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Sharp VIEWCAM VL-AH150U Operation Manual

Liquid crystal display camcorder
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VL - AH150U
VL - AH160U
Please read this operation manual
carefully before using the VIEWCAM.
For assistance in reporting the theft or loss of
this product, record on the line below the
model number and serial number which
are located on the bottom of the unit.
Please retain this information.
Model No.:
Serial No.:
• See page 60 for use of Demo mode.
• The images of the VIEWCAM in this
operation manual are based upon the


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  Summary of Contents for Sharp VIEWCAM VL-AH150U

  • Page 1 Please retain this information. Model No.: Serial No.: • See page 60 for use of Demo mode. • The images of the VIEWCAM in this operation manual are based upon the VL-AH150U.
  • Page 2 Thank you for purchasing this VIEWCAM from SHARP. The VIEWCAM will enhance your home video enjoyment and allow you to capture those special moments. Please read this operation manual to familiarize yourself with the VIEWCAM’s features, so that you will get the most out of it. The video techniques section will help you fully enjoy the many features this VIEWCAM offers, and expand your video world.
  • Page 3 VCR’s audio monitor select switch to the “STANDARD” position. COPYRIGHT WARNING: It is the intent of SHARP that this unit be used in full compliance with the copyright laws of the United States and that prior permission be obtained from copyright owners whenever necessary.
  • Page 4: Important Safeguards

    IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS 1. Read Instructions—All the safety and operating instructions should be read before the product is operated. 2. Retain Instructions—The safety and operating instructions should be retained for future reference. 3. Heed Warnings—All warnings on the product and in the operating instruc- tions should be adhered to.
  • Page 5 15. Power Lines—An outside antenna system should not be located in the vicinity of overhead power lines or other electric light or power circuits, or where it can fall into such power lines or circuits. When installing an outside antenna system, extreme care should be taken to keep from touching such power lines or circuits as contact with them might be fatal.
  • Page 6 Precautions • When the VIEWCAM is not in use, remember to remove the cassette tape, turn off the power, and disconnect the VIEWCAM from the power source. • Do not aim the lens at the sun. Do not allow direct sunlight to strike the VIEWCAM lens or LCD monitor screen, whether or not recording is in progress, as it may damage the CCD sensor or LCD screen...
  • Page 7 The VIEWCAM is equipped with a large LCD monitor screen that allows you to record scenes while comfortably holding the camcorder. The LCD monitor screen can be rotated for easy recording at high or low angles. It also functions as a handy playback monitor so you can enjoy what you have just recorded.
  • Page 8: Supplied Accessories

    Supplied Accessories Battery pack *BT-H22 CR2025 type lithium battery * Note: The part numbers for the AC adapter and battery pack supplied with this VIEWCAM are valid only in the U.S. and Latin America. If this VIEWCAM was purchased outside of these areas, the part numbers may be different.
  • Page 9: Optional Accessories

    VR-30ADN Tripod adapter for 180° recording VR-33FAN Note: The listed model names are for U.S. accessories. For optional and additional accessories, contact your local dealer, call the Sharp Accessories and Supply Center at 1-800-642-2122, or visit SHARP’s website ( viii...
  • Page 10: Table Of Contents

    Contents Operation Summary Preparation Basic Operations Part Names ... 3 Quick Reference Index ... 5 Warning Indicators ... 6 Inserting and Removing the Battery Pack ... 7 Charging the Battery Pack ... 8 Powering the VIEWCAM from an AC Outlet... 9 Inserting and Removing a Cassette ...
  • Page 11 Useful Features Advanced Features References • Guía de operación rápida en español ... 64 Operations of the On-screen Controls Using the Control Buttons ... Selecting the Mode/Menu Screens ... Adjusting the Menu Settings ... Recording the Date and Time ... 26 Setting the Digital Zoom ...
  • Page 12: Operation Summary

