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Hitachi VM-8400LA Instruction Manual

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Instruction Manual
Video Camcorder
3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093
Tel. 770-279-5600
3219 Koapaka Street, Honolulu, HI 96819
Tel. 808-836-3621
Thank you for choosing the
instructions before operating your camcorder.
QR19391 ©Hitachi, Ltd. 1998
Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2L8
video camcorder. For maximum pleasure and convenience please read these simple
6740 Campobello Road
Tel. 905-821-4545
Printed in Japan KY-F(N)



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  Summary of Contents for Hitachi VM-8400LA

  • Page 1 HITACHI HOME ELECTRONICS (AMERICA), INC. 3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093 Tel. 770-279-5600 HITACHI SALES CORPORATION OF HAWAII, INC. 3219 Koapaka Street, Honolulu, HI 96819 Tel. 808-836-3621 Thank you for choosing the video camcorder. For maximum pleasure and convenience please read these simple instructions before operating your camcorder.
  • Page 2: Table Of Contents

  • Page 3: Precautions

  • Page 4: Features

    Caution: Avoid operating your camcorder immediately after moving it from a cold area to a warm humid area. Give the camcorder 2 to 3 hours to acclimate to the surroundings before inserting a video cassette. When moved from a cold area to a warm humid area, moisture may condense on the head drum inside the machine.
  • Page 5: Accessories

    With this camcorder you can view the picture being recorded or the playback picture whether on the LCD monitor or in the viewfinder. Opening or closing the LCD monitor switches the picture to appear on the LCD monitor or in the viewfinder.
  • Page 6: Important Safeguards

    This page lists important information that will help to assure your enjoyment and proper use of a Video Camcorder and accessory equipment. Please read it carefully before operating your video product and keep it in a handy place for future reference.
  • Page 7 IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS cords at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the appliance. 8 Ventilation -- Slots and openings in the cabinet are provided for ventilation to ensure reliable operation of the video product and to protect it from overheating. These openings must not be blocked or covered.
  • Page 8 IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS professional antenna installer. 14 Cleaning -- Unplug this video product from the wall outlet before cleaning. Do not use liquid cleaners or aerosol cleaners. Use a damp cloth for cleaning. 15 Object and Liquid Entry -- Never push objects of any kind into this video product through openings as they may touch dangerous voltage points or short-out parts that could result in a fire or electric shock.
  • Page 9 IMPORTANT SAFEGUARDS registers, stoves, or other products (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
  • Page 10: Important Safety Instructions For Ac Adapter/Charger

    IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FOR AC ADAPTER/CHARGER IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FOR AC ADAPTER/CHARGER 1. Save these instructions--This page contains important safety and operating instructions for AC Adaptor/Charger Model VM-ACV41A. 2. Before using AC Adaptor/Charger, read all instructions and cautionary markings on (1) AC Adaptor/Charger, (2) battery and (3) product using battery.
  • Page 11: Electronic Viewfinder (Evf)

    ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER (EVF) ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER (EVF) Set the viewfinder to the position shown in the figure when carrying the camcorder or storing it in the carrying case. Turn the viewfinder to the position shown below when shooting pictures. 1. Turn the viewfinder 2.
  • Page 12 ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER (EVF) focus adjustment.
  • Page 13: Lcd Monitor

    LCD MONITOR LCD MONITOR When using the LCD monitor during recording and playback and playback, you can adjust the brightness of its screen and the angle of the monitor. Opening the LCD monitor 1. Press the OPEN button to open the LCD monitor. NOTE: Opening or closing the LCD monitor switches the picture to appear on the monitor or in the viewfinder.
  • Page 14 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 15: Active Screen

    POWER SOURCES WHEN USING WITH THE BATTERY (Provided) • To attach, align the mark " 10, " of the battery with that of the camcorder so that the battery fits into the grooves, and slide the battery downward, as illustrated.
  • Page 16: Checking The Battery

    WHEN USING WITH THE CAR BATTERY (By using optional car battery cord Hitachi VM-CC70A) 1. Connect the small plug of the car battery cord to the "DC IN 9.6V" jack of the camcorder. 2. Connect the other end of the car battery cord to the car's cigarette lighter socket.
  • Page 17 ACTIVE SCREEN...
  • Page 18: Charging The Battery

