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

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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:09 PM   #1
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Please Please Please Please Please

I am in a world of crap. I have spent the last 13 weeks shooting my first little feature on my gl1. im nearing the end of the battle and my camera has decided to fall apart.
recently i tried to play back some dailies in the camera and what i saw was a digital noise mess. lots of colorful blocks of nothing but a scrabled picture.
I thought maybe it was the tape, checked the others and saw the same issue.
I had a freakout.
Then, just for fun, I tried to play the tape in another camera. Presto, no problem. So i thought that the problem was solved, maybe just the play head was out of alignment and i could live with that.
so, i spend another 11 hour day shooting. I get home, check the dailies and get the same result in the gl1, no big suprise. I play it in the other camera.....STILL BLOCKY JUNK.
what the hell has happened to my camera?!
I've tried head cleaners and prayer and nothing has worked. THere are not many hours on this beast and i cant imagine why this would be happening to me right now.
If one of you guys has any idea of why this is happening to me, please help.
Maybe someone knows how much it would run to fix, how much time it would take. a link to a helpful cannon webpage..anything.
I'm hoping that there is someone out there that has or had a similar experience and that it is benign and all will be well.
I do not cherish the idea of waisting 13 weeks and swallowing the pill of miserable failure.
my stomach is in knots, my palms are sweating and my heart is breaking.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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Your post in a bit unclear. It seems the tapes WILL play on another camera? If so, then capture from that camera. (Borrow one if necessary). Import the clean image, and you're good to go.

However. I suspect that the tape heads were dirty, or mis-aligned. If so, then the artifacts you see on the tapes are permanent.

There is very little you can do if the tapes don't play clean on another machine.

If you ran a head cleaner through it, and still don't get clean tapes, then send the camera in for repair.

At this point, it's about salvaging what you can from your shoot. Are there parts that you shot, that can cut together as a short? Images you can use for a trailer? Something you can put on a demo reel?

"Why do we fall Master Bruce? So that we can learn to get up..."

(Sorry, you were quoting lines, so I felt free...)
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:20 PM   #3
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thanks, that sort of made me throw up a little bit, in my mouth....
do you know anything about sending in said camera?
where, how, and the like.
i am despeate here and will do whats necessary to fix the problem, i just need to know where to do it.
has anyone had heads realigned before?
is it costly?
god i hope not.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 11:21 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southwest Idaho, USA
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Hi Jason,

Give Canon Service a call. I'm in the West so my cameras go to California, but I think this is the number you need (it's in New Jersey): 1-732-521-7007.

They give you an RMA number, you ship the camera to them. They check it out and mail an estimate of the cost for repair. Every time I've sent my cameras in I think they've been back to me within 7 days. I've read of people back East having them back well inside a week! But naturally, it will vary.

Sorry, I can't tell you the cost of a realignment. I sent an XL1s in for realignment last year; they checked it out and thought it was okay, so I paid $252 for servicing and assembly replacements . I'm still having troubles with it, though not nearly as severe as what you described. It's just prone to having problems.

I happen to like the folks at Canon Service, btw. They've always treated me well.

Hope everything works out okay. Dang, your last post made me kind of sick! ;)
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Old August 24th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
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I had a similar problem a couple of years ago with my GL-1. It turned out to be a record tape head alignment problem which has been well documented in these forums. You are in good shape as long as your tapes will play on another camcorder and you can use the other camcorder to capture your video to your hard drive. It sounds like your playback not your record heads are misaligned.

In my case my tapes would not play back on another camcorder so I sent my GL-1 in for factory service and head alignment. It worked great after that but guess what.... All previously recorded tapes were useless as they were shot with out of alignment record heads. Thankfully I had captured most to my hard drive but the video recorded on the orignal tapes is lost forever.


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Old August 24th, 2005, 07:08 AM   #6
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STOP TRYING TO PLAY THE TAPES ON THE GL1! Seriously. I think it's a combination of dirty heads and misalignment. Capture them with a different camera, or better yet, a deck. I've had this problem and you can ruin the data on your tapes by playing them on the GL1 (when the heads are that dirty). You at least need a professional cleaning. I'd ask Canon to check if the heads aligned while you're at it.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:04 AM   #7
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I think some of us missed in the intial post that the on second occurrance the tape wouldn't play in the other cam either.

Jason, from what I've read it can be hit or miss with Canon service. Sometimes they can't reproduce a problem and drive the customer crazy. I infer from the accounts I've read that the service techs follow a standard protocol, probably a troubleshooting chart, and if they can't find the problem they will replace a plausible part to justify the $252 minimum service charge. I say this because I've too often seen people report that the problem recurred immediately or shortly after the "repair."

This is not a rant--I've never been burned myself, I just want to prepare you. What you have going for you is that your problem is not intermittent, and its causes are well understood. But forewarned is forearmed. Remember that they see a lot of camera traffic. I'd get on a first name basis and try to establish a friendly relationship with your phone contact. Win their sympathy as you have ours. People make the world go around. I've seen several posts where an owner's case has been championed through the process by such a rep. I've also seen success achieved by people who distinguish their case with a series of angry calls, but that takes longer and is unpleasant for everyone.

Best of luck, and let us know how you make out. I like happy endings.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence..." - Calvin Coolidge
"My brain is wired to want to know how other things are wired." - Me
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 01:11 AM   #8
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Location: San Francisco
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Terribly sorry to hear that you are having this problem, I also lost 6 hours of irreplaceable footage, (doc i was working on, shots inside the Senate, interviews etc) and have yet to be able to recover them. However i recently ran across this page online, (first paragraph)

I have yet to use the decks he recommends, maybe this will help.

Also the owner of the GL1 I rented from had mavericks surf footage recovered by someone/somehow, I was never able to get straight answer how, but i did see the recovered footage.

Good Luck
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Old September 8th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #9
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thanks for the adivice so far.
i just got my email form canon today, in which they estimated me a cost of 280$. it could have been much worse, but as long as there is no liquid damage i guess this is my price.
i will follow up one last time and hopefully with that happy ending we were talking about earlier.
thanks again guys
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