    Operation Summary Part Names For details on the use of each part, refer to the page number indicated in the brackets. Front view Zoom lens When the cassette compartment door is open Lens hood [p. 36] Cassette compartment door Microphone Speaker Cassette holder [p.
  • Page 13 Rear view RECord START/STOP button [p. 18] LCD monitor screen Remote sensor [p. 43] CHARGE indicator [p. 8] MENU button [p. 24] Operation buttons [p. 24] DISPLAY button [p. 24] Bottom view Battery compartment door [p. 7] Power Zoom Wide angle/ Telephoto control [p.
  • Page 14: Quick Reference Index

    Operation Summary Quick Reference Index This index lists some example uses of the VIEWCAM’s features. • To record with a Hi8 tape in normal 8 mm format. —See page vi ( • To record powerful close-up images. —See page 27 (Setting the Digital Zoom) •...
  • Page 15: Warning Indicators

    Warning Indicators Displayed for the first Displayed after 3 seconds 3 seconds Note: indicates a flashing display. Description of warning The video cassette is defective and should be removed (see page 10). Dew has formed inside the VIEWCAM. Wait for a few hours until the dew disappears (see page 57).
  • Page 16: Preparation

    • Do not expose the battery compartment door to strong force, as it may come off. • Use only SHARP model BT-H22 or BT-H32 battery packs with this VIEWCAM. Use of other batteries may present a risk of fire or explosion.
  • Page 17: Charging The Battery Pack

    Terminal cover • See page 58 for more information on using the battery pack. Caution: • Charge only SHARP model BT-H22 or BT-H32 battery packs. Other types of battery packs may burst, causing personal injury and damage. VL-AH150 VL-AH160...
  • Page 18: Powering The Viewcam From An Ac Outlet

    Preparation Powering the VIEWCAM from an AC Outlet Caution: • The supplied AC adapter is specially designed for use with this VIEWCAM, and should not be used as a power supply for other camcorders. Insert the AC plug of the AC adapter into a power outlet.
  • Page 19: Inserting And Removing A Cassette

    Inserting and Removing a Cassette Inserting a Cassette Supply power to the VIEWCAM, then slide the release and open the cassette compartment door. • The cassette holder extends and opens automatically. Cassette compartment door release Insert the cassette fully with the window facing outwards, and with the erasure protect tab facing upwards.
  • Page 20: Installing The Lithium Memory Battery

    Preparation Installing the Lithium Memory Battery The supplied lithium battery is used to store the memory of the date and time settings. Slide the cassette compartment door release and open the cassette compartment door. Cassette compartment door release Note: The cassette holder will extend and open when the VIEWCAM is connected to a power source.
  • Page 21: Selecting The Language For The On-Screen Display

    Selecting the Language for the On-screen Display This VIEWCAM allows you to choose from among English, French or Spanish for the on- screen display language. Power switch MENU button Operation buttons Setting the Language When using the VIEWCAM for the first time, select the desired language for the on-screen display by performing the procedure below.
  • Page 22: Camera Mode

    Preparation English On-screen Displays The following on-screen displays appear when “ENGLISH” is selected as the on-screen display language (see page 12). Camera Mode E X - P I C T END E F F FADE S T - COU- ROB E NTER FOCU S T I -...
  • Page 23 French On-screen Displays The following on-screen displays appear when “FRANÇAIS” is selected as the on- screen display language (see page 12). Camera Mode E T - MENU FON- E F F . ENDU IMAGE G AMM S TR- COMP OBO. T E UR BAL.
  • Page 24 Preparation Spanish On-screen Displays The following on-screen displays appear when “ESPAÑOL” is selected as the on- screen display language (see page 12). Camera Mode E X - E F . DE S - T EN. IMA. I MA. E S- CON- TRO.
  • Page 25: Setting The Date And Time

    Setting the Date and Time Example: Setting the date to June 2, 2001 (JUN. 2. 2001) and the time to 10:30 am (10:30 AM). Note: • Check that the lithium memory battery has been installed before setting the date and time. Power switch MENU button DISPLAY button...
  • Page 26: Using The Hand Strap And The Lens Cap

