Panasonic SDR H85 fault

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: Jul 22 2005

My Panasonic SDR H85 camcorder has developed a fault, and I hope that someone on this forum might be able to offer some advice on how to resuscitate it, or at least how to get the existing footage off the hard drive.

I was taking a sequence of shots of the River Dart, and I closed the LCD after each shot to conserve battery power the same as I always do. The last shot never happened, because when I opened the LCD the cam remained dead. I thought that the battery must have died, but if this was the case it must have been sudden and catastrophic, because the LCD had been showing more than 1 hour of power at my last successful shot.

When I got back to the hotel I put the cam on mains power via the supplied adapter. Still no function. However, with the mains adapter connected and the battery in place, the power LED flashed as the battery charged up, and it stopped flashing when the battery was fully charged.

If the cam is left without power for a while and then power is applied, either from the battery or from the mains adapter, then when the LCD is opened the power LED goes on for maybe 0.5 to 1 second and the disk access LED flashes momentarily. The disk access LED goes out before the power LED. This sequence occurs regardless of whether the unit is set to record or to play.

If the power remains applied, ie the battery remains in place or the mains adapter remains plugged in, then subsequent openings of the LCD bring up no LEDs at all. It is necessary to remove the power, presumably to allow something inside to discharge, before the (admittedly pointless) sequence can be repeated.

I found a clip-in plastic cover in the battery recess. This cover is not accessible when the battery is in place, but easy enough to lever out when the battery has been removed. I took out the cover, and found inside what appeared to be a miniature push button which could be operated by the tip of a biro. I assumed that this was a reset button. I pressed the button, first without power applied, then with the mains adapter connected. It made no difference.

I connected the cam to a computer using the USB cable, firstly with battery power then with the mains adapter connected, but the computer did not recognise that a drive had been connected.

For the above tests, the SD card (32GB) had been removed.

I tried to read the card using a conventional USB-connected card reader, but this did not work. I was instructed to format the card, but I did not do this as I hoped that the small handful of still images on the card would be intact. I tried instead to read the card by plugging it into another Panasonic cam, this time an HDC SD9 (hi def) which was connected using USB to the computer.

This time it worked perfectly, and I was able to determine that the images on the card had not been deleted or corrupted.

The cam has never been mistreated in any way, either by heavy handling or impact, extremes of temperature, being allowed to get wet, being subjected to damp or corrosive atmospheres, or in any other way at all. In fact it has spent most of it's life indoors in a padded camera bag, being taken out only on sunny days for holidays or "days-out" shots.

My primary objective is to get the existing footage off the hard drive, although if the whole of the cam could be brought back to life, so much the better.

All helpful suggestions will be gratefully received.

Thank you.

Joined: Aug 20 1999
Re: Panasonic SDR H85 fault


I have a Panasonic HC-X800 so I'm not much help to you (No hard drive on my model)

If you can retrieve your data off the 32GB card with another camcorder I suggest you save it ASAP.

My thoughts about your card reader, will it normally read 32GB cards? as older readers probably won't recognize them

Do you have another SD card that you can use in your camcorder,  it may even kick the cam back into action?

There's a video here investigating a fault with a SDR H81 not H85, it may be worth a watch (micro switch etc.)?

Some Australian thoughts that may or may not fit your problem?

Sorry I can't help



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Joined: Jul 22 2005
Re: Panasonic SDR H85 fault

Problem now sorted. I took the easy way out and handed it over to DK A-V Services, the Panasonic service agent in Horley, Surrey. They did a good job. Not cheap, but recommended if you have a problem with a Panasonic device. I think that they also repair Sony kit.