3 times a week, much less 5. I am a wedding pro, and own an FX1 since it came out, and it is still working, because, I use it only 20 times a year. But if you are going to use it 100 times annually you need to go get a real professional camera, like DSR-450. I know, we all think this is a brand new world, with $3000 investment in a camera, we suddenly become video professionals. Now you found out the hard way that is not true. Better go back and get a real job. I can do this only because I am retired, have other income, else I would starve too, having to repair cameras regularly. The rest of you better go back to a regular job before your family starve, or ruin your future for good, I WILL SEE TO THAT!!! LOL"

Thanks very much for your support.

Dont you have the guts to come and say it on the forum?

Last edited by Tim Sargent; July 15th, 2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Recently, I have been having the same problem with my FX1. I'm thinking I "burnt" the fire wire port, as I am able to capture the same footage via my HV20. But in the back of my mind, I am wondering if some wonderous change made in recent updates by Microsoft, may have eliminated a driver for the camera. I am wondering if you are on a PC. This also happened about same time I started using a firewire hard drive, on a separate port, and I am wondering whether there is some kind of driver issue there.

I may try to go back a couple of months on system restore, to see what occurs.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Sargent View Post
Thankyou to the person who emailed this to me.

"Sorry you are having problems with your FX1. FX1 is NOT a professional camera, not meant to be used 3 times a week, much less 5. I am a wedding pro, and own an FX1 since it came out, and it is still working, because, I use it only 20 times a year. But if you are going to use it 100 times annually you need to go get a real professional camera, like DSR-450. I know, we all think this is a brand new world, with $3000 investment in a camera, we suddenly become video professionals. Now you found out the hard way that is not true. Better go back and get a real job. I can do this only because I am retired, have other income, else I would starve too, having to repair cameras regularly. The rest of you better go back to a regular job before your family starve, or ruin your future for good, I WILL SEE TO THAT!!! LOL"

Thanks very much for your support.

Dont you have the guts to come and say it on the forum?
I wouldn't take this person seriously. The FX1, like its big brother the Z1, is built like a tank and can take anything you throw at it. Your FW problem is more likely what Chris said -- a blown port. I doubt it's a driver issue, although doing a camera reset and a system restore probably wouldn't hurt.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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I take it personal, I mean I think my camera took it personal. I figure it is mad at me, cause for about 2 weeks I shot a film use the HVX200.. all on cards, so I think it is trying to teach me a lesson :)
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Turns out it is just a poor connection between the firewire port on camera, and my cable. Problem is it happens with both cables I have, so the camera port is probably roughed up a bit. With jiggling, holding in place, I can get computer to recognize the camera still....
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Old July 16th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, firewire connectors are very flimsy, especially the 4-pin version. You have to be extremely cautious and delicate when connecting firewire cables both to cameras and computers. I broke once mine on the computer, luckily didn't fry the camera. I think the USB connector is a much better design, even the mini version.

This is something that worked for me in a similar situation: power down everything, connect firewire. Start PC first, then the camera, PC should recognize it now. I hope this helps.

Tim, put your "benefactor" behind and up your head, the FX1/Z1 is one of the best camera pair ever designed/built by Sony for the price range!!! We have two Z1s at our church, three of them in a small studio, we take them out in the field often times, use them for capturing tapes, transcoding analog video, playback on TV... you name it, they can handle it without fuss. No wonder they are still going strong on the market and the price has never really dropped, that says something, right? You have a hard time finding a used one on eBay, and I've only seen a few sold here on DVinfo.

Yes, sometimes there are issues with them, but that happens with everything, including studio cams that cost ten times more.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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Recently on a shoot with a JVC GY-HD100, the DR-100 disk recorder was not playing nice with the camera. It looked like a firewire problem. The camera was only about two weeks out of an expensive fix for a firewire problem. We were not happy savages.

Local DP and Steadycam specialist Jim Frater to the rescue.

What he proposed chilled me to the core. He went for his Leatherman multipurpose tool.