    Preparation Using the Hand Strap and the Lens Cap Open the hand strap flap (Q) and grip strap (W), and pass the grip strap through the loop at the end of the lens cap cord (E). Hand strap flap Pass your hand through the hand strap and put your thumb close to the Power Zoom control.
  • Page 27: Basic Operations

    Basic Operations Camera Recording Easy Camera Recording with Full Auto Mode Before you start recording, perform the operations described on pages 7 through 17 to prepare your VIEWCAM for recording. REC START/STOP button LCD monitor screen Power switch Remove the lens cap (see page 17). Hold down the Lock button and slide the Power switch to CAMERA.
  • Page 28: Zooming

    Basic Operations Camera Recording Zooming Zooming allows you to move visually closer to or farther from a subject without physically changing your position. Zooming in (when you want to center attention on the subject) Wide angle Zooming out (when you want to show the surroundings) To Zoom In Push the Power Zoom control to the T...
  • Page 29: Remaining Recording Time Display

    Remaining Recording Time Display When the VIEWCAM is recording in Camera mode, about 10 minutes before the tape reaches the end, an on-screen indicator displays the approximate remaining recording time. DISPLAY button Approx. remaining On-screen recording time indicator 10 min.–8 min. T A P E 8 min.–6 min.
  • Page 30: Playback

    Basic Operations Playback Playback The LCD monitor screen makes it possible to play back and see what you have just recorded. Nothing needs to be connected, allowing instant on-screen playback with the sound through the built-in speaker. Power switch LCD monitor screen DISPLAY button Hold down the Lock button and slide the...
  • Page 31: Watching The Playback On A Tv

    Watching the Playback on a You can also connect the VIEWCAM to a TV to allow a larger audience to enjoy video playback. Lift up the terminal cover on the VIEWCAM ( ) and rotate it to the right Terminal cover Connect the VIEWCAM to your TV (or VCR) with the supplied audio/video cable, as shown.
  • Page 32: Video Search

    Basic Operations Playback Video Search The video search function makes it easy to search for a desired scene on the tape. Searching for a Scene Near the Current Tape Position During playback, press the Forward Search (B) (or Reverse Search [C]) button.
  • Page 33: Useful Features

    Useful Features Useful Features Operations of the On-screen Controls Using the Control Buttons The following buttons on the VIEWCAM can be used to control the various functions, settings and on-screen displays. MENU button DISPLAY button Operation buttons MENU button Each time you press the MENU button, the mode/menu screen changes from in Camera mode and from in VCR mode.
  • Page 34: Adjusting The Menu Settings

    Useful Features Adjusting the Menu Settings Follow the procedure below to adjust the desired menu settings. Camera mode Hold down the Lock button and slide the Power switch to CAMERA. Press the MENU button until appears. Press the PAGE button ( ) to display the desired menu screen.
  • Page 35: Recording The Date And Time

    Recording the Date and Time Follow the procedure shown below to record the date and time, or the date only, along with the subject. Note: • Before performing the procedure below, make sure that the date and time have been correctly set (see page 16).
  • Page 36: Setting The Digital Zoom

    Useful Features Setting the Digital Zoom You can select among three different zoom ranges: 1–16 (optical zoom), 16–64 zoom) or 64–400 (digital zoom). The digital zoom allows you to record powerful close-up pictures with the same operation as normal zooming. Notes: •...
  • Page 37: Digital Quick Zoom (Extend Zoom)

    Digital Quick Zoom (Extend Zoom) The digital quick zoom function allows you to quickly zoom in on a subject. This is useful when you want to instantly capture a particular subject. Using Digital Quick Zoom Press the MENU button until appears (Camera mode).
  • Page 38: Still Recording

