I shoot occasional corporate meetings using a GL2 with a Beachtek audio adapter to plug into the corporate sound system. Results were great until a month ago. After processing the video on a Mac/FCP, the results are down-saved to VHS for distribution. The results on the VHS are stuttering/jumping images, as if frames are dropped out. I have also notice popping sounds on the original tape. Anyone out there who has experienced this or something like it? All taping is done on a tripod, with image stabilization off.
If you could be a little more forthcoming with your information it would be extremely helpfull in diagnosing your problem. Right now I can't tell if the problem is with your source tapes or the issues you're having don't show up until the finished VHS tape.
You mention popping noises on the source tape. When's the last time you had the GL2 in for a service/head cleaning and calibration? Is the picture jumping and stuttering on the source tapes? After capture to FCP? After recording to VHS tape?
Thanks for the response. I will try to be more complete. I can hear some popping on the source tape. It is difficult to see any jumping on the LCD. Once in FCP, I can hear the popping noise a bit more, and the stuttering is apparent. I take the edited project back to DV tape, and then to VHS. On the outbound DV, the stuttering is clearly noticeable, and on the VHS it is quite distracting. The GL2 has never been serviced, so perhaps your suggestion of having it serviced and getting the heads checked out could solve the problem. I had been using Panasonic tape exclusively. My management bought Sony tape to save money, and this situation came up. That is the only variable in the workflow, other than the fact the camera has never been serviced. Thanks for your help. I'm a graphic artist by trade, and was volunteered for these video assignments, so the learning curve is steep right now.
Okay, it sounds like the problem is originating with the GL2 in the form of audio and video dropouts, etc. FYI, it's not a good idea to change tape brands unless you get the camera seviced first. Some tapes are dry lubricated and some are wet lubed, so when you mix the two you're inviting problems. I don't see any way of fixing your present problem unless you want to try capturing your video to the computer using another camera/deck to see if it's just an alignment problem with the GL2 or the tapes were indeed recorded with the dropouts. The only way to know for sure is to try the above method.
You should definitely get the GL2 in for service and tell the service person the problems you're having with it. They'll do a good cleaning and alignment for you. In future please stay with one tape brand. Both the Panny and the Sony Master series are good. You'll be able to tell your boss that scrimping on tape quality is not the best way to impress his clients.
When you first put a new tape into your camera, fast forward to the end and rewind to the beginning. This accopmlishes 2 things: it pre-tentions the tape against the recording drum and also helps to throw out any microscopic bits of debris that sometimes get lodged in the tiny grooves of the heads. This practice will keep tape dropouts to a minimum.