Charged the camera to use it yesterday for my daughter's school recital, and could not get a picture in either viewfinder. It's as though the lens cap were on, even though it's not. The camcorder will play back old video fine. I haven't used the camera in about a year.
Any thougts as to what the problem might be?
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Buy a new camera, record what you need, transfer the file to your computer, and return the camera. Is the battery corroded? Sounds like you either don't have the right battery or there's a short somewhere.
Check the mirror. The image you see in the viewfinder comes through the lens, and is reflected by the mirror. If it's dirty, it will affect the image you see. When you take the picture, the mirror lifts up, the viewfinder image is interrupted, and the light from the lens goes to the image sensor. So...if the mirror is dirty, the picture will be fine but the viewfinder image will be dark or out of focus.
Take the lens off and look at the lens opening on the body - at the 9 o'clock position is the aperture stopdown lever. It should be square to the edge - not bent sideways or too far from the side. It's a pretty flimsy lever and easily bent. You can bend it back square by grabbing with pliers and pushing toward the left side. Common problem.
are you doing a finalize on your -r discs? if not finalized won't play in anything but camcorder-dvd can be finalized at any time-you should not lose your footage--rw can sometimes play in players w/out being finalized can also delete scenes and reuse-look for finalize in your playback menus