    Useful Features Still Recording You can record still images of subjects with normal sound by selecting one of three still recording modes. Type of Still Recording Modes SNAP: A still picture (snapshot) is recorded for 6 seconds. STILL: A continuous still image is recorded. PHOTO SHOT: A still picture is recorded for 6 seconds following the visual effect of a camera shutter closing.
  • Page 39: Strobe Recording

    Strobe Recording You can record strobe images (still pictures that capture continuous motion at 1/5 sec. intervals) of subjects with normal sound. You will find it useful when you want to produce a special effect while recording moving subjects such as your friends waving at you. In Recording Standby mode, press the MENU button until appears.
  • Page 40: Fade In And Fade Out

    Useful Features Fade In and Fade Out The fade function allows you to gradually bring the image and sound in or out at the beginning or end of a scene to create a scene transition. This VIEWCAM features one normal and two animated fade modes.
  • Page 41: Quick Review

    Press the REC START/STOP button to begin recording. • The picture and sound fade in with the selected fade mode. HA P HA PPY B I R THDAY ! A PPY B I R THDAY ! E X - E X - P I C P I C T E ND...
  • Page 42: Quick Return

    Useful Features Quick Return When you have been playing back what you have recorded, and wish to quickly return to recording again from the end of the last recorded scene, use the quick return function. In Recording Standby mode, press the MENU button until T I - T L E...
  • Page 43: Gamma Brightness Compensation

    Gamma Brightness Compensation When the subject is backlit, the image will be darkened if it is recorded normally. The gamma brightness compensation function improves the picture by increasing the brightness of the subject while leaving the brighter portions of the image unaffected. Press the MENU button until appears (Camera mode).
  • Page 44: Gain-Up (Cat's Eye)

    Useful Features Gain-up (Cat’s Eye) When you are recording in a dark or poorly- illuminated location, “LIGHT” is displayed on the screen. Use the gain-up function to record a brighter picture. Press the MENU button until appears (Camera mode). Press the GAMA EFF. button (A) once. •...
  • Page 45: Wide Screen (16:9)

    Wide Screen (16:9) The wide screen function lets you record scenes with the wide-screen feel of a movie shown in a theater. The top and bottom of the picture are masked with black bands to produce an effective screen aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Page 46: Self Recording

    Useful Features Self Recording The LCD monitor can be rotated 180° vertically so that the monitor screen faces the subject. This lets you record yourself while watching your image on the screen. You can enjoy recording a portrait of yourself, or recording yourself and your friends together at a party, using the remote control.
  • Page 47 Self-recording Message In Self Recording mode, you can record a short video message for somebody. This feature is convenient for editing video letters. • Complete steps 1 to 3 of “Normal Self Recording” on page 37, then perform the procedure below. EXTEND button REC START/ MESSAGE button...
  • Page 48: Setting The Viewcam To Full Auto Mode

    Useful Features Setting the VIEWCAM to Full Auto Mode This VIEWCAM is equipped with auto focus, auto white balance, and auto exposure functions. For easy, high-quality camera- recording, record subjects in Full Auto mode. If “AUTO” is not displayed even when the DISPLAY button is pressed, perform the procedure below to set the VIEWCAM to Full Auto mode.
  • Page 49: Program Search

    Program Search The program search function automatically finds and plays back the beginning of a number of previously recorded scenes. Up to 10 different scenes can be found on one tape. Note: • This function does not work if no recording has been made since the cassette was loaded, if the cassette has been removed after the recordings were made, or if the power source has been...
  • Page 50: Tape Counter Feature

    Useful Features Tape Counter Feature The tape counter shows elapsed playback or recording time in hours, minutes and seconds. (The counter continues to count internally even while it is not being displayed.) This feature can be set and used in both VCR and Camera modes.
  • Page 51 Using the Counter Memory Use the counter memory feature when you want to return to the beginning of a particular scene. The position where the counter was reset (0:00.00) is stored in memory to make it easier to return to that point on the tape. VCR mode During playback, press the MENU button until...
  • Page 52: Using The Remote Control

