XL-1, GL-1 audio & video dropouts
Sorry in advance for the long post.
I shoot school plays and dance recitals with a recently serviced XL-1 and a GL-1 that was in for factory service just before I acquired it.
Is it normal (with Canon's, at least) for the last 10 minutes or so of a 60 minute MiniDV tape to be unusable due to dropouts?
I stripe all my tapes, usually with my GL-1, then use a freestanding rewinder to save wear on the camera motor. Might I be contributing to the problem by not rewinding in the camera?
I'm also having intermittent audio problems with both cameras, BEYOND the "normal" drift and non-standard sampling rate issues.
All of this sounds like dirty heads to me, but the cameras are pretty much fresh from being serviced, with very few recording or playback hours on them since I got them back.
I read here about problems that can arise when switching between types of tape (i.e. Panasonic to Sony and back again). I DID use a batch of Sony tapes for a shoot a while back, possibly since the cameras' last service/cleaning cycle. I had always used Panasonic before that, and have used nothing but Panasonic since, but could those 3-4 Sony tapes (per camera) have clogged up the heads so badly that a cleaning cassette can't clear the problem?
Thanks for any friendly advice (... calling me a dumb--s might be accurate, but probably not helpful :)
Homeworks Video Productions
First thing I'd stop dead, and never do again, is the pre-stripe black.
It serves no purpose whatsoever and wears the heads for no reason at all.
Its POSSIBLE that you have clogged heads from the Sony/Panny combo, but I don't really buy that, as part of the time the A/V is fine.
The "no switching brands" warning is highly debatable anyway, as there are hundreds of users who do it all the time with no ill effects, and others who would "never do it."
Most likely, in the camera with the bad drops during the final minutes of a tape, its badly-aligned tape-path guides and/or an improper "drag" on the supply hub (sticky spindle brake?) .
If you want to solve this, you may need to send the camera(s) back to service and be very specific as to the problems, and at what point on the tape they occur more frequently.
I guess striping the tape IS a waste of time. I tell myself that I do it to eliminate any chance of timecode breaks, but as long as we don't rewind and play during a shoot (which we never have reason to do), or reinsert a used tape to record more footage, I guess the risk of that is minimal. And I have always been worried about the additional head wear anyway.
And thanks for weighing in on the tape brand issue. Much of what I read sounded like some well-studied gospel, to me. I'll add the appropriate grain of salt (but I'll probably stick with Panasonic tapes just the same).
As for the drops, is it possible for them to be caused by the playback deck (in this case, my GL1)? Does the artifact look the same on the display, regardless of whether the problem is recorded on the tape, or being caused by a playback source in need of service?
I guess either way my GL1 needs to go in for service, despite the fact that the New Jersey Service Center wants about 45% of the camera's value just to do a cleaning and "routine service." I just had my XL1 serviced there, and they charged me a little more than half what they want to service my GL1.
Homeworks Video Productions
I have had many problems capturing Canon footage into non-linear editors. I
>>>>>>Is it normal (with Canon's, at least) for the last 10 minutes or so of a 60 minute MiniDV tape to be unusable due to dropouts?
>>>>>>I stripe all my tapes, usually with my GL-1, then use a freestanding rewinder to save wear on the camera motor. Might I be contributing to the problem by not rewinding in the camera?
-- You don't need to stripe your tapes. I never do. That would eliminate using the external rewinder.
>>>>>>I DID use a batch of Sony tapes for a shoot a while back, possibly since the cameras' last service/cleaning cycle. I had always used Panasonic before that, and have used nothing but Panasonic since, but could those 3-4 Sony tapes (per camera) have clogged up the heads so badly that a cleaning cassette can't clear the problem?
-- Possibly. Slight chance that some of the Sony tape residue conflicted with the Panasonic tape oxide. But if that were the problem, your dropouts would occur throughout your tape and not simply during the last 10 minutes of your tape.
1. Stop striping your tapes
2. Stop using that external rewinder
3. Use one brand of tape. If you must suddenly use a different brand of tape, run a dry head cleaning tape for 6-10 seconds and clean the heads of any potential left over tape oxide residue BEFORE switching to the new brand of tape
4. Do a confidence check of the recorded tape while recording (during a break) to make sure you have a clean recording. If you still see dropouts, run that head cleaning tape for another 6-10 seconds and try again.
If problem still persists, call Canon Technical Service and schedule a repair.
Please do keep in touch,
How often do you think it's safe to use a cleaning tape? I've been told to never use them except in an emergency and then only if a fast forward/rewind doesn't clear the clog.
I bought my 8 year old his first camcorder