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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 May 7th, 2007, 05:33 AM   #1
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"Tape Heads Dirty" message!

I have not had my 2 A1 camera's long now, in totall they have probably only recorded no more than 10 hours max each. However, in using them both for weddings, i have had the 'clean tape heads' message twice now (once on each camera)

I record on Sony Premium tapes, and always use brand new tapes on my 1st camera, however, my backup camera uses pre-recorded Sony Premium tapes. The very first wedding i used the backup camera, i got a 'clean tape heads' message when i started recording, however it dissappeared. On saturday whilst beginning to film a wedding i got the message on Camera 1, so i cleaned the heads for 10 seconds, and then popped the tape back in; but thenm the message showed up again!!! I carried on recording through it, and again it didn't show again. I haven't checked the footage yet to see if it's alright, but is anyone else getting this message very often?
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Old May 7th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #2
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I haven't seen it yet and I've shot at least twice that on the camera. That seems too regular to be normal. I haven't tried recording over an existing though.

I'm using the panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ's which were recommended at the time. a little $$$ though

Trish
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Old May 7th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #3
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martin, did you use the supplied Canon HDV tape to test out the unit, then switch to the Sony tapes without cleaning the heads first?
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Old May 7th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #4
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Are you using DV or HDV tape because I have the same message when I use Sony Premium DV tapes not on HDV tape.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post
martin, did you use the supplied Canon HDV tape to test out the unit, then switch to the Sony tapes without cleaning the heads first?
That's a very good point - yes, i did use the canon tapes on both camera's i think. Although in saying that, it's still strange that when i've run the sony cleaning tape, that it still comes up with the message.

I'll run it again just to be safe.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #6
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one more thing, and i don't know if this is worth posting on a seperate thread, but am also coming across the odd audio glitch - like a very short but loud 'snich or snapping' sound!! (best way I could describe it!) I don't know if this is also a result of dirty heads?! Anyone else come across this?
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Danny Aldaca View Post
Are you using DV or HDV tape because I have the same message when I use Sony Premium DV tapes not on HDV tape.
I use standard Sony Premium DV tapes
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Trotter View Post
one more thing, and i don't know if this is worth posting on a seperate thread, but am also coming across the odd audio glitch - like a very short but loud 'snich or snapping' sound!! (best way I could describe it!) I don't know if this is also a result of dirty heads?! Anyone else come across this?
It would be helpful if you posted a few seconds of that sound. Not familiar with it.

Regarding the dirty heads issue, I wouldn't worry about it. I've had that message a couple of times and it's gone away with using a cleaning tape.

There are so many particles in the air and on nearly every surface you encounter, it's almost impossible to keep your camera and tapes completely free of dust or whatever. Obviously if you keep getting the message there is call for concern and I would take it to a service center but occasional messages, I think, are normal.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #9
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It's been said many times before, but the FIRST tape to go in your brand new camcorder should be a head cleaning tape. You have no idea what brand/type of tape was used for QC during the mfg. process. When you switch to your brand, the lubricants can be incompatible and will cause a head clog.

If the clog gets bad enough, a regular cleaning tape won't do it and the heads will have to be professionally cleaned.

Be sure to use tape that is labeled for HDV and not just standard DV.

-gb-
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Old May 7th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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Dirty Heads message

When you get the dirty heads message, how did the video look? I don't have this camera, but use both Canon and Sony DV prosumer camcorders. For some reason, the heads on the Canon GL-1 have to be cleaned often, due to dropouts. The Sony camera can run about 5 times longer without needing a head cleaning. I use Maxell 60 minute [ME] DV tapes (DVM60SE) and almost never see dropouts on the Sony PDX10; I would be interested to know how they work for HDV.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #11
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When I got the message, my footage froze on one frame for about 2 or 3 seconds. Funny enough, I didn't see that problem in the captured footage, only in-camera.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #12
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alternatives?

Will using an external hdd such as firestore, the entire tape head process is skipped right? no clean head msg warning anymore?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #13
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I would think so, but my concern about using one of them is that the FW cable could easily come out! I believe you can record tape and FW at the same time - not sure if that's true though.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:28 AM   #14
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Used the camera at the weekend for a wedding, and once again got the 'Tape Heads Dirty' message - that was after i had already run the tape cleaner through it the night before. Luckily it happened before the ceremony so i took the tape out ran the cleaner for 10 seconds and popped the tape back in again - no more message.

should i be concerned?
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #15
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I'd be concerned. That seems way too frequent. I'd think about contacting the store you purchased from and discussing it.

It could be a tape compatibility issue. Has anyone mentioned any known issues with sony tapes and the canon? And were these reused sony's or new?

Last resort before returning might be switching to a different brand. Especially since it's happening on both units.

Trish
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