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Old March 29th, 2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

I wonder if I got a bad one or if this is normal, but the side wheel/button that is used to go up and down on menus as well as other things such as shutter is really messed up. It didn't seem that bad when I got this camera in late 2010, and I don't use that wheel that much, but when I try to use it, it takes a lot of patience. For example, if I press the shutter button and try to change the value with that wheel, as soon as I start moving it it will change several numbers at a time, especially if I scroll upwards, first it will decrease the numbers, then if I keep moving it upwards it will actually increase the numbers, but it takes much longer than it should to arrive at the right number and press OK.

Going through the menus is about the same, especially when I want to use the picture profile menus, sometimes I intend to scroll to OK but at the last millisecond it changes to Reset, so I get the question if I really want to reset the profile, which happens to me three times today and it really gets on my nerves. In theory each click of the wheel should move one position in the menu, but sometimes it moves two, sometimes three, and sometimes in the wrong direction.

Is this normal for this camera? I want to sell it to get a Canon XF100, but I don't want to omit this problem when I sell it, I just want to be able to tell anyone who is interested if this is a design flaw for this camera, or if my unit has the problem and others are fine.

Thanks
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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

The Sony PD series have a known problem with the menu wheel. Both my 150 and 170 have had the menu wheel replaced twice. Of course the cameras are old and have a ton of hours on them. the reason I bring it up though is because for me, it's reasonable to assume that the wheel operate the same way on the Z series and the AX/NX series.
What it is is that there is a small PC board that the wheel is connected to and the wheel can either come loose from the board or the solder cracks or comes loose from the board and then BAM! when you try to set something using the scroll wheel, the settings jump all over the place.
I would either send the camera back to Sony repair or find a reputable Sony authorized repair shop in your area and get it fixed. I just had my 170 fixed again abd the part was about $40 or $45 dollars plus labor.
BTW, this was the 2nd time in 3 years it's been fixed but again the wheels on my cameras get used a whole lot.
Anyway I'm guessing the wheel on your camera is pretty much the same as mine so if that's the case now you know.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

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I just had my 170 fixed again abd the part was about $40 or $45 dollars plus labor.
How much was the labor?
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Old March 30th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

My VX-2100 only gets used a few times per year and it too has developed this issue. It was fine when I put it away but I just got it out for a job and the menu scroll wheel has become so hyper-sensitive that it has become nearly impossible to enter options.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

First it wasn't Sony that fixed it. I got a guy in the area does a great job on my gear. Second he did 1 other thing on the camera for me and there was a small part involved in that as well but the total bill for both including parts was less than $200.00.
If your camera is out of warranty try to find someone in your area that is an authorized Sony repair and get an estimate from them. IIRC Sony has a flat rate of $500 or $600 so it pays to shop around a bit.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #6
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

Thanks Don and John, at least now I know that when I sell it I can mention this problem but that it is a common one. It's sad to me how Sony always comes up with products that are outstanding in most of their features, but then they ruin it with a couple of things. For example this camera is excellent for the most part, but this wheel is a huge drawback, although at least it provides an alternative way to do waht the wheel does, with the cursor buttons on top of the camera. I had a year 2000 Handycam with a wheel that also went nuts and there was no alternative way to operate it, so it took forever to select anything.

The other problem with this camera is that the microphone sounds awful. I have a $90 Zoom H1 recorder that sounds a million times better. I have a Panasonic FZ100 photo camera that shoots rather poor video, but the sound is excellent. I'm not the kind of audiophile that is not happy unless he has a $1000 microphone, but the on-board mic on the AX2000 is bad to the point where it actually distracts me.

