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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 26th, 2005, 07:40 AM   #1
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Frustrated with XL2/Sony DSR-11 Combo

Hey folks,

I'm at my wits end with my XL2 and Sony DSR-11 deck. I cannot get tapes shot with the XL2 to play back on the DSR-11 without drop-outs. I've had the DSR-11 for several years and it has worked flawlessly. Since my purchase of an XL2 and switching to Panasonic stock it has been anything but.

Any tape shot with the XL2 will play back fine from the XL2 or my GL2, but this same tape will show terrible artifacting and frame drop on the DSR-11. I have cleaned both units with a Panasonic cleaning tape and even sent the DSR-11 off to Sony for service. Even after they replaced the entire head and transport assembly the problem still remains.

I am at a complete loss on what to do next. Please, someone give me some advice on what could be causing this and how I might fix it.

Thanks for any help,

Kevin
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Old September 26th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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Kevin

did you try to read other (older tapes) on the DSR11 ?

did you try your XL-2 tapes in another deck somewhere ?

did you clean the XL-2 and then try recording new stuff and try that in the DSR11 ?

did you try different tapes ?
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Old September 26th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #3
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I have the same setup (XL-2 and DSR-11) and I have never had a problem with dropped frames.

My guess is to clean your heads in both the DSR-11 and XL-2. If that doesn't work - then use the process of elimination to find out if it's the deck or the XL-2.

The ONLY time I ever had a problem with dropped frames was when I had a defective tape - I was able to save most of the footage - but the timecode was sooo screwed up!

Roach
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Old September 26th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #4
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Xl2 and DSR11 here as well, never a problem. I know that's frustrating. Your post is a bit unclear. As I understand you. You have had the DSR11 cleaned and repaired. And it STILL shows dropouts on tapes you record with the XL2 today, while those same tapes playback fine on the Xl2 today?

IF that's true, then there is a tape allignment problem between the deck and camera. Since you've sent the DSR back and gotten the heads replaced, hopefully the XL2 is still under warranty... send it back as well.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 11:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replys everyone. Sorry if I was not clear.

Yes, I have had the DSR-11 for some time and have just recently gotten it back from Sony for the repair stated in my original post.

Yes, I have cleaned both the XL2 and DSR-11 with a Panasonic cleaning tape.

Yes, I have tried older tapes shot with the XL2 and they exhibit the same breakup. I tried several, fresh tapes yesterday for some tests and got the same results.

NO, I have not tried the XL2 tapes on another deck. Good suggestion Michael, I'll give that a try.

NO, I have not tried different tape stock. I started out using Panasonics with this camera and I hesitate doing this.

The XL2 is still under warranty so sending it back may be my only remaining course of action. Thanks again to all.

Kevin
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Old September 26th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #6
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Sounds like the XL2 is the problem. I have the same set-up and never had an issue. If your XL2 tapes wont play back on another deck, there is an alignment problem. DUB ALL YOUR TAPES BEFORE HAVING IT FIXED or you will lose them forever.


ash =o)
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Old September 26th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #7
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Saw this issue with my buddies XL1 several years ago. My XL1 was fine but tapes made in his would only play in his camera and showed dropouts and artifacts on all other decks. He sent it back to canon for repair and ultimately fixed the problem. We never, ever put any of the tapes recorded before it was fixed back in as we just didn't want to risk it. If you need the materials try dubbing them off before sending back as Ash suggested above.

Good Luck!
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Old September 26th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #8
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If the tapes are playing back on the XL2 OK then it is not "broken" though it's alignment is not within the range that the DSR-11 can handle. This is the famous tape crossplay problem. The only thing I can think of is to send the Sony unit back to Sony with some sample XL2 tapes and the request that the Sony machine be aligned to play those tapes. No guarantee that this will work and it will probably render the DSR-11 incapable of playing tapes from other sources.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #9
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My guess would be that the XL2 has some head misalignment. It's a problem that has been common with the XL series, and just because a camera is new doesn't mean the heads are in spec. Both the deck and the camera's recording mechanism can have a margin of error and still be within spec. Say the deck's range is + or - 2 microns, or whatever. And the camera may be + or - 4. So if the deck is off 2 and the camera is off 2 in the same direction, you could have a problem and the manufacturers would say their stuff is within spec.

