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  1. Member
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    I have an HDR-SR7 that is about 2.5 years old. We used it in the morning the other day and it was fine. Went to use it again later that day and the autofocus had stopped working and the video came out blurry and jumped around. Take a look at the sample video below. The video looks the same when played in the camera. Later that afternoon, after several powercylces, the camera began working normally again. Sony support says to take it in for service.

    I tried several things in Sony Vegas to correct it, but nothing worked very well.

    Has anyone seen this effect before, or know of any way I can clean up this video?

    http://www.macpamedia.org/media/temp/test3.wmv

    Thanks,

    Mike
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  2. I doubt there is much you can do to salvage it.

    You could try deshaker in vdub to help a bit, but there is much more "wrong" with that video than simple shaking. There is intraframe "warping". You might try sharpening it a bit too, but it really is a mess

    What was the original recording format? 1080i30 avchd? 720p30? or something else? There is a chance you could do a better job on the original video (e.g. if you had access to the original fields if it was interlaced). Did you blend de-interlace in vegas? (this will worsen the blurriness)

    Maybe you could upload a sample of the native footage? You could use a free hosting site e.g. mediafire.com
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    Here's a link to the original file: http://www.macpamedia.org/media/temp/20091012103932.m2ts (~56MB)

    I'll take a look at that in vdub, love that program. "Intraframe warping" - never heard of that. It almost looks like a repeating pin-cushion effect. The best I could do in Vegas was to interpolate using the upper field first and render at 5fps. This got rid of most of the rippling, but the video was still very blurry.

    Yes, this was recorded in 1080i30(29.97fps). I did try turning off "blend" as that did make it worse.

    It almost looks like the autofocus stopped working and the OIS went crazy at the same time.


    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    I doubt there is much you can do to salvage it.

    You could try deshaker in vdub to help a bit, but there is much more "wrong" with that video than simple shaking. There is intraframe "warping". You might try sharpening it a bit too, but it really is a mess

    What was the original recording format? 1080i30 avchd? 720p30? or something else? There is a chance you could do a better job on the original video. Did you blend de-interlace in vegas? (this will worsen the blurriness)

    Maybe you could upload a sample of the native footage? You could use a free hosting site e.g. mediafire.com
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  4. When you look at the individual fields in avisynth, the wave distortion is present in each field, and it's already blurry in each field (this is before deinterlacing or any processing)

    You might be able to do a reverse displacement map manually in after effects, but this would be very very very difficult to do to get it lined up perfectly

    I doubt deshaker or related software will have any effect on this footage

    Others might have some better ideas, but I don't see how you can fix this
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  5. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    Curious about the cam...did the manual focus also stop focusing on items in infinity?
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    Taking it down to 10fps and then 5fps seemed to have the most positive effect, getting rid of most of the shaking. The speaker had come in from out of town to pre-record this webcast for us. We'll have to do what we can with it. We might be able to shrink it down small enough that most of the blurriness is not too noticeable.

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    When you look at the individual fields in avisynth, the wave distortion is present in each field, and it's already blurry in each field (this is before deinterlacing or any processing)

    You might be able to do a reverse displacement map manually in after effects, but this would be very very very difficult to do to get it lined up perfectly

    I doubt deshaker or related software will have any effect on this footage

    Others might have some better ideas, but I don't see how you can fix this
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    I was filming at a different location when this happened. The tech running the camera said that she tried to use the manual focus, but it seemed like it wasn't working at all. She did try turning the camera off and back on, but that didn't help. It mysteriously started working again later in the day. I'm afraid this means that we won't be able to rely on this camera for future projects. They go for about $500 on ebay, so we may just upgrade to a newer model instead of trying to repair this one.

    I'm going to torture test the camera to see if I can reproduce the problem. I asked the tech, but she didn't think the camera was making any odd noises at the time. This camera was purchased new for $1500 2.5 years ago and has been treated very gently, so I'm a little disappointed that it's having problems already.

