Recently returned from a shoot with my til now trusty XH-A1 to discover a 2 second glitch on the tape upon capture into FCP.
Of course, this was over a critical part of a soundbite that the client wants to use, necessitating a grovelling apology from me.
The camera is well maintained and cleaned regularly and this is the first time I've ever seen a corrupted timecode on it. Unfortunately, the camera itself is my only deck so I'm unable to tell if the tape would play back properly on another machine.
So here's the thing. Is this an early indication that the camera is on it's way out? (it's coming up to 2 years old and shot maybe 100 hours of footage all told)
Or was this just an unfortunate aberration on the tape that's unlikely to be repeated.
Is it worth getting the camera serviced or should it be put out to pasture. I'd be reluctant to trust it now on another shoot...
Well I certainly wouldn't put such a low-use camera "out to pasture" just from one little glitch. That camera has such low hours it could practically be considered brand new. It could be a number of things... an actual problem with the camera, a temporarily dirty spot on the heads, a bad tape, etc. etc. etc.
I'd clean the heads, run an hour or so worth of tests (with a couple of different tapes), and see if the problem crops up again.
If it does, send it to Canon for service.
If it doesn't, just go ahead and use the camera. That's not to say it may never happen again... it surely might. But life's unpredictable and so is delicate electronic equipment. There's no guarantee that even a brand new camera wouldn't have the occasional problem. You were just unlucky enough that that particular glitch came at a very inopportune moment. We can try to hedge our bets against such things happening... but sometimes they do.
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You can also try recapturing just the problematic part of the tape again. Although the glitch is usually permanently on the tape, sometimes I'll try and recapture starting about five seconds before the problem area and FCP will capture just fine. The just piece it together. Maybe before you try this, you could play the tape a couple of times in camera and verify the glitch is happening at the same place.