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eyecamiam
Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 10, 2006 at 4:04:55 pm

We use a variety of camcorder brands in our lab. Footage recorded with the Canon brand will often not play back well using other brands as VTRs (including a Sony DSR-11 which is otherwise a rock solid).

Canon's cams, on the other hand, will play back other brands.

One of the leaders on the Sony forum said that Canon uses a slightly different firewire standard and this explains the sync problem with other brands. It


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Matte
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 11, 2006 at 3:38:18 am

Its not the FW "standard" that's different, its the HEAD ALIGNMENT.

My experience with Canon has been that many times (I have used a multitude of Canon camcorder models) the Canon-recorded tapes will only play on Canon camcorders, sometimes only on the camcorder that recorded the particular tape.

The worst offender was the Canon XL1.



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Matte
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 12, 2006 at 3:14:16 am

The FW "differnce" has to do with the audio and video "slippage" after import.

If that's your complaint, then that's problem you have.

If you are having "mosaic blocks" (digital image problems) and other kinds of A/V drop-outs... its the difference in the head alignment that's the culprit.


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eyecamiam
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 12, 2006 at 6:07:30 am

The problem I experience is a stuttering of the audio. I assume this is the slippage you refer to? I find it really weird that this is a common problem and the only answer is to hook up a Canon camcorder as a deck. Considering that many pro projects are shot on Canon XL1s and XL2s and perhaps edited by someone else, doesn't this cause a lot of headaches?


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Matte
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 12, 2006 at 11:47:57 am

Sync "slippage" is when, after capturing the clips to a digital NLE, the video and the audio slowly become separated in sync and no longer play "matched together" (lip-sync gets off).

I would consider audio "stuttering" is a "dropout-type" problem (loss of continuous digital stream, so playback gets "dropped" for btief periods of time).
This is most commonly a tape-to-head problem.

When it occurs playing on the same camcorder that recorded it, it is usually a sign of "clogged" (dirty) heads.
When it consistently happens when playing tapes on a different unit than the one it was recoreded on, then it is likely an "alignment" difference between the two units' head-path.
This often happens when I have shot with a Canon and tried to play its tape in another unit.






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eyecamiam
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 13, 2006 at 3:51:37 am

I find that our Canon Optura XI will input/output footage from a Canon XL2 and a couple of zr-80s (both of which have fried firewire ports) just fine. But when I try to in/out with a Sony dsr-11, I get this stuttering audio. All the Canon's can


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Matte
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 3:18:51 am

For whatever reason (and its NOT the FIREWIRE "standard"... since its the TAPE that won't play... not the FW that won't transfer) you are having trouble getting your Canon footage in to the edit system ( And yes, head-standards still sounds like the problem to me.)

If you find that a Canon camcorder works best for this, you might consider buying the cheapest home video Canon you can find (new, used, eBay, etc.) and using that as your source player.

I see them in pawn shops for under $200.



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Don Greening
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 4:12:35 am

[Matte] "I see them in pawn shops for under $200."

.....or you can try what I did and go to a retailer like Sears, etc. and ask if they have any inexpenive new MiniDV camcorders that are missing items from the box. You may get it for less than half price. My Sony DCR-HC30 was purchaced new with the battery and A/V cable missing and got it at a savings of over 60%. As long as it's equiped with firewire and a power cable to plug into the wall you can still use it as a deck.

FWIW, I capture tapes from a Canon GL2, XL2 and a PD170 using the above camera and have never had sync or video issues. I've captured single clips as long as 80 min. without a problem.....so far :)

- Don



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eyecamiam
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 4:39:11 am

Matte, Don,
I really appreciate the feedback. This leads me to another concern. When I took over the class we had two Canon zr-80s both of which won


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Don Greening
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 8:23:09 am

[eyecamiam] "Could one of the Macs perhaps be sending out surges or something?"

When the first version of Mac OS X came out there was a rumor that Macs so equipped were sending too much power to the FW port and was burning out the FW ports on cameras. Since those first OS X Macs also had OS9 I was told to capture using only the earlier OS. I never talked to anyone directly who had personally experienced this but just about everyone was aware of the issue at the time. I'm assuming it was only a problem if the camera was turned on when trying to connect via FW. Perhaps this issue has some merit with regard to your students and the computer lab.

You may have told your kids to connect to the FW with the cameras turned off, but I'm wondering if there's been a few times when they forgot to do it. If it happened too many times then I suspect that damage to the cameras' FW ports have taken a hit. To this day before I connect anything to a FW port I make sure the computer and the connecting device(s) are both off.

[eyecamiam] "Can they be fixed or is this more expensive than a cheap cam is worth?"