    Originally Posted by zoobie
    Curious about the cam...did the manual focus also stop focusing on items in infinity?
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  8. Originally Posted by MikeZZZZ
    Taking it down to 10fps and then 5fps seemed to have the most positive effect, getting rid of most of the shaking.
    What do you mean? Selecting every 3rd or 4th frame so it is a lower fps, or playing all the frames back slower so it plays at 5 or 10fps ? What do you do with the audio then? Either way, the distortion will be there in each frame or field (if left interlaced), so I don't see how that is going to help ?
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    Selecting every 3rd frame and dumping the others. I did this in Vegas, just by rendering the video at a lower fps. I kept experimenting with different fps, 10 looked noticeably better, 5 looked even better with almost no shake. I figured that the shaking effect was happening at a predictable interval, so I could partially eliminate it by dropping the other frames. All of these were done with de-interlace interpolation set with upper field first, using Vegas terminology.

    Here's a sample at 5fps, in uncompressed avi (~80MB):
    http://www.macpamedia.org/media/temp/test1-5-upper.avi

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    Originally Posted by MikeZZZZ
    Taking it down to 10fps and then 5fps seemed to have the most positive effect, getting rid of most of the shaking.
    What do you mean? Selecting every 3rd or 4th frame so it is a lower fps, or playing all the frames back slower so it plays at 5 or 10fps ? What do you do with the audio then? Either way, the distortion will be there in each frame or field (if left interlaced), so I don't see how that is going to help ?
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  10. Did you upload the wrong clip? It still has combing artifacts?

    Also do you care about audio? Or is this a mute clip?

    What is your end goal? web delivery ? dvd ? etc..

    Interesting theory on the cadence thing though. Here is an example, where i used avisynth to bob-deinterlace to 60p and used selectevery(3,0) which is every 3rd frame, resulting in 19.98 fps. (I resized to clip to 720x400 just for demonstration purposes). It still looks like crap, but some of the motion warping is gone. I wonder if there is a mechanical reason for the underlying cause?



    selectevery%203,0.avi
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    The artifacts pretty much go away when the video is resampled down to 522x296, which is the res we use for webcasts.

    I had pulled the audio out of that clip so it would render more quickly. The final clip will have audio in it. The audio recorded fine.

    This will be webcast, eventually converted to flv for that purpose.

    That's pretty good, still a little motion. I'll take a look at avisynth too. That's kind of what I was thinking. It almost looks like the optical image stabilzation in the camera went crazy. That's why I asked the tech if the camera was making any unusual noises. I can't think of any "electronic" explanation.

    Sony support was no help. First I got the canned response you get if you have any problem recording with the camera. My reply back was less than polite (given that they didn't even read past the first sentence of my first message). Their second message suggested taking it in for service.

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    Did you upload the wrong clip? It still has combing artifacts?

    Also do you care about audio? Or is this a mute clip?

    What is your end goal? web delivery ? dvd ? etc..

    Interesting theory on the cadence thing though. Here is an example, where i used avisynth to bob-deinterlace to 60p and used selectevery(3,0) which is every 3rd frame, resulting in 19.98 fps. (I resized to clip to 720x400 just for demonstration purposes). It still looks like crap, but some of the motion warping is gone. I wonder if there is a mechanical reason for the underlying cause?



    selectevery%203,0.avi
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    I have the same problem shown in your video with my Sony HDR-SR7 when the camera warms up. It started two months out of warranty (of course). I've found similar complaints on this and related cameras (HDR-CX7). The problem is something wrong with the LD-228 and/or the VC-504 board which controls several lens functions including the Steadyshot.

    Put your hand on the front of the lens housing and you can feel the optical block (shift lens) vibrating. Listen carefully to your audio - you can hear a little hum going on. That's the vibrating Steadyshot. Rotate the camera 90 degrees and return to level, the problem will temporarily subside in my camera. Turn off Steadyshot and the problem goes away until the camera heats up more, then it returns.

    There are entries in the service manual about how to deal with overheating shift lens errors. Mere humans can't do any repairs or adjustments. Sony says "replace the lens block" for $500. Is this ready for Class Action status?
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    Thanks for the info, it's good to know what might cause it to start acting up again in the future. I also a have an HDR-SR8 (bought used off ebay) which hopefully will not start to exhibit this problem.

    I can't believe this is such a common problem. Sony should man-up and cover this issue even if out of warranty. It's not like I've abused my camera or anything. It kind of sucks because the camera I purchased new, and have babied since I've owned it, is now malfunctioning. However, the camera I bought used from ebay is working fine, for now.

