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


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Old November 7th, 2003, 11:26 AM   #1
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Puzzle effect

Two weeks ago I borrowed a GL1 camera.

What I had ahead was whole day shooting some static interviews and a musical group playing.

As I had a deep worry about the tape being too fragile, I just shot all my stuff and checked nothing.

Time was short so we only stopped for lunch and drove back the 200km back to my town before night caught us in mountain roads.

When I got back home and checked the images, I could see that except for the first 13 minutes, all the rest in the one and a half tapes could not be watched in the GL1. Horizontal square blocks made the image desintegrate, in spite of the sound running fine.

It was Sunday, so I couldn't go anywhere to check the tapes. A friend told me to clean the heads and check again. Same thing.

As you can imagine I was desperate: a whole day lost.

Next morning I rushed to where I could check the images on a different camera: a Sony PD150. This time the tapes played reasonably well.

In fact they seem to play well in Sony players afterwards, like DSR11, but not in Panasonic ones, like DV2500. Probably because of correction.

Questions:

1) Is DV tape more fragile than I thought?

2) Is alright to run head-cleaning tape and how often?

3) Is this a common problem in DV, more on Canon camcorders or just on GL1? Or I just had bad luck?

This event made me have a bad impression on Canon cameras, but I may be rushing. How many of you experienced it on this and on other brands?


Carlos
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Old November 7th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #2
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1) Is DV tape more fragile than I thought?

DV tape is fragile, but reasonable handling should be no problem.

2) Is alright to run head-cleaning tape and how often?

The problem here is that you have no idea how the camera was treated. It might have well need a pass for the head cleaner for quite some time. It is also possible that if you changed tape brands that too may have caused your problems. Advice -- always check the gear when you borrow it.

3) Is this a common problem in DV, more on Canon camcorders or just on GL1? Or I just had bad luck?

Yes, this is not an uncommon problem...a little bad luck...and little not checking borrowed gear.
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Old November 8th, 2003, 04:22 AM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Nathan Gifford :

1) Is DV tape more fragile than I thought?


DV tape is fragile, but reasonable handling should be no problem.

2) Is alright to run head-cleaning tape and how often?

The problem here is that you have no idea how the camera was treated. It might have well need a pass for the head cleaner for quite some time. It is also possible that if you changed tape brands that too may have caused your problems. Advice -- always check the gear when you borrow it.

3) Is this a common problem in DV, more on Canon camcorders or just on GL1? Or I just had bad luck?

Yes, this is not an uncommon problem...a little bad luck...and little not checking borrowed gear.

-->>>



Nathan,

Thanks for your comments.

Having come from professional TV medias like Betacam and others, and always renting from rental houses, this time I considered the source where I was borrowing the GL1 as reliable as a rental house. Big mistake.

In any case, it's interesting to mention that the problem only started after 12 minutes. The tapes are Sony Premium types (DVM60PRL) which should be fine too, aren't they?

After this experience, I plan to check the tape after every sequence or every 10 minutes or so. I wonder what other artifacts to look for as tell-tale information that something is not as it should with DV tape or camera.

Changing tape brands, as long as you keep within renowned types, should not be a problem either. In fact, the medium being digital, little should change with different tapes. Perhaps drop count might change, but it should do so within expected parameters. If a brand changes causes problems as mine, then DV is an unreliable medium.

If I raised this question within a Canon forum was to try to find out if this happened to other GL owners.


Carlos
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Old November 8th, 2003, 09:42 AM   #4
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I had this happen on a wedding. The funny thing was I had 2 gl1's and they both encountered the pixelation problem on the same day. It was really wierd. Anyway the tapes were salvagable when played back on a couple of different cameras. Sent the cams in and they got fixed. It could be the tape residue. Anyway try playing back the tapes on other camcorders and you have a good chance of salvaging them.
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Old November 8th, 2003, 03:03 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Easler : I had this happen on a wedding. The funny thing was I had 2 gl1's and they both encountered the pixelation problem on the same day. It was really wierd. Anyway the tapes were salvagable when played back on a couple of different cameras. Sent the cams in and they got fixed. It could be the tape residue. Anyway try playing back the tapes on other camcorders and you have a good chance of salvaging them. -->>>

That's what I did. But only Sony equipment could re-construct the image with no visible effects. That is I tried it with a PD150, two DSR11 and a DSR40, and it played fine. None such luck on a Panasonic supposedly pro player: AG-DV2500. It played badly as on the Canon.

Now where can be the problem then? On the tapes?

What brand and types were the ones you used on that wedding?


Carlos
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