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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 January 21st, 2008, 02:07 PM   #1
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Dropouts when playing tape in camera? They weren't there earlier!

Here’s the problem:

I put a previously recorded tape (HDV) in the camera (that played earlier without any problem)

I play the tape, watch several seconds of recorded material, *stop tape* -- all is fine, no dropouts

Rewind tape, push play again

When the tape reaches the point where I previously stopped the tape, I get a blue screen (on camera monitor), then a black screen, then the tape continues playing, missing the material where the dropout occured.

I stop again – rewind

I play tape again, now I have the same problem in both the earlier spots where I stopped and the most recent one.

Basically, every time I stop the tape and rewind, the camera drops frames (blue screen/black screen) where the stop(s) occurred.

If I try to capture the tape, I get drops in those same exact spots/locations.

Anyone have any idea what’s going on here? Camera problem? Heads need to be cleaned?

BTW -- there were NO dropouts on the tapes earlier -- all tapes played fine in-camera and during capture (HDV, Cineform, HD Link). This only started recently after noticing 'blockyness/pixilation' during a recent capture. Since then, I've had the above problem.

Any feedback would be appreciated – thanks
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Old January 21st, 2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Hi James...........

Think you hit on the first move in your post - try running a head cleaning tape and see what happens.


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Old January 22nd, 2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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I think I might be experiencing the exact same issue with my camera. I have been capturing tapes via Final Cut Pro 6, and on every single tape (32 in a row so far), there are about 3 dropouts. Obviously something is wrong with that - especially since I keep my camera clean, ran a head cleaning tape, and have always used the same tapes (Panasonic DVM63PQ).

I went back and played the tapes where the dropouts were, and sometimes they showed up and sometimes they didn't. Then I found the pattern, and experienced what you described: I would play a tape, see no dropout at a particular time code, then stop the tape, rewind, and play it again to make sure. Sure enough, when the tape reached the previous point where I had stopped it to rewind, another drop out occurred. I can reproduce this repeatedly.

I'm not sure if the dropouts are occurring exactly where the tape was previously stopped, or if they just occur after a certain number of seconds of being played - I'll have to test it further - because on all the captured tapes so far, there is always a dropout in the first 10-15 seconds of capturing.

I don't think this is a computer issue, mainly because I can reproduce it in camera, and I am using a brand new Mac Pro 2.83 Ghz.

Any one else experience this or have any ideas? I'll have to call Canon soon about it though, because the 1 year warranty is up in a month.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Just ran some more tests at home, and the problem occurs in older tapes that I shot over a year ago as well, both HDV and DV - tapes that never had a problem before. I don't have another cam to test the tapes in, so I can't be 100% sure it's not the tapes causing the problem, but I am almost certain. There is no way 50+ tapes all have mysterious moving dropouts in them.

Unfortunately, looking at the Canon warranty, the video heads are only under warranty for 3 months! How ridiculous is that? They are basically telling you that the heads are junk and will malfunction very quickly. I would be very mad if I had to pay money for Canon to repair video heads on a $3500 camcorder that has only been used for about 50 hours. I already had to send in the camera for repair after the first week of using it, for an iris ring issue. I may never buy a Canon product again after this.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 12:49 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear it Ben. Sounds almost exactly like what is happening to my camera. Very strange...

Here's my latest thread about the issue:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=112858
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:04 AM   #6
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Thanks James, I'll post in the other thread.
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