I made a mistake recently: took my mini-DV tape (recorded in 24F with an XH-A1), and I tried to play it in a sony camcorder. Thereafter, the tape became unreadable on my Canon camera. When I fast forward the tapes, the time code appears and I can see remnants of the footage still on the tape (though there is pretty bad corruption in the bottom third of the sped-up image), but nothing shows up when I try to play the tape at normal speed. I've had friends speculate that the problem is cross pollination of tape lubricants (I use Panasonic tapes and my friend was using Sony's), and this seems likely. I can't believe that the actually recorded data would have been altered/affected by trying to play it in another camera. The tapes must be dirty, right?
I would much appreciate it if anyone on the forum can point towards a possible source for this problem (and a solution!, if there is one). I have a feeling that the footage is simply lost. I won't make that mistake again.