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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #1
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Long clips getting broken.....HELP!!!!!

I shoot weddings (among other things) for my business and I ingest about 10 to 14 tapes each wedding. 3 camera shoot. I have been having 7 or 8 second clip breaks upon ingest. So, a one hour, uninterrupted recording gets broken into several clips in Final Cut Pro. Let me stress (cause I'm pretty stressed :-) that this is not timecode breaks. It is a whole clip break. One long 60 minute recording gets broken up into several clips for no reason and the gap between them in FCP is about 7 seconds of missing footage.

My set up is 2 Canon XHA1's over firewire to 2008 8 core Mac, 14 gigs ram, four internal drives (about 3TB) I capture to 1.5 TB drive (internal) that is used only for capture. It happens on any of the drives. FCP 6 (all system and software updates are made).

The footage plays back just fine in the camera. The broken areas of the clips can recapture from the camera just fine, even in Capture Magic (which stops for nothing). So it is not damaged tape or dirty heads (just had them serviced). It seems like the system gets overloaded somehow (which it shouldn't) let's say it "farts" or something..... and drops 7 seconds upon capture and starts a new clip. The system is left alone during capture as well. I have lived with this problem for a long time and editing (multicam) takes FORVER as I have to constantly resync the media at every break. The breaks are random. Clips from a one hour recording can 2 minutes long or 10 minutes. What is really funny is that the ceremony has the least breaks...... go figure that out????

Sorry to be long winded. Trying to be accurate because there are so many variables in this subject. Honestly I know this forum is filled with so many helpful people but I am at such a wits end (backed up with editing cause of this problem) I would happily send a PayPal payment to anyone who posts something that solves the problem. Oh yes I will!!!! I don't want to insult the natural helpfulness of this forum. I just want to really honor the person that gets me out of this jail I am in!!!! Can you tell I am stressed?

Thank you so much for your comments!!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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Possible causes

Phillip,

My suggestion would be to eliminate the variables.
1) Firewire cables - Try a different or new one
2) Firewire port - Try a different port (on the back on the mac pro)
3) Make sure your program and auto save files are on a different drive than your capture media.

I have the same setup as you with the same drives and the same cameras without any problems. Good luck.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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will do.....

Thanks Jonathan. I will try a different cable. It is REALLY nice to hear that someone has all the same equipment and is getting it to work. I use the Firewire on the front of the tower right now. So, you are saying capture to one drive and use the save and render files to another drive. Perhaps it is trying to autosave on the same drive while capturing?

Thanks for the post....... I'll certainly let you know if that does the trick!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Still no joy....

I tried a new FireWire cable. This time it is FW 800 and went into the back port of the Mac. I had the same problems. It took the same one hour stretch of recording and broke it up into 7 clips. Yippe! I get to resync 7 times.

Um, it is exactly 8 seconds too. EG. Here is my timecode between two of the clips 00:41:41;16 clip end
00:41:49;06 next clip begins.

So you can see it is not a timecode or frame drop. It is a regular gap though so that makes me think it is the computer end of it. Does the ram (14GB) fill up and then need to dump? The hard drive is a Seagate 1.5TB I think 32mb cache. Perhaps Final Cut is trying to autosave during the ingest.

My Canons just came back from the Service Center......freezing cold from FedEx truck :) I will dump the Final Cut Preferences and use the serviced cam and try again. Only take an hour each time I try. I will try to note if the timecode gaps are in the same place. That will tell us something.

Thanks for any input guys (and gals of course ;)

OK, also to add to the though process..... This time it broke it up into 7 clips but the last time it only broke it up into 5, at different timecode points. So I don't think it is damaged tape. Always 8 second gaps though...... strange!
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Last edited by Philip R. Coltart; February 5th, 2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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i dont have the same equipment, mine is MB Pro, 4gigs ram connected to external drives through firewire,
you stated no timecode breaks, by this you also mean no dropped frames? and you just received the camera back from canon for repairs?? i have a shipping box here and need to send mine out b/c my camera doesnt seem to read the tapes that it records, interesting....

it is one long 60min recording with no rec/pause button pushing?

i have had a similiar problem capturing, in the log and capture window, under the clip settings tab, there is a box to check/uncheck reading 'create new clip on start/stop' but you say there are no rec/pause button pushing. haha, im thinking/remembering as i am typing. my problem was when i capture live, (no tape, just straight onto my hard drive) the capture clip would break up into two clips for no reason. i dont push any buttons just like you. but for like 2 weeks everything worked fine when i unchecked that box (create new clip...) maybe the luck will work for you. though... the luck has run out for me, its back to doing it again.

dumping FCP preferences and starting over might work

have you captured the same dv tape more than once? and has it continuously drop the same 7-8seconds on each capture?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Yes it is one long clip with no stops. It breaks everytime I ingest it but in different points each time. Never breaks at the same point. Always an 8 second gap. Boo Hoo

OK, I have just used the serviced camera with the new FW 800 cable going the back and trashed the FCP prefs....... no luck. Still breaks the footage up. This time it broke it at around 8 minutes and picked up again 8 senconds and 26 frames later!!!!! What is it with 8 seconds????? It's like that movie 13.

