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Hitachi VM-E455LA Instruction Manual

8mm video camcorder
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VM-E455LA, VM-H655LA
Instruction Manual
8mm Video Camcorder
HI 8 Video Camcorder
1855 Dornoch Court
San Diego, CA 92173
Tel. 1-800-HATACHI
6740 Campobello Road
Missisauga, Ontario, L5N 2L8
Tel. 1-800-HATACHI
Thank you for buying a Hitachi product. Please take time to become familiar with the manual and how it is set up.
Keep it handy for feature reference.
QR30893 © Hitachi, Ltd. 1999
Printed in Japan KK-S(N)


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  • Page 1 CANADA Tel. 1-800-HATACHI (1-800-448-2244) Thank you for buying a Hitachi product. Please take time to become familiar with the manual and how it is set up. Keep it handy for feature reference. QR30893 © Hitachi, Ltd. 1999 Printed in Japan KK-S(N)
  • Page 2: Table Of Contents

    Optional RF Adaptor... 10 Identifying Controls ... 10 Charging the Battery ... 15 Checking the Battery's Charge ... 18 Camcorder Power Sources ... 19 Inserting and Removing Cassettes ... 20 LCD Monitor... 21 Active Screen ... 23 Adjusting the Electronic Viewfinder... 23 Eyepiece Adjustment...
  • Page 3: Important Safety Information

    The CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch turns the camcorder on and off, leaving the date/time feature unaffected. If the unit is to be left unattended for a long period of time, turn the camcorder off and close the lens door. WARNING: TO PREVENT FIRE OR SHOCK HAZARD, DO NOT EXPOSE THIS UNIT TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.
  • Page 4: Important Safeguards

    • It cannot record and play back in the LP mode (7.2 mm/sec). MOISTURE Avoid operating your camcorder immediately after moving it from a cold place to a warm, humid place. Give the camcorder 2 to 3 hours to stabilize in the ambient conditions of the surroundings before inserting a cassette.
  • Page 5 IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION INSTALLATION 1 Read and Follow Instructions -- All the safety and operating instructions should be read before the video product is operated. Follow-all operating and use instructions. 2 Retain Instructions -- The safety and operating instructions should be retained for future reference. 3 Heed Warnings -- Comply with all warnings on the video product and in the operating instructions.
  • Page 6 IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Caution: Maintain electrical safety. Powerline operated equipment or accessories connected to this unit should bear the UL listing mark or CSA certification mark on the accessory itself and should not have been modified so as to defeat the safety features. This will help avoid any potential hazard from electric shock or fire. If in doubt, contact qualified service personnel.
  • Page 7: Before You Begin

    Your camcorder is functioning properly, but the solid-state pickup device (C.C.D) usually causes this as an inherent characteristic. Try to avoid shooting an excessive bright object directly. Be sure not to leave the camcorder in a place where the temperature exceeds 140°F (60°C), or the pickup...
  • Page 8: Read This First

    • A quick index for the information you use most often (this page). • A detailed table of contents directing you to specific information quickly (page 8). Get to know your video camcorder by using this manual, and get to know Hitachi. We appreciate your business. Quick Index...
  • Page 9: Getting Started

    Set aside some time, relax, and familiarize yourself with this quality instrument. Enjoy getting to know all about your Hitachi 8mm camcorder. The more comfortable and familiar you are with the machine and its features, the more you can make it do for you. Let's get started! It is crucial that you read and understand all the safety instructions before you begin.
  • Page 10: Optional Rf Adaptor

