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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old December 10th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #1
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Firewire port

I was filming live event on the week-end and I was connected to a DVD recorder (Pioneer DVD-633H-S) through the Firewire port.

I am connected for long period of time, 15 hours a day, and times to time I get the following message "DV Signal Lost". This cause to have black frames in the filming. It last for about two seconds and it comes back right away and I can continue filming. O do not have to touch anything on the camera.

I do have friends who are filming with their DVX100 cameras et they do not have this problem.

This problem happend an a random fashion and it cause me to have very unhappy customer. The last event, the last performer I was filming the problem occured. The kid finished first in his category and won a gold medal. However, the video I've provided him with is showing black frames because the DV signal was lost. This is VERY embarassing.

P.S. I had the same problem with my xL1s and I've tought that my camera was broken. This is the reason why I upgraded to a XL2. I did not know what the problem was at the time I thought their was something wrong with the camera. I can now say that everything is OK with the camera but the firewire port is not reliable.

I need to film in a very reliable manner. I choose the DV signal because the quality is much better than through S-VHS and RCA connectors. For the sake of reliability I may have to choose to film with the analog connector rather than digital.

- What should I do ?
- Is there something I need to do on my XL2 for not losing the DV signal through the firewire port ?

Thanks for helping with my problem.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #2
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If the problem occurred in both your XL1s as well as your XL2, then there is a good possibility that the problem is not with the cameras, but with either your firewire cabling or the input port of your DVD recorder. Double check those for the integrity of the signal and connection to narrow down the potential cause of the problem.

As far as having lost the footage, have you considered redundant recording, such as recording to tape in the camera while you are also pumping the signal to your DVD recorder? This would give you a tape backup to work with in post if you experience signal loss or dropout to the DVD recorder.

-Jon
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Old December 10th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #3
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Thank you Jonathan for your reply.

I cannot use miniDV tapes because the camera will automatically shut off after certain time. Five days at 6 to 8 hours a day in 12 to 15 hours elapse time each day would be too many tapes to control. This would also be to hard of the heads.

What I was thinking to do was to use the Firewire port (95 % reliable) to the DVR-633H-S which do the job except for those lost signal.

I would also at the same time record on another DVD recorder with a hard drive (160 gig minimum) using the BNC signal plus audio left and right. I would only use this filming when a problem occur with the firewire. The only problem here would be the millage that I would be making with this hard drive. It would be ON most of the time. I would start it recording in the morning and I would stop it at the end of the day. It would then do day after day continuous recording. 95% of the time it would be recording for no reason. It would make for the 5% unreliability that I currently have with the firewire.

I need 100% reliability.

I am absolutely sure its not the camera neither it is the recorder. It's only related to the firewire port reliability or the cable itself.

You may then have something about the cabling, where could I find EXCELLENT firewire cables (10 feet). One 4 to 4 and one 4 to 6 pin.

Daniel
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Old December 15th, 2007, 02:18 PM   #4
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Alternative recording

With the multiple outputs available on the XL2 I don't see why you couldn't use them to record to many and several different devices------even with a single firewire output.
There are firewire DA's available, or just use your bnc output with a DA and use multiple recording devices------digital to analog, analog to digital or having your recording devices slaved together---ex. using your 'output' to send a signal to another recording device.
Your XL2 can be set up to not shut down via the internal menus except when you run out of battery time but you already have the solution in your hand and won't use it-----tape time.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #5
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For some strange reason the firewire port on the XL does not offer a very secure and stable connection.

I overcome this problem by using a bungi cord or rubber band to hold the end of the firewire cable to the camera. It looks terrible but that is the only way I have been able to maintain a secure connection that does not disconnect.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 01:34 AM   #6
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The firewire 4-pin connector has to be one of the worst designs of all time.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #7
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I have been using duck tape on my camera to keep the DV cable more stable. But yeash, it does a mess on the camera.

My intention was to do like Kevin is suggesting.

Using RCA, BNC to another DVD recorder is the option that I intended to do. However, this mean exta cables hooked up to camera. More weight, more things to ensure it does not affect the fluidity of the movement of the camera.

The DV signal brings both the audio and the video. With RCA it is three cables minimum (video + audio). If I was only filming few hours a day that would not make a difference. It is not the case, I am filming long hours for many consecutive days. Also, sometime, I have to transport everything on the plane. More weight, extra cost right there.

I need to guarantee 100%, and it looks now that this is the only sure solution. THANKS TO EVERYBODY for posting on this question.

As per the BNC on the XL2, I have been reading on the site that it was not a real broadcast output, it only had been designed for monitors that have this kind of connection. This is not to be used for recording. Am I right ?

Daniel
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