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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:07 AM   #1
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Drop Out Frequency...

Hey... I love my A1, as you all know... but I must ask...

What frequency of drop-outs do folks here experience? I recently shot 12hrs of concert footage using three XHA1's and every single tape, (all tripod, all cleaned with cleaning tape, all well maintained professional cameras) showed at least one drop out. My camera as a bit more prone to dropout, but I was surpirsed to find dropout on every single cam.

I am using the best tapes (always use panasonic HDVmaster tapes) and think this may be an issue with the camera itself. Thoughts?
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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Matthew: That seems high to me.. was it a particularly humid environment? Humidity can cause drop-outs, but...

That said, I live in Monterey, on the coast (I mean right across the street from the water) and in a year and a half of shooting, with mostly the H1 but some with the A1, I haven't had a single drop-out... well, I had one, but it was caused by a deck and went away when redone...

Admittedly I shoot shorter bursts, never longer that 10 minutes, but still...

There has been much debate over tapes since the advent of HDV... In my case I use Sony DigitalMasters exclusively.. but there are others here who have had good luck with Panasonics...

I realize I'm not answering your question to any satisfaction, but I am surprised that you should have the problem with multiple cameras...
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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I've shot probably 50 hours, using Panasonic AMQ tapes and have yet to see a dropout. I know 4 other people in this city with XH A1s and they haven't reported any dropouts. That is really weird to have dropoputs on all the cameras on a shoot.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 01:51 PM   #4
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i think i MIGHT have an idea what you problem MAY be. i work with an event production company that does concerts and other like events and one thing i have noticed is we use the machines called haze generators. they create a very light haze in the air that is barely noticeable to the naked eye, but what it is for is to enhance the light show at concerts by producing cracked oil particles in the air to breakup and expose the beams of light (similar to headlights on a dirt road... it makes it easy to see the solid beams of light). there are many types of haze, most use an oil based haze some water based, either way i don't think it's good for your cameras heads. i noticed this after i too started having many dropouts after using my two A1s to film shows. the oil based haze leaves a residue on our light fixtures that we have to clean off after so many shows, so i imagine it does the same to the internal workings of the cameras. this is simply my theory, has anyone else had a similar experience?
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 05:22 PM   #5
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Good point there. One time years ago I shot inside a studio where we used two fog machines, one with dry ice for hovering fog and one for dispersion. It was so bad we had to go outside to breath every few minutes. I had to have the camera professionally cleaned. That stuff is not fun.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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I used to think I was getting dropouts with my XH-A1 but almost all of them were firewire problems - the tape itself was fine.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #7
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I have been shooting HDV, first on the Sony A1U and now on the Canon A1, for six months. All of my work involves motorcycle events in windly and dusty environments. I have yet to see one single dropout. I may be lucky. I have always used Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ tapes. I do try to keep the cameras shielded from the wind as best I can without using a cover and I always wipe them down and blow them off with a dust gun after every shoot.

Your incident rate seems high.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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the thing is haze is molecular while dust and sand it considerably larger and therefore harder to get into the camera. also i doubt you changed tapes with the transport open while dust is flying everywhere. in a concert setting there is no way around it, the haze is everywhere even if you really can't see it. dust is dry and easier to clean, haze is oil based and a lot harder to clean.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #9
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Not my findings, using panasonic dvm63amq tape, did not had a single dropout until now ( knock wood) .
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Old September 5th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #10
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Are you sure the drop-outs are on the tape? I found that the few times I had a drop-out it was either the playback of the tape or some kind of fire-wire/capture problem, even though I have a quite new intel Mac.

Review the tape and see if the drop-outs re-occur on the same time code.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 07:24 AM   #11
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No dropouts here, ever. I'm probably over 75 hours. Maxell tapes.
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Old September 5th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #12
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I had thought it might be capture issues, but I checked a few of the tapes and seems consistent. Audio goes out by 10 seconds, lose some frames, garbled green mess.

Quite aggrivating really...


Going to keep shooting like this, but will keep my eye on it. Might have my tape heads slightly out of alignment? Could all be conincidence...
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