    Seems like Sony's reputation for quality products may be in question. Reminds of Seagate. They used to be the #1 harddrive manufacturer, now their failure rate is as high as any of the other manufacturers.

    Originally Posted by divebus
    I have the same problem shown in your video with my Sony HDR-SR7 when the camera warms up. It started two months out of warranty (of course). I've found similar complaints on this and related cameras (HDR-CX7). The problem is something wrong with the LD-228 and/or the VC-504 board which controls several lens functions including the Steadyshot.

    Put your hand on the front of the lens housing and you can feel the optical block (shift lens) vibrating. Listen carefully to your audio - you can hear a little hum going on. That's the vibrating Steadyshot. Rotate the camera 90 degrees and return to level, the problem will temporarily subside in my camera. Turn off Steadyshot and the problem goes away until the camera heats up more, then it returns.

    There are entries in the service manual about how to deal with overheating shift lens errors. Mere humans can't do any repairs or adjustments. Sony says "replace the lens block" for $500. Is this ready for Class Action status?
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  14. Member Knightmessenger's Avatar
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    So did the auto focus stop working for you too? That happened with the similar model HDR-SR11 camera I was using about a week ago. And the manual focus wouldn't work either for me, it's like the camera was still on auto. Do you have any idea what might have been happening? Did I read correctly that these Sony models lose their stability and focus because they can overheat?

    I probably rambled a bit too much about the problems I experienced with the SR11 in this post:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/topic375574.html
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    Focus still works but the manual focus control has always been less than responsive. Just the Steadyshot is screwing up. My next step is to get out my can of Freez-Mist and start hitting components to find the culprit. Then... idunno. Probably figure out a heat sink arrangement.
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    Similar problem with the focusing! I just figured out yesterday the camera was warming up and that was probably the reason for the blur.
    My camera is a Sony HDR-CX7 bought new a year and a half ago.
    I would join a class action of one is being arranged.
    mtgoren@yahoo.com
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    Originally Posted by mtgoren
    Similar problem with the focusing! I just figured out yesterday the camera was warming up and that was probably the reason for the blur.
    My camera is a Sony HDR-CX7 bought new a year and a half ago.
    I would join a class action of one is being arranged.
    mtgoren@yahoo.com
    Look closely at the blur. Although it appears to be out of focus, what may really be going on is the picture is blurred vertically. Soft focus looks different than this; the focus is out in all directions. Shoot some small lights like on a Christmas tree at a distance (like 10 feet away). If they look oblong vertically on playback, that's the Steadyshot going nuts, not focus. You may be able to spot this on the viewing screen live.
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    I have a 1 year old HDR SR7 sony with the same problem. Sometimes shoots clear video, sometimes acts like auto focus is not working. Blurry picture and some vibration. Just thought I should add my comment to the growing list.
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    Has anyone contacted Sony about this and gotten a satisfactory response? My camera is now unusable after one hour of recording. I'm about to send them an email to see if they will do anything about it.

    Thanks,

    Mike
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    Well Sony responded to my message, saying that they are unaware of any manufacturing defect with the HDR-SR7, and they are unwilling to do anything about it. I'm done with them. I just purchased a new $2K Panasonic camera to replace the broken Sony, and I love it! Just waiting now for my other Sony to die, so that I can replace it with another Panasonic.
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  21. Oh WOW. Thank GOD I'm not the only one with this problem. When I played your vid back, Mike, you don't know how happy I was to see that other cameras of the same model was producing not a similar result, but the same exact result. I've actually had this problem since I'd say...oh..2008? My dad too tried calling in Sony last year and they gave us this whole tech support shtick of resetting the camera settings and I was like blah blah blah..that's all bullcrap.. it's a hardware problem, not software. Then, inevitably, the $500 repair was in question. We said no way.

    And from experience, it's not worth going through all the post just the "clean" up the video. It's either salvage the footage, or reshoot and hope it doesn't happen again afterwards. Unless you record live shows (which happened yesterday), then you're screwed no matter what.

    But really, I just have to say thank you for this post. I knew I couldn't have been the only one that had some idea of what was going on inside the camera. Primarily happens on zoom or heat up? Check. Humming sound? Check. I chalk it up to the fan causing the lens to vibrate. Usually once's it set, I don't touch it for fear that it'll start happening. (edit: reading back...the steady shot going nuts makes much sense too).