    Charging time Operating time The camcorder operating time depends on how often you turn power on/off and use REC/PAUSE and zoom. ATTENTION: The product that you have purchased contains a rechargeable battery. The battery is recyclable.
  • Page 19 CHARGING THE BATTERY battery tends to discharge if not used for an extended period of time. If the battery is stored for a extended length of time without being recharged, you may not be able to recharge it. • A battery charged after being stored for a long period may not supply power for the specified time.
  • Page 20: Inserting And Removing Cassettes

    INSERTING AND REMOVING CASSETTES INSERTING AND REMOVING CASSETTES A power source must be connected before inserting or removing cassettes. Once connected, cassettes can be inserted or removed whether the CAM/OFF/VIDEO switch is on or off. Inserting a cassette 1. Connect the POWER SOURCE. (See pages 10 and 11.) 2.
  • Page 21: Identification And Operation Of Controls

    IDENTIFICATION AND OPERATION OF CONTROLS IDENTIFICATION AND OPERATION OF CONTROLS click for image of camcorder click for image of camcorder click for images of camcorder...
  • Page 22: Making A Sample Camera Recording

    NOTES: • If the erase prevention tab on the cassette is removed, the "TAPE" indication in the viewfinder or LCD monitor flashes for several seconds and the camcorder will not enter record/pause mode. • See page 8 for "EYEPIECE ADJUSTMENT".
  • Page 23 2. When the tape reaches the end of the scene you have just recorded, the camcorder returns to the record/pause (stand-by) mode. Recording starts again when "REC/PAUSE" is pressed again.
  • Page 24 MAKING A SAMPLE CAMERA RECORDING an image of yourself; the image displayed on the LCD monitor will be the reverse of a mirror image.
  • Page 25: Playback

    You can view recorded pictures on the 3-inch LCD monitor immediately after recording. • If you connect the camcorder to your TV, you can see the picture played back on your TV. Open the LCD monitor, and then adjust the angle of the monitor 2.
  • Page 26 PLAYBACK Using still When "REC/PAUSE" is pressed during playback, a still picture can be seen. To start again press "REC/PAUSE" and playback will be resumed. NOTE: There will be some noise (interference) in the still picture. Using forward and reverse search When you press "F.FWD"...
  • Page 27: Date/Time Setting

    Charge the backup battery every two months. Set "CAM/OFF/VIDEO" to "OFF" position and connect a charged battery or AC adaptor/charger to the camcorder for 24 hours. Make sure that the current time is displayed correctly before you start recording.
  • Page 28 8. After setting AM or PM, press "DATE/TIME" to change the display and start the internal clock. It is recommended that you press "DATE/TIME" to match the time signal. NOTE: After the date and time are set, AUTO" appears and the camcorder enters the automatic date recording mode. See "DATE RECORDING" on page 25.
  • Page 29: Date Recording

    DATE RECORDING DATE RECORDING When the date has been set, the camcorder will enter the automatic date recording mode automatically. Specify the required date mode option before recording. 1. Press and hold the small button on "CAM/OFF/ VIDEO", and then slide it to "CAM" position.
  • Page 30: Auto Focus

    AUTO FOCUS AUTO FOCUS The camcorder focuses the subject in the center of the viewfinder or LCD monitor automatically. The range of object with which auto focus can be used • On "T" side: about 2.6 feet (80 cm) from the lens surface to infinity.
  • Page 31 AUTO FOCUS 6. Objects moving rapidly. 7. Dark objects.
  • Page 32: Display Button

    DISPLAY BUTTON DISPLAY BUTTON When "DISPLAY" is pressed, the information on the shutter speed, tape remaining, remaining battery level, etc. is displayed. • When "DISPLAY" is pressed so the display appears in the viewfinder or LCD monitor, the same display appears on the screen of the connected TV/monitor receiver. TAPE COUNTER When "DISPLAY"...
  • Page 33 DISPLAY BUTTON...
  • Page 34: Remaining Tape

