GL1s--Long Pauses Cause Problems 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 May 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM   #1
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GL1s--Long Pauses Cause Problems

Is anyone else having this problem? I have two GL1's and a GL2. The GL1's will have recording flaws if they are left on pauses for any extended time, e.g. for 2 or 3 minutes. For example, if the operator is doing shots of the guests being seated for a wedding, and has a habit of alowing long pauses between shots, eventually one of the shots will be mozaic at the begining, say for 10 seconds. Or there will be just blue screen and no time code for 30 seconds. If the operator purposefully avoids long pauses, all of the recording will be just fine. These GL1's did not do this when newer. Canon Tech support says the problems are caused by chemicals from the tape washing over the heads. Canon Tech support also said there was no reason to send the cameras in for repair or cleaning. In fact, one of the camera had just been cleaned when the problem occured again.

This does not happen to my GL2 which is much newer, although occasionally I will get "use a cleaning tape" message if I went overboard with long pauses between shots.

So, does anyone else encounter this problem? Is there a more permanent solution other than simply avoiding long pauses?
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Old June 1st, 2006, 06:58 PM   #2
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I have not seen the problem with my GL1, and yours is the first report I recall reading. Long pause (but more like 5 minutes) will usually put the machine in stand-by mode.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 08:28 PM   #3
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Just my GL1's

Thanks, Don. It appears no one else is having this problem. Like you say, these cameras do shut down after 5 minutes. But my camera operators have gotten in the habit of avoid pauses that long. I've shown them the scary results after a wedding, and so they understand to avoid the long pauses.

Since the avoidance technique seems to work, I won;t send the GL1's in for repair right now. Next time I send them in for cleaning, I am going include details on this behavior, and hopefully the problems will be solved.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 05:37 AM   #4
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Hmmm. I wonder if the long pauses were causing tape wear problems on the suspect machines, the wear resulting in transient head clog problem or a tape path drift that effected recording? As the tape started to move, normal tensions were restored and it looked normal again?
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 07:42 AM   #5
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Canon Service

Don,
You are probably correct. I think Canon sometimes cleans and aligns a camera, replaces a few parts, tests it briefly, sees no problem, and assumes that fixes the problem described by the customer. Then under real shooting situations the problem continues to happen. I do understand the constraints under which Canon does the service; It is not possible for them to simulate real life shooting in a test environment. Next time I intend to be politely insistent that this is a real problem that previous repair sesions have not solved. Of course, one way to facilitate this process is not to insist on a speedy repair of the camera. Give them time to thoroughly check out and test.

I do want to emphasize that I believe Canon service is very good. They will replace parts that need replacing rather than replace an entire system. For example, I have a mini-dv/SVHS VCR at a JVC service center right now. The last time I reported similar problems on an identical unit, all JVC would do is replace the entire mini-dv side of the VCR, for $700! Four years later this model of VCR is no longer worth enough to justify paying that much for repairs.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 07:46 AM   #6
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Canon Service

Don,
You are probably correct. I think Canon sometimes cleans and aligns a camera, replaces a few parts, tests it briefly, sees no problem, and assumes that fixes the problem described by the customer. Then under real shooting situations the problem continues to happen. I do understand the constraints under which Canon does the service; It is not possible for them to simulate real life shooting in a test environment. Next time I intend to be politely insistent that this is a real problem that previous repair sesions have not solved. Of course, one way to facilitate this process is not to insist on a speedy repair of the camera. Give them time to thoroughly check out and test. I liked your description of the problem and will use it in correspondence with the Canon service center, i.e. "transient head clog......" Thanks!

I do want to emphasize that I believe Canon service is very good. They will replace parts that need replacing rather than replace an entire system. For example, I have a mini-dv/SVHS VCR at a JVC service center right now. The last time I reported similar problems on an identical unit, all JVC would do is replace the entire mini-dv side of the VCR, for $700! Four years later this model of VCR is no longer worth enough to justify paying that much for repairs.
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