Just trying to get my camera functioning at 100%, any advice is greatly appreciated!
[Attachment 55055 - Click to enlarge]
-quirky Japanese market Hi8 camera I want to get working at all costs (love the form factor)
-lens focus fixed at approximately 2mm from taking lens
-zoom totally unresponsive to W/T switch input, although lens makes full sweep at startup
-looking for either DIY advice or a recommended expert willing to take on the task of repairing it
-located in Brooklyn, NY
Back in February I was intrigued by this camera when I stumbled upon it on an eBay listing which claimed was working so I bought it. When I received the unit it had several issues - an error message (in Japanese) which said the heads needed to be cleaned and it was not recording or playing back properly. In addition to that the lens wasn't focusing and was completely unresponsive to the W/T switch - however the lens does make a full sweep on startup so I know the motors are working and the lens isn't physically jammed. I took the camera to a shop in Pasadena that specializes in camcorder repair when I was in LA for a job and they told me it was a lost cause since according to them the heads were toast and no parts were available (they didn't even seem interested in attempting to trouble shoot the camera - apparently they were of the mindset of selling a customer new parts).
Anyway I took the camera back home and five minutes with an alcohol prep pad seemed to solve the issue with the head and it's now laying down what I would consider 95% clear video and audio which is totally acceptable for my purposes (art films). So as the camera currently sits critical focus is approximately 2mm away from the taking lens which is actually interesting for macro work - I took the camera out and made a short film with some test footage for anyone interested in seeing it - https://vimeo.com/459532327
Today I took the covers off and used some deoxit on the zoom switch hoping it might just have some dirty contacts but no dice. The ribbon cable appears to be perfectly intact and it's the same cable that carries the on/off and mode (camera / VCR) info so I know it's completing those circuits. I'm not super knowledgable about camcorders but I have some experience repairing electronics in general and I suspect there is possibly a circuit board somewhere that is responsible for relaying the signal to the motors that might have a bad capacitor or something? I have searched the internet for hours for a repair manual and also for similar issues with other cameras on iFixIt and I haven't found anything solid.
If anyone has any advice or can recommend a competent repair solution or even another forum that might be more geared towards this kind of info - I'm willing to try anything to get this camera working. I have really fallen in love with it as the form factor is unusual, the consumer look of it doesn't make me a target of suspicion for street shooting and oddly enough it has an optical viewfinder which I find really useful as I have a lot of experience shooting in this style with 35mm compact film cameras.
Thanks for reading!
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