EEVblog #1206 – Repair: Sony NEX VG30 Video Camera

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Dave’s Sony NEX VG30 camera, err, well, it broke…
A quick partial teardown and fix.
And a quick talk about the cameras Dave uses for the blog.

Sony NX80:
Sony A6300:
Sony RX100 MKIV:


#Sony #Repair #VideoCamera

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wah-wah-wah this is what happened to my secondary camera this is not my primary camera this is my Sony NEX V G 30 camera which I often use for my like a mail bag stuff my talking head mail bag videos and yeah the microphone is not supposed to be pointing down like that there was a tragic lab accident that caused this I'll let you figure that out for yourself and that's not the only issue the screen here is a bit how you do and look at that it doesn't close sometimes doesn't close properly but I had this problem before that it turns out that there's a little sort of like flappy thing in there that gets in the way sometimes and I've had it where it wouldn't close before but now it's a bit loosey-goosey look at that but it it does still work like the screen still works no problems whatsoever and the lens seems to be intact this is one of my lenses here but it seems okay and it focuses okay it seems to you're whacking in auto mode and it seems to seems to be hunky-dory so I think the lens are survived intact but this isn't the first time that this camera has copped some abuse but this is the first time it's been damaged like that so yeah and as you can see there is no audio the audio is not coming through check check one two it ain't coming through so the mics are broken on this puppy so I'm gonna have to try and take this top section apart and see what's what for those who don't know this is one of Sony's removable lens cameras uses the e mount so there you go there's the aps-c size sensor inside there and it's a very nice camera but it's not the reason I don't use it as a primary camera is because well one it's got the de little like stereo like a five channel stereo indicator doesn't have a audio indicator doesn't have a proper vu meter there's a couple of other it does has weird things like if you turn on certain modes it disables face tracking and stuff like that no use face tracking all the time for my talking head shots and it's just yeah a few little touches mean this is annoying to use as a video blogging camera but I still use this as a like a secondary like and if I go on site I would use this as like a secondary b-roll camera or something like that so definitely want to get it working again but so I'm guessing that you know some of the wirings just pulled out in there or something like that so let's have a squiz okay on the top here we have a cold shoe mount like that's called a cold shoe because it's got no our power or any other interconnects and one hot shoe attachment and you can see the contacts down in there they're all different it's a sony proprietary thing I don't think there's any industry standard for hot shoes is there there are so two screws there one screw there and this lifts off that's very nice excellent and yeah we can yeah the bottom of the plastic along here is cracked so that's the external microphone input some flat flex happening down in there and of course the viewfinder I never use these if you find as I just did like absolutely no point having these I know some people use them because in the field they're easier to see but anyway let's is that what's going on there quite sure May that's all ribbon connected I thought there might have been some wires in there but that should be okay maybe hopefully just the ribbons come out because I don't mind the mechanical damage I can push that back in and sort of you know glue all that back together I'm it was the connections I thought there would have been maybe some Co X's shielded caraxes micro coax is going over there but obviously not got a ribbon so that's alright I'll try and get the rest of this apart yeah that just fell directly out of this I think the ribbons do come off that's good should be able to just whack that on my microphone should still work again obviously it bent some metal work there so I can just bash that back into place is that that almost looks like one of those magnesium alloys doesn't know you know if you want to test it you can actually scrape some of that off and light it up and see if it goes up like and doesn't quite go up like like a pure magnesium but I believe that's one way to test it so yeah that metal works fixable no worries we can get that done and let's yeah put it back together this could be easy-peasy I get those screws off that fold back the hotshoe and tada that is our Mike board still looks good it doesn't have any of your like like the flippy bar to hold that in so it looks like it just pulled out so it looks like that's just a a friction fit back into there let's grab some long nose pliers I should be able to force that back in there I was playing along at home I want to see the microphone board there you go but yeah they've got those you know we had asked SMD codes but there you have it but anyway that's supposed to be like a five channel driver thing because this has got one of those you know weird-ass stereo surround head things yeah I don't know why you'd want one of these things for Atmospheric stereos around you know I guess when this came out you know five on one channel and all that sort of stuff was all the rage I guess but yeah anyway I'm gonna let's open this up shall we while we're here and just have a look at the capsules inside this thing there we go that's interesting look at these rubber baby buggy bumpers in there as you'd expect to isolate the handling noise of the actual capsule capsules look well if they must be tiny little electric Mike inserts they're not like big condenser capsules or anything so don't get too excited but no so the way they've found out the flat flex there to go over to each one that's very nice instead of doing the like a little hand solder in coax or something like that that's pretty neat and as it turns out all your preamp stuff is actually in here cuz it didn't make sense to have it go across the ribbon and there's no screening on that by the way there's no nickel screening on that that's just plastic so it's not completely shielded it's a bit it's a bit how are you doing but anyway nice little construction there you have it there's a little capsule inside there it said just a little electric mic insert no workers you know it's not going to set the world on fire it's not exactly the world's best shotgun well it's Liana it looks like a shotgun mic because if it's it's sitting on top of the camera and it's long but it doesn't have the shotgun construction of the long barrel these are just illiterate mic inserts just like you'd have