Help me OB1..... you're my only hope.
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Last edited by Philip R. Coltart; February 5th, 2009 at 02:16 PM. Reason: more info
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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #7
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try a different computer and or software. You could try the hdsplit freeware.

My windows xp/pinnacle studio occasionally creates gaps which are not on the tape - up to 9 seconds. Presumably the machine has to stop to do something with a higher priority, causing the gap.

Ian
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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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I had the same problem with my unibody MacBook Pro so changing machines isn't the answer. I won't be changing platforms anytime soon. Any other ideas?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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sorry, I didn't mean that you should move away from macs. Just that another mac with possibly different software installed and the operating system set up differently, the gaps might either go away or change.

Also, hdsplit (which I think you can get for macs too) may have different buffering arrangements and hence, again, affect the gaps.

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Old February 5th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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Hi Phillip,
I would have to agree that it sounds like a computer glitch rather than something with the camera. Maybe you could try doing a batch capture. Just type in some time code into the batch capture window at regular intervals of say 15 mins apart, & do a batch capture. Yes there will be 4 different files, but you should at least be able to sync them up without any issues, & it may just do the trick for ingesting the fottage without loosing any data. Sorry i can't give you anything concrete to go on, but it may be worth a shot.

Bryce
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Old February 5th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #11
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PHILLIP!!!

i remembered!!!
try capturing in quicktime, i had about an hour of Venice beach footage, with many recording and pausing. and when i captured, it captured in one long 60min file, over 11gigs,

try that out
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Old February 5th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #12
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Thanks. I am trying Quicktime now. I did try Pro Res and it did break up the footage again but with only 1 second gaps this time. Strange. Almost want to purchase the 749 total Video support from Apple but that would freakin hurt and the wife would frown for a month! :0)

Thing is, does Quicktime Direct recording capture the time code?

Thanks all!!!

OK, Quicktime didn't work because it gets to 2.4 GB and says maximum duration reached......

Any other suggestions?
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Last edited by Philip R. Coltart; February 5th, 2009 at 03:42 PM. Reason: more info
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Old February 5th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #13
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One thing that you might try is don't set in and out points, just go to the head of the tape, hit play and "capture now" and let it run and see what happens.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #14
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Bill.

Yeah, that is what I have been doing all along. I was just about to bite the bullet pay the Apple Pro support but the guy started trouble shooting right away so I just let him fly...... it must be cause my 17inch uibody is delayed :-) He said to go into User Preferences in FCP and select the dropped frame thingy to "Warn at the end of capture." I tried that and managed to capture a whole 24 minutes of HDV from the Canon but then it ran into a time code break. 24 minutes is better than 6 or 7 minute clips. Then we talked for ages about ProRes and he said try capturing in that too cause apparently the timecode in HDV isn't "real timecode" and that it can misbehave on ingest. Sounded cool anyway...... so he said with ProRes conversion on the way in, it might alleviate some of the issue and your quality will be better and so will play back. Rendering might be a killer though. So I am ingesting ProRes right now. I think it has already broken a clip. After this..... I don't know. I might try capturing one hour of footage on the newly cleaned heads and then try and capture that. It could be the heads sucked when it was recorded and FCP is doing it's best with that.

Thanks all. Any brainwaves, let me know :-)
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Old February 5th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #15
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I do everything HDV and have no problem with time code. I was thinking it could be a tape stock problem but if it's in a different area each time and the same amount of time each time, that has got to be some kind of FCP thing going on that shouldn't.

I've been shooting HDV, 24F with the XH A1 since late 2006 and have loaded and edited on three different FCP systems on 3 different computers. Now I'm using a 17" MacBook Pro, and I haven't had any difficulties at all.

In addition to the XHA1 I have a little home movie pocketcam, the Sony TG1. It does AVCHD, which I have to capture with ProRes. That's a bitch. Huge files, big render time on export. I'd stick with HDV.

The suggestion to go to somebody else's Mac and try it out is good, I think. That would isolate whether it's your computer right off. Or mail the tape to somebody on here to try it if you can't find anybody where you live.
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