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


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Old September 26th, 2002, 10:25 PM   #1
Tom_Harms
 
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Anyone else having "dirty heads" problem?

I've barely used my new GL2 and starting getting image problems along with a message telling me to clean the tape heads. I did notice that the GL2 runs hotter than the GL1 and suspect that it's "melting" the tape or causing residue problems. Had the same problem with my Sony TRV900.
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Old September 26th, 2002, 10:28 PM   #2
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I did get a message to clean the heads a few weeks back...kindof early I thought...I've probably run 15-20 hours of tape through it....anyway, I cleaned them, and haven't seen the warning again. No image problems.


Barry
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Old September 27th, 2002, 09:50 AM   #3
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The GL2 Manual suggests...

...that cleaning will be required after 20 Hours of use.

Page 141 says. "For the best picture possible, after using the camcorder for approximately 20 hours, clean the video heads..."

Page 36 just goes balls out and recomends that you clean the heads "before making any important recordings."

I ordered my GL2 a couple days ago from ZGC (they rock) and have had nothing to do while waiting but read the downloadad manual. :)

A related question... Chris at ZGC told me that it is a bad idea to switch the brand or grade of tape you use in the camera. She explained that different brands have different coatings (wax?) and that if you switch around it will gum up the heads more quickly. Is this a fact or a fiction?

I ordered a few of the Canon tapes... if I can not switch brands, will I be dissapointed in the quality compared to Fuji or Sony?

Thanks.

lyd
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Old September 27th, 2002, 11:00 AM   #4
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Lyd

The accepted wisdom is to stick with one brand of tape...it may or may not be hogwash, but it's probably a good idea. I don't believe canon makes the tapes they sell I'm not sure who makes them), but they can be hard to find in a pinch...I would recommend sticking with sony or panasonic, as they seem to be the most widely available. I use sony, and have never had an incident. If you want any more opinions...there are probably dozens of previous threads on this site dealing with this issue...use search tool to find them.

Barry
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Old September 27th, 2002, 11:07 AM   #5
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You won't notice any difference in quality between these tapes, but be advised that Canon does not make tape. All Canon DV cassettes are actually manufactured by Panasonic. Switching between this brand and Sony may cause problems. It's advisable to run a head-cleaning cassette between these brands. Hope this helps,
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Old September 27th, 2002, 11:14 PM   #6
Tom_Harms
 
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Latest advice I received

Zotzdigital.com mentioned to me that several professional videographers who use the GL2 swear by the Panasonic PQ (professional grade) tape as it is lubricant-free. They've never received a complaint about this tape, so it's now the only one they sell. I was expecting that the price would be high, but it was only $4.75 for a 63 min. tape.
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Old September 27th, 2002, 11:50 PM   #7
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Brian from Zotz has given you solid advice, Tom!
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Old September 28th, 2002, 03:34 AM   #8
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Well I just bought the GL2 Tuesday a few days ago, and ran my first tests in it and the playback was all blocky. I did not get a clean the head warning. But the problem just won't go away. I used brand new Sony high quality DV tape. Since I bought it from a good dealer like Promax, I will just exchange it for a new one. No way in hell I'm sending in a camera so brand spanking new to be repaired after only a few minutes of use. This is the first DV camera out of 11 mini DV cams I have owned since 1996 that have had a single problem. Never ever had to clean a video head either on those. So I was Shocked when this GL2 did this. I plan on writing a review on the GL2 for the Watchdog soon. So I will let you know how things work out.

Michael Pappas
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Old September 28th, 2002, 07:28 AM   #9
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The Panasonic Pro tape is said to be dry lube, others (including Pana consumer) are wet lube.

The main lub problems were several years ago between Sony and everyone else. The internet was The Sony lub was not compatible with the industry standard, so Sony switched without fanfare.

SInce then, the issue appears to be switching after a steady diet of one brand. The sightly different mechanical properties of different tape causes different wear and deposit patters. Changing tape can cause deposts to move, shift, or break free leading to a possible clog within the first few minutes of use.
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Old September 28th, 2002, 02:44 PM   #10
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What is one to do! Your saying the Panasonic tape like linear plus is the wet formula. If this is the case then Pana and the Sony tape are the same? If so, then I assume that it doesn't matter which one you use from the Consumer line, is this right?

Michael Pappas
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