Panasonic HC-X900 has stopped working

M Stewart

Active Member
As per the subject line. I was using the camcorder last Friday in time-lapse mode, and it ceased recording after about 30 minutes. I wasn't aware of any problem until I went to stop the recording, and turn the camera "OFF". I remember a message about "data recovery" or similar. (Haven't seen any messages like this before.) On my computer, the MTS video file I was recording is readable as far as it went - first approx 30 minutes out of a 60 minute recording.
Since then the camcorder boots up apparently OK, makes the "right" noises, but then it doesn't play back, and doesn't record data - i,e, the recording timer doesn't advance from zero. (It does create a new dated MTS file header.) If I try either it locks and then I can only turn it off by removing the battery. Before it goes into "lock mode", the other features e.g. zoom, Menu etc., seem to work OK. I've searched for some sort of "RESET ALL" but to no avail. I've tried it with a clean SD card - same behaviour.

Any suggestions? Many thanks
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
It may be worth contacting Panasonic Support. I did check if there was a software update but could not find one.
One silly idea. The lock switch on the SD card has not been moved to "lock"?
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the lock on the SD card, and it came up with a "Locked Card" message or similar. It is still recording jpegs, and of the correct size - i.e. not just thumbnails, but still no video, and if I try, it locks.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
FWIW, what you describe is like a software issue, (requiring a RESET as you've already fathomed). A while back Posters here told us that some Pana Camcorder models have a downloadable PDF Maintenance Guide . . . whilst this was for the 700-series ( DYOR ), I vaguely recall.... it might suggest the Mind-Set of the designers, - and perhaps a solution.
Far "easier" is to contact your supplier and see if they can email you some words of ( Tech ) wisdom from Pana.
There may be a "hidden" Reset button - or there may be a "Funny Operation" that effects a Reset
- although my preference would be A good Reset switch .... as I know NOWT about camcorder software... you are rather in the hands of Pana . . .

Thank goodness they're a World-Class supplier - with a Reputation to uphold.

I wonder if the placement of this camcorder may have introduced a glitch?... (due to static, perhaps ). . . as you will know, electronics doesn't like static.... but the software should detect it's not working correctly ( Triggered by a "Watchdog-Timer" ), and this should create a RESET, in good practice . . . this would probably reset everything to "Default-values" - so it ought to be a Last-Resort feature.
However, as we all know with PC's their "Error Messages" are next to useless, being plucked from a short-list of possibilities.
You don't mention it, but can We presume the Battery was in a reasonably-well charged condition and hadn't been left empty, prior to the Time-Lapse filming?

Do let us know what fixes it . . . and how Pana supported you...
+++Good Luck....
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Following Terfyn's suggestion, it's now on its way to the Panasonic Approved repairer, DKAVS LTD near Gatwick. I'll report back.
When it failed I was using two Panasonic camcorders both shooting in Interval mode (1 sec / frame), the X900 was in moderate angle, and a lesser, more recent model was in a wide-angle mode. I was hoping that I might be able to interleave video from the two camcorders together, but that will have to wait until it's repaired or replaced.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
I do hope things work out for you.

I was hoping that I might be able to interleave video from the two camcorders together, but that will have to wait until it's repaired or replaced.
Are you familiar with multi camera editing available with a number of video editors. VideoStudio can handle from two to six cameras in MCE mode.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Choosing a new Editor is some way off. . . . once a camcorder is sent away . . . hopefully OP will give us the full tediousness - but "hopeful that it will be swift" never hurts.
I guess the Vid pairs will switch from one to the other, as interest enters either frame...
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Evening all,
I've now authorised the replacement of the main board, and hopefully it won't be too long before it's returned. I did look at other camcorders before making the decision, but at the moment, I'm not into 4K so getting the main board replaced seemed like the best option.
(Cost including parts, labour, carriage & VAT - a little under £200)

Thanks all for your advice, and comments.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Not a bad price for a decent camera, especially if it does the job for you.
Nothing is cheap these days. Two buttons on the steering wheel of my car have stopped working - quoted price for repair £150 + labour.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
M Stewart, - good price - but it shouldn't have gone wrong! Hopefully you'll get a 12 month g'tee parts+labour and some firmware upgrades.
When it comes back set it running for a week to be sure, to be sure.
Good Luck.
?
Terfyn . . . WD40 ? -OR- before you get the dealer to swap switches . . . . have you unplugged the "other end" of the function? ( eg Radio ) . . . as two failures at the same time reads like it's not the buttons themselves...wiring possibly?
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Hello all.
I received my camcorder after its repairs yesterday lunchtime, and it's survived a 1 hour plus shooting session, with EVF in use, and LCD side door closed. It was quite warm at the end of the trial. Hopefully, it will not go wrong in the near future.
Time at the authorised repair facility wasn't too long, but the signed for return postage effectively took its turn, adding another day to the wait. With my Canon stills gear, I always drive to Elstree which isn't that far from Milton Keynes, and total turnround doesn't attract the carrier's delays at each end. It's good to have a compact camera with EVF available again.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Well-done you have a working camcorder. ( Again).