on the top of any regular camera so yeah nothing special about this and if you want to know what camera I'm shooting in at the moment by the way it's a Sony in X 80 so it doesn't have the interchangeable lens cameras I've also got a sony alpha 6300 as well which uses the same amount lenses I've also got a Sony rx100 Mark four which is a little compact one which I just carry around everywhere and that's sort of my like little backup camera and I shot a few main blogs on that out in the field and stuff like that so I have standardized have gone away from my Canon quite a few years ago and I standardized on the Sony cameras and as I said and this isn't like the it has a few niggles this camera what the color balancing in this one isn't as good as my NX 80 when I'm shooting like my white board or even my mailbag videos just because I don't have the best lights in the lab here in terms of that color balancing color balancing just isn't handled as nicely as the NX 81 and it's got a weird quirk when you turn on white balance it disables face-tracking like what the it's like come on I want to like that's exactly what I need for my Oh bag I need to fix my white balance of course if you like you get a measurement card out you actually measure what the color temperature is you set the manual color temperature in the camera that's what I've got on my Sony in xat here at the moment I've got fixed like 5,500 K color balancing on it and then to have a disabled face tracking which was one of the most important things I need from my mailbag I can't set a fixed focus on that because it's just done because I'm always like going back and forth and showing things to the camera and all it sort of jazz so anyway yeah so this is why I don't use this one as a primary camera even though I love the fact that it uses the interchangeable lenses I've got a really wide angle one the 10 to 18 millimeter for this and the Alpha 6500 6300 as well so yeah you know it makes a good secondary I can backup cam but as I said like the mic just isn't as good as like dedicated rode shotgun mics and I've got but I do i I have actually used for many years have actually used this mic in here as the main mic for my mailbag you just have to get it close enough you've got to get it within like a meter anything further than like a meter away yeah it sounds like crap so it looks like we've broken off a plastic post mounting post in there you see there's a mounting post with a screw in there so that's so gonna pop out yeah it's gone ski anyway I'll push that back in and if you just want to see whether or not is actually conductive we can do that today there it is definitely conductive but sadly that's only like the main body of the camera up here like this which is fine but it doesn't extend to as I said the microphone around here so this these plastic ones top and bottom aren't conductive so yeah weird that they just stop there now sadly the little spigot there that's broken is the one that actually is supposed to screw into there like that so I guess I could maybe get in there and glue it all back together and whatnot or I can just rely on the fact that I could just either just hold it back in there and it won't be the world's most robust thing anyway I think lots of glue is the answer in this course for two part epoxy now there's superglue rubbish and the good news is we're back there we go two channels I don't care about the other channels I assume they will work as well but like why would you do like this is like a prosumer like not gonna say it's a professional camera but it's like it's designed for the high end in a change of a lens big sensor everything like that and they put a Dicky little vu meter like this on it absolutely ridiculous and this camera actually has no auto get auto mic gain either it's gonna got no compressor oh well it might have compressor limiter but there's no auto might gain in this thing at all so yeah it's audio options just aren't nearly as good as you know what a professional video blogger would need so yeah that's why one of the reasons I wouldn't use this as a primary camera is it's just just the audio stuff alone just isn't that great yeah I held that together a tight as long as I could and now I'll just leave it freestanding up like that and that should be sweet all I if I have to like take that apart again yeah I don't like my chances and check it out like a bought one I've got my audio back and look at that ah thing of beauty joy forever fantastic there you go just a quick simple fix with some epoxy I'm not gonna do anything about the slightly wobbly screen I'm not that there we go it doesn't do that doesn't fold in anymore but it's done this before it's it's a little thing little flappy thing down in there I think that actually broke that must have broken some time ago so I just get in there and lever it up and that'll close so oops there it is that's what was inside there hinge there there's a little spring thing looks like a little bit of plastic did that shear off or something I'm not not entirely sure what happened there but anyway these bits fill out and now it now it closes just fine of course so no worries but this as I said just a little bit loosey-goosey there but not fussed about that still works a treat so I don't know what that did exactly that's just hiding the there's some flat flex down in there if you can see it yeah it's good enough it's not my primary camera and I could probably get in there take the cover off again and gunk up all like like fully gunk up in there with epoxy and that might make it more robust but it actually didn't seem to be that robust before anyway on it's not hugely impressed by the physical construction of that but yeah you know when it falls like well I don't know it felt the tripod and went I didn't actually see it land but yeah probably on there like that and just she had it right off so anyway not terrific so that was a quick simple fix and a little mini turn on there inside the Sony NEX of VG 30 camera by the way this I didn't buy this new I bought this secondhand on eBay without any lenses and it was like really cheap even I've had it for like four years or something I think and I think I only paid like $700 for it or something and even today that is like dirt cheap people still sell you can still buy this like it's discontinued I think but you can still buy this like brand new in box many places and even secondhand I could probably still sell it well I can't sell it now it has been broken but anyway I'm yeah I could have sold this sir for a profit even four years later so I got it pretty darn cheap because I already had the Sony lenses from my next 5t camera so I've actually got Sony cameras coming out my backside at the moment so yeah too many cameras get out in the field and start using them catch you next time you

