We currently have a crew in Ghana shooting a documentary with 2 PDW-700's. One of them is displaying error message 20-118 (which means - An abnormal current of the loading motor is detected during horizontal move of loading.)
Anybody have any info on this and whether it can possibly be fixed in the field? Any help would be greatly appreciated...
Came across this a lot recently on a 8 camera multishoot.
Make sure when loading the disk that the camera is horizontally level and not moving. Don't move the camera until the loading process has totally completed, and the camera is in standby mode.
Not all cameras are equal, I only had this problem consistently with 3 of the 8 cameras, and even then not all the time.
I've had several explanations from Sony reps as to what is going on, though I don't feel that any of them were able to fully explain the problem with any confidence.
Thanks so much for your response. It sounds as though you were able to get past the initial error message and still use the camera(s). With ours, it's rendered the camera unusable, and Sony is saying it will have to go in for repair.
And the Sony rep said it's usually the result of loading in the disc too "harshly."
We did loose one of the cameras that way, the disk just would not eject and the response from Sony was the same as yours.
I'm quite a "Nanny" when it comes to equipment and the way it is treated, yet when I watched the operator load the camera no alarm bells rang in my head, it was slow, quite gentle, and in no way "slammed" into place as the Sony claims.
After loading, the camera reported a fault so we tried to eject the disk. It would not eject on repeated attempts, and the manual wind did not work either.
On the same job one of the ENG crews camera would jump out of record if the camera was tilted back at a certain angle. The 700's on the Stedicam and Jib faulted when the camera was inverted whilst rolling several times, and one camera mysteriously recorded nothing to disk, even though you can see it's tally light and LCD panel in several of the other cameras shots.
All in all the job went well!!!!!
My experience with multiple 700's, several of them fresh out of the box, didn't fill me with confidence. My impression is that whilst the images look very good, and the recordings and media in post production is all good, the cameras themselves are not as robust as one might expect. That is odd considering how reliable the 300 series cameras are.
A rental company I deal with regularly say they have never had so many teething problems with a camera before.
I have four of these cameras since last spring and used three of them last summer on a feature doc in France where we burned through more than 200 discs. We did have one failure similar to what you describe, where the disc would not eject and the manual override did nor allow it to be removed either.
Sony US directed us to Sony France who sent us to a local repair shop in Paris who exchanged the "trolley" and reported to us that it was a known issue with bad mechanisms in early models (although at that time there were already several thousand units in Europe).
We're still waiting for reimbursement of about $4000 from Sony US (6 months later!) as the camera was under warranty and they agreed to pay for local repair, and I can report that even with heavy use since, I have not had another deck failure.
I've seen this issue on 800's too, even though Sony claims the transport is the revised one.
I know people who have the 1st series 700's that have not missed a beat since day 1. They treat their cameras the same way as they treated their Digi beta's previously, no special "kids gloves" treatment of the media needed.
Like I mentioned earlier, It's surprising that some of these 50mbps cameras don't seem as reliable as the earlier 35mbps cameras. I would have thought the transport mechanism would have been very similar.
Its a recurring problem with XD if the disc is pushed in to hard the mechanism will malfunction.
The 500 series had the same.
a lot of people are used to pushing a cassette in to the camera with a little gentle force.
That doesn't work to well for XD, softly pushing the disc in and gently closing the lid will save you trouble.