I just got off the phone with SONY support, 1+ hour of holding and talking to them. My HDR SR12 has less than 4 hours of time on it. I bought it 8/25/2008 for $1,025.00 from Beach Camera.
In May 2009 the camera quit working and gave me a HDD Format error E:31:00. At that time SONY support gave me fixit directions and I wiped HDD with all videos. I was not advised to return camera for problems.
This weekend I did some video and stills. When I tried to copy off the HDD to my computer I got the same error E:31:00. I called SONY there is no fix, except to wipe the drive and re-format. I indicated this was not fixing the problem. Then I was imformed to send it in for repair.
Funny part is, my invoice date is 1 year ago today. They didn't charge me for parts, but the charged me 149.00 for labor. This is wrong, after all this is the second time within 1 year I called about same problem. I don't mind telling you I complained. I was transferred to customer service, where I gave them my credit card number. Then I was given an RMA address to Laredo Texas for repair.
Now guys don't think I'm a troublemaker. I just think this was very unfair, and worst still from what I've read around on the web the HDD has been causing problems for SONY. Yet, I get to pay for fixing the camera.
Regradless, I am thinking to EBAY this camera when it is returned to me. SONY said they would thoroughly assess all the parts in the camera as well,replace the HDD and return it to me "Good as New". The support guy actually said,"it will be as good as what I bought new". I suspect by now most of the problems SONY had are pretty well fixed by now, and the camera will probably be fine. Since there is no serial number on the camera I suspect they will just replace it.
I really want to make this point. I don't think HDD with current technology is a best go for anyone that really needs their pictures. I'm going to go to a tape or card for storage on next camcorder. In other words, I'm not going to lose another picture to the HDD demons.
CAVEAT EMPTOR (buyer beware) definitely applies to SONY camcorder purchases.