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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  • gooberpooh Dec 27, 2007

    Same symptoms - The problem appeared to be intermittent, but no longer works at all.

  • Satish Kumar Jun 18, 2008

    Hi every1 - I followed the advice given and followed the link provided, I was able to send the handycam via ups, get it fixed and get it back with no cost to me. Thanks for this wonderful tip. -- SK

  • Nanou1907 Jun 27, 2008

    Got the exact same trouble, I contact Sony via chat but the guy told me that nothing could be done, it bwas a malfunction, but I could send it to Sony services. The charges start at $151.00 .....

  • eddie22487 Oct 08, 2008

    I can't believe I missed this by a week. I'm calling Sony and raising hell, lol.

  • Elis Chang Dec 12, 2008

    I've had my sony handycam DCR-HC20 Mini DV Digital Camcorder for about 4 years now and this is the first time this has happened. When I set the lens cover switch to open, the screen is completely dark and said the lens cover is not open but I did open it already. 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 said the lens cover is not open.

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6 Answers

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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 http://esupport.sony.com/perl/news-item.pl?news_id=161&mdl=DCRHC20 for details.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009

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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.

THANKS!!!

Posted on Sep 28, 2008

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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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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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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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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: http://eservice.sony.com 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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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

No image is captured by the screen itself (LCD screen works but completely dark).


Did you try pressing the display button several times? in both viewing mode and record mode? Cycle through all display modes, s you get used to the button, so it does not trow you off when it happens again.

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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.

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Viewfinder and LCD screen only show black and record black


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.
And if camcoder shows live view and old recorded tapes in its eye piece view finder but does not show any thing in LCD the its problem of broekn/ cracked flexible wire between lcd board and main board of camcorder.
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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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I have recently had what I think is the same problem. I wrote to a supplier in the UK to see if they could diagnose it from my description. My camera is still not fixed as yet (as I have not sent it off yet for fixing), however there initial analysis was that it is 'Drive PCB' problem and a replacement part would cost £38 + labour + tax. I am not sure what the Drive PCB is, but I have the same blank/grey screen when trying to record but playback is OK. My camera is also about 2 years old.

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