    Useful Features Using the Remote Control Use the remote control to operate the VIEW- CAM from a distance, such as when you want to record yourself in a scene, or when the VIEWCAM is connected to a TV for use as a VCR.
  • Page 53: Advanced Features

    Advanced Features Digital Picture Effects These digital picture effects let you record the subject with a more dramatic effect. Type of Digital Picture Effects B/W EFF.: The picture is recorded in black- and-white. SEPA EFF.: The picture is recorded in sepia color similar to that of an old photograph.
  • Page 54: Scene Menu (Program Ae)

    Advanced Features Scene Menu (Program AE) You can set the VIEWCAM to the shooting mode that will create the best results for a specific type of shooting situation. Just select one of the four scene settings shown below. The VIEWCAM will automatically set the exposure, white balance, and shutter speed to produce the optimum picture quality for the selected situation.
  • Page 55: Superimposing A Title

    Superimposing a Title Use the title feature to superimpose titles on your videos when recording. There are eight titles preset for your convenience which you can choose from. In Recording Standby mode, press the MENU button until appears. T I - RE - T L E TURN...
  • Page 56: Changing The Preset Titles

    Advanced Features Changing the Preset Titles You can make a new title of your own by changing any of the eight preset titles. The maximum number of title characters is fifteen. Example: Changing “WEDDING DAY” to “IN HAWAII”. Press the MENU button until appears, and then press the TITLE button (C) to display the title selection screen.
  • Page 57: Auto/Manual Focus

    Auto/Manual Focus Auto Focus The auto focus function is designed to focus on most types of subjects. In Auto Focus mode, the VIEWCAM automatically focuses on what- ever is in the center of the scene. Always keep the subject in the center of the screen. Notes: •...
  • Page 58: White Balance Lock

    Advanced Features White Balance Lock The color of the subject on the screen tends to look different depending on the lighting condition. The VIEWCAM is preset to Auto White Balance mode, which automatically adjusts the hue of the picture for the current lighting condition.
  • Page 59: Manual Exposure

    Manual Exposure The VIEWCAM is preset to Auto Exposure mode, which automatically chooses the optimal aperture. When there is too much contrast in brightness between the subject and background, however, you may not be able to record a clear image. In this case, use the manual exposure function to correct the exposure level.
  • Page 60: Digital Dual Picture

    Advanced Features Digital Dual Picture This function allows you to record two images on one screen using one of two modes, Picture-in-Picture or Title Screen. Note: • The functions below cannot be used together with Digital Dual Picture: —STRETCH and SLIM EFF. picture effects —Strobe —Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) —Wide screen (16:9)
  • Page 61 Title Screen You can simultaneously record a normal image on half of the screen with a still image title bar on the other half. This is useful, for example, when you want to record an animal at the zoo with a still image description of the animal at the bottom of the screen.
  • Page 62: Picture/Backlight Adjustments

    Advanced Features Picture/Backlight Adjustments If the monitor picture is difficult to see due to ambient lighting, etc., adjust the picture settings. This feature can be adjusted in both Camera and VCR modes. • The example screens for this feature are for Camera mode.
  • Page 63: Gamma Playback

    Gamma Playback The gamma playback function improves the picture by increasing the brightness of the subject while leaving the brighter portions of the image unaffected. During playback, press the MENU button until appears. GAMA COU- E F F . NT ER Press the GAMA EFF.
  • Page 64: Editing

    Advanced Features Editing Video editing lets you refine your videos by removing unwanted sequences from your tape, or transposing one sequence with another. This VIEWCAM lets you monitor the source pro- gram on the built-in LCD monitor without having to connect it to an external TV or video monitor.
  • Page 65: References

    References Useful Information Hints for Better Shooting • Position the subject in the center of the screen. When you are using auto focus, whatever is in the center of the screen is kept in focus. Position the subject in Focus manually when the center.
  • Page 66: Dew Formation

