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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 13th, 2007, 09:10 AM   #16
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50 hours is 50 hours, which ever way the signal's travelling through the head windings.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #17
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I've always done it after 50 hours of record time.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #18
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Another thought. If you keep re-using your tapes you'll generally need to use the head cleaner less frequently. Every new tape sheds minute particles on the first pass, and the second pass will give the cleanest (i.e. least dropout) recordings.

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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #19
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In my DV days, which are not too long gone, I've never recorded a tape over; always used a new tape.

How long before the tape starts wearing off from constant friction and dropouts show up? Anybody has experience with recording the same tape over and over again?
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Another thought. If you keep re-using your tapes you'll generally need to use the head cleaner less frequently. Every new tape sheds minute particles on the first pass, and the second pass will give the cleanest (i.e. least dropout) recordings.

tom.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:21 AM   #20
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You've always used a new tape Maksim? You mean you work for a client and entrust the day's shooting to untried, untested $3 components? You'd never dream of taking an untested microphone on the shoot, and that costs hundreds of dollars, so how can you unwrap a $3 tape and be sure it's 100% ok? At that price you're not paying for any sort of inspection, you're living on a prayer.

Me - I've had experience of recording the same tape over and over again. There's very little friction in the tape path as rollers (even the capstan and pinch) revolve at relative zero to tape travel and a minute air cushion separates the spinning drum from the emulsion.

tom.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:05 AM   #21
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I ordered a head cleaner from the supplier where I purchased my A1 and they sent me one of these...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...te_Small_.html

Can anyone confirm if this will be okay for use with my camera? Bit confused about the whole DVCAM / MINI DV thing and the tape is labeled as a DVCAM head cleaning cassette.

Thanks

Paul
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #22
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It's absolutely fine Paul, but you're rather paying over the odds because it's labelled DVCAM. Of course a MiniDV cassette deck doesn't care whether it's LP, SP, DVCAM or DVCPRO, it's just a tape deck. And you can use a head cleaning tape made by anyone - Maxell, JVC, Panasonic, Canon - you name it.

Of course this head cleaning tape is just that and no more. It won't do a thing for the myriad of pins, guides and rollers that revolve in zero-relativity as the tape passes them. For that you'll need to do a tape path clean.

tom.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #23
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Thanks Tom, much appreciated.

Paul.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
You've always used a new tape Maksim? You mean you work for a client and entrust the day's shooting to untried, untested $3 components? You'd never dream of taking an untested microphone on the shoot, and that costs hundreds of dollars, so how can you unwrap a $3 tape and be sure it's 100% ok? At that price you're not paying for any sort of inspection, you're living on a prayer.

Me - I've had experience of recording the same tape over and over again. There's very little friction in the tape path as rollers (even the capstan and pinch) revolve at relative zero to tape travel and a minute air cushion separates the spinning drum from the emulsion.

tom.
How can you be 100% sure your "multi-pass" are going to be error free? :)

Bill
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Old May 15th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #25
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Hi, Tom.

Yes, I've always used a new tape. I have not used $3 tapes on important projects where there were no second takes; in such cases I used more expensive tapes in hopes for better quality control. You are 100% correct in saying that even new tapes can exhibit dropouts. However, once you take a new tape and use it several times, you are introducing more variables such as natural tape wear from friction and tension and so on. These factors take time to start causing quality issues, however they do cause tape damage. My thinking was that a brand-new tape that has not experienced wear yet has a better chance of not having dropouts than the same tape that was already put to use.

As far as using untested microphones, of course I would never dream of going to a shoot like this. In fact, I am being paranoid at times checking and re-checking equipment once and again. However, items like microphones do contain large amount of electronics and therefore are much more prone to quality problems. I figured the industry learned to apply magnetic layer to a polymer with a reasonably high level of quality; otherwise, we are really in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
You've always used a new tape Maksim? You mean you work for a client and entrust the day's shooting to untried, untested $3 components? You'd never dream of taking an untested microphone on the shoot, and that costs hundreds of dollars, so how can you unwrap a $3 tape and be sure it's 100% ok? At that price you're not paying for any sort of inspection, you're living on a prayer.

Me - I've had experience of recording the same tape over and over again. There's very little friction in the tape path as rollers (even the capstan and pinch) revolve at relative zero to tape travel and a minute air cushion separates the spinning drum from the emulsion.

tom.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #26
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Bill, you can never be 100% sure of anything. Your health, your car getting you there, your watch not lying to you, your heads not clogging.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #27
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PHDVM-63DM Tape / Z1 Woes

Okay, here's something for the tape/cleaning debate mix:

11 months and thirty reels of Sony PHDVM-63DM tape in to using my Z1, it chews up two tapes on playback (crimped along one edge). Sent back to Sony under warranty, they say the heads and the pinch rollers were 'extremely dirty'.

SO dirty in fact that, rather than clean them, they put in a whole new deck.
Which was nice.

Now, folks will laugh and no doubt cry about this, but I'd never used the cleaning tape (must have done around 70 hours on the heads). On the other hand, there were never any problems with the footage - no blocks or drops, no tape errors, nothing.

I asked the engineers at Sony what could cause this. Dodgy tape batch I say? Yes, say Sony.

One new camera deck later, the second tape through has a whopping 4 minute dropout twelve minutes in (timecode lapses in and out, no picture, no sound). I had bought a new brick of PHDVM tapes but, on checking the serials, sure enough one from the old batch had sneaked into my camera bag.

Looking at the surface of the tape where the mega-dropout is, I can see vertical bands about 3mm apart and 1mm thick of Bob knows what on the surface of the tape.

Supplier assures me their batches come straight from Sony UK and have 'never heard of anything like this' (ditto the camera supplier).

From the same batch of ten, two have droputs and two are now physically beyond use. The one with the banding on that still plays will be going back to the supplier for examination the instant I get the chance to make a dupe from the captured footage - I don't fancy running whatever's on there over any of my heads again (bought an M15E deck to take strain of the camera).

In case anyone is feeling paranoid about their stock, the serials of the affected tapes are

54DA4911H 1113
54DA4911H 1114

Anyone out there got a similar story?

JW
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #28
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Quite a story John, and you must be tearing your hair in exasperation. Camcorders with DV tape mechanisms generally show signs of needing a tape path clean (as against a far simpler head clean) when a fine ring of emulsion gunge builds up at the base of the capstan, about 1 mm up from the main bearing.

It's pretty easy to spot. You open the cassette door and in good light (focused Maglight or LED) look at the capstan directly opposite the rubber pinch roller. If it's bright as a new pin all should be well, but at the first sign of a buildup, tape crinkle is not far away.

tom.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Camcorders with DV tape mechanisms generally show signs of needing a tape path clean (as against a far simpler head clean) when a fine ring of emulsion gunge builds up at the base of the capstan, about 1 mm up from the main bearing.
Great advice, Tom - now logged in my ever-growing 'crucial details manuals don't tell you' bin.

You can probably hear the next couple of questions coming:

A) is a 'tape path clean' a pro engineer's job?
and
B) why might this have happened (seemingly) so quickly?

best

jw
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #30
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A) Not necessarily. I do it on my tape decks but only when needed. Did you ever clean a VHS VCR's tape path? Great training ground.

B) Have you mixed tapes at all? Someone before you run a JVC / Maxell through the camera maybe? 'Choose a tape and stick to it' moto has kept my decks shiney-bright longer.

It could be - just as you say - a bad batch. I buy Sony Premiums for 1.35 a tape and paying that price for 28 highly complex and accurately made components means there's nothing left for inspection. Some will be duff, it's the law of the land.

tom.
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