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  1. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    I bought this Camcorder at the start of December from John Lewis. It's a great camcorder, but it's gone wrong four times already.

    The first time was Christmas Eve - the thing just froze (not literally - it wasn't very cold here!). Half an hour later when it was clear it wasn't going to start working again, I removed the battery. When I put it back on, it repaired the index on the memory card, and sure enough for that half hour it had recorded a frozen picture (but with correct sound!).


    Three times since, when it's been powered up to record something, it's complained that it shouldn't be connected via USB in record mode and to switch to playback mode - but it's not connected to anything! This happened at random, not related to recently or previously being connected to the PC. I had to remove and re-insert the battery to make it get rid of the idea that it was connected to something via USB, just powering it off and on again made the same message re-appear.




    Any ideas? Especially, has anyone else seen this? (meaning it might be a SW fault), or is this particular camcorder faulty(meaning I need to do everything I can to get it replaced)?




    I wanted John Lewis to exchange it, but they're only offering a repair. My experience (many many years ago) of shops offering repairs for intermittent faults was miserable. I really don't want to go down that route.






    It's (literally) a few days beyond their cut-off for rejecting something outright. I know UK consumer law inside and out, and I might just win against them in court, but who wants to take John Lewis to court? I just want a camcorder that works.



    Cheers,
    David.
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  2. Member TreeTops's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Oregon
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    Hmm...was this a new camera? What did the written guarantee say? Haven't heard of a John Lewis company in U.S.. Was this some individual you purchased it from? If no exchange guarantee, then you are out of luck and you may have to trash it and buy another from a company that offers an exchange for faulty cameras.

    Not worth suing over this, as cost of attorney will probably exceed cost of two of those cameras and then some.
    Courage is being scared to death --- and saddling up anyway. 'John Wayne'
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  3. Member racer-x's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
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    Try resetting the camera via reset button. Check manual for location....
    The memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of the man in his prime.......
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  4. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    John Lewis is an exceedingly well respected UK retailer.

    In the UK you can take any individual or company to the small claims court for an up-front fee of about 10% of the amount you're claiming, and get it back if you win. Many people represent themselves. But I agree, it's still not worth it.


    According to the manual, there's no reset button. It was easy enough to search the full PDF manual for reset, and there's only reset counter and reset wifi connection. I'll have a look on the actual unit though.


    Cheers,
    David.
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  5. Member racer-x's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Location: 3rd Rock from the Sun
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    I thought all cameras had reset buttons. Usually the are behind the battery...
    The memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of the man in his prime.......
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: australia
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    the camera will have a 1 year manufacturer warranty, so if you are not happy with the stores response, ring panasonic yourself and tell them what is going on, they will sort it out for you, because the store must provide warranty for 1 year, and it will be a repair, if it cant be repaired, or the repair cost is going to be nearly as much as the camera was, they might replace it outright.

    here in australia, thats the way it works as well, but i always buy an extended warranty on all my cameras for 3 years, and that is a full replacement warranty, not a repair.

    cheers
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  7. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    John Lewis came through with a replacement camcorder. Seems it's at the customer server representative's discretion, and as I had contacted them as soon as I got back after Christmas, they did the exchange even though it was just over 28 after the date of purchase.

    This camcorder beats the HV20 by some margin in almost every way. The only ways it's not very much better are the auto white balance (mostly better, but not quite as consistent and occasionally fooled), and in some very specific scenes the steady shot (mostly 500% better, but occasionally extra jumpy during pans or movement). sound, picture, view finder, start-up time, ease of use, etc etc etc all far far far better than the HV20.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: australia
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    Originally Posted by 2Bdecided View Post
    John Lewis came through with a replacement camcorder. Seems it's at the customer server representative's discretion, and as I had contacted them as soon as I got back after Christmas, they did the exchange even though it was just over 28 after the date of purchase.