    Here's a video where I ended up using the bad clips
    0:25, 0:34, 1:50, 2:00, and 2:20
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV51hf-p6QA
    Last edited by shortboy; 31st May 2010 at 05:44.
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    Took for ever to find this group. Again, great that I'm not alone with this aggravating issue. Just out of warranty decided to get it fixed. Started with problems prior to that. The bill was over $300 through the authorized sony warranty service group. And guess what, IT IS DOING IT AGAIN!!!!! It appears to be an overheating problem and I feel that SONY is skirting the issue. CLASS ACTION MAY GET THEIR ATTENTION. In the mean time, anybody have any current answers that may fix this.
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    Glad you found us here, but sorry to hear that the repair didn't do it for you. Hopefully they have some kind of guaranty on the repair. Now I'm glad I didn't try to get mine fixed by Sony.

    I toyed with the idea of putting a solid state harddrive in mine to see if that would reduce the heat it generates, but it's not worth the effort. Since it's not worth anything in parts, I'll probably have my friend run over the Sony with his Humvee while I film it with my new Panasonic. If we end up doing that, I'll be sure to post the video here.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    Originally Posted by orlando1 View Post
    Took for ever to find this group. Again, great that I'm not alone with this aggravating issue. Just out of warranty decided to get it fixed. Started with problems prior to that. The bill was over $300 through the authorized sony warranty service group. And guess what, IT IS DOING IT AGAIN!!!!! It appears to be an overheating problem and I feel that SONY is skirting the issue. CLASS ACTION MAY GET THEIR ATTENTION. In the mean time, anybody have any current answers that may fix this.
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  24. Same problem here...Sony is notorious for a 3 year shelf life. Exactly when mine began acting up. Not happy.
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  25. My SR7 will be 3 years old this August 2010, I am having "heat waves" on play back and some blurring. Did not enjoy seeing that no one was having better luck correcting the problem.
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    We are having this problem as well with a SR7; it happened today for the 3rd time in as many uses. It is 2 years old. It has been used heavily but always carefully. Thanks for the tip to rotate 90 degrees, it seems to help. Restarts including battery removal aren't helping. Luckily every time we experienced the problem, we were able to spot it on the LCD screen and re-shoot the segments we need (we do video production for web-distribution.)

    We have been loyal to Sony and we have even recommended this camera to others. Looks like they won't get our business or our good word of mouth anymore. It's not the first time we have thought of going to Panasonic. Too bad these just aren't built to last.

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  27. I have the same issues with exactly the same model.And this is within less than 1 year of purchase. I am really frustrated at how SONY is handling this. Really disgusting, how can a gadget purchased for $1500 not even have a life of 1 year.

    This is my last SONY purchase. Please let me know if anyone wants to make a lawer trip for a Class Suit and I Will surely be a part of this. Want to teach SONY a lesson at their own game. STOP PLAYING WITH HONEST CUSTOMERS

    What happened to SONY who once stood for quality
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    Holy Cow ... this is exactly the problem I'm having. I've had this camera for a couple of years and it's just started. Works fine for a 20 minutes, then auto focus goes loopy, then start working fine again. I noticed today it seemed to be hotter to the touch than it had been.

    I'll try the tips in this post (turning off STEADYSHOT and tilting the camera 90 degrees). YIKES ... this is not good. I video high school soccer, so re-shooting scenes is NOT an option for me.

    I'm going to try and run this off of an AC power instead of the battery and downgrade the HD settings to see if this helps.

    Does anyone else have a tip that helps? If I can get thru a few more weeks w/ this camera before it totally dies, that would be nice.
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  29. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    My cam also went loopy with the auto-focus...tried resetting the software but didn't help...finally sent it in and they fixed it...however, I noticed they didn't really record on the invoice what it exactly was that they did to the cam

    One thing that may have happened was I've been transporting it with the tripod attached. every little bump gets picked up by the tripod and transmitted to the camera. I've been thinking this may have contributed to the focus going wonky.

    Cam was covered with an extended 4 year warranty @ $28 a year
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    Dear Zoombie ... how long where you without your camera? I'm in the middle of soccer season, I can't be without mine for months.
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