Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

ZR45MC AE inoperative




I volunteer for the thrift store that supports our local hospice (TRU Boulder, CO) and check out / repair electronics for them.


We've had a  ZR45MC donated that appears to be functional in every way except that exposure appears to be fixed.


Examples: bright day here, selecting modes (snow, auto, night) has no effect on image on screen, selecting AE +/-2 and looking at something that is over exposed at 0, but recognizable has no effect. Full auto mode (Easy) does not appear to be auto- exposing at all. 


The push / scroll wheel clearly works - I can select modes as displayed on the screen, but it has no effect on the image seen in the viewfinder or on the screen.


Only point of note is that the camera is complaining that the 3V lithium battery needs replacing (flashing red icon), but that surely has no effect on AE function.


I've been through the manual.


Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you in anticipation





Product Expert
Product Expert

Hey there,


While the 3V clock battery may seem irrelevent, I definitely think that would be a good place to start. Lacking power in that area may disrupt something elsewhere, as I have seen with my own Canon EOS 20D and some other cameras. Alternately, this could indicate a stuck aperture but usually you would also see an error indicating so.

Hi Mark35mmF2, 


yes, worth a shot as if the electronics was missing a valid time, anyone's guess what it would do to AE.


However I've replaced the clock battery, the error symbol has gone but it's still stuck at fixed exposure, regardless of light, AE program or AE shift settting.


That could be the sensor, the aperture mechanism or the computing part. 


As I'm volunteering for a charity, my time is free. Anything to explore? I'm competent with small electronics and have a fully equipped electronics test bench.

And aiming at the Canon staff moderators, it's extremely disappointing that with a full bag of stills camera gear, including half a dozen red line lenses and full frame shooter, most purchased direct from Canon I can't find a route to talk to someone about this. 


Is there one that I am missing?

Hi, dave_n_s!

Welcome to the Canon Community!


Have you looked at our site?


Every product line has its own support team, with support entitlements. 


Support for the ZR45MC can be found HERE.


For products you own personally, you'll want to ensure you register them to your My Canon Account HERE.


Bear in mind, not every product is eligible for free live phone support any longer - we've made changes to our business model within the last year or so.



Thank you for responding. 


Yes, I went to the website, which pointed me to the phone line which said there was no more support (apart from the website) for this product apart from the website, which has no useful support.


I'd have thought that, given this is an issue on a donation to a charity, I'd be able to find someone to discuss this with.


Someone will know if stuck apertures happen on these (and can they be freed up) or if it's a bad sensor or something else.


I'll list the major companies who have gone the extra mile outside warranty and support timelines to help me recover (and in one case to replace) donated items that had issues that prevented us selling for a realistic price:


HP, Epson, Apple (three times)


As I'm a huge Canon fan (currently 5DIII + a stack of stuff, inc a Pro 1), I'm still hopeful you can put me in touch with someone. 

Have the moderators nothing further to offer?


I understand that the iris seems stuck on the ZR45MC.  I am sorry this occurs and is affecting use of the unit.  It's difficult without examining the unit might be affecting it, it's possible it's the sensor or another main component of the main board.  Ordinarily with something like this, we suggest service but repairs are no longer offered on the ZR45MC as of 2007.  We sincerely regret any inconvenience that this may cause you at this time. 

Since we're unable to service it another option would be the Canon Upgrade Program. The Canon Upgrade Program allows you to replace your non-functioning product. All refurbished equipment offered through this program carries a full one year limited warranty.

If you'd like to take part in the Canon Upgrade Program please call our Pre-Sales and Accessories department at 1-800-652-2666, Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. Please let them know you have been working with online-support and that your equipment has been deemed out of service life. Please have the serial number of your product at the time of your call.

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

Tim, Did you read ALL of each of my posts in this thread? Seems unlikely as we're hardly going to upgrade a donation. Someone in Canon tech support will know what (for example) the top 3 potential things are that could cause these symptoms. If any of those are workable without troubleshooting the main board and its SM components, perhaps we have a shot at recovering it and raising heading for $100 for the hospice. In terms of repair, I'm the tech and my time is at the disposal of the hospice for one day a week.


I did read through the thread and understand where you are coming from.  I hesitated letting you know about the upgrade program because I'm aware it was a donation, but it was the only option I could offer from a support perspective. 

The ZR45MC was one of the first camcorders I ever supported for Canon and I remember it well.  Even in this instance, there's very little I can offer you towards a resolution due to the age of the unit and the fact that when Canon no longer services an item, we stop producing and selling parts.  This makes repair on these units extremely difficult for anyone to attempt.  Add to this the fact that we don't offer technical guidance for conducting repairs via support channels, unfortunately.  The issue you describe with the unit is not one that can be fixed by cleaning the video heads or resetting the battery; it's far beyond that. 

Trust me, if I were able to give you information on bringing this back to life or directing you towards parts and service, I would.  The truth of the matter though is that camcorder is a modern antique and not worth anywhere near $100 unfortunately.  I sincerely regret any inconvenience that this may cause you.  

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.
click here to view the gallery