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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 May 22nd, 2005, 05:55 PM   #16
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" I just could not get the lateral movement to be smooth at the distance I was working."
I just wonder if it is possible that you were working with the image stabiliser on. That would screw your pans however good your tripod head.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:33 AM   #17
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Ok, well, here is the news and it is NOT good.
I can not tell you how bad I feel because there was so much tape drop out that it is completely unacceptble. This is the first work that I was supposed to get paid for using the new XL2 and the camera or the tape failed me.
I have instructed the School that I have had Equipment mallfunction and that I will provide what I have at no charge.
There are, within every 60 or 70 seconds of filming, several, that is to say, 4 or 5 dropouts, on average. I have no clue why this happened. I used the Panasonic MQ series(master quality) tape that I purchased from B&H. THey were new in the box. The camera had only about 30 minutes of running time on it before I filmed this performance and I never saw any drop out on the 30 minutes of preliminary video. I had used a Maxwell tape for the Prelim video and then, based on our discussions here, I decided to go with the Panasonic tape and I ordered them two weeks ago for this filming. I did NOT have the Image Stabilizer on. I was very careful about making sure that was off.
Also, I took Kevin's advice and set the XL2 to Tv and I used Shutter speed of 1/60th and I set the GAin to +6db.
The Image quality on tape, is excellent and the Audio was also excellent. THe Head that I bought was the Manfroto 503 Fluid Head. Yes, I know it is not a Vinten, but it still should have provided me a little more fluid movement then it did. Perhaps this is learning issue with the Tripod and I will work with that later, but the Tape Dropout is totally unacceptable for the money I have spent.
No, I have not cleaned the heads. So, I can not believe that you have to clean the heads on a brand new piece of "quality" equipment, but I will try that now. I will order today, a tape cleaning tape. ANy suggestions on which one to use?????
If this is not the problem, what next....?
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 09:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Bicker
Ok, well, here is the news and it is NOT good.
I can not tell you how bad I feel because there was so much tape drop out that it is completely unacceptble. .... No, I have not cleaned the heads. So, I can not believe that you have to clean the heads on a brand new piece of "quality" equipment, but I will try that now. I will order today, a tape cleaning tape. ANy suggestions on which one to use?????
If this is not the problem, what next....?
Don't have personal, hands-on, experience with this as yet - returning to video after many years in another field and the new camera is still in my future - but the general consensus of opinion is that you need to pick one good-performing tape brand, stock up and stick with using just that tape. Changing brands runs the risk of incompatibilities between the lubricants used by the various manufacturers, leading to exactly the symptoms you're describing. If you change to a different tape, a head cleaning before using the new one is a must.

Can't you "edit around" the drops outs? Especially if your audio is clean, why not insert a cutway to replace the bad video? You said in an earlier post that you were going to be shooting two separate performances. Between the two of them surely there's enough video to put together footage from both into a final clean show. Heck, years ago we had a crucial scene in a product introduction tape that was discovered to have major technical problems with BOTH audio and video when we got to post and the on-camera talent had left the country for 6 weeks so a reshoot was impossible! We substituted beauty shots of the product for the video at the point the original image went south and re-created the dialog from phrases lifted from out-takes of other scenes. A class A PITA to edit but it worked beautifully in the end.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 10:31 AM   #19
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Ed, I'm really sorry to hear about this. Of course, can't be sure just what the actual problem is, but either not cleaning the heads of a new camera before use or switching tape brands are widely accepted as sources of such problems.

The tape brand issue is indeed confusing. Here's a thread that seemed to come closest to making any sense of it:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=36232

I don't know whether Maxell vs Panasonic formulation is especially problematic, but I took the most popular and pragmatic approach and only one type of tape ever goes into my XL2. If you still have problems after doing a proper head cleaning, might need to have the camera itself checked.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 03:47 PM   #20
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Had an XL1 till last month - used Fujis with no problems. Once used Sony with a major gum up. Have just purchased an XL2. Of course I am using Fuji. On my first ten tapes I have drop outs and/or angel dust on four of them. Oh me oh my what does a guy in the UK do?
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 05:32 PM   #21
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sorry to here about your troubles. Can you not cut in some footage of the other performance you shot at the point where the drop outs happen? Kind of like polishing a turd but maybe you can eek out something acceptable.
And I know this is the last thing you probably want to hear but the manual does recommend cleaning the heads before shooting for the first time. Good Luck.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:11 AM   #22
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Thanks Kevin and Pete,
Yes, I can edit out the blemish, but you will still see a separation in the performance, since this was live and I can not cut without losing some continuity in both video and sound.
Is it typical to have a new XL2 produce dropout? I did read in the manual that the user should clean the heads before using. I side stepped this because the first 30 minutes of taping was flawless, therefore I thought I could go right into the performance without any change. Apparently I was very much mistaken.

Oh well, I will wait for my cleaning tape to come in mail. By the way, if this is an issue with the XL2, then why does Canon not include this in the package as an item to stock? If they make this kind of recommendation, then give us a cleaning tape. We are already spending 4500-4900 dollars. What's a tape cost at this point to add to the mix.

At any rate, thanks for all your suggestion. It really does help to know that there are other people walking beside you as you begin to learn the Art and Craft of Filming and Producing and Editing. The learning curve is steep but you all are very kind and generous.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #23
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I think that it is a generic recommendation for all new camcorders to do a quick head cleaning because of the possibility of manufacturing/shipping lubricants etc. Also, since you switched tape brands, that may have been a factor.

The important thing from this point will be whether this problem continues after you've cleaned the heads and stayed with one tape brand. If the drop outs continue, then you have a camera problem.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #24
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To answer your question Ed... drop outs are not common with the xl2. We probably have at least 40 hours shot on ours with no problems like that. Again reall sorry to hear about your troubles but at least you were ablt to deliver something. Like it was mentioned above, clean your heads and go out to the park or something and shoot a tape to make sure your camera is ok. The sooner you detect problems the better your chances are of getting a helping hand from Cannon. It does seem like there are a lot of people who had to send their first cameras back, myself included. Good Luck!
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