FX1 disaster - firewire chip is dead at DVinfo.net

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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 30th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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FX1 disaster - firewire chip is dead

I have FX1 for 3.5 years now and what has happened is my iLINK connector on camera stopped responding (tried dosen of cables, same cables worked fine with other cameras)....

Simply, when I try to connect it via FireWire to my comp in order to capture footage, nothing happens...
Like this chip is dead....

I went to company that services PRO equipment, ergo, normaly they just service Z1, but no FX1 - but they took it in anyway....

They said they remeber one such problem on Z1 and it was resolved only by having to change entire board, which costed some $1.200 - like half of entire camera...

Can you answer me these 2 questions:

1. Are those parts of camera (chips, card etc.) same on FX1 and Z1
2. Is it true that iLink (firewire) chip can't be replaced alone, but entire board has to be changed... and by your knowledge, how much could it cost?

Sorry if bother you, I am in real panic, I am suppose to have important shooting in 10 days, and don't know whether it is ever gonna be repaired at all...

Unfortunately, I live in Zagreb, Croatia, where I don't have like 5 services to choose from nor too many experts to seek help... Therefore, I hope experts like you can tell me some diagnosis!

thnx in advance!

Vanja
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #2
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One quick alternative is to buy a new or used Sony consumer HDV camcorder, and use it as the playback / capture deck instead of using your FX1 for that purpose.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #3
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good thinking:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
One quick alternative is to buy a new or used Sony consumer HDV camcorder, and use it as the playback / capture deck instead of using your FX1 for that purpose.
Good thinking!

Thnx for idea:) I was already calculating if repair costs as much as HDV VTR (Sony 15) - but it is either way more money then I can afford...

And for half that price I am sure I can find some camera (it doesn't matter if it's 1 CCD, of course, I don't need that chip while capturing from camera to comp or vice versa, sending back final back to tape - I guess chip plays role only and exclusivly while recording, right?

But what about READING HEAD? Is it gonna degrade picture...

Last edited by Vanja Marin; September 30th, 2008 at 10:41 AM. Reason: And forgot another important thing! Do those cheap cameras have option of downscaling HDV to DV before capture? It's very imp
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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You are just capturing digital data of the tape, so the camera used to capture only need be one that handles particular type of data being captured. While there were reports in earlier days of incompatibility between Canon and Sonys, I in fact have the same issue with my FX1, but use my Canon HV20 to make the captures of my FX1 footage.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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So, how does Canon HV20 work

Thnx for an answer...

I guess since u r using HV20 for capturing your footage that IT DOES DOWN SCALE HDV to DV for editing purposes...

Another question would be - If you are sending your finished project back to HV20 (let's assume I've edited it as HDV), will HV20 record it on back on tape also as HDV format - cause most cameras I've checked can't do exactly that thing...

BUT MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME IS DOWNSCALING FROM HDV TO DV during capturing, since I still prefere to edit in DV format...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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Most all of today's consumer HDV camcorders, including the Canon HV20 & HV30, will indeed downconvert to SD over FireWire. It's a very useful feature. Pretty sure all of the Sonys do this as well, but I'm not as familiar with the Sony product line as I'd like to be.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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On the original issue, look at the firewire port itself on the camera - there should be 4 visible metal pins in the port. Sometimes if you have a bad firewire cable it'll push one or more of those pins back up into the port, so it won't connect anymore. If that's the case I'd toss your cable, because it could do it again. You might also be able to get enough access to the firewire port to push the pin back into place. I had this happen last year to my GL2 and to my Canon Elura (by the same cable), and I was able to fix the Elura but not the GL2.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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Repair

Man,
I fix firewire ports/boards on cameras all the time and the part usually costs $15-$100. Then there is 2-3 hours labor involved. Unless the problem is deeper than the firewire issue, the repair shouldn't cost you over $500.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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Any of the small Sonys will also downconvert and work fine with your FX1 tapes - HC3's and 5's are pretty cheap nowdays. If you want a better picture quality so you can use the small cam for backup, go HC7 or HC9, or even a lightly used HC1.

IIRC the firewire board is actually a separate board on the big cameras, unlike the little ones where everything is on the mainboard, shouldn't be THAT much to fix. But a little backup/personal cam is always handy!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 05:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanja Marin View Post
Thnx for an answer...

I guess since u r using HV20 for capturing your footage that IT DOES DOWN SCALE HDV to DV for editing purposes...

Another question would be - If you are sending your finished project back to HV20 (let's assume I've edited it as HDV), will HV20 record it on back on tape also as HDV format - cause most cameras I've checked can't do exactly that thing...

BUT MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME IS DOWNSCALING FROM HDV TO DV during capturing, since I still prefere to edit in DV format...
1. Yes it will downscale from HDV to SD DV on capture.

2. Yes, assuming your NLE will properly format to HDV compliant file, your edited HDV can be transferred back to tape via HV20 by firewire.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 12:50 AM   #11
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Unfortunately it is expensive to repair (if a board is involved) so the better option is the consumer camera for playback.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 03:31 AM   #12
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That depends on which "board" - there are often a number of smaller boards connected to the mainboard by flexible connectors... Mainboard = big $, but sometimes an auxilliary board can be replaced more cheaply - My understanding is this is the case with the firewire faliure in the FX1/Z1, though I haven't done it myself, several others on these boards have...

It's usually a fair bit of labor to take one of these apart, but once you've done it once or twice, it's probably not that difficult.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot Lenter View Post
...the repair shouldn't cost you over $500.
In the U.S. that may be true, but the original poster is in Croatia, which probably changes things a bit.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 08:01 AM   #14
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I 4th or 5th the Canon HV20/30. I have a pair of them as decks and back-up cams. We shot a well lit (sunlight) wedding a few weeks back and the after the DVD was built, you really couldn't tell that much of a difference between my Z7U and HV20. By using the HV20 as a deck, you are also saving some life on your FX-1. Oh, the reason I ended up buying the HV20 in the first place was because my FX-1's Firewire port died :0
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