Anything can be fixed but I don't think it' a cheap fix. Plus the fact the camera is away getting fixed and not in the lab where you need it. Before I sent anything away for service I'd make sure all the FW cables being used are actually working and have solid connections. Worn out or intermittant connections might very well be contributing to capture problems. But I'm sure you've already done that.

[eyecamiam] "Is it possible the ports are ok but the firmware in the cams got corrupted somehow?"

Don't know. But you could always try pulling the memory battery out of the camera and seeing if it makes a difference to the FW port after you put it back in. Just a thought.

[eyecamiam] "And, would a professional head alignment of the Canon


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Matte
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 11:42:25 am

[Don Greening] "When the first version of Mac OS X came out there was a rumor that Macs so equipped were sending too much power to the FW port and was burning out the FW ports on cameras"

The problem with with this idea is that the only "power" that is applied to the FW ports is in the 6-pin jack. The 4-pin plug does not carry power, just digital info.

That's the difference between the 4-pin and 6-pin plugs... the extra 2 pins/wires carry POWER.

Since no consumer camcorder uses a 6-pin FW, the "too much power from the Mac" theory does not make much sense.


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eyecamiam
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 4:48:11 pm

Thanks again. We are on 10.3.x, so it


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Don Greening
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 14, 2006 at 8:49:00 pm

[eyecamiam] " I think that constantly reaching around to the side of Macs and pushing the USB cords out of the way and plugging in can stress the firewire plug connections.
"


I'm in total agreement with that. it only takes one poor or worn out connection within the FW plug to cause havoc.

- Don



"Please take a moment to fill out your profile, including your computer system and relevant software. Help us help you."


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mwieser
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Jun 20, 2006 at 12:41:00 am

.....I've had similar expereince with my XL2 and SONY DSR20 deck - audio dropouts, blips, stutters....GL2, XL1, and 2 (cheaper) Canon cameras work fine (I can capture from deck on tapes shot using those cameras). Here's what I happened upon yesterday: when I enable dv control on my XL2 (which is supposed to enable you to control camera as cature device via firewire) and proceed to shoot, I can then capture without a glitch - That's what works for me...Curious to see if it works for anyone else?



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JerryC
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
on Aug 12, 2006 at 6:02:10 am

My son just bought a used (but almost new) Canon GL2.
We also have a sony trv540.

We thought that the firewire died in the sony, but The Canon doesnt work either.

We have three PC's with firewire ports. The two cameras don't work on any of them.

We have googled the problem and found many have had problems with xp and SP2.

We have tried a few things and no results.

Have you heard of this problem?
Are there any non microsoft firewire drivers that you could recomend?

We think that the chances of both cameras having broke firewire ports are remote. It is also unlikely the all three pc's ports are broke. But the xp and sp2 issue is common to all machines.

Thanx
JerryC

We use:
adobe premiere pro
microsoft movie maker
we have:
Creative labs firewires on two machines
And a TI driver for the pci card in the third machine.


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Xeeb
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
by
on Aug 12, 2006 at 4:59:41 pm

Hmm... so neither camera is working across three seperate PC's, each using the same firewire cards in each machine... To me, it sounds like it is a capture issue within Premiere. (I assume that is what you are using to capture the footage.)

Premiere can be a nasty bugger with firewire and DV cameras at times. I used to use Premiere Pro 1.5 on my old PC, and it was always kind of a crapshoot to see if my camera would connect. If you could give me the current settings you have within premiere for your capture settings, it'd be a great help. I might be way off the mark here, but I think it's worth looking in to. (you'd think the default settings would work just fine... not always.)

The other issue is that it could be SP2. Service Pack 2 did all kinds of crazy things... My installation of After Effects would no longer work after updating to SP2... So, I feel your pain.

Hopefully we can work it out.



Sib Ntsib Dua

Xeeb


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Xeeb
Re: Canon's firewire standard?
by
on Aug 5, 2006 at 7:30:07 pm

Interesting. My experience has been otherwise.. I've been able to use Canon source footage on anything, but when trying to use Sony time-coded DV tapes, that's when the stuttering goes in to affect.

I'm not as familiar with Sony, but I've been told on multiple occasions that their time-coding is a special "sony-only" method. I've never been given any reasoning as to why, other than angry producers claiming it is sony's "high and mighty" way of making sure you only buy sony products.

--With that said, I've never been able to confirm it with anyone who ACTUALLY is in the know with Sony. It's is merely hear-say. Thought I'd put it up as a general point of interest, and I'm going to continue my research.



Sib Ntsib Dua

Xeeb


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