Changing the subject, does anybody know if this camera has a hidden counter somewhere that says how many hours of use it has? When I publish it, I would rather say exactly how long I used it rather than just an estimate.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

The sound of the mic could be due to settings on the camera. A couple of guys I know that had the AX2000 felt the sound was OK. Subjective perhaps. I've never used a camera with a built in mic except for my original VX1000 back in 95 or 96 and that lasted about 1 job then it was off to a shotgun. Anyway, the AX2000 is like the VX2000/2100. While much of the camera is the same as the NX5 there is no whee in the menu to check the hours. The VX series was the same. The PD series and the NX5 have that option. They consider the NX5 like the PD150/170 to be professional while the AX/VX are/were considered to be consumer. Don't ask why. That's Sony.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

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The sound of the mic could be due to settings on the camera.
Not really. It has a setting for wind noise that makes it sound even worse when activated, but when it's normal it still sounds terrible. That and this damn wheel are the two main reasons I want to sell this camera and not buy another Sony.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

Yeah, you never want to use the NR that Sony has built in in the menu. It sounds bad on every camera I've ever had that has this feature.
Well if it still sound bad without the Wind Reduction and or NR then the only other choice is a new mic. Shotgun or hypercaroid depending and the work you do and how each sounds to you. Or sell the camera.
Good luck
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Old March 30th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

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Well if it still sound bad without the Wind Reduction and or NR then the only other choice is a new mic. Shotgun or hypercaroid depending and the work you do and how each sounds to you.
I do have an Audio Technica AT875 that sounds pretty good to me, but the problem is that it's mono. An XLR stereo microphone is too expensive for my budget right now, which makes me even more upset at Sony for not including a half decent built in stereo microphone in a $3,500 camera.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #11
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

I've got two AX2000s and the wheel works fine on both of them. The first one has been in heavy use for over a year now. Maybe I just got lucky??
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Old March 31st, 2012, 08:27 AM   #12
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Re: Side wheel on AX2000 sucks

Corey,
I had my PD150 for almost 12 years and the wheel worked fin until last last year. Well over 1500 hours of drum run on it so it's been used quite a bit.
My 170 has even more hours and is only about 8 years old and has had the wheel fixed and or replaced twice in 2 years. Nothing to do with hours or use it would seem but more to do with the luck of the draw.

Go figure.


Sebastian.
Many of the higher priced cameas don't even have a microphone so don't be too upset that at the price range you mentioned there isn't a "decent" stereo mic. Just sayin'.
Have you tried to take the 875 and in post double the track. Copy and paste it set a pan envelope to simulate left and right, that sort of thing. I don't know what NLE you use but I use this technique in some situations when needed and it works fine. (I use Vegas so it's as simple as copy/paste).
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:06 PM   #13
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Fixed

I was able to fix the wheel by using my Dremel rotary tool. Basically the reason for the berserk behavior of the wheel is that the contacts inside get dirty and that causes false contacts between the parts. That happened with my old Handycam and I had to move the wheel up and down for a while and then it would respond better.

So with that in mind I used the sanding drum accessory, of course without the sanding band because that would ruin the button. Since the sanding drum is rubber, I figured it would be safe, and it is as long as you are careful. I'm talking about this thing:

407 1/2" Sanding Drum / Model: 407

It's easier to do if you have this attachment:
225-01 Flex Shaft Attachment / Model: 225-01

but I suppose it can be done with just the Dremel tool. I set the speed to the lowest possible, and angled it about 20 degrees, so it would touch the wheel in the camera but nothing else around it. The drum rubber is slightly curved, so that helps the drum have a better grip on the camera wheel.

Since the Dremel only rotates in clockwise direction, I touched the wheel from both sides, so I could make it go downwards and then upwards. I did this for just a few seconds at first and I saw a vast improvement on the movement through menus and numbers like shutter speed, so I kept going at it until the wheel didn't go crazy anymore, especially when moving upwards, which was far worse than moving it downwards.

So after doing this, I suppose the contacts inside were cleaned and now when I move the wheel in either direction, each click changes one value, or moves one position in the menus.

I can't emphasize this enough, make sure you take out the sanding band or you will ruin the wheel, make sure you use the drum that is made of rubber, and that you angle it in a way that it will not touch anything but the wheel, and make sure the speed is set to minimum. I'm sure at 10,000 RPM you can probable break the contacts instead of cleaning them.
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