Sharp VL-Z3 Dew Repair

Back in 2004 I posted¬†about how hard it was to find the manual for my Sharp VL-Z3 MiniDV camera on the Sharp website, and how much better the Canadian branch of the Sharp corporate machine was at providing that kind of information. It’s now time to add a little bit more to the Sharp info pile: here’s a confirmed fix for the deadly “Sharp VL-Z DEW Message” problem.

On just about any video camera out there, you will occasionally see a “DEW” warning in the viewfinder when the sensors think there’s too much humidity present for normal operations. The Sharp VL-Z series cameras can take this to an illogical extreme: the dew sensor goes nuts and it always thinks there’s too much humidity for normal operations. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this issue and it does not involve boxing up your camera and sending it in for repair… If you’ve got a soldering iron and the realization that you’ve nothing to lose, you can repair your camera in about two minutes. It worked for me!

¬†UPDATE – An unseen side-effect of my “fix”… my standby function no longer works! I left my camera in the on position after playing a video, and when I came back 5 hours later my camera was hot to the touch and wouldn’t even load a tape. Buyer beware!

UPDATE – Bollocks! My dew warning has come back, and I’m shopping for a new camera. (January 14 2008)