    Getting Started Optional RF Adaptor If you wish to connect this camcorder to a television that does not have audio/video input jacks you will need to use the optional RF adapter model VM-RF86A (R). Identifying Controls 1. Lens Door The door will automatically open when the CAM/ OFF/VIDEO switch is set to "CAM". Setting the switch to "OFF"...
  • Page 11 15. DC IN Jack Plug in the AC adaptor here to charge a battery or power the camcorder from AC outlet. In addition, connect the optional car battery cord to this jack, in which case, you will need a DC cord (optional).
  • Page 12 Getting Started When you are viewing playback pictures on the LCD monitor with the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch set to VIDEO, these buttons can be used to control the volume of the built-in speaker 24. DATE/DISP Button When the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch is set to CAM, this button can be used as the DATE or DISPLAY button: set the date and time, and select the date display you want to record ("Setting the Date and Time", p24 and "Date Recording", p38).
  • Page 13 • The PAL60 mode will be released when the camcorder is turned off. 28. Audio/Video Output Jack (Behind the jack cover) Use this jack to connect the camcorder to a television ("Connecting to a Television without Audio In and Video In Jacks", p34).
  • Page 14 Use this to zoom automatically ("Using the Power Zoom", p28). 33. INST. ZOOM (instant Zoom) Button Use this button to magnify the image being recorded 1.5 times. 34. Tripod Mounting Threaded Socket Use this threaded socket to mount the camcorder to a tripod.
  • Page 15: Charging The Battery

    Charging the Battery The first step is to set the battery for charging. To charge the battery, attach it to the camcorder, and connect the VM-ACE5A AC adaptor. Charge the battery at a temperature range of 50°F (10°C) - 86°F (3O°C) to prevent damage to the battery.
  • Page 16: Removing The Battery Pack

    Note: Always remove the battery from the camcorder after use. Note: Charging is not done when the CAM/ OFFLINE switch of the camcorder is set to CAM or VIDEO, However, if recording pause continues for more than 5 minutes in the CAM mode, the camcorder will automatically turn off, after which charging will start.
  • Page 17: Charging Time

    75% Charge 100 min 190 min Operating Time The camcorder operating time depends on how often you turn power on/off and use start/stop and zoom. Continuous Recording EVF: when using the viewfinder LCD: when using the LCD monitor Battery VM-BPL13 VM-BPL27 VM-BPL30VM-BPL60 160 min.
  • Page 18: Checking The Battery's Charge

    Knowing Remaining Battery Power Time If you use the VM-BPL30 lithium-ion battery (optional) to power the camcorder, you can finding out how much camcorder operating time remains, with the battery. The VM-BPL30 measures the battery consumption, calculates the remaining battery time, and displays it (in minutes) in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor.
  • Page 19: Camcorder Power Sources

    To display the correct remaining battery time on camcorder • Fully charge the battery before use. • Turn the camcorder on and leave it pointing at a still subject for about 30 seconds. Do not move the camcorder during this time.
  • Page 20: Inserting And Removing Cassettes

    Using a Car Battery The camcorder con be powered with a car battery by using an optional car battery cord (Hitachi VM-CC80A) to plug the camcorder into the car's cigarette lighter socket. Please ensure that the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch is in the OFF position whenever attaching or detaching any power supply (le.
  • Page 21: Lcd Monitor

    4 Push the cassette door, which is embossed PUSH, until it "clicks" into place. The camcorder automatically closes. Note: The camcorder will automatically close the top of the cassette compartment. Do not press the door down, or you may damage your camcorder.
  • Page 22: Opening The Lcd Monitor

    Note: Even when the picture on the LCD monitor is adjusted, the recorded video will not change. 1 Load the battery. ("Camcorder Power Sources", P17.) 2 Press the red button on the CAM/OFF/ VIDEO switch as you slide it to CAM or VIDEO.
  • Page 23: Active Screen

    If the LCD screen becomes dirty, use a soft cloth to wipe off the dirt. • If the camcorder is used in a cold place and becomes too cold, the LCD screen will be dim for a while after the power is turned on.
  • Page 24: Eyepiece Adjustment

    Note: Be sure to pull out the eye cup all the way so that you can see the subject in the viewfinder clearly. Note: Hold the knobs on both sides of the eye cup stem to pull out the eye cup. Note: The eye cup stem can be retracted when the camcorder is being carried. Adjustment the Hand Strap Adjust the hand strap to best fit your hand.
  • Page 25: Remaining Tape

