FX7 tape compartment trouble

HDR-FX1000 / HVR-Z5 (2008). HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270 (2007). HDR-FX7 / HVR-V1 (2006). HDR-FX1 / HVR-Z1 (2004).
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hdmickey
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FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by hdmickey » 02 Sep 2013 23:54

Hello, I'm having trouble with the FX7's tape compartment. When I insert a tape the metal compartment can be closed and the tape stays inside, but that metal tape holder wont slide down the tape into the camera anymore and I am unable to close the camera completely to film. The outer part where the on/off button is located is forced to stay open.

I've tried resetting the camera to factory settings, tried different batteries and used the electrical cable but the camera won't move. I can get the tape out of the camera but I have to turn off the camera, turn it back on and move a bit the outer piece that can't be closed in a inward and outward mode so it can eject the tape. It's as if the process of having the metal tape holder go up and down became invisible. Any idea what's going on?

acgold7
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by acgold7 » 03 Sep 2013 07:05

Yes. It's broken. Get it to an authorized service center asap. You can't diagnose it yourself and you can't fix it.

It's possible the contacts that tell the little motor that retracts the tape that the inner door is closed are dirty or have failed. Or something could be blocking the inner carriage. Or the motor could be toast. No way to know.

Take a deep breath, because it's going to be expensive.

Possible workaround: Instead of pushing where they tell you to on the inner door, try pushing it closed firmly on both sides of the carriage, as low as possible. This sometimes works on one of my Z5s with a balky inner carriage that sometimes refuses to retract.
Adam

hdmickey
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by hdmickey » 03 Sep 2013 10:21

acgold7 wrote:Yes. It's broken. Get it to an authorized service center asap. You can't diagnose it yourself and you can't fix it.

It's possible the contacts that tell the little motor that retracts the tape that the inner door is closed are dirty or have failed. Or something could be blocking the inner carriage. Or the motor could be toast. No way to know.

Take a deep breath, because it's going to be expensive.

Possible workaround: Instead of pushing where they tell you to on the inner door, try pushing it closed firmly on both sides of the carriage, as low as possible. This sometimes works on one of my Z5s with a balky inner carriage that sometimes refuses to retract.



Thank you for responding, when you say push on both sides, do you mean grab the carriage and use force to try and push it down? wouldn't that possibly bend something inside causing more damage? I'm assuming the camera has to be powered on to do this.

I really don't believe it broke, the camera seems to be in a frozen state, I find it unbelievable how something so expensive does this kind of thing. I have a small Sony camcorder that has been dropped several times harshly and I've had it for about the same amount of time as the FX7, and it's still there, now outperforming the FX7, which I find ridiculous. When it comes to glitches, initially the FX7 would mark new tapes as "locked" when they were obviously not, but by turning the camera off and then on, it would work fine again. Afterwards, if I'm not mistaken I would get some kind of error message after taking the tape out, but it was still receiving them back in properly, suddenly it escalates to this problem. This distasteful experience right before an important event really killed the love I had for Sony, luckily I had another camcorder to deliver what the FX7 couldn't manage to do properly even after extensive care and management. I will never invest in a Sony product again. As soon as it's fixed, it's goodbye, it's horrible in low light and audio clips easily anyway, terrible horizontal panning focus even with fast shutter speed, I have to use an overwhelming amount of light to either cover the noise levels or light properly when the gain is minimal, why I kept it doesn't matter anymore, I'll get something else.

acgold7
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by acgold7 » 04 Sep 2013 06:05

I can't speak to the QC issues you are experiencing with your particular unit. Did you buy it new or used? If new and it started acting up during the warranty period, then you should have had it looked at then. If afterwards, welcome to the world of consumer electronics. They are guaranteed to fail the moment they go out of warranty. If you bought it used, you have no idea how it was maintained before you bought it and therefore cannot comment on its manufacturing quality.

And for you to go off on Sony after you just said you have another Sony that performs just fine makes no sense to me.

As far as the low-light and CMOS skew issues with the FX7, these are well documented and you should have known about these before you bought the cam; ten minutes of online research would have revealed all this to you. So it isn't Sony's fault for this either; other cams with similar chips share in these faults and you'll find countless similar complaints on other forums from owners of similar cams from other companies.

I happen to be a fairly satisfied Sony owner who nonetheless gets frustrated every time I need to bring one of mine in for repair. But that doesn't mean I rail at how much Sony sucks every time one of mine breaks. These are delicate machines that in many ways are more complicated than my car.

No, do not try to push the carriage down. Try to convince it that it is fully closed by closing it more firmly at the bottom right and left of the front of the inner tape compartment. If this is the carriage:


******************************
*---------------------------------*
*---------------------------------*
*---------------------------------*
X--------------------------------X
******************************
...push it closed on the X'es instead of in the usual place (the upper left). You'll have to reach down inside the outer door to do it.