    This feature is handy when recording since it lets you know how long you can record on the loaded tape. Insert a cassette in the camcorder and start recording or playback; 10 seconds later, the remaining tape will be displayed. When the cassette is ejected, the display will disappear.
  • Page 35: Digital Zoom

    T and W controls. Press "INST. ZOOM" and the picture is magnified 1.5 times. When "DISPLAY" is pressed and the display appears in the viewfinder, "I.ZOOM" is displayed to signal to you that the camcorder is in the instant zoom mode.
  • Page 36 • To return to the original zoom position, press "INST. ZOOM" so that "I.ZOOM" disappears from the viewfinder or LCD monitor. • When the instant zoom is used, the more the image is magnified, the rougher the picture becomes. Also even slight shaking of the camcorder is conspicuous.
  • Page 37: Digital Effects Recording

    DIGITAL EFFECTS RECORDING DIGITAL EFFECTS RECORDING The digital processor in this camcorder allows you to record pictures and add special effects; 16X9 recording mode, a negative image (negative/positive recording), 200 times digital zoom feature (with instant zoom), a symmetric image, obtained by placing a mirror at the centre of the screen (half-mirror recording), and an image in mosaic (mosaic recording).
  • Page 38 • To release the negative mode, press "DIGITAL EFFECT" repeatedly in recording pause until normal mode is restored. X200 Digital Zoom Recording 1. Place the camcorder in record pause. 2. Press "DISPLAY" and repeatedly press "DIGITAL EFFECT" until "ZM: 2" appears in the viewfinder or LCD monitor.
  • Page 39 DIGITAL EFFECTS RECORDING 3. Press "REC/PAUSE" to start recording. • To release the mosaic mode, press "DIGITAL EFFECT " repeatedly in recording pause until normal mode is restored. NOTE: This function cannot be used with digital zoom, instant zoom, stable pix or zoom fade function.
  • Page 40: Fade In /Fade Out

    "B/W" appears in the upper left corner or the viewfinder or LCD monitor. Fading In 1. Use "DIGITAL FADE" to select a fade option before recording. 2. Press "REC/PAUSE" to start recording; fade begins automatically. Fading Out 1. While recording with the camcorder use "DIGITAL FADE" to select a fade option.
  • Page 41 NOTE: When fading out be sure to wait until the PAUSE indicator ( ) is visible in the viewfinder or LCD monitor before attempting to put the camcorder into the record mode again. "STABLE PIX" (Electronic Image Stabilizer) FUNCTION The stable pix function corrects slight shaking of the image being recorded and is effective in the following situations.
  • Page 42: Index Signal Recording

    Quick edit is used while the camcorder is in the record/pause (stand-by) mode. By holding down "F.FWD", "REW/REVIEW", or "PLAY" you can visually search or play your tape. Releasing the buttons...
  • Page 43: Title Recording

    TITLE RECORDING TITLE RECORDING You can easily create and record personalized titles on your videos with the camcorder's built- in titler. Once a title is stored, it can be displayed and recorded at anytime. A title contains two lines of up to 16 characters per line.
  • Page 44 Recording titles on another VCR while playing tape back with the camcorder 1. Connect the camcorder and VCR. (See page 42.) 2. Set the VCR in the recording mode and camcorder in the playback mode. 3. Press "TITLE" when you see the scene where yo want to record the title.
  • Page 45 TITLE RECORDING 4. Press "TITLE" to erase the display from the viewfinder or LCD monitor. Chart of characters available in the titler A B C D E F G H I J K L M N 0 P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ? ' .
  • Page 46: Audio Dubbing

    2. Place "CAM/OFF/VIDEO" to "VIDEO" position. 3. Play the tape and press "REC/PAUSE" where you want to dub audio. • The camcorder enters the still play mode. 4. Press "DUBBING AUDIO/VIDEO" and "PLAY" at the same time. • "A.DUB " appears in the viewfinder or LCD monitor.
  • Page 47: Audio And Video Dubbing

    The replacement audio and video can be the sound and picture taken by the camera or from a video source connected to "AUDIO" and "VIDEO" on the camcorder. NOTE: When dubbing the sound and picture from a video source, set "AV OUT/IN" to the "IN"...
  • Page 48 AUDIO AND VIDEO DUBBING 10. Press the "REC/PAUSE". Dubbing will start and will stop when the counter reads "0000M"...
  • Page 49: Recording Tv Programs