    Getting Started 2 Insert the battery with the "+" terminal facing up. 3 Fully insert the battery holder into the camcorder. WARNING: KEEP THE BATTERY AWAY FROM CHILDREN AND PETS. IF SWALLOWED CONSULT A PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY FOR EMERGENCY TREATMENT. Note: Replace the battery with 3V micro lithium cells such as Maxell CR2025 or its equivalent.
  • Page 26: Using The Linear Time Counter

    Turn the camcorder on to display the linear time counter. The linear time counter keeps track from when you load a cassette into the camcorder and clears to "0:00:00" when the cassette is ejected.
  • Page 27: Setting The Date And Time

    VIDEO mode: Press the DATE/ DISP. button on the camcorder or DISPLAY AY button on the remote control to switch the display. • When a recorded tape is in the camcorder during the VIDEO mode, "SEARCH" appears in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor. (See "Date Search" on page 51.) •...
  • Page 28: Basic Techniques

    The batteries are in place and charged, the date and time are set and you are familiar with the controls its time to make a recording. Basic recording is easy and simple. Hooking up the camcorder to your TV is not complicated but give yourself plenty of time to ensure connections ore correct, This section guides you through basic recording and playback.
  • Page 29 " appears in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor and the camcorder is now ready to record. 4 When you are ready to record press the Start/ Stop button. "REC" appears and the camcorder records the picture you see in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor.
  • Page 30: Using Instant Review

    Use this feature to view the last few seconds of the tape you shot. 1 Set the camcorder to record/pause mode and tap the REW /REVIEW button. The last few seconds of the tape playback in reverse and then in normal playback mode.
  • Page 31: Using Manual Focus

    Basic Techniques Objects behind water dappled or dusty glass Objects with little difference in light reflection such as a white wall Rapidly moving objects Dark objects Note: With the T zoom control you can use the auto focus with subjects that are 3.3 feet (100 cm) away from the lens and further away to infinity.
  • Page 32: Using The Digital Zoom

    Note: This digital zoom has certain limitations and may degrade at extreme magnification and amplify camcorder's movement. Using the INST. ZOOM (instant Zoom) Button The instant zoom feature activates the digital zoom to magnify the subject 7.5 times regardless of zooming engaged by the power zoom T and W controls.
  • Page 33: Using Macro

    Note: To return to the original zoom position, press the INST. ZOOM button so that "I. ZOOM' disappears from the viewfinder or LCD monitor. Note: This instant zoom has certain limitations and may degrade at extreme magnification and amplify camcorder's movement. Using Macro This function allows you to shoot subjects as close as 3/8 inches (1cm).
  • Page 34: Using Still

    Note: Decrease the sound volume of the camcorder when you play back a recording by connecting the camcorder to your TV, If the volume of the camcorder is set to maximum, the played back picture may be distorted. Make sure that the volume is not set to maximum during recording as it could distort the played back picture.
  • Page 35: Playing Back Your Recording On Your Tv

    Note: Noise may flow during high-speed search in low temperature conditions. Playing Back Your Recording on Your TV Depending on the setup of your video equipment, you connect the camcorder in one of the 3 methods explained below. Connecting to a Television with a VCR Attached...
  • Page 36: Connecting To A Television With Audio In And Video In Jacks

    3. Insert a previously recorded cassette into the camcorder. 4. Turn on your VCR and place it in the camcorder input mode (consult your VCR manual for details). Operate the television as you normally do to see the signal coming from the VCR.
  • Page 37: Connecting To A Television Without Audio In And Video In Jacks

    Note: If your television has two (stereo) AUDIO IN jacks, connect the audio plug to the left-channel AUDIO IN jack. 2. Connect the other ends of the cable to the AUDIO OUT and VIDEO OUT jacks of the camcorder. 3. Insert a previously recorded cassette into the camcorder.
  • Page 38: Video Effects In Playback Mode

