FORUMS: list search recent posts

XL-H1 serious playback problems

COW Forums : Canon Cameras

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
bohus blahut
XL-H1 serious playback problems
on Apr 25, 2012 at 5:38:38 am

Hi there. After lurking for many years, I'm finally posting. Wish it were under happier circumstances.

Had a huge client shoot a couple of days ago, and I shot with my trusty XL-H1. I haven't gone tapeless quite yet! I hadn't used the camera in a while, but I cleaned and tested before my shoot.

I shot four hours of footage using HD F2 mode. When I got back to the studio, the playback was looking jerky in my capture sofware. that's pretty normal, but it's stuttering in the camera's viewfinder too. The audio cuts in and out as well. When I digitize via firewire, those audio cutouts trigger the creation of a new clip, and even when I string them together I get missing audio.

I tried to play back using my HV-20, and ran into the same problem. All four tapes are exhibiting this issue which is peculiar. They're all Sony tapes (which I've used in this camera for years), and unlikely they all came from the same manufacturing batch.

I should also point out that I packed each of these tapes while on location, so each should have been smoothly wrapped. I've used this camera with much success for years (though it doesn't have all that many hours on it). Is there an internal setting I've missed? I'm going to really be in the soup if I've lost that day's worth of shooting. Any ideas? Please!

Thanks so much!


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on Apr 25, 2012 at 2:21:46 pm

Well here's the bad news and the maybe-not-too-bad news...

I've been an XLH1 user since the cameras first came out, and we recently experienced a similar problem.

Based on my experience (and the solution we finally had to come up with), the bad news is that I'm betting that your tapes were recorded that way... and that's the way the footage now is and there's not too much you can do about it.

The poor playback in the viewfinder obviously lets you know it's not a capturing or edit system problem, and the fact that it won't play in your HV20 is a strong sign that there was just a recording problem during the original shoot.

I won't say this with absolute 100% authority, but I think it's very likely that your footage is what it is, and can't be recovered any better than it already is.

We drove our H1 two hours to the camera tech guy that we use for repairs. He worked on it (and cleaned it within an inch of its life) for a couple of hours and ran all the diagnostics on it and couldn't exactly figure out the problem. He could clearly see on his scopes that it wasn't recording a good signal, but couldn't pinpoint exactly why. He thought maybe the heads had gone bad, maybe it was an alignment or transport issue, he just wasn't sure.

On his recommendation we overnighted the body to a more specialized camera repair place in California who said the easiest/fastest/cheapest way to do it would be to put a new "kit" in it... which is basically all the mechanical and transport parts. So we got new heads, rollers, transport mechanisms, and all that jazz. It works great now... and part of the good news is that mechanically (although not electronically) we basically have a brand-new camera now. The also-not-terrible news is that it wasn't back-breakingly expensive... only about a $600 repair (and they did it in one day and overnighted it back to me). Not too bad for what was originally an almost-$10K camera.

Wish I had better news about the existing footage, though. I could be wrong (and hope I am), but I don't think so....

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

bohus blahut
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on Apr 25, 2012 at 8:55:18 pm

Thanks for the zippy response - that's what I was afraid of... that the footage is pooched (to use a nice word :) ). I had a feeling that if it was playing back poorly on both of my cameras, it must mean that the tape was recorded with the glitches baked in.

I'm glad to hear that it's $600 to fix, but seems like my best bet is to put that money into adding some sort of solid state or hard drive recording to this camera... or maybe it's time for a new camera...

Again, thanks for the help.

--
--
Bohus Blahut
(BOH-hoosh BLAH-hoot)

modern filmmaker


Return to posts index


William Busby
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on May 9, 2012 at 7:57:19 am

Hey Todd, Would you be so kind and tell me the Calif you mentioned? I have an XHA1 that needs servicing. Thanks in advance :)


Return to posts index

William Busby
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on May 9, 2012 at 10:03:51 am

geesh... damn typos (or missing word in this case :) the 'repair' place in Calif.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on May 9, 2012 at 9:10:07 pm

Sure, William...

Sorry for delay, I was directing on location all day (loooong day) and am just now back in studio. I didn't remember the name or I would have sent it earlier.

It's Video One Repair, at videoonerepair.com

Did great and fast work for us.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


bohus blahut
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on May 9, 2012 at 9:46:11 pm

My shoot was last Friday, and I thought I'd share how I got around my camera's dead tape drive. Long story short, I'm reluctant to spend the money on fixing up the XL-H1 right now, I'd opt for an external recording solution to at least get the convenience of file-based recording, and maybe even better than HDV quality.

The two Firestore solutions out there (hard drive and solid state) cost about the same as the tape drive repair, and don't offer an image quality boost. The convenience of file-based recording might be worth it, but there's also the possible risk of the firewire connection having problems during run and gun shooting. I'm also quite disappointed that (if I read this correctly) you have to buy the more expensive FireStore if you want to be able to playback from the unit itself for spot checking.

There are lots of SDI recording solutions out there, each with compelling features. My problem is that I have an early XL-H1 which, for some reason that defies me, the SDI does not carry audio. So that means shooting double-system, or finding an SDI recorder with analog inputs.

So I'll keep exploring that, but in the short term found a great solve. Using a Canon HV-20's firewire input, I simply rolled tape on the little camera manually. I secured the camera to the tripod with a friction arm. That was my backup. My primary recorder for the session was a TriCaster XD-HD300. A bit overkill for this sort of thing, but great to be able to spot check takes, have full meters to check the signal, etc. The client was also pretty impressed. ;)

Here's a photo of the setup in action in case this can be of use to anyone here...



Thanks for all the help, and the good words. Depending on what job I get next, I may just run out and get a new camera (which is a whole other adventure) and I'll use the XL-H1 primarily as a studio cam. My shoulder is already celebrating.

--
--
Bohus Blahut
(BOH-hoosh BLAH-hoot)

modern filmmaker


Return to posts index

William Busby
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on May 9, 2012 at 11:35:15 pm

Thanks a lot Todd... and Bohus for the suggestion.


Return to posts index

Geoffrey Ciani
Re: XL-H1 serious playback problems
on Sep 16, 2014 at 6:09:56 am

"Sure, William...

Sorry for delay, I was directing on location all day (loooong day) and am just now back in studio. I didn't remember the name or I would have sent it earlier.

It's Video One Repair, at videoonerepair.com

Did great and fast work for us."


----


This was very helpful for me Todd. I called this place today as my XLH1 was having the same problem described here.

I was initially going to have it fixed with overnight shipping to and from, but am now planning to get a new more modern camera, and wait a bit before fixing the XLH1. But they quoted the exact price you mentioned as a high-end ceiling for the problem described, which surprised me given this thread was from several years back.

But I appreciate it, as it was extremely helpful for me all around.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]