Sony HVR A1 camera

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Ken Wilson
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:17 pm

Sony HVR A1 camera

Post by Ken Wilson »

This is an unusual place to find me on the technical pages, but I have a problem and wonder if anyone can offer opinions and advice.
If you have received and read your new FVM magazine, you will see that I write this month about our son`s wedding which I shot in Greece on August 2nd. I won`t repeat all what I said in that piece, but I bought a new Sony HVR-A1 camera (from Purely Gadgets) for about £1600 to shoot this wedding. I barely tested it beforehand, just ran it as a back-up camera facing the congregation at another church wedding to see if it worked and what the picture quality was like. The church was gloomy and to be honest, this camera doesn`t perform too well in low light based on that test.

I know that I should have vigorously put it through it`s paces, but I never seem to have enough time and to be honest, playing with cameras is just not my thing at all.

So at the wedding in Greece (Skiathos) I had one spell when the power was shut off in the camera and I assumed it was the heat. Power returned to it an hour later.

Now I have been looking at the camera again and thought I would experiment a bit more, but after charging the batteries and opening the door to pop in a tape, everything has stopped working.
I get a bleeping sound and an error code of 32:11 and a message which tells me to re-attach the power source. But no matter what I do, attaching either of the two batteries or trying mains power, the message still flashes. I have tried the reset button but this makes no difference.
So there we have it. The camera is now just over a year old, but has only had 3 tapes put through it. Here we have the problem of a guarantee based on length of time since purchase and not actual usage. So it seems like it will be a non guarantee repair, unless anyone has any other suggestions. Your comments would be appreciated.
Ken
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billyfromConsett
Posts: 489
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:27 pm
Location: Consett

Re: Sony HVR A1 camera

Post by billyfromConsett »

It looks like you might need to get it checked by Sony. You could ring Sony support and ask for the meaning of the error code. It couldn't be a moisture error code?

You could try leaving the cam on a hot radiator for a few hours to dry the circuit board out, with the batteries out - including the cell battery if it has one.

I guess you'll need a Sony repairer though - reliability is paramount for your wedding work!

Good luck.
tom hardwick
Posts: 843
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: Sony HVR A1 camera

Post by tom hardwick »

I'm sorry to hear of your camcorder problems Ken.

Sony's A1 comes in under their professional line (sonybiz) and so should be covered by their Silver seal two year guarantee. The HC3 on which it was based was the consumer version and only had a one year guarantee. Well worth talking to Sony themselves as the camera probably has an hours meter which will verify it's incredibly short working life.

Googling error code 32:11 brings up many hits that might be worth a read

http://www.camerahacker.com/Forums/Disp ... ct_C.32.11

tom.
Ken Wilson
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: Sony HVR A1 camera

Post by Ken Wilson »

Thanks for the comments everyone, both on here and sent to me privately. I checked Tom`s link to the net which brings up an amazing number of issues with error codes on Sony cameras. 32:11 comes up many dozens if not hundreds of times on all different camera models going back several years. If there has been an on-going problem all of this time, why has it not been resolved? Many of the postings get very irate and threaten to never buy Sony gear again. Wow! It is a real eye opener and it makes you very aware of what can go wrong very suddenly and without warning.
It appears that 32:11 is linked to loading/ unloading gear as the tape is taken in or comes out. This is consistent with how it happened to me. I ejected the tape that was in there and then it ceased to operate and just gave the beep, beep, beep sound with the 32:11 code which everyone describes.
There are a number of remedies offered, including sharp taps on the side or bottom of the camera. People have found that disconnecting/ reconnecting the battery, or mains supply, whilst holding the tape door closed and switching on/ off in a particular sequence can free it. You can try all manner of tricks, like removing all power and switching from camera to VCR operation whilst standing in a bowl of water which sometimes can do the trick. (OK the bowl of water wasn`t mentioned, but the rest are genuine.) I have tried them all in various permutations, without success.
There are also video clips showing you how to free the gear with a screwdriver (eeek!!) Or one teenager who tells you to remove the battery and leave the camera in a drawer for 4 or 5 weeks. This apparently allows the camera to "forget" it was faulty and full functions then resume! (But isn`t this the same as pressing reset?)
I will check with Sony and the supplier (Purely Gadgets) to see what they say. P.G. used to offer an 18 month guarantee, but not any more. If there is a longer guarantee than 12 months as Tom says, via Sony well hurray for that, but I am not getting my hopes up just yet. I will keep you posted on developments. Thanks again.
Ken
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