    Video Effects in Playback Mode The digital signal processor (DSP) in this camcorder allows you to add special effects to playback Pictures. Use this feature during tape dubbing, etc. to create a tape with a more artistic impression. The video effect modes during playback include 16x9, Art and Sepia.
  • Page 39: Multi Playback

    3 Set the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch of the camcorder to VIDEO. 4 Press the PAL60 button. 5 Press the PLAY button of the camcorder. If you press the DATE/DISP. button at this time, "PAL60" will appear in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor.
  • Page 40: Advanced Techniques

    Note: Depending on the state of the tape recorded, the PAL60 button may not operate normally. Note: The RF converter unit cannot be used during multi playback (PAL60 output). Note: The PAL60 mode will be released when the camcorder is turned off. Advanced Techniques...
  • Page 41: Date Recording

    Creating and Recording a Title The titling function allows you to select one of nine titles stored in camcorder memory, or create a new title, and record it. You con choose from three languages to display the stored titles: English, French and Spanish. Select...
  • Page 42 2 Hold down the red button on the CAM/OFF/ VIDEO switch and slide it to either CAM or VIDEO. 3 Press the TITLE ON/OFF button on the remote control. A flashing cursor will appear in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor, and the camcorder will enter the title creating mode ("Creating a Title" on next page).
  • Page 43 Advanced Techniques Title creation mode 5 Use the F.FWD or REW button to select a desired title. MERRY CHRISTMAS Stored titles (Prememo) available <English> HAPPY BIRTHDAY MERRY CHRISTMAS CONGRATULATIONS THE SUPERSTAR VACATION FUN THANKSGIVING HAPPY EASTER ANNIVERSARY HAPPY NEW YEAR <French>...
  • Page 44: Creating A Title

    Creating a Title A title contains two lines of up to 16 characters per line. The camcorder contains 79 different characters for creating a title. Note: Be sure to insert the clock battery before creating a title. Although a title can be created without the clock battery inserted, it will disappear when the battery providing power to the camcorder is removed.
  • Page 45 Advanced Techniques 6 Once you've selected a character press the STOP button to set it. 7 Complete the title by repeating steps 5 and 6. JANE'S BIRTHDAY 8 When you complete your title, press the TITLE ON/OFF button on the remote control to store the title in memory and remove the title graphics from the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor.
  • Page 46: Digital Effects Recording

    5 Repeatedly press the DATE/DISP. button to store the corrected title in memory. Digital Effects Recording The digital processor in this camcorder allows you to record the picture and add special effects; 16x9 recording mode, a negative image (negative/positive recording), 300 times digital zoom feature (with instant zoom), a symmetric image, obtained by placing a mirror at the center of the screen (half-mirror recording), and an image in mosaic (mosaic recording), and an oil painting look (art mode)..
  • Page 47 Advanced Techniques MIRROR Half-Mirror Mode MOSAIC Mosaic Mode Art Mode Normal Mode Activating Digital Effects Recording 1. Place the camcorder in the record pause mode. 2. Press the EFFECTS button to select the digital effects mode you want.
  • Page 48 Advanced Techniques 16x9: 16x9 Mode The picture format can be switched from the 4:3 (the picture format of an ordinary TV set) to 16x9. The top and bottom of the picture in the viewfinder become black bars. NEGPOS: Negative/Positive Mode The image in the viewfinder or on the LCD monitor will become negative.
  • Page 49: Using Digital Fade

    Advanced Techniques 3. Press the Start/Stop button to start recording. • To release digital effects mode, repeatedly press the EFFECTS button in record pause mode until the normal mode is restored. Using Digital Fade Use the fade feature to add a professional touch to your recordings. Use the FADE button to select one of the four fade options.
  • Page 50: Fading Out

    2. Press the Start/Stop button to start recording; fade begins automatically. Fading Out 1. While recording with the camcorder use the FADE button to select a fade option. 2. Press the Start/Stop button to stop recording; the fade begins automatically and "REC" flashes until the fade ends.
  • Page 51: Date Search

