How to Troubleshoot a JVC MiniDV Camcorder

Updated February 21, 2017

JVC MiniDV camcorders use tape and solid-state flash memory to record movies and images. Digital Still Camera (DSC) images are stored on the flash memory, whereas movies are recorded to MiniDV tape. Problems with the camcorders can be related to the media, power, poor image quality, recording and playback. Problems like these can be corrected by following some troubleshooting steps.

Connect the power cord if the camera won't charge. Connect the AC adaptor securely, and make sure the battery pack is attached firmly. Allow time for the battery to charge. If the battery still won't charge, replace it because it may have reached the end of its life.

Replace the cassette if the JVC MiniDV Camcorder won't record. Look for a "Tape End" message on the screen that indicates the tape is full. Make sure the cassette door is closed tightly. The tape won't play or record if the door's open.

Check the lens for condensation if the focus doesn't adjust automatically and the focus is set to automatic. Allow the camera to stabilise inside a building if you detect condensation.

Purchase a video head cleaning cassette if you see blocks of noise during playback. Noise can appear as fuzzy white dots, lines or grain. Heavily soiled heads can stop an image playing back altogether, which will cause the screen to become blue.

Look for error messages if you continue to experience problems. In addition to "Tape End," other messages can include "Lens Cap," which shows for five seconds after the power is turned on and the cap is still in place. This message can also appear when it's very dark. "Memory Is Full" appears when the card is full, not the tape. Simply insert a new card.

Things You'll Need

  • Video head cleaning cassette
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About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.