It sounds like an automatic battery saver function. Regarding the need to return to the menu to select your settings, you can program these into the user file settings, so all you have to do if it powers down again is select your user file. The manual can be found at:
BTW, aside from the need to save your battery, it is harmful to both your videotape and video head to keep the tape and head engaged onger than two minutes.
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Most unexpected shutdowns are from thermal signals from the processor or from a memory module failure. Get some cans of compressed air from an office supply store and with all power disconnected and the battery removed, use small bursts of air and blow out all the ventilation frills on the laptop, including all access doors and cd/dvd tray or slot. If it continues after the cleanout, try powering down and removing one memory module and run the laptop. If it dies not shut down, swap out the modules and try again. if it fails, then you know what the problem is.
We are one of the Panasonic ASC and so far we had no problem with DVX100P parts. Although that model has been discontinued parts are still available.
Most of the DVX100A parts are common for DVX100P
If the recorded tapes playback ok on the camera and not ok on another devices, you need to readjust the playback on this camera using a tape which playbacks fine on the other devices.
This means that is a small difference on the tape transport.
So when the supply and takeup post rollers readjusted and the audio and video playback are good, then your camera is fine.
You can open the cassette cover and spray inside the upper left side of mechanism(closer to the back) with contact cleaner spray,because there is a rec inhibit switch.If it's not damaged and just dirty you solve your problem ,but if is damaged it needs replacement.
This is a proper maintenance job. I know exactly what you are talking about and your comment about pausing and then it works sometimes confirms in my mind at least, that this is an issue with the mechanism for turning over. It happens through general use, but can be prevented by conservative use of the pause button when playing back. In my experience, the pause button is used rather than switching off, when logging....dont know if this is true on your end but I hope it helps in some way.