33 thoughts on “EEVblog #1206 – Repair: Sony NEX VG30 Video Camera

  1. I don't know what films you watch? I watch 5.1 or even 7.1 surround sound. I have a dirty shutter and scratched sensor. I need a new camera but am unwilling to sacrifice my 5.1 surround sound that this camera does. So I guess your attitude and others mean that all new cameras use stupid mono shotgun mics hmmm? Sorry, I find the sound from the vg30 to be better than what you seem to think is better.

  2. Handycams were so popular back in the days before smartphones because it was the only way to record video. Back in those days I was fixing, sony, hitachi, jvc, sanyo…I see WES components is still around..Lol

  3. The base plate is known to break on the bottom of those things. There's an aftermarket aluminum mounting plate you can get for 28 bucks that screws to the bottom of it and makes it pretty much Bulletproof when you mount it on a tripod.

  4. Dave, just a day or two after watching this video my wife and I watched a movie called Dolphin Tale 2 (2014). Towards the end of the movie the character Hazel (played by Cozi Zuehlsdorff) was documenting the rescue of a baby dolphin with the exact same camera you fixed in this video. Gonna buy that lottery ticket now… Thanks for the awesome video!

  5. i aways feel like the video is over exposed and the colors are a bit washed out, i'm not sure if it's the lights, post processing or the camera setting.
    anyone else feels this way? (it can be my shitty monitor too)

  6. I wrote a three sentence rant about how Sony products are garbage, but even that was too much time to spend on one of their crappy products. Great to see you restore a non-functioning piece of old junk back to a plain old piece of junk. Good on ye and keep 'em coming!

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