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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 May 14th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
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E:61:10, 6 hours before work starts..

Ofcourse it had to happen NOW, 6hours before work starts.

The lens makes a funny noise on startup and is reluctant to go into rec mode at times. Using the zoom ring is fine, using the rocker and it sounds like grinding gears. Also using the rocker i get way past the point of max tele when using the ring...not a good sign. Autofocus also seems to be gone and it's a nightmare to focus manually as it's servo operated and never at the point where you left focus.

Anyone got smart ideas that can help on this in any way, apart from smacking the camera which I need to get it into rec mode? Taking a apart shoulder mount 2/3" camera is a walk in the park compared to a small handheld Z1...seems like you need to be a brain surgeon to even attempt.

At the moment I'm left with my large main camera as "backup", but as the event is a private one a Hpx500 is a bit imitating on the subjects...
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Old May 15th, 2010, 03:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Grinding gears?

At a guess, it sounds like an end-of-travel sensor or related circuit has failed and your zoom servo motor is continuing to run the lens movement past its normal soft stop point up against a hard stop, gears are jumping and maybe stripping.

The strange noise on startup is likely the lens controller trying to cycle its movement to a start-up reference as it should normally do and now having a mechanical problem. If there are bits already come off the zoom drive gears or the focus drive gears, pieces from one might be getting into the gears of the other. this might explain the multiple problem.

If you can't get the camera into repair and want to take your chances and limp through the assignment I recommend discontinue using the zoom rocker immediately and go to manual movement via the ring if it is still working.

If you have to slap the camera to get into record mode, it seems like your problems might be linked to a resistive joint on a socket or ribbon-cable joint due to looseness or light surface corrosion. That might be an easy fix, but if you persist with lens servos running out of control, you may do more expensive damage if it has not already happened.

If the lens servo gears are damaged, the distance numbers on the LCD screen may not be reading correctly. The lens normally is consistant and reads small increments when zoomed in. Before my shoot I like to put up a Siemens chart and make reference notes of the distances to "landmarks" within the venue and focus to these numbers on the LCD screen when I have doubts due to lighting or my own bad eyesight. If the zoom and focus is otherwise working normally you might be able to do this if the distance readout on the LCD screen is still working and correct.

As the lens is a sealed assembly which has to be replaced as a module, the cost might be the same. However if a jammed servo draws to much power and fries the driver circuit in the camera body, then the repair cost will go up.

Last edited by Bob Hart; May 15th, 2010 at 03:52 AM. Reason: error
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