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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 September 26th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #1
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Recovering HDV recording from tape

Hi, this is my first post and I desperately need your advice. My FX1 has been returned to Sony as it developed a fault - basically the unit recorded one hour of footage, no error message at all, yet upon playback I get long periods (1+ minute) of black screen with no sound. I can see the footage if I play and fast forward at the same time, but not at normal playback speed.

Is there anyway at all to recover the footage off the tape? Is this possible or should I forget it?

Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.

PS - Sony customer service in the UK is terrible, my camera has been with them for a month now, each time I call them I get a different story about repair progress. I will never buy another Sony product as a result. Nice products, not really built to last (I hired another cam while mine is in for repair, it had a zoom ring fault), NEVER again!
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Old September 27th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Have you tried playing the tape on another camera or deck?

FWIW, the FX1 is handled by Sony's consumer division but the Z1 is handled by their professional division. I have had a Sony VX-2000, PDX-10 and a Z1 with no problems whatsoever. But buying the pro version of their cameras is worth considering, since users report much better service and turnaround times with these.

Sounds like you've had some rough luck, but I wouldn't assume that Sony products "aren't built to last" because of this. My experience - and those of many others - are exactly the opposite. I can appreciate your frustration though... hope your camera is returned soon with the problem corrected.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Camera has been returned reapired - though it is pure luck it wasn;t damaged in transit. The cam was wrapped in a single bubble wrap layer, then put in a thin box with some brown paper stuffed down the side - totally unsuitable according to royal mail's own packaging/insurance rules.

I appreciate your comment, though I tend to look at it differently - you have been lucky with your gear as much as i have been unlucky - a warranty is a warranty and the level of service provided should be the same regardless of the cost of the product. Using the same logic, if I bought a 40k + camera, should I really expect the service to be alot better than if i had bought a Z1? No way - the extra cost is there to cover the additional features of the camera and should not mean someone buying at the other (lower ) end of the scale should suffer poor service.

I don't see why I should have to pay for a Z1 just to get better service in the event of a product developing a fault, when an FX1 covers my needs just fine! Sony should try training their staff better and providing a better service to ALL their customers.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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I certainly won't defend Sony for offering shabby service, there's no excuse for that. But we part company after that. Sony's pro cameras are serviced and handled by completely different facilities. Part of the increased cost of the Z1 is access to this higher level of service, which is expected by professional users who can't afford to be without their gear for a long time. This is not a new concept, it's been discussed around here for years, ever since the PD-150 and PD-100 days. Users of these cameras reported much higher levels of service than owners of the VX-2000 and TRV-950 which were the consumer versions of those products. The extra cost isn't only for extra features, it's the whole package.

Glad you're camera's back and working.
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