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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old September 14th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Tape transport reliability

Hi everybody,
I’m being an amateur film-maker since ten years and I’m planning to make the big step to the High Definition; I found that, according to the specs, the new Canon HV10 is exactly the camcorder I’m dreaming about, except a very important point.
I love especially its very small shape, the OIS (extremely helpful in HD since I plan to use it mainly handheld) and the presumably excellent picture quality, but I’m very reluctant to buy another tape-based camera; this is due not only to the risk of dropouts, but to the very bad nightmare experience I had with an older Canon miniDV camcorder (MV20): a lot of valuable (to me) footage was destroyed by dreadful blocky disturbances and I also experienced the “Eject cassette” problem already reported by other Canon users. Although I took the camcorder several times to the proper assistance center, I could get it to work just for a few months after each repair and had finally to change it with another camcorder…
So I would like to ask the experts if they believe that this new Canon could be prone to the same kind of problems or any technical improvements could have solved these issues (I know that Canon has always denied the existence of this problem, but I would be more comfortable if they would admit it and show to the potential customers that in new models the problem is definitely over – if it is -).
If I don’t feel the tape mechanism reliability is good enough, I shall sadly have to decide to either get the new Sony SR1 (but it’s a little bulky and has no OIS…) or wait for any new model recording to HDD or flash memory, which may be coming from Panasonic or JVC or even Canon.
I apologize for my English (I’m not a native speaker) and would appreciate any opinion or advice.
Marco Durando
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Old September 14th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #2
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For what it's worth, I've never had tape transport problems with my 3 Optura 100MC cams ( same size and form factor as the HV10 ) or my 3 Eluras ( also same size and form factor as the HV10 ). I think you must have gotten a " lemon " of a cam before.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 05:09 PM   #3
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I had a problem once w/ my Optura Pi tape mech, and some tapes, but that was after lots of shooting in a very humid/drizzly environment , and after changing brands of tapes... I too got glitches all over my Hawaii vacation footage and was very upset, but I think it simply couldn't handle the humidity and tape brand change together. (Back to TDK for me.) I don't entirely blame the camera, but the conditions.
I've had no problems since.

On a related note, re tape stock for HDV:

for HDV cameras like HV10, does it really matter the type of DV tape?
I have been using TDK DVM60 (ME) for a long time in my Optura with good results...

Canon recommends using special "HDV" formulated tape, but I think that's just selling you premium blend, not required, right? Or does something about the MPG2 signal vs DV recording on the tape really benefit from a different formulation or tape quality?
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Old September 15th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #4
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I'm sticking with Panasonic tapes, and moving up to the Master Quality ones, for less chance of drop outs. They have them a Zotz.
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