Heat on the outside indicates greater heat inside... Is it possible to wedge the LCD door open a tad so it remains OFF but would increase the cooling surface? (( My Sony's LCD can be opened over 1" without activating / switching )).
+If there is risk of sunlight falling on the camcorder, then a shade is well worth considering too.

Have you dared using the Mode that broke it before ( Intervals as I recall )...?

Maybe next weekend, eh?

Cheers.
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Well-done you have a working camcorder. ( Again).
... Have you dared using the Mode that broke it before ( Intervals as I recall )...?

Maybe next weekend, eh?
Cheers.

Hi 12harry,
I'll probably give it a go this evening - the weather seems to be quite pleasant for a visit to the local WCML station where I was doing the time-lapse, and after 6pm there's no parking charges, and a mass of traffic arriving from London. At this time, the station seems to vary from no platforms occupied to four (or even five) occupied all at the same time - just the thing to show more clearly via a Time-lapse - 1shot/second mode.

Here's one I shot last September near Stroud.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Thanks M Stewart, nice Time-Lapse of a sort, but I couldn't really see the ( cyclists ) subject. . . they appear to be at a considerable distance. Nice clouds, though. The changing exposure is a distraction - perhaps this needs to be adjusted/compensated in the Edit, to maintain a more-consistent brightness.

Write from ignorance, as my consumer Sony CX410 doesn't do Time-lapse . . . but I could be wrong as I didn't think it did Self-timer - but it does, very well-buried in the Menu...?
Therefore, I wonder if the scene/angle/etc. needs changing? - but I appreciate this was shown here as a Demo. Ah yes a change...
With The Peloton, you did change the angle/position; but I wonder if there needed to be more pictures, as their angular velocity is quite high ( car speeds ).?
By having the camcorder on a tripod, nearby people spoil some of the frames. So I wonder if you don't need a Pole-support? This would require a tripod-fix -to keep it stationary. My own has the ability to reach 12 ft - which seldom used as it's difficult / impossible to change anything from the ground - but it does solve the problem of foregrounds.... from about 8 ft which gets over crowds.

Cheers.
 

M Stewart

Active Member
Thanks for your comments. Good to have some criticism, as the family are simply amazed that I get anything...
Once the Time-Lapse has been started, I can change the zoom level, and obviously the position and angle of view. What I've not checked is whether I can change the exposure level. (On my "more professional" Canon HG30, it simply doesn't offer any form of Time-Lapse, but manual Control is much easier.)
At last year's cycling event, I was also shooting the cyclists with my HG30. It didn't turn out too well - much too popular a venue, which wasn't obvious when I started the Time-Lapse, and ended up being some distance from the action.

My best results were a few years ago in mid-Wales covering the Dolfor Hill Climb, where I let the tripod mounted HG30 roll, whilst I captured my still shots of the cyclists with my Canon 1D MkIV and a 70-200 zoom.
To get good results of any of these "Pro" cycling races, I've found it necessary to practise, as the bunch of cyclists sweep by very quickly, and once gone, that's it.

I did a longer "soak" of the repaired X900 a few nights ago, and it's still working.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Good News . . . Camcorder still good.
-but I've never done Time-Lapse of a fast-moving event . . . so I'm wondering why is the Family (you wrote) so surprised at the results?

Any exposure will vary with the cloud-movement so the camera is trying to place the picture in the middle of the range( in Auto,), or not as in Manual . . . this can only be fixed IMHO by Key-Framing in the V-EDIT.... Tedious, but even a "first-pass" should be some improvement . . . it's not bad now, just distracting.

I guess I really want to see those cycles nearer to full-frame, rather than at a great distance.
..what do Others think?

Some experimenting . . . . but as you say: " once they gone...."

Could you try video-filming and then experiment with individual frame-rates? This is a big-ask at the Editing . . . but would allow almost "ANY" interval to be tried.
It may be that four frames a second would work...stretched to become real-time . . . it would also mean the exposure might appear to be more consistent . . . but I don't know.
V-Editing could also introduce an element of motion-blur which helps blend frames.

If yr other camera is set to 1-sec intervals, - this could be used for comparison. (ie similar Viewpoint/Zoom, etc)....... Good Hunting.
 
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