Question about Sony Handycam DCR-HC20 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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No image in the viewfinder or LCD

I've had my camera about 2 years now and this is the first time this has happened. When I go to record new videw the screen is completely dark. I can play back video and that does display on the LCD, but switching to camera mode just shows a black/dark grey screen.It says standby.....and also shows 'quarter sun emlom.

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Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

Sony had problems with CCD imagers in their camcorders and digital cameras manufactured in 2004. They will repair your camcorder for $15 shipping/handling through 3/31/2009. See for details.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009

Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

Wow, just found this after getting this problem today. I called Sony (Sunday, today) and they informed me that I can get this fixed under the recall that ends TUESDAY. I guess I was lucky it broke when it did and I googled you all.


Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

Oh my! My camera has not worked for the last two years. All we see is a graining wood looking image. From this thread, I called Sony and they said due to an recall on the ccd imager they will ship it and fix it for free.
I'm so glad that I found this info and I'm sorry I did not look sooner. I will be shipping the camera in a day and should get it back w/in two weeks. I have a lot of videos to catch up on and my kids are now two years older

thanks much

Posted on Jul 08, 2008

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Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

It is a common problem with them. sony has a recall on ccd imager for this model. call sony and they will fix it for free.

Posted on Jul 25, 2007

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Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

Follow up from my initial post: I looked up a local Sony repair shop from Sony's web page. The repair technician said he would need to take it appart to find out for certain - sure enough it is now 100% fixed, 100% free to me. I had no idea untiul I found this thread. Thanks!

Posted on Apr 24, 2008

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Re: No image in the viewfinder or LCD

I sent mine to the Sony. They fixed it free works GREAT! They paid shipping both ways. The recall is only effective until 9/30/08. I went to: Looked up my product, filled out the form, they emailed me a shipping label, I sent out my camera, and had it back within 10 days. Works better than ever.

Posted on Apr 18, 2008

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1 Answer

When in video recording mode LCD screen and viewfinder are black when the lens cap is off.

It could one of a few problems:

1. The viewfinder is pulled out and "PRIORITY" is set to "FINDER".

Push the viewfinder back in or set "PRIORITY" to "LCD".

2. The LCD monitor's brightness setting is too dark.

Adjust the brightness of the LCD monitor.

3. If the monitor is tilted upward 180 degrees, open the monitor fully.

Download the manual for more info:
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If camcorder shows old recorded tapes picture with correct colors in LCD but does not show live view in camera mode to record new movie then its ccd imager chip failure.
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On another forum I was told to try removing the HD and reinstalling it. Since camera is out of warranty I will probably do that.

In my case the problem happened right after downloding videos to the PC.

Did you fix yours?

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Recording problem

Knowledge Article C116445
There is no picture or a black screen appears in the viewfinder or LCD when attempting to record. Follow this procedure to troubleshoot if there is no picture or a black screen appears in the viewfinder or LCD when attempting to record. NOTES:
  • Because each of these steps represents a possible solution to this issue, check the viewfinder or LCD status after completing each step.
  • It may be necessary to refer to the operating instructions provided with the camcorder for information on how to perform a task on your specific model.
  1. Ensure the lens cap on the front of the camcorder has been removed.
  2. Ensure a fully-charged battery is inserted in the camcorder.
  3. Ensure the STANDBY/LOCK switch is set to the STANDBY position.
  4. Turn on the camcorder and set it to the CAMERA mode.
  5. Look to see if an image can be seen in the viewfinder or LCD.
  6. IMPORTANT: Some camcorders have both a viewfinder and LCD. To conserve power, the viewfinder and LCD will not display at the same time. To use the viewfinder, the LCD must be closed.
  7. If the issue is not resolved, reset the camcorder to factory specifications.
NOTE: If the issue is still unresolved after completing the troubleshootin

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