I imagined the subtlety of the rhinocerus charging the side of the Canada Chev Truck in "Hatari", however he enacted the touch of a brain surgeon and reformed the metal shield on the camera which surrounds the firewire socket.

The metal is a little too light for the loads it encounters and spreads out of shape.

The problem was fixed in about 15 seconds.

I'm not for one second advocating such surgery with your camera, just telling anecdotal yarn thats all. The four pin firewire socket is smaller than the six pin on the JVC and on the Sonys, is a more robust one-piece metal enclosure and more confined within the casework around it.

In this instance I think the shields on the ends of the cables themselves are crushing enough in use that they allow the internal plug plug to pivot away from contact. A squeeze with pliers from the side on the cable end just enough to bulge the longer sides of the shield outward enough to firm up the edge fit might be enough of a fix but it would need to be very subtle.

That downward facing arrangement by Sony is a curse, especially with some of the stiffer after-market cables being sold. I detest having to sit the thing on its side or on a table edge just so that cable can hang straight. It might be worthwhile to look for a four-pin firewire cable with a 90degree elbow like the firestore cables to use on these cameras.

It seems that the manufacturers of the firewire sockets and plugs need a little bit of a massage if they are going too lightweight with the materials. The metal on some looks like something I used to form out of milk tins with pliers when I used to make things when I was a kid.

Beyond all this, the Z1/FX1 has been a good and reliable product, perhaps not quite as robust as the PD150/PD170. The tape bay and transport is a little more exposed and vulnerable from the way it operates to potential misuse and damage but well away from the condensation from the palm of a sweaty hand.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 16th, 2008 at 08:00 AM. Reason: error
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Old July 16th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #9
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"That downward facing arrangement by Sony is a curse, especially with some of the stiffer after-market cables being sold. I detest having to sit the thing on its side or on a table edge just so that cable can hang straight. It might be worthwhile to look for a four-pin firewire cable with a 90degree elbow like the firestore cables to use on these cameras."

I can remember when I first commented on that design when I got my FX1, I was chastized on this forum by someone. That someone seemed incensed that I would bring it up...
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Old July 16th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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I hope it wasn't me in a less than sober moment. I was not all that impressed with the PD150 side arrangement either.

The downfacing arrangement was probably an attempt to assuage some of the drawbacks of having gravity pulling downwards on the cable-end. It is also quite robust and intended to be so. The downfacing arrangement obviously was intended to address sideloading of the plug on pape, just that the CAD program probably did not include a table top.

These things happen and one just needs to learn to live with them.

I think I can still safely conclude, Sony can do a better job of designing and building a camera than I can.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #11
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Had the same problems with my FX1...

Dead FW port and was freezing and locking out buttons. I was told by the Sony rep to take the batteries out of the camera, then let it sit for five minutes, the power it back up. This seemed to work for a while, but the problem persisted and eventually worsened. Now she's back to Sony for repair... $500+ just to crack it open. Not very impressed with Sony at the moment. Only have about 100-200 hrs on this camera. Usually the are a good company.

The person who emailed you in an insecure moron, probably spends a lot of time on forums and very little actually working, pay them no attention.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #12
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I hope that is not a predictor for my future with a Z1. I have had one or two random sort of epileptic seizures happen with it, autofocus working when manual was on and vice-versa and the timecode simply doing its own thing or not at all even though the tape recorded fine and some sort of time code was coming onto the tape.

First time was after I had something connected via the remote control socket, and the second time a Mini35 remote control set it off. It came good on its own, so now I walk wide around that particular sleeping dog and no longer connect things to it except the firewire which touch wood has been trouble-free.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #13
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Bob,

Hate to say it, but that was how my problems began... if you have any warrantee left or anything like that, now is the time to send it in. Otherwise, just keep your finders crossed, it took mine a while to become not-dependable for client work.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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Its currently with Sony and being repaired.

The fault im told was the board.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #15
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I have a Z1 and have noticed sound dropouts while recording. It has only happened twice were the sound meters go flat for about 2 seconds. Since it is an unverified failure I know that Sony will not attempt to 'find' the problem based on my complaint.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?
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