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December 12, 2007

7

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)

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. James
    Dec 1 2012

    Can you tell me were to download manual for VL-Z3U. I am trying to find how to load the cam

  2. colet castañeda
    Nov 22 2010

    after pulling out the battery the dew message was gone thanks bill

  3. colet castañeda
    Nov 22 2010

    :lol: i encounter the dew problem after i got to the beach i just search to the net and got the answer thanks it really works

  4. shayshay
    May 23 2010

    Thank you, Carlos! I tried what you said, and it worked! I did it twice. I’m going to monitor it- to make sure it wasn’t just temporary. Thank you again. I hope this will help someone else,too.

  5. kent
    Dec 7 2008

    i have read many times to re-solder the contacts on the dew sensor, i have done it and it still wont work, is it possible to remove the dew sensor or disable it? maybe over ride it or short it out in some way that it will not work , but the camera will? its an old camera so i dont mind taking it apart to try and fix it

  6. Wendy
    May 24 2008

    Bill:

    I repaired my DEW problem with your help. Thanks! It still comes back but leaving the tape cover open with the tape ejected for a few minutes usually fixes it. Now I have another HUGE problem I am hoping you have an answer to. I was filming on a very sunny day yesterday and the camera went black. There seemed to be no power anymore. I plugged in the AC adaptor and still there was no power. The battery charge light does not litght red. I can not eject the tape. It is without any power. Have any ideas for me? Thanks – Wendy

  7. Carlos
    Apr 26 2008

    Thanks a lot Bill. My VL-Z3 cam was left forgotten and useless somewhere because of the damn DEW message which powers the cam off even under the hair dryer blow… Well I said to my self lets try the web. I found your page and as u said : got nothing to loose lets do it ! I noticed that the two solder joints in my cam where perfectly soldered with no excess flux. So, before following the suggested soldering instructions I decided to just insert a small screw driver tip between the two solder points and carefully turn the tip like separating both solder points. That´s all. Put the batteries back and the DEW message WAS GONE!
    The camera revived like miracle.
    Thanks Bill
    Carlos

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