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Old Aug 24, 2006, 8:52 AM   #1
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After 6 months of great performance from my HD1, it has now died a "black screen" death. What are the suggestions for a replacement?

I could send it back to be fixed by Sanyo, or I could try to return it to the original retailer and buy a new HD1. Since the HD1a is due to start shipping very soon, I could replace it with the newer model. In looking at the early information, it looks like the main changes are the OLED to LCD screen, the addition of a web-friendly video mode and widescreen stills, and improved in-camera editing.

I'm not sure any of those makes a difference to me. I'm most concerned with build quality and reliability. I'm concerned that some who have had their HD1s fixed started having problems again. Has the "black screen" issue been resolved completely? Has anyone had any problems with an HD1 purchased more recently? Sanyo - care to comment?

The third option would be to wait for the next generation of HD camcorders that are coming. Does anyone have a good pointer to details and/or release dates? I've been very happy with my HD1, other than the recent black screen defect, and I want to continue to support them, if I can. I think they really innovated here. That said, there are still a number of things I would change about the HD1 if I could.
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Old Aug 24, 2006, 11:11 AM   #2
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Newbs,

I read your post and am jumping in with no answers but to reinforce support for your questions.

I use a Sanyo C5 and absolutely love it. I'm probably the best candidate anywhere for the HD1 or HD!a. I love the system and the handling characteristics of these camcorders. Nothing else compares.

Lots of reviews cite little problems with indoor shots, Image stabilization, noise, motor noise in zoom etc. I'm sure these are all valid complaints but I could accept them and live with them as a trade off to the other benefits. The incredible lack of reliability is something I couldn't handle, however.

The dreaded "Black Screen" disease has been a real negative. What's even more disturbing than the failure, and the repeat failures, is the silence by Sanyo on the subject.

What is causing this, Sanyo? If you know the fix, why does it often happen again?

I think Steve will be reviewing the HD1a in September or sooner but doubt that he can say much about reliability. Perhaps Sanyo will say something to him before he does the review,....such as increased warranty, what the problem was etc.

Newbs. please let us know what you do and what Sanyo says about the problem.

Thanks,....Jack
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 9:27 AM   #3
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Thanks for the commenst, Setter Dog. In Sanyo's defense, I should point out that the "Sanyo" member did respond (while he was on vacation, no less) to a PM I sent him and explained the cause of the black screen. I won't post it here, since he hasn't made it public, but I am satisfied with his response.

Right now, I am leaning towards upgrading, either to the HD1a or to a non-Sanyo camera. Where can I find information about upcoming small form factor HD cameras? I am willing to wait a few months and spend a few extra bucks to get something with slightly better output.

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Old Aug 25, 2006, 11:09 AM   #4
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Newbs,

The only other qualitysmall camcorder I know of is the Panasonic SDR S-150 ( or 100, 200). It is a great camcorder and small, but not nearly as handy as your HD 1. I tried it at Frys and one handed operation is not easy. It has a great screen, 10x zoom, better IS (optical)and all of the reviews say it has a super picture. One shortcoming istaking still pictures. You would have to put the camera down and turn a rather smalldial, then do the same thing again to get back to video. As you know, with the HD 1, switching is not even necessary, just use the separate button. For my uses, I need to put the camcorder in action with one hand. I found this to be all but impossible with the S-150. I tried them both at Frys, side by side, and remember telling my wife,.............. "I like the S-100, especially the larger screen and image stabilizationbut it just won't work for my purposes. The HD 1 is clearly much more user friendly."

Glad you heard from Sanyo's rep on the black screen thing. I would be very interested in what he said. Can't imagine why it's such a secret. Believe me, with the terrible reviews on Amazon, they will lose lots of sales if they don't face up to this problem and say what theyare doing or have done about it. Between you, the Sanyo rep, and Steves upcoming review of the HD 1a, those of us on the forum are positioned to make an educated purchase,........hopefully.

Hope you'll keep us informed on this........Thanks!

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Old Aug 27, 2006, 6:27 AM   #5
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" I won't post it here, since he hasn't made it public "

This is an error of judement onyourpart Newb, in my opinion.

Sanyo reps know anything they say to users may appear in forums, so it's not some secret.

It has been said elsewhere. Lens mechanism, right?

However, to hear a second version would be very useful.


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:44 PM   #6
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Yes, he confirmed it has to do with the lens assembly; he merely provided more details as to the specific nature of the problem. I don't think it's any secret, but at the same time, I don't believe it's my place to post it here. I will say that I am impressed that Sanyo has a reletively active member in this forum who is willing to answer some questions, which is more than can be said of some other manufacturers. In any case, I'm sure if you PM him , you can get details yourself.

Back to my original dilemma, I am leaning towards returning the HD1 and pre-ordering the HD1a. After doing a little more research, I haven't seen anything else from a different manufacturer that looks better (for my needs). I like the "sound" of the Samsung HD pocket cam, but that is looking more and more like vaporware. The date keeps getting pushed back and I don't think they are going to get it out tomorrow to meet their announced August release date. Also, the image quality of Samsung's current generation is a bit troubling, although the geek in me does like the new wireless lens they have.

Bottom line, packing these features into this form factor means compromises, but I think Sanyo is on the right track. I'm leaning towards the HD1a only because I have higher confidence in the reliability of the newer model than a repaired older one (although this may just be blind faith). I also imagine support (e.g., firmware updates) are more likely on the newer model. The only real downgrade from the HD1 is the LCD screen, and I can live with the reduced battery life in exchange for a proven technology.
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