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Camcorder Built-In Obsolescence?

I have a Panasonic mini-DV camcorder that has worked perfectly for 2 years and has never had any abuse. All of a sudden, after it starts, the screen goes blank and a message appears "Press Reset Button". I press it but nothing happens. I had the same kind of thing happen with a Sony and Canon camcorder too prior to the Panasonic. Is there come sort of installed circuit board in these camcorders that trigger malfunctions after a certain date? Now I need another camcorder I guess, but I feel like why throw out another $500?

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