From my own personal experiences and what I've read over the past 5 years, my bet is that it's a problem with the camera. I think their tolerances may be a little looser than tolerances on the Sony decks. It's been extremely rare for a DSR deck to have a head alignment problem. In fact, I don't recall ever hearing of one. If your deck plays other tapes OK but not those from your XL2, then that's your first clue.

If it is the camera, it's really critical to get it properly aligned before you shoot too much, otherwise you'll be in the same position as a friend of mine with an XL1. He is having to dub all his tapes from his XL1 to his DV deck because he shot with out of alignment heads in his camera. Problem is, he has probably a couple hundred hours of footage.

If you determine it is the camera, be sure you dub the tapes you have shot to the DSR11 BEFORE you send in the camera for realignment. A tape that was recorded on a camera with out of alignment heads will play back on the device that recorded it but not on any other device* (unless you luck out). So, if you have the camera repaired, you then won't be able to play back the tapes you recorded when it was out of alignment. So dub them before you send the camera off.

*The DSR2000, and some say the DSR1800, will play back tapes with head alignment issues because of the type of drive they use. However, I tried it with tapes from an XL1 and also from a GL1 that were shot with misaligned heads and it wouldn't work on an 1800. Maybe a 2000 but don't count on it.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 08:54 AM   #10
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Also having same problems

We recently took delivery on our second, third and four XL2 after a year with our first XL2 (which works great). We have just started to use these new ones. We use Sony DSR-11's for ingest to Premeire Pro 1.5 running on XP.

We also have this problem. Playback tracking and/or alignment, appears to be off (large block pixilation and major audio drop-outs)when playing back on non-Canon Mini-DV equipment (since they don't make decks) like the JCV SR-VS30 or the 4 Sony DRS-11's we have.

We use both these decks in our operation with recordings from The XL 2 we bought last November, 3 GL1's and a GL2 with no problems (still) for over a year.

A test tape (straight off the wrapper) we recorded in two of the XL2's plays back flawlessly in all the XL2's (old and new), a GL1 and the GL2, just not the 3 Sony's and the JVC.

Canon 1-800 Tech support doesn't have a clue?

Anybody here heard of this and reccommend a solution? I can't believe we'll have to send these back.

Louie
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Old September 27th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #11
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I wanted to chime in again with what Louie just mentioned... I too have a GL2, and tape shot on this camera plays fine in the DSR-11. Tapes shot with the XL2 will also play flawlessly on the GL2, even when they will not play in the DRS-11.

As Bill Pryor stated, the GL2 may have a "wider margin of error" than the DSR-11. I guess I'll have to send it back but it really worries me reading Loiue's comment that...

"Canon 1-800 Tech support doesn't have a clue?"

Again, thanks for everyones posts. I hate to hear of other people having problems but am glad I'm not alone. Thanks again.

Kevin
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Old September 30th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #12
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Dealer says ship it back to Canon

Since I bought this through a system integrator, He got a hold of someone on a conference call with me and him, high enough up to tell me that this problem comes up sometimes and to send the camera back to Canon Service in New Jersey and state on an attached note that the cameras all have problems with Sony DSR-11 and they will re-align them for the DSR-11??? Also include my Canon XL Owner's Club ID number for FREE shipping back.

I'll post when I get the first two (the third has to used for a shoot this weekend, we will use the GL1 or GL2 to playback THAT tape) XL2's, then send the third one to them.

Louie
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Old November 10th, 2005, 09:56 AM   #13
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I received my XL2 back from Canon Factory Service yesterday and wanted to follow-up on this thread. I'm pleased to say, so far, everything is working great! The test footage I've shot with the XL2 now plays back fine on my DSR-11. Hallelujah!

Thanks again to everyone who posted advice.

Kevin
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Old November 10th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #14
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Hi,

I'd be interested in any follow-up to this discussion. I have an XL2 and my DSR-11 is due to arrive in the mail today :( This thread has scared me a bit ....

It'll be interesting to see how it goes.

Thanks,

Matthew.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 10:02 AM   #15
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We'll they're back

And yes they work. Imagine three cameras out of alignment from the factory. Bad Batch?

Louie
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