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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 November 5th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #1
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tape and record

I'm curious if anyone can tell me what's going on with my cameras.

When I'm walking around shooting weddings, half the time when I hit the record button, it will start right away. Other times I see the tape running back almost as if to do an end search or something and then when I hit record at random times, it will blink as it prepares the tape to record and usually takes a few seconds. Of course I can easily miss things that are happening in those few seconds.
I've looked around a little but didn't see anything about this. I've been using the xh-a1's for about 6 months now and am running into a continous issue when i go to record. I only bring this up because the cameras I used before didn't do this as much and I don't see a trend or reason for why it does it sometimes and not others. I understand that it's a function of the camera and I'm not saying it's broken or anything, I would just like to understand if there is a reason for why or when it does it.

thanks for your help!

Matt
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Old November 5th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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What's happening when you see all this activity is the A1 "waking up" from a standby mode. After a time, which I think is five minutes, the camera shuts down the tape transport. This is to save battery power, wear and tear on the heads and I imagine to not wear a hole in the tape. When connected to AC power, the standby is limited to shutting off the transport and does not shut the power down.

If you're camera is doing something else, I don't know what that is unless you're inadvertently hitting the tape review button under the peaking and magnify buttons. I do that very occasionally and then wish there was some way to disable it.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #3
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Could be the head.
You could try to use a Head-Cleaning Tape.
I had a similar problem with the Z1U. It took around 5 seconds to start recording. I`ve used the cleaning tape a few times and solved for me.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #4
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Thanks. This makes sense. I haven't really checked to see if the timing is a a factor. I really don't think there is a five minute gap between a lot of the things I'm shooting but I'll keep a closer eye on it to see if I can see a trend there or an amount of time. I swear at a few times I've been recording, accidentally hit it again to stop recording and then punch it again to get it going again and it has taken it's sweet time at these times too....red light blinking as it gets going. This at least gives me something to look for.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bishop View Post
I swear at a few times i've been recording, accidentally hit it again to stop recording and then punch it again to get it going again and it has taken it's sweet time at these times too....red light blinking as it gets going. This at least gives me something to look for.
That's normal. A quick on/off/on will require the camera to catch up with what you want. There's something that goes on when you stop recording that gets the camera ready for your next recording. This happens to me from time to time, but I'm a bit spastic anyway.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #6
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When you first turn the camera on, it goes into "record pause" mode, and displays a a green double-bar and a green spot in the top right of the viewfinder. In this state, it will start recording within a second or two of pressing the button. If you don't start recording in about 5 minutes (I think this can be adjusted in the menus - check the manual), the camera releases the tape and goes into "stop" mode, displaying a single green square in the viewfinder. In this state, it takes about 10 seconds or more to reposition the tape and start running when you press the button. The red recording dot in the viewfinder will flash until recording actually starts. You can also tell what state the camera is in from the sound it is making. The motors make a little noise in record-pause mode, but are silent in stop-mode.

Beware the quick on/off! I've had problems with long (1 - 10 minutes) periods of blank, or at least unreadable, tape and the only explanation the Canon engineers and I could come up with was pressing the record button twice in quick succession to wake the camera up when in "stop" mode. Even when/if images become readable again, the time-code/meta-data doesn't line-up with the pictures, and NLE capture splitting scenes by time-code includes a few frames of the previous shot on the start of the next one. If you start from "stop-mode", you need to let the camera go through the full wake-up process and record a second or two before you stop it again.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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I like to set Custom Key #1 to VCR STOP to activate/deactive Record Pause mode at leisure. (see page 66/67 of manual).
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