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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 February 26th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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Batch Capturing Problems with my A1


I log all my tapes before I capture and just switch tapes when it asks.

I have been running into problems since I switched to HDV.

70-80% of the time it tells me "unable to locate time code"

There are no Timecode breaks in any of my tapes and I changed my Preroll to 10 seconds.

I am using Final Cut Studio 2 with all the updates. All of my settings (Capture, Sequence, etc) are set to HDV. but it is constantly erroring out and I have to click continue.

as soon as I hit continue 30% of the time it works for that clip then errors out on the next one. sometimes I have to hit continue 3-4 times to get it to finally capture that one clip.

is this a known issue? or am I missing something?

Thanks a lot!
Bryan Findell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #2
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You know that when logging HDV you can just play the tape and hit 'Capture Now' and it will automatically break it down into mini clips at the points where you pushed the record/pause button, right?

Saves a TON of time than batch capturing. Plus a lot less wear and tear on your camera heads...
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Old February 26th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #3
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ya. i know it does that... but I shoot 90% Skateboarding... so in an hour tape there is a couple hundred little clips is makes... (since every shot is 6-7 seconds and not all are a land)

I found logging and capturing easier then....

watching, naming, rewind, play, capture.

I can just log log log click capture and leave...

but it doesn't seem to like HDV in that way.

any other suggestions that I am looking over?

(also... is there a way to turn off that "making individual clips" setting?)

Its really hard capture such small time clips. 6-10 seconds....

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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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Bryan, I'm assuming you're using either an A1, HV10, HV20 for capture, right? Neither of these are responsive enough for "batch capture"... they just aren't made for this type of workflow like a real dedicated deck is. I don't believe it's a HDV issue... it's the source machines you're capturing from.

I don't cut with FCP, I use Avid & gave up trying to batch capture with the A1 or HV10 the 1st time I tried. Depending on what I need to capture, I'll usually capture a whole tape & let Avid make individual subclips (pointers to original media).

Take note of Kellen's suggestion. It will make life easier :) With hard drives as inexpensive as they are, storage capacity issues are no longer a problem.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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That's what I do with FCP, just grab the whole tape and let the system give me the subclips. I know in FCP you can turn that function off if you want in DV capture. I don't know if HDV capture lets you turn it off or not.

Generally I don't capture the entire tape at once, but usually I divide it into three or four segments. And Bryan, the system is not really cutting the tape into individual clips when you do that--it still captures the entire tape or whatever segments you mark. What you see in the browser are only pointers for your convenience. If you can't turn that off, you can go to your capture scratch folder and drag the entire thing to the timeline.

I don't have any problem batch capturing, but again, I do it in just a few large chunks, not in lots of little pieces.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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This may be a FCP issue because I've captured at least two dozen tapes using PP CS3's batch capture without problems using an HV10. The clips can be as short as 15 second and as long as several minutes.

The HV10 manual states that when you shoot with that camera, your shot should be at least 10 seconds long. They give no reason but my wild guess is that has to do with the long GOP codec. This could be part of the problem. I do not know if the same issue is present with the A1 and I don't remember if there was a similar admonition in the A1 manual.

I also add "handles" of 1 second at each end of the clips I want to batch capture just to be safe. I don't know if this is an option with FCP.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:46 AM   #7
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I have found that Avid Liquid also has trouble locating the precise start and end points for HDV batch capture sessions. Sometimes it works but often it doesn't, so I tend to capture more manually. This is true both with XH-A1 and HV20, working in HDV mode. Both work fine in DV mode, whether playing a DV tape or down-converting HDV in camera. I think it is probably related to long-GOPs and batch capture functions that are less smart than they could be.
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