Question about Canon ZR400 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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Zr400 wont accept cassette

When I try to put a cassette (any cassette) into the tray, I can hear a high pitched whirring sound and the tray will eject after 3 or 4 seconds. Error message on the screen is a big red X with the message REMOVE THE CASSETTE.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Posted by bobbmm on

  • 2 more comments 
  • bobbmm Feb 01, 2008

    I'll try this when I get it back from the shop. They wanted $285 to fix it and I passed on that, so I'll try your idea when I get it back next week.

  • maggie donnelly May 27, 2008

    I have the same problem with a Canon MV700 - but also would add that in my case, when the tape is ejected, some of the tape has been slightly snarled. I can still play the tapes in another camcorder, so the problem is specific to the Canon, and has only developed within the past 24 hours.

    But the response post is very helpful


  • Anonymous Sep 23, 2008

    I have the exact same problem, but my camera had always been stored in the perfect conditions due to the fact that I'm very tedious. I have actually talked to a couple people that helped manufacture this specific model and their were over 500 camera's refurbrished because of this exact problem. Another reason why they were selling for so cheap.

  • Anonymous Oct 24, 2008

    I also have the same problem- I can see one of the wheels (wrong terminology I know) spinning rapidly which is causing the high pitched whirring sound. I was on holiday at the time and so bought another canon camcorder (a cheap one), and after a few days this started doing the same thing, so I'm back to square one (and a few hundred dollars poorer). I am on holiday in Queensland and wondered whether the humidity or sand (having used both at beaches) could also cause the issue.



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You wont belive this but I found on another site something that actually works. Apparently it's called the "fonzie tap". With the camcorder closed tap the side (quite hard) and try putting the tape in again. Repeat this until it works.

I was all out of solutions so I tried this option last and it actually worked lol.!!!

Posted on Sep 23, 2008



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There is a sensor that is not working properly. It could be a humidity sensor and dry out after a while or it may need to be replaced. I had the same problem about 2 months ago. It seemed to fix itself but then came back severa; months later after being in a very humid situation.

I spent a lot of time on the line with the Canon Techs and this is their suggestion.

Reset your camcorder back to factory defaults to attempt to correct this issue:

1. Remove the power adapter, main battery and the backup battery.

a. The backup battery is located behind the main battery.

2. Let camera sit with no power for about 20 minutes.

3. Replace batteries and power adapter to your camera.

4. Power on your camcorder and attempt to load a new tape.

Sometimes if the camcorder is exposed to an environment with high humidity, it is possible for moisture to produce inside of the unit. As a safety mechanism, DEW will flash in the viewfinder (however this error message does not always display), and the camcorder will not load a tape. If this occurs, the camcorder should be taken into a cool dry environment.

The playback and/or recording heads may have dirt or tape particles lodged on them. Try using a dry head cleaning cassette (never use wet type). You can obtain a dry head cleaner at any local store that carries electronics equipment.

If you are unable to load the tape, then verify that there are no obstructions in the compartment, keeping the tape from loading. If there are no obstructions, then the camcorder may need a Tape Path Alignment, or the posts may be loose. This would require servicing to resolve the issue.

For service, please forward your camcorder to one of the Factory Service Centers shown below. Be sure to include your name, street address (no P.O. boxes, please), telephone number, and a letter describing the issue with the product. Please do not send any accessories or manuals when shipping the camcorder.

As we do not provide RMA numbers for service, we suggest using a trackable and insurable service (i.e. UPS, Federal Express, Priority
Mail) to ship your camcorder. Please package the camcorder very securely to prevent damage during shipment.

Canon Repair Facility
45-19 162nd St.
Flushing, NY 11358
Tel.# (800) 828-4040
Business hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday

NOTE: This address is only for customers residing in: NY, NJ, CT, PA, VA, WV, MA, IL, VT, NH, ME, RI, OH, MI, and IN. It is not valid for XL series, DC series or HV series camcorders.

Posted on Jan 30, 2008


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