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Canon Optura 500 Playback Problems, Dirty or Damged?

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Doug Tonee
Canon Optura 500 Playback Problems, Dirty or Damged?
on Sep 20, 2008 at 8:11:06 am

I am experiencing some issues during playback of recorded tapes. Viewing through the viewfinder or the pop-out screen I was initially getting horizontal bars about 1/4" wide from edge to edge, and inbetween I could see my footage. I thought maybe I had hit some menu feature that put it in this view state, I am fairly new to filming and still learning about the features of my camera.

I also thought it was menu driven as the camera had not moved since the last time I viewed a video from my desktop, so it had not fallen or been banged around.

But after much hunting around the camera and the manual I found nothing that would change the state. Then I saw the horizontal bars go from black to grey and now additionally I was seeing multi-colored pixelation. I called Canon tech support and the service advisor recommended me to get a dry cleaner tape. I was very leary about the heads being dirty. I have not used it much, maybe 15-20 hours and from what I was viewing, it looked to exact to be dirty heads. But I did so- and after running the dry tape for 10 seconds twice I saw no improvement whatsoever.

I called a repair service and the tech advisor thought it sounded like dirty heads, so I tried cleaning it again. I don't really want to fork out $300 for a repair.

After running the head cleaner again for an extende time, 30 seconds, I saw no improvement- and just as I was going to shut it down, I watched the pixelation disolve.... more like an effect rather than the results of cleaning.

The grey bars are gone, but there was some skittering going on, so I cleaned it again and that seemed to resolve the issue. I put in another tape and the pixelation was back, but then dissolved and the tape played fine. Note: this is testing on multiple different tapes. I also was surprised to see that when I was recording any of the footage w/ the horizontal bars to my computer through Premier CS3 the horizontal bars were present during the recording. This really confuses me. Why, if it were dirty heads would this affect what I was recording?

So the current status is after successfully capturing a full hour tape w/out any of the bars or pixelation I started capturing a second tape. I began playback to view the quality and the pixelation was present initially but disolved out in around the 10 second mark.

What do you guys think, is it just dirty heads... (praying for this), or is there something going on mechanical and will need repairing?



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