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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 12th, 2006, 08:14 PM   #1
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Dead Camera

I was printing a video to tape tonight and I came back upstairs to find my FX1 totally dead. Won't turn on with battery power or with AC power. It was plugged in to AC power at the time. What's up with this? Do I need to send it in? How much does something like this cost out of warrantee? Where do I start?

Thanks for your help.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #2
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What a drag, sorry to hear about that Chad. It sounds a lot like a problem which has been discussed around here before. After reading these reports (which mostly center on the FX1 and not the Z1 however), I decided to only run my Z1 on battery power just to play it safe. Find info about Sony repair locations and costs here: http://eservice.sony.com/webrma/web/index.do

See the following threads for discussion of similar problems:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=52628
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=44855
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #3
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That's frustrating that the only way to charge the camera is also a potential way to fry it. Boyd, you should make this or the other threads sticky just to ensure that other FX1 owners know that they NEED an external charger for this camera.

I haven’t had a problem until tonight when for the first time I absentmindedly didn’t use a surge-protecting power strip. But it seems unfair to have to make the end user paranoid about such things.

There should have been a strong warning sticker on the camera or in the first page of the manual: "Warning: The use of the supplied power cord may cause your camera to stop working. Please buy extended warrantee or external charger."

I'm very unhappy with Sony at the moment...
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Old July 13th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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It went out today. They initially wanted >$500 for the repair, but I talked to a customer service rep who agreed to pay for the parts (two months out of warrantee). Thanks! That would have been a costly blow. Now it's back down to $260.

What I've learned here is that warrantees are a MUST for cameras. -Might as well factor it into the cost of buying one.

I still think it's unfair of Sony to give the end user such a liability in the camera itself. There should either be a breaker switch which can be flipped after being blown or a fuse which the user can themselves replace. Or they should have provided a battery charger like the Z1U.

Anyway, thanks for your help.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #5
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Well all things considered, it sounds like things could have been a lot worse. But I can understand your frustration. As far as making this a "sticky," we'll take that under consideration. Unfortunately all we have is anecdotal information about this problem with no idea of how widespread it is, and DVinfo has to be mindful of liability issues.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Unfortunately all we have is anecdotal information about this problem with no idea of how widespread it is, and DVinfo has to be mindful of liability issues.
Very true. You can't go posting an official warning when none has been given from the manufacturer. But it seems that if the company could do some testing and find the problem repeatable under certain conditions, that information should be made known. I would be interested in knowing how often this happens.

One potential problem could have been that I had a couple window AC units running in my house. But I made sure they were on a different circuit than all my computer & camera equipment. Looks like that wasn’t enough.
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Old July 13th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #7
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I haven't read through those other threads recently, but IIRC the problem occurs when you're actually operating the camera on AC power, not just charging the battery.

As with any other issues, people will start threads about a problem they're having but they won't start one to say "my camera is working fine." With the many thousands of FX-1's that Sony has sold, a handful of failures doesn't seem to prove much.

But that's easy for me to say since my camera is fine. BTW, this won't help you but for others who may be thinking about buying one of the Sony cameras, this is another reason to consider the Z1. It includes a separate battery charger. But more importantly, service is handled by Sony's professional division where you can expect a faster response to problems and quicker repair turnaround time (based on reports I read).

I hope everything works out OK for you Chad. I can appreciate how frustrating this whole experience must be.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Conspiracy Theorists abound! Sony wants YOU to buy a Z1!!!

Being serious for only a moment. I have an FX1 and I love it to bits. Despite the thousands of cameras and handfull of problems, the fact that there ARE problems and I happen to find talk of it in one place had made me a worry wart and therefore only EVER use Battery, and charge my battery on my deadbeat Hi8 camera. Which accepts L series bats.

Having said that, I'm deeply concerned that in the end, economic rationalism is what we all sit down and shrug with. In other words, no matter how small the number of reported anecdotal information is presented, the gross percentatge should not affect whether a company has to look into an issue or not.

To step off my soap box, I am a fearfull consumer, and I kinda wish I shouldnt be.... Anecdotal or not, paying a premium on goods should have that considered.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #9
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Haven't I seen this thread already ?? It's simple , really . Electricity coming out of the wall is not secure. I'd wager most of the people suffering this problem didn't have their camera protected by a healthy backups. And it's still probably a small risk even doing that. Line current can fluctuate faster than most backups surge protectors can react , for short durations and small voltage variations. Boyds' right on - only run the camera off of battery power. To charge , buy one if necessary. That said , if it happened to me , I'd negotiate just like you. Sony should just include a charger with the fx and say never connect to the wall- problem solved , unless it's a " real " ghost in the machine. Kurth
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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:50 AM   #10
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Update

By the way, I sent it in for repair in July and received pretty speedy service. -It was back within 2 weeks.

The nicest part was that since they agreed to cover the parts under warantee (though I was 2 months out) they also fixed the handle which had a crack in it. I'm not sure, but it felt like they replaced the whole handle -including the LCD. No way to know for sure, but it was a nice thing for them to do. Thanks, Sony.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #11
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I bought one of these when I got the camera.
http://www.pictureline.com/product.php?id=13636

After reading these boards, I've never plugged in my FX1. I just always have my batteries in the dual charger ready to go.
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