Look, I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't work for Sony, don't own stock in Sony, don't have any vested interest in Sony other than I shoot with their cams a lot. I owned a couple of FX7s for a while and liked them for sports use outdoors, where their low-light performance wasn't an issue but that great tele end was. Be aware that if zoom range/telephoto performance is an issue for you, if you get rid of yours you won't find a comparable lens until you move up to a much more expensive cam.
Adam

hdmickey
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by hdmickey » 04 Sep 2013 11:31

acgold7 wrote:And for you to go off on Sony after you just said you have another Sony that performs just fine makes no sense to me.
Hi, I'm not sure why it doesn't make sense, but let me clarify, the smaller (very inexpensive compared to the FX7) unit has been dropped accidentally numerous amounts of times, never cleaned with special tape, and it still works well, I've taken care of the FX7 very well, never dropped it, have used a genuine (brand new) Sony cleaning tape to keep it in shape, and have only filmed with new genuine Sony dv tapes, I can't imagine if I drop the camera, it will break instantly. The point here, it's an expensive piece of equipment and it fails in this way! Of course I'm going to be upset, it's only natural. I understand things will inevitably run their course according to some law in science, but regardless, Sony isn't doing a great job durability wise, it's not even close to a decade plus the camera is not used heavily either. I bought the camera brand new, paid the $ 3,000 for it when it was being sold at that price. So, I can comment on the manufacturing quality.
Daylight recordings are good which is why I kept it, why I went off on Sony is only natural too, when one side of the scale gets too heavy somehow it has to balance out. I believe I can say whatever I feel when necessary, if Sony cannot manage to create durable equipment at those price ranges, then something is seriously wrong, and there's no reason why I should stay political with them.

As for the suggestion on the possible fix, it did not work, but I deeply appreciate your help. In conclusion, I shall fix the camera at a shop and sell it somewhere to at least get back what I'm going to waste on the repair and settle with a "cheap" smaller camera. I never really cared for the telephoto effect since I rarely found use for it. Thank you, sorry if there's a complainer tone to this response, I appreciate your efforts and time to help.

acgold7
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by acgold7 » 05 Sep 2013 08:51

hdmickey wrote: The point here, it's an expensive piece of equipment and it fails in this way!
I think anyone who's had any life experience at all will tell you the more expensive a piece of equipment is, the more likely it is to fail, not less. Ask anyone who's owned a Jag.
hdmickey wrote: Sony isn't doing a great job durability wise
They seem to be doing just fine with your little cam.
hdmickey wrote: it's not even close to a decade plus the camera is not used heavily either.
You may have just unwittingly revealed the cause of the problem. How often do you take the cam in to be serviced and cleaned? If it isn't used a lot the lubricants, belts and gears will dry out and get sticky and could cause the problem you describe. It's essential that a cam like yours be cleaned and serviced and lubed annually anyway but if it isn't getting a lot of use, it's even more essential, so you may be the cause of the problem if you didn't follow a regular maintenance schedule. How long do you drive your car without an oil change? You need to load and unload and run a tape fully back and forth at least monthly. To say "it's not even close to a decade" implies you think it should last that long without going into the shop, even for maintenance, and that's just plain unrealistic and maybe even a little silly. The warranty is a year. A decade? A whole generation of camcorder lifespans is three years.

I bought my FX7s around the same time you did, judging by what you said you paid -- I assume it was between 2006 and 2008 -- and I beat the crap out of them and they never gave me a lick of trouble when I did. It was only when I stopped using them regularly -- more accurately, stopped using tapes in them and switched to cards -- that one of them started throwing a tape error, and that right after I sold the thing after it had sat on the shelf for months. I had to give the guy his money back, pay for return shipping, and pay $500 to get the thing fixed before I could re-sell it. Sure, I was pissed. But these things happen. I just sold the last one a few months ago and there are times I miss them.

But as I said I don't have any ego-involvement in this. From my first Hi-8 v5000 until now I've probably owned 35 or 40 Sony camcorders so I've got a pretty good sample to draw data from, and other than accidental damage -- sure, I just loved it when one of my dopey students knocked one of my beloved FX1s onto the floor and shattered the LCD screen and the entire surrounding housing, that was fun -- and maintenance, they've spent relatively little time in the shop. But at the end of the day they are just tools and if yours doesn't do what you want it to, you should get rid of it and get something that does.
hdmickey wrote: if I drop the camera, it will break instantly.
So will any precision piece of equipment filled with glass and finely tuned electronics and optics, especially when compared with something of much less mass and volume and fewer breakable things. As well it should. As will my laptop, but my phone won't.
Adam

hdmickey
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by hdmickey » 06 Sep 2013 09:57

Hi, I'm glad for your explanation on servicing, I had a VHS camcorder from the early 90's that was still running smooth in 2006 and it *never* went through any type of maintenance, and came a point where it wasn't touched for months at a time...but given that the mechanics and sizes are different it lasted anyway, and no, it was not a Sony....though you're right about the durability with Sony, that's why a small camera with Sony would do.

Not sure what the non-moving carriage has to do with maintenance since it seems to be an electrical problem, but since the FX7 is apparently problematic when not used regularly, what is truly silly is potentially paying again for temporary fixes.

acgold7
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Re: FX7 tape compartment trouble

Post by acgold7 » 07 Sep 2013 06:20

It will be interesting to hear what the service tech has to say about this. Please let us know.
Adam

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