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Old January 29th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #1
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Canon Camera Problem - Canon no help

I bought an inexpensive Canon ZR25-MC to be used as a deck to capture mini DV tapes. I get random pixalation events which are always 1 frame in duration, always the same pixals and always the same color. This happens across multiple computers and multiple firewires. None of my other cameras have this problem. The camera has been sent back to Canon for the 4th time since August of 2004. The best the Canon people can come up with is I cannot cross tapes, ie record in one camera and capture via the Canon camera. Has anyone out there ever heard of such a thing? Frankley, I don't believe it. Tapes which are recorded via the Canon and captured via the Canon have the same issues. Anyone have any suggestions other than trash the camera?
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Old January 29th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #2
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i do not know is this similar or not, but...

i recently had two panasonic dvx100 cameras on my set. both worked parallely.
i used one to feed the laptop every night after the shooting, and noticed some strange artefacts from left side of the frame (static large pixels on the screen).first - i used head cleaning tape.
then i replaced the camera with another one - picture was ok. everything was clean. i then used the TAPE recorded in that camera (which has those artifacs) - nothing, clear. returning to first situation, again i produced the same "effect", so my test was:

first camera records on tape A - no artifacts
second camera records on tape B - no artifacts

1st cam. plays tape A - no artifacts
2nd cam. plays tape B - no artifacts

1st cam. plays tape B - no artifacts
2nd cam. plays tape A - artifacts present

conclusion: it must be something wrong beetween way how camera plays the tape (extremly small differerence in position of the head?) which is not RECORDED in the very same camera.

solution:????

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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #3
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Rick: welcome aboard DVInfo.net! I've moved your thread to a
Canon forum since it has nothing to do with editing.

If you bought the camera new they need to take it back if it doesn't
work. What they said is true, some camera's (notably the Canon
ones) cannot (correctly) read recordings from other camera's. That's
why we have DV Decks.

However, this should not happen on tapes you recorded on that
camera, of course!
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #4
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Hi Rick,

If it's a ZR 25MC, it will be too old to return to your dealer, of course. My advice is to get rid of it. Put it on Ebay and hopefully you'll get maybe $150 for it. Main thing is, you need to get this thing out of your life. If it's been back to service four times, that's enough. Cut your losses, part ways and be done with it.

I am one of those people who do not think it's necessary to use a separate deck or second camcorder to do video capture. Today's camcorders are made to be VCR's as well. Whatever your primary camcorder is, turn it on in VCR mode and use it for capturing. You're not going to hurt it.

(Unless you're capturing eight hours per day, five days a week, then that might be an issue. But that would imply that you're doing it for business purposes, which means that you can afford to replace the camcorder every other year or so, or it means that you shouldn't be using tape at all -- consider recording to an edit-ready portable FireWire hard drive, which negates the neccessity for DV tape in the first place and also eliminates the video capture process).

Hope this helps,
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Old January 30th, 2005, 01:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have considered dumping the camera but I was trying to hang in there on principle. No where dose the Canon documentation state you can not cross tapes. If this were the case, all valuable life events shot on this camera are only playable on this camera. What kind of logic is that?

The firewire hard drive is a nice idea but the weddings I recieve for edit are taped using mini dv. I bought the camera to be used as an inexpensive deck. I guess you get what you pay for.

I have not been satisfied with Canon's explanantions and lack of help. I was told I may get the same results if the tape was shot on an XL1 and captured on a different XL1. If that's true, I'll never buy a high end Canon camera. I'll look at Sony or Panasonic.

As a side note to the story. I had to get something to capture with so I bought a low end Panasonic (DV-53D). The thing is made of plastic and feels like it came out of a cracker jack box. It Works Great! Way to go Panasonic.

PS. Rob, thanks for moving my post to the proper forum.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:17 AM   #6
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This thing is definitely not limited to Canon, mind you! The problem
is tape. After using a camera for a while heads might get slightly
mis-aligned etc. etc. which can cause these effects. That has more
to do with very fragile/delicate tape system then anything else.

Especially a cheap camera has to cut corners somewhere, and I
wouldn't be surprised if the tape system was one of the major
components that will take the heat of this.

The reason DV decks exist is to work more reliable with tape,
they also have the room to build better and stronger tape systems
(since most (cheap) camera's are small, there is only so much
room for the mechanism and its electronics). So if this is very
important to you and you need to capture/work with a lot of
tapes who others shot I would definitely invest into a tape deck
personally.

Since you are doing this as a business the cost of such a DV deck
should be no problem and should be payed off fast.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:40 PM   #7
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Rob,

I've considered a tape deck. Of course a camera is much cheaper. I think a consumer brand stand alone deck (JVC) runs about $800. The commercial units are several hundred more plus. Do you think the consumer model would be worth the the money or would you suggest upgrading to the higher units?

Back to the Canon camera and the sensitivity of the heads. I have never had a good capture with this camera. Even immediately after repairs from the service center. I can have as few as 2 pixalations in a 1 hour capture to as many as 20. Would you consider this normal? Why don't my other cameras or the cameras the other editers, with whom I work, have this problem?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:51 PM   #8
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Rick

It is important to understand that the Canon ZR 25MC (or any ZR model for that matter) is at the *bottom* of the camcorder food chain. It has only one single appealing feature: a cheap pricetag. Nothing else about it is desireable from anything other than a strictly consumer standpoint. It was made almost exclusively to be bought by budget-minded families wanting an inexpensive DV camcorder to take to Disneyland.

For what you're doing, I strongly recommend a professional DV deck, such as a Panasonic DV2000, or a Sony DSR20, or something along those lines. If you're doing this for a business, then the cost should not be an issue and it should pay for itself within 60 or 90 days at the most.

I'm sorry that you were burned by a cheap piece of entry-level consumer electronics, but again I'd like to urge you to rid yourself of it and its associated worries and put the matter behind you. Sounds like you're a professional; if you step up to professional DV gear then chances are you'll be much more satisfied and productive.

All the best,
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 10:54 AM   #9
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When I first got my Canon Optura Xi, I also bought some expensive “Premium” Sony DV tapes to go with it. I was really surprised and disappointed to discover that I was having the same random dropout problem: blocky pixels appearing sporadically, and pops in the sound. This was totally unacceptable, and I was really worried that I had bought a defective camera over the Internet.

For the heck of it I ordered a box of new, consumer grade Panasonic tapes off of EBay for next to nothing. Surprise! Absolutely no more dropouts. I haven’t had a problem yet, and I have even re-used the tapes several times (OK, I’m cheap….) Try switching brands of tape.
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