    If the video heads become clogged, the indicator appears on the screen. Contact the nearest SHARP service center or your dealer for further advice. Note: • Video head cleaning can be done by using a commercially-available cleaning tape.
  • Page 67: Battery Pack

    This VIEWCAM uses a fluorescent lamp to backlight the LCD monitor. If the monitor becomes dark or difficult to view, the fluorescent lamp may need to be replaced. Contact the nearest SHARP service center or your dealer for further advice. Battery Pack Battery pack consumption •...
  • Page 68 References Video Cassette Tapes Use only tapes with the with this VIEWCAM. To protect recordings against erasure When a previously recorded cassette is used again for recording, the previously recorded material is erased. To protect a recording against accidental erasure, slide the tab on the cassette to cover the opening.
  • Page 69: Demonstration Mode

    Demonstration Mode You can watch a brief demonstration of the special VIEWCAM features in Demo mode. If the demonstration appears on the screen when you turn on the VIEWCAM for the first time, cancel the Demo mode to use your VIEWCAM.
  • Page 70: Before Requesting Service

    References Before Requesting Service Before calling for service, please check the following troubleshooting table. Symptom No power. REC START/STOP button does not work. Power suddenly turns off. Auto focus does not work. Bright subject produces wide vertical lines. Automatically zooms out without operating Zoom control.
  • Page 71 Symptom Cannot play back, rewind Position at beginning or end of tape. or fast forward tape. Video noise in image. Dirty video heads. Old or worn tape. Cassette will not eject. Power source is not properly connected. Battery pack is not charged. VIEWCAM is recording.
  • Page 72: Specifications

    Weight (approx.): 0.30 lbs (136 g) Specifications are subject to change without notice. SERVICE INFORMATION For the location of the nearest Sharp Authorized Service, or to obtain product literature, accessories, supplies or customer assistance, please call 1-800-BE SHARP (1-800-237-4277) or visit SHARP’s website (
  • Page 73: Guía De Operación Rápida En Español

    • No exponga la puerta del compartimiento de la batería a una fuerza excesiva porque podría desprenderse. • Utilice solamente baterías SHARP modelo BT-H22 o BT-H32 con esta VIEWCAM. La utilización de otras baterías puede causar un riesgo de incendio o explosión.
  • Page 74 Guía de operación rápida en español Carga de la batería Interruptor de alimentación Indicador CHARGE Inserte la batería en la VIEWCAM (consulte la página 64). Asegúrese de que el interruptor de alimentación esté en la posición OFF. • La batería no se carga cuando el interruptor de alimentación está...
  • Page 75 Inserción y extracción de un videocasete Inserción de un videocasete Suministre alimentación a la VIEWCAM, y luego deslice el control de abertura y abra la puerta del compartimiento del videocasete. • El portavideocasete se extiende y abre automáticamente. Control de abertura de la puerta del compartimiento del videocasete Inserte completamente el videocasete...
  • Page 76 Guía de operación rápida en español Grabación sencilla con videocámara en el modo completamente automático Antes de empezar a grabar, realice las operaciones descritas en las páginas 64 a 66 para preparar su VIEWCAM para la grabación. Botón REC START/STOP Pantalla del monitor LCD Interruptor de alimentación Quite la tapa del objetivo.
  • Page 77 Reproducción La pantalla del monitor LCD hace posible reproducir y ver lo que usted acaba de grabar. No es necesario conectar nada, pudiéndose realizar la reproducción instantánea en pantalla oyendo el sonido a través del altavoz incorporado. Interruptor de alimentación Pantalla del monitor LCD Botón DISPLAY Mantenga pulsado el...
  • Page 78 Notes...
  • Page 80 In no event shall Sharp be liable, or in any way responsible, for any damages or defects in the Product which were caused by repairs or attempted repairs performed by anyone other than an authorized servicer. Nor shall Sharp be liable or in any way responsible for any incidental or consequential economic or property damage.

This manual is also suitable for:

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