    This camcorder beats the HV20 by some margin in almost every way. The only ways it's not very much better are the auto white balance (mostly better, but not quite as consistent and occasionally fooled), and in some very specific scenes the steady shot (mostly 500% better, but occasionally extra jumpy during pans or movement). sound, picture, view finder, start-up time, ease of use, etc etc etc all far far far better than the HV20.
    i am glad you got it sorted out, however for future reference, call your local consumer affairs office and get a copy of your countries consumer laws, in that it will explain everything about your rights as a consumer when it comes to buying electronics goods in your country.

    here in aust we now have a set of consumer laws in place that guarentees the consumer 2 years warranty on all electronics goods, even tho the manufacturer is only obliged to provide a minimum of 1 year from purchase date.

    during the first 12 months, the goods must be repaired or fixed either directly by the manufacturer, or thru the retailer, and a replacement is only given in exceptional circumstances where the repair may be too costly to the manufacturer, and a replacement given instead.

    the 2nd 12 months is not so much a "warranty" but is basically the same thing, only it must be provided by the retailer, where if your item breaks any time during the 2nd year from purchase, you have a right to return it to the place of purchase, along with a copy of the receipt, and the store must either have it repaired, or replace it, with absolutely no questions asked, if they wont, you put in a complaint to the government run consumer affairs department and they will sort it out.

    this law does not cover the product for damage or faults caused by owner.

    worth checking it out.
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  9. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thanks glenpinn. They were acting within UK consumer law. "Which" (consumer magazine) in the UK has several useful guides, which I used. There are simpler EU-wide consumer laws which mention two years, but as we have two slightly more complicated laws in the UK (one of which offers some protection up to six years after purchase in some circumstances), we don't have the clearer EU two year one.

    According to Which reports, UK retailers regularly (in some cases routinely) lie about what rights consumers have to return faulty goods - they regularly say "take it up with the manufacturer" when it is very clearly down to the retailer in the UK.

    Anyway, all happy here now. (Unless it goes wrong again).

    Cheers,
    David.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: australia
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    it is ironic that only today i had to call my local consumers affairs office to clarify a new policy implemented by Toshiba where they now refuse to acknowledge any warranty claim on any of their products that the original purchaser has sold to someone else within the mandatory 1 year manufacturers warranty period, regardless if the new owner has a copy of the receipt.

    even our own consumer affairs office could not clarify it for me, too many "gray areas" to make a definitive decision they said.

    on another note, the HC-X920 appears to be a really good camera, and if i did not already own 2 of the SDT750 models (first ever consumer 3D camera) i might have bought one, however the X920 is basically the same camera camera as the SDT750, with almost identical features, so i saw no point in moving over.

    it would be good if panasonic pulled their heads out of the mud and offered better storage features on their higher end consumer cams, many still only have a single card slot, and i wish they would put 2 slots in all cameras like other manufacturers do.

    i also still prefer the look and the body of my SDT750 cams as well, but thats just personal choice.

    if your keen to take a look at my custom made camera rigs and monopod, you can download them from the following links to my cloud storage account.

    still waiting for my manfrotto fluid head to arrive to fit on my monopod, the stock head is rather horrible.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/bshzooddgnm8tgh/My%20Camera%20Rig.7z
    http://www.mediafire.com/download/08eylqx3rfqgycw/My%20Monopod.7z

    cheers
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  11. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Just wanted to post an update on this.

    It went wrong again! Not a subtle or temperamental fault this time - it died. completely. Even the charging light wouldn't come on!

    I'd left it connected (power+USB) overnight transferring videos. When I went back to it the next morning, all the videos had transferred just fine, but the HC-X920 camcorder was dead.

    I've just got it back from being repaired (24 days), and it says they had to replace the main board.

    It seems, in this case, that leaving it powered on for eight hours fried something in the camcorder. That's kind of unfortunate, given that emptying the 128GB SD card via USB2 using Panasonic's own software takes about four hours.

    I dread next time I need to empty the thing.

    I didn't enjoy going back to my HV20 in the mean time. I still like the cinemode (low contrast) on it, but the lens isn't wide angle enough for most indoor shooting, and the image stabilizer is much poorer than the one on the Panasonic.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2004
    Location: australia
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    David, whenever possible always remove your SD card from the camera and put it into an SD card reader in your PC or laptop to transfer your video files, because HD cameras will get hot when moving files from the camera using USB, especially slower USB2 ports.