    RECORDING TV PROGRAMS RECORDING TV PROGRAMS If your TV or VCR has video/audio out jacks, you can record the TV program with camcorder. 1. Connect the audio/video cable (not supplied) to "AUDIO OUT" and "VIDEO OUT" of your TV or VCR.
  • Page 50: Viewing The Picture Played Back On Your Tv

    VIEWING THE PICTURE PLAYED BACK ON YOUR TV To play back a tape recorded on your camcorder and view it on your TV receiver, you must connect the camcorder to the TV receiver using either audio/video cable (not supplied) or RF converter unit (optional).
  • Page 51 7. Set the RF channel selector on the RF converter unit to "CH3" or "CH4" to match the channel selector on your TV. 8. Perform same procedures in steps 4 through 7 of "Example 1". NOTE: If you want to watch a TV program, with camcorder connected as illustrated, slide "CAM/OFF/VIDEO" of the camcorder to "OFF".
  • Page 52: Camcorder To Vcr Dubbing

    2. Connect the other ends to "AUDIO IN", "VIDEO IN" of your VCR as shown in diagram above. 3. Play the tape on the camcorder and record it on the VCR. NOTE: If you connect the "VHF OUT TO TV" connector of VCR to the "TV ANT" connector, as illustrated and set "VCR/TV"...
  • Page 53: Using The Built-In Camera

    CAUTION: The power consumption of the built-in camera light is about a half that of the camcorder. Therefore, if the camera light is turned on when a fully charged battery pack is attached, the operating time of the battery falls to about a half.
  • Page 54 USING THE BUILT-IN CAMERA • Replace only with the specified lamp (optional) to reduce the risk of fire. To replace the lamp of camera light To remove the front case, press and hold the tab, then remove the front case. To replace the front case, pass the lamp through the hole of the reflection plate then attach the upper hooks to the camera light, and then attach the lower hook to the camera light.
  • Page 55: Attaching The Optional Tele Or Wide Converter Lens

    Or, attach the lens cap over the lens hood, then turn them counterclockwise to remove them. 2. Remove both caps of the telephoto or wide angle lens. 3. Screw the lens into the threads on the front of camcorder lens assembly. HOW TO ATTACH THE SHOULDER STRAP...
  • Page 56: Troubleshooting

    TROUBLESHOOTING TROUBLESHOOTING Your camcorder is a highly sophisticated instrument. It has been carefully checked and adjusted at the factory under the most rigid quality control and inspection systems. However, should problems develop, check the following points and take necessary corrective measures.
  • Page 57 TV, adjust fine tuning knob on television set to obtain best picture. The pre-recorded tape is EP or LP recording. This camcorder is for use in SP recording only. TV receiver is of older type it needs to be modified to work properly with camcorder.
  • Page 58: Cleaning The Inside Of The Electronic Viewfinder

    TROUBLESHOOTING CLEANING THE INSIDE OF THE ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER If dust or foreign matter adheres inside the viewfinder, clean it by using the following procedure. 1. Push the tab and hold it, then open the cover. 2. Clean the picture tube face and lens. To prevent scratching, use a soft non abrasive cloth, swab or lens cleaning paper.
  • Page 59: Head Cleaning

    We expect that no maintenance other than head cleaning will be required during the warranty period by most users, unless the video camcorder is heavily used or seldom used. Normal maintenance is the responsibility of the user, although defective parts are covered during the warranty period.
  • Page 60 HEAD CLEANING Pickup device Lens diameter 1/4" C.C.D. 46 mm...
  • Page 61: Hotline

    1-800-448-2244 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. Each facility will provide you with convenient and expedient assistance.
  • Page 62: Accessories Add Excitement

    ACCESSORIES ADD EXCITEMENT ACCESSORIES ADD EXCITEMENT We know that once you discover how much your VM-8400LA can add to your life you will want to use these accessories for even more excitement. Converter lenses and car cords are just a few of the matching accessories available to you from Hitachi.