Wow, my GL2 folded. at DVinfo.net

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


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Old July 19th, 2004, 08:58 AM   #1
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Wow, my GL2 folded.

Well, Sorta. I have to swallow my pride on this one and explain my little story. Rather humiliating to say the least, but I'm beside myself. You might find this long and boring, but I want to slap myself.

This was at a wedding. I used one tape to get pre-ceremony shots of the bride and groom and their bridesmaids and groomsmen. I guess I used about 25 minutes worth before I switched tapes to use for the actual ceremony. When the ceremony was finished, I went back to the other tape with the pre-ceremony shots and started preparing for the reception. I got some shots of the reception hall and what not, and while outside, I got the message that I had dirty heads and that I needed to use a cleaner (or whatever the message was). I thought, well, ok, I'll do that as soon as I get a chance. It looked like it kept recording just fine, so I kept going.

Huge, huge mistake.

Everything from that point on was corrupted, about half the tape. Nothing but trash was viewable on the tape. Unfortunately it was on this tape that I had all the important reception stuff (announcement of couples arrival, dances, toasts, etc...) - all gone. I can't believe it, but it's done now. I didn't realize this until I was already home and capturing. As soon as I figured out what had happen, I was beside myself.

Now I don't know if I have really, really dirty heads, or maybe the tape was messed up, or what. My cam looked like it continued to record ok. I shoulda switched tapes, used a 2nd cam, hell, even pop out the tape and put it back in...but shoulda woulda coulda.

I'm going to definitely be buying a head cleaner this week. I've had the GL2 since Nov. '03, so I'm fairly surprised this happened. I figured I would just have a few drop outs, not complete, utter corruption on the tape. Tapes I used after the messed up tape were flawless, which surprises me. There was one glitch on the ceremony tape I swicted to before the reception tape, so that could mean dirty heads. But if I had dirty heads, wouldn't all tapes be screwed up until they were cleaned?

Sorry to be so long, and thanks for reading. I'm just pissed at myself, though I don't know what I could have done to avoid this, except clean the heads persistantly. I've never cleaned the heads, as I never had a reason to. Guess I do now...
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Old July 19th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #2
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i don't know if it really matters but what tapes did you use?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #3
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TDKs, a pack of 10. I suppose it could have been a bad tape. The first part of the tape worked fine, though. Maybe something crazy in the cosmos happened yesterday as my DJ friend had all sorts of problems with his gear around the same time...
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Old July 19th, 2004, 12:26 PM   #4
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The point is not what kind -or brand- of tapes. It is that you should never switch from one to another because they have a different lubricant and, mixed together, they make a mess. I've learned it on this forum, so it should be easy to find some more professional posts (and better written..).
Good luck next time
pietro
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Old July 19th, 2004, 01:38 PM   #5
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oops! You didn't say that you switched fom a brand to another...
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #6
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Pre-record blank signal?

Just wondering - would it have helped to record a blank signal on all of the tapes before recording actual video on them?
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Old July 19th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #7
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Not sure about a blank signal. Actually I find it rather ridiculous having to do this if we need reliability in recording. Popping in a tape and hitting record should just work. I admit I have used different brands of media which might have been the culprit to my problems and I take responsibility for that. I haven't used too many different types, but I guess using more than one is a big no-no. I think that can be a pain in the butt, albeit small, but still a pain.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:31 PM   #8
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in my experience, i have found TDK tapes to be the worst tapes. period. i used them with an older Sony camera, but never in my GL-2. i would NEVER trust them in my GL-2.

not only is switching tape types bad (as Pietro has pointed out) but there are also some worse than others. some tapes use a very dry lubricant while some will use a very wet lubricant. the cheap TDK tapes use a very dry lubricant. if you are used to using tapes such as Sony Premiums, this is one of the worst switches that can be made.

also, from other sources, such as Phil Pang's site (philpang.com), there are known problems with TDK tapes, not just my imagination. in fact, Phil Pang's site specifically states a problem with TDK tapes causing problems in 40 minutes from switching.

i know tapes are expensive, but i'm telling you, for both the quality of your work and the condition of your GL-2, clean your heads, switch to a better brand of tape, and stay there.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #9
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Can you guys share which brands would be recommended? I am using Panasonic and JVC.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 07:21 PM   #10
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When it comes to wedding work, you can't cut corners. I always use Sony Excellence tapes. But, I've also seen the dreaded "Heads Dirty Use Cleaner" message twice in 2 years.

Both times, I took the tape out and put it back in and the camera recorded okay. A Canon techie told me once that it just takes a tiny bit of contamination to trigger that message. As preventative maintenance, I send both camers back to Canon every year for a checkup. I also use a tape cleaner about every 20 hours of use.
Bob
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Old July 19th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #11
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ah, but Bob, twice in 2 years is still much much better than what most people see using other tapes. i've seen it happen with people as often as every few HOURS or so, sometimes less.

Alex - i too recommend Sony Excellence tapes. i also have a DVX-100A in addition to my GL-2, and for that i only use Panasonic Master series. keep in mind that you may use Panasonic brand tapes, but they still make many types. For example, their standard Panasonic DVC tapes still use a different lubricant than other tapes of their own brand. they make both low-end tapes, and high-end tapes. (And as expected, the Master tapes run cleaner and have less drop-outs.) so the brand alone means nothing.

personal preference, i recommend, for any camera, either the Panasonic Master series, Sony Excellence, or Sony Premium (if you can't afford Excellence). again, watch out, because Sony also makes low-end tapes that are not of the same caliber as their higher-end tapes.

Bob - are you using Excellence or Excellence IC? do the drop-out reducing IC's even add anything to the tapes or is it just a gimmick?
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #12
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I guess I need to start being a little more consistent using the same tapes. I'm sure that will help. Just bums me out we have to do that in order for our gear to be reliable.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #13
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Hi Daniel,

I use the Excellence DVM60EXL tapes. Very few drop-outs and if I find one, it's never more than a frame.

Bob
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 12:55 AM   #14
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I just recently had my first disaster with my GL2 at a wedding. I decided to try the JVC PRO dv tapes "for mastering quality". I had used standard JVC tapes before as well as sony and maxell, and have never had any problems. Well, when i'm capturing into my pc, the first three tapes of the ceremony and such are fine, but the fourth tape of the reception dance footage was trash. All i got was the first frame frozen on the screen with some slight motion of unidentiable clips on the one side with no audio. I was so surprised, as I hadn't had any tape warnings come up about dirty heads or anything. I know I probably shouldn't have switched tape brands, but I thought I was doing better by going to better tapes.

One other thing....I have a 4 yr service plan on my GL2 from Best Buy and I can get it cleaned as often as I want with the plan. I was thinking it would be a good idea to get it cleaned a couple times a year. Is it possible to clean the heads too much. I know that the cleaning tapes can be abrasive on the heads so it probably wouldn't be wise to use them to often, but what about a pro cleaning? I don't understand why the manufacturers always recommend to use their cleaning cassettes. My friends and relatives who do electronics repairs have always looked down on the cleaning tapes for vcrs.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 08:48 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Gross : "All i got was the first frame frozen on the screen with some slight motion of unidentiable clips on the one side with no audio."

That is exactly what I had on my tape as well.
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