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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old September 8th, 2003, 10:38 PM   #1
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Bad tape or bad heads?

Hi everyone,

I've been having trouble lately with video noise. I shot one tape and about a fourth of it had lots of noise(i.e. lots of offset horizontal lines), and then yesterday i went out on a shoot, and used about half of a new tape, only to find that throughout the whole thing there was the same video noise, only it was even worse, almost constant. I ran a head cleaning cassette, and then shot some more and there was some improvement but still a little noise. I then tried shooting some with an older tape that still had several minutes left --> No noise at all!! I also played back some old footage and it was fine, so the playback heads are not the cause. This is making me think that it was just a bad tape yesterday, but is it possible that a bad tape would cause this? It seems like would be rare. It could be my recording heads, but i doubt it. I have run the cleaning cassette probably 4 times total(i know that's probably too much), and i have only gone through 12 tapes as i've only had the camera for a couple months. I've stuck to Sony Premiums from the beginning, which i know use wet lubricant unlike most other brands. My cleaning cassette is a panasonic dry type(is this bad?). Because of the problems i'm having, I am contemplating switching to a diff. brand like fuji, but everything i've read suggests that switching brands would be especially bad since I use sonys. I know that i should run my cleaning cassette first if i do switch brands, but does how long i've been using one brand of tapes make a difference in the potential damage? Like, is it okay since i've only used a dozen tapes, versus if i had shot 50 tapes? I am getting skeptical about sony, and doubting that my heads are the problem, so i wanna decide before i shoot anymore. What should I do?

Thanks for your input.

-Allen Danze-
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Old September 8th, 2003, 11:12 PM   #2
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Same problems with my XM2

I use a XM2 bought about 9 months. When i first bought it i uses a NEW sony tape, after about an hour of recording mosaic tiles an stripes occurs, I sent it for repair and was told that Canon works best with TDK or Panasoic, the service centre change the entire playback head and my camera works fine, and just yesterday, i had to convert my clients miniDV (sony) to VideoCD so i got it playback and transfer to my PC, and to my horror, this morning when i playback another tape, the mosaic and striping occurs again..

And from this I am dead sure that Canon XM2 is not compatible with Sony Tapes, not only that Sony tapes damages the tape head. So please stick to Panasonic or TDK tapes.

Now I have to pay someone else to convert the sony tapes into VCD.. sighhhhhhhhhhhh.
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Old September 8th, 2003, 11:55 PM   #3
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My 5 months old JVC DV301 was working fine, until I tried the Sony Premium tapes. Ever since then, I experience audio drop-outs during playback.

Despite numerous times cleaning, it still shows the same problem. I guess, I would have to send my cam to the service centre for a thorough check.

Sony's Premium tape is not suitable for many camcorders.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 01:51 AM   #4
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I've had nothing but good experience with Fuji miniDV tapes. I wonder how many times I have mentioned this now?

It's strange that some brands of tape seem to cause so much grief for folk.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 08:07 AM   #5
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But why is it not made known offically?

The frustrating is since it cause serious problem to the cameras why arent the manufacturers make any offical state or warnings to us. Its a waste of ours and their time when we sent our set to repair for reasons like this....
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Old September 9th, 2003, 09:37 AM   #6
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I have used maxell, canon, sony and panasonic tapes on my GL2 and have had no problems.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 05:52 PM   #7
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I have used Sony Premiums on my XL1 for almost 6 years. I have probably recorded hundreds of hours with them...some large programs requiring 30 hours of shooting. I've never cleaned the heads, nor had them cleaned and I have had no dropouts. I was told by a Canon tech early on, if I don't have any head problems, don't run a head cleaning tape which I've not done. I'm about to get a GL2...would like to continue with Sony Tapes with that camera so as not to cause different tape formula problems with our source deck (a Sony DSR40). Thoughts? Best, Craig Hollenback
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:06 PM   #8
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hmmm.. then wat could be the caused?

Now makes me wonder is there something wrong with certain shipment of the xm2/gl2 or the tapes...

yowsiang
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #9
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Strangely, i watched the footage on the "bad" tape of mine again today and the video noise had dissappeared. I am still quite suspicouse, mostly of the sony tapes, and wish that i had known when i got my gl2 that sonys weren't the best choice.

I want to switch to fuji, but i don't know if it's really necessary, or if it could damage my camera.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 01:44 PM   #10
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Iīve shot about 40 hours of Sony Premium (and a few Sony "pretty colors" tapes) on my XM-2.. and a lot of VCR-capture with the same tapes and camera and havenīt had a problem..
I also know people with the XL-1 that have been using the Sony Tapes for a few years with out any troubles either...
In my very undocumented and subjective opinion.. the tapes problems issue is a little overstated....

Not saying here that some of you havenīt had problems with the tapes... but I know a lot of videographers that donīt stick to a brand... and never had any trouble... (a lot of them think I exagerate when I say I wonīt put one of their "NON-SONY" in my cam...

Even worse, where I went to film school they have a dozen PD-150 and these are heavily used cameras.... they must be used at least 150 days a year... and every student that gets them puts a different tape on them (different brands... five times used, etc... )... and very few problems have showed up...

Just in case I stick to a brand (Sony)... but I think that many of the issues with tapes are more of bad luck, bad batch of tapes, or full moon... than anything else...

(This is probably the most non-scientific statement Iīve written so far)...
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Old September 10th, 2003, 02:19 PM   #11
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Do i stick with sony, or switch to another brand?
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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:15 AM   #12
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Tape for GL2/XM2

I have only used Sony tapes in my Canon XM2.
No problems so far.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 01:53 PM   #13
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According to my camera guy in Calgary, the difference between Sony and the rest of the mini DV tapes (Fuji, Pansonic, etc) is that Sony uses a wet lubricant (and the tape has a thicker film), while the others use a dry lubricant (hopefully I don't have this backwards). The Canon heads are suppossedly not compatible with the Sony tape because of this, however the real problem can occur when using both types of tape in your camera -apparently creating a sludge. I have used Fuji tapes exclusively for the last 1.5 years, averaging 5-6 hours per week recording and playback, and the GL2 asked me to clean the heads for the first time last week.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 03:26 PM   #14
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Would recording over video on a Panasonic tape on the GL2 cause damage or quality loss?
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Old September 27th, 2003, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Would recording over video on a Panasonic tape on the GL2 cause damage or quality loss?
It's not a good idea to re-use a tape for important footage.
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