    USB3 is much faster if you have no SD card reader.

    cheers
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  13. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Yes, I've heard that advice a lot for years. It's certainly faster. But for various cameras and camcorders, I've found the SW that comes with them (and only works when you connect the camera to your PC) brings something extra: in the case of this Panasonic camcorder, it's really quite good.

    When it died, it wasn't connected to my PC, but to an external USB HDD. Doing this lets you create a separate archive of your videos (it seems to use an extended BluRay-like format) which can be played via the camera (by connecting the HDD) or certain TVs. I don't think copying and pasting the files+folders from the SD card can give you this. The camcorder apparently adds the next batch of videos in a way that makes them all playable from the USB HDD.

    Anyway, using the camera to copy your photos and videos over is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It shouldn't kill it. It's in the manual. They give you discs containing software to do exactly this.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  14. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Update on this:

    It was sent away for repair, and came back after a month. The form said "main board replaced".

    After a few weeks, the screen went black for a second or so mid-shot. It did it twice, on separate shots. This was recorded with the footage, which continued rolling through the black part.

    Another time, when first powered up, the LCD screen showed garbage. Powering it down and up again it was fine.

    Most recently, it was to record a 10 minute play. A few minutes in, the audio was replaced with static, and continued like this for several minutes, before returning to normal.

    Needless to say, it's going back again. I'm arguing with John Lewis though - they want to repair it again, I just want my money back. They say they'll only do that after they've had another go at repairing it. Under UK law, they can just keep repairing it, but I've had enough. There's obviously something very wrong with this camcorder, which is a real shame because when it's working properly, it's great.

    Sadly, at least once in every month I've had it, it's messed up and missed/wrecked something I've wanted to capture. That's not good enough.

    Problem is, even if I can convince John Lewis to give me a refund, the Sony and Canon alternatives are more expensive. I don't really want to drop down to the models with smaller sensors.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: USA
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    2Bdecided,

    I am going through the exact same thing with the x920, except here in the US.

    About 4 months after I bought my camera from Amazon it started malfunctioning. Randomly during recording the screen would freeze. Sometimes it would be after 5 minutes, sometimes after 45 minutes. totally random. Had to reset the camera to fix.

    Our warranty here in the US for labor is only 90 days! Parts is as long as 1 year. Before even diagnosing the problem, they wanted to charge me $150 USD for repair. After going back and forth with them, they decided to repair the camera at no charge due to me being in the grace period for the labor warranty. They then sent the camera back AS IS because their technician could not reproduce the problem. Of course, within 30 minutes of getting the camera back, I was able to reproduce it...

    So back it went, and this time they are saying they need to replace the main board. It's been over 3 months now without my camera. Needless to say I'm pretty unhappy. I'm afraid that even after getting the repaired camera back, the problem will still persist. Does anyone know if Amazon will honor a return if I've exhausted all avenues with Panasonic?
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  16. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    I couldn't convince them to give me a replacement or refund, so it went away again to be repaired. I got it back today. One month after sending it off.

    (If you've lost count, this is the fourth time I've taken delivery of a new or repaired HC-X920. In the 7 months since I bought it, it has spent 3 months with them, 2 months with me not working properly, and a whole 2 months working properly. Apart from Christmas itself, every event / milestone birthday / kids performance / etc that I thought I would capture with this camcorder has been missed. Thank you Panasonic.)

    The paper work says they've replaced the main board (again).

    btw, John Lewis excelled themselves this time: They didn't send it back to me - they sent it to someone else who works in the same building! They didn't exactly pack it well either. I despair.

    I will post back if it goes wrong again, though I'm really hoping (against all past experience) that it keeps working this time.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  17. Member TreeTops's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Oregon
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    It sure looks like that camera was a lemon for you. Maybe time to try another manufacturer. You sure have more patience than I have. I would have thrown it away weeks ago and purchased another brand.
    Courage is being scared to death --- and saddling up anyway. 'John Wayne'
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  18. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    If I could have got a refund this last time, I would have done. 750 is too much money to just throw away. (In Yorkshire, 1 is too much money to just throw away!)
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