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


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Old November 28th, 2004, 11:07 AM   #1
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Wedding Footage Lost!

I did a local wedding yesterday only to discover the brand new Fxxx tape I used was defective. My GL2 has maybe 20 hours on it, the heads were cleaned about 10 hours ago. No message appeared - everything looked fine when recording. On playback there is no audio, 7/8 of the picture is garbage (you see good picture in the right 1/8 of the screen). Any other tape I put in this GL2 records and plays back fine.

My wife and I are devastated - what do we tell these people!

So here are my questions: Has this happened to any of you?, Do I need to test the first 30 seconds of every new tape before using it? Is it ok to switch tape brands at 20 hours, if so, what do you people swear by? Would Fxxx sell lower quality tapes to KMart than say it would to B&H?

Any help appreaciated!!!!
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Old November 28th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your disaster. I wish I knew some way that you could recover your footage. Here are a few thoughts about the questions you asked:

I always lay down about 45 seconds of color bars at the beginning of every blank tape I use, and then rewind, playback the first 30 seconds, and stop. This gives me 30 seconds of preroll on each tape and also allows me to check the condition of the tape. I've discovered one or two bad tapes this way.

I only use Panasonic 63-minute PQ tapes, purchased from a pro supplier. I've never heard of "Fxxx" tapes, and I would never purchase tapes from KMart for any use whatsoever. Any small savings is just not worth the risk.

This forum is full of messages from people who encountered problems after switching tape stock brands. If you used a new brand of tape stock to record this wedding, that might be the cause of your problem.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #3
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Deep breath . . now try playing on another DV device . .just a thought .. I've had, well dodgy captures play ok on a large DV deck instead of my XM2 . . only a thought . ..

Grazie
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Old November 28th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #4
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Jim - Fxxx is actually a name brand that starts with F (I'm trying to be somewhat candid).

Graham - Good idea - now all I have to do is find one!
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Old November 28th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #5
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No need to be circumspect here -- you're among friends. Fuji tapes are highly recommended by some users, avoided by others. The consensus of opinion in this forum seems to be that you shouldn't switch tape brands due to variations in lubrication formulas.

Grazie's idea is a good one -- hopefully it will work for you.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #6
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If you can get the stills and just make a side show it would help. Maybe you could take the couple to the park, get interviews from the people who where there and inter cut them with the side show.

Try to come up with something creative.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 04:38 AM   #7
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Did anyone else (a guest) video tape any of it? You might be able to build some good will by editing from their tapes.

Total tape failure is unusual, but does happen as a bad batch or tape can leave the factory (quality control at the factory is typically only sampling, not 100% test).

Is the full tape bad, or just a portion of it? If you haven't looks at all the date, do so. You might find some usable portions.

And trying the tape in several other machine is a good idea.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 05:00 AM   #8
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I would test the tape in other camera's and if possible DV decks
(higher tolerance) to see if any of them can see it better. Is the
signal also bad from analog out (ie to a TV from your camera? if
not you could do an analog capture).

As others said, brand switching is not a good idea (especially so
without cleaning). In the feature you might want to look at
direct-to-disk recorders to make sure such once-in-a-lifetime
experiences don't get lost (ALSO record to tape as a backup!).

There might have been a lot of other people taking pictures? If
so you might be able to use those as well for a possible slide
show (be especially creative with slide shows because they will
soon get boring otherwise!), perhaps even from a professional
photographer that was there?
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:35 AM   #9
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It's the entire tape - something that would have been caught had I tested it first. The stills and what have you would be great, but not having any audio is a real show stopper.

Direct-to-Disk is looking pretty good right now. Are the FS4's shipping yet? $1000 is a lot of money but who can afford to have something like this happen to their business?

If I sent this tape to Fuji, is there anything they might be willing to do in terms of getting the footage off of it?

Thanks for your replies..
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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:13 AM   #10
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Stills

I've not needed to try this yet, but others have reported that success getting stills from footage that was othewise not useable. So you might be able to get some of your own stills from bad footage. Did the church record a audio tape of the ceremony. You could use that as background music for the audio.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #11
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****Is it ok to switch tape brands at 20 hours****

I would have the heads professionally cleaned first. Alot of people seem to like panas MQ tapes, but I would still lay the color bars like jim recommends.


John
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:33 PM   #12
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Another idea to prevent this kind of thing happening again is to examine the footage as often as possible. I have a GL2 and whenever there is nothing to shot, I check the tape by using the search function to make sure images are recorded on the tape.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:57 PM   #13
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I just don't know what's the problem with those GL/XM's. It seems theay are so delicate on tapes and sometime very unreliable. Btw I also have XM2 and I experienced those problems once, maybe after only 30 hrs of usage. I love my XM, but I am also working with PD150 for years and NEVER had any problems with dozens of different tapes and no cleaning at all...beats me...
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