    "SEARCH ", while the end position is being searched for. 4. When the required position is located, the camcorder enters the stop mode and "SEARCH" disappears from the viewfinder or on the LDC monitor. Note: If you have ejected the cassette, this function will not operate with that cassette. (When a cassette is inserted and the recording is started, the position is identified as the recording start position on that day.)
  • Page 52: Using Quick Edit

    While the camera is in record/pause mode hold down the F.FWD, REW/REVIEW, or PLAY button and visually search the tape. Release the button and the camcorder stops the tape at the exact position you selected.
  • Page 53: Demonstration Mode

    1 Connect your camcorder to the VCR, following "Playing Back Your Recording on Your TV" on page 32. 2 Turn on your VCR and place it in the camcorder input mode (consult your VCR manual for details). Operate the television as you normally do to see the signal coming from the VCR.
  • Page 54: Programming The Remote Control For The Vcr

    Especially, be careful of this during dubbing. Note: When the edit remote control is connected to the camcorder, the camcorder can be operated with the buttons marked * in the above figure. See pages 53 and 54 for details.
  • Page 55 Note: The remote control cannot be operated if there is an obstacle between the remote control and infrared receiver. Especially, be careful of this during dubbing. Note: When the edit remote control is connected to the camcorder, the buttons marked * in the figure above perform the same operations as those of the other remote control provided.
  • Page 56 Advanced Techniques 1 Connect the edit remote control to the camcorder, and then connect the audio/video output cable as illustrated above. Note: If your VCR has two (stereo) AUDIO IN jacks, connect the audio plug to the left-channel AUDIO IN lack.
  • Page 57: Using The Optional Edit Remote Control

    VCR to set it to the stop mode. Note: If the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch of the camcorder Is set to OFF or CAM when the recording VCR is in the record pause mode, the VCR enters the record mode.
  • Page 58: Using Audio/ Video Dubbing

    Use this button to fast forward tapes or for visual search. (Pause/Record) Button In CAM mode, press this button to start recording. When pressed a second time the camcorder pauses. During playback use this button to stop the tape temporarily. Pressing a second time resumes normal playback.
  • Page 59: General Maintenance

    The audio/video dubbing starts. When the linear ear time counter reaches "0:00:00M" the cam corder stops automatically, recording only the portion of the tape that you selected. Note: If the camcorder is in AV DUB pause or STILL mode for more than 5 minutes, the camcorder stops automatically to protect the tape.
  • Page 60: Cleaning The Lens And Picture Tube Of The Electronic Viewfinder

    General Maintenance If after cleaning the heads the picture does not clear up consult your nearest dealer or VCR service center for professional head cleaning. Cleaning the Lens and Picture Tube of the Electronic Viewfinder The lens of the electronic viewfinder can be user-cleaned if dust, dirt, or other foreign matter adheres to it. 1 Pull out the eye cup to the position where a mark can be seen (up to a half where it is pulled out all the way).
  • Page 61: Troubleshooting

    Troubleshooting Quality is very important at Hitachi. We inspect and check every camcorder carefully at the factory under the most rigid quality control and inspection systems. If problems develop please check the following possible solutions before inquiring about professional service.
  • Page 62: Battery Condition

    Check Point & Correction "TAPE" appears in the • Have you moved the camcorder or cassette from a cold place to a warm place so that viewfinder or on the its temperature changed abruptly? If the temperature has changed, remove the Check Point &...
  • Page 63: Specifications

    LCD monitor, or normal LCD monitor, or if normal operation is interrupted, remove the power source operation is interrupted. and clock battery, and then reattach them: the camcorder functions will return to their default settings. General Maintenance (cont.) pg. 58...
  • Page 64: Accessories Add Excitement

    Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc. Hitachi has made every effort to assure you hours of trouble free operation from your unit. However, should you require service, a network of Hitachi Authorized Service Facilities has been established in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Page 65: For Authorized Hitachi Service Facility In Canada

    General Maintenance FOR AUTHORIZED HITACHI SERVICE FACILITY IN CANADA Please consult the following telephone numbers: 1-800-HITACHI 1-800-995-4500...

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