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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #1
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XL2 won't recognize footage anymore?!

Hey all, I don't know what to do with this, I'm pretty sure I'll have to send to the manufacturer, but thought I'd ask for advice here first.

I have owned an XL2 for over a year and a half, and up until yesterday it worked fine. Today when I plugged it into the computer to capture footage, nothing showed up, no time code, no video, nothing. I thought it was a computer issue, so I unplugged the firewire, ejected the tape, took out the camera battery, then put it and the tape back in. When I tried to play the tape on VCR mode, nothing.

I put in another tape. nothing.

I put in a new tape, recorded 10 seconds of footage. When I switched to VCR mode, it showed the time code, but I rewound to view, and the time code disappeared. No footage, no TC.

What the hell happened to my camera??

EDIT:: Sorry... it was dirty heads. A good cleaning made everything come back (imagine that!). Sorry to waste everyone's time.

Last edited by Corey Aumiller; January 19th, 2007 at 05:59 PM.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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Actually you did not waste anybody's time. This is a good learning experience and reinforces the need to account for dirty heads first... even for the professional.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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A good idea too, if you don't already do this, is to always use the same brand of tape. Mixing different brands can cause head clogs, due to different lubricants used. BTW, I just cleaned my heads, thank you.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 01:47 AM   #4
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I had the same problem with my Xl2 about 3 months ago. Canon said I had dirty heads. Before I shipped the camera to Canon I tried to clean the heads myself with a head cleaning tape but it did nothing, and Canon had to clean it professionally. I think it happened because I started to use 3 different brands of tape at the same time. But it works fine now.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 06:38 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Good to know I'm not the only one with this problem. I think the main problem is that I use my XL2 as my capture camera... that's a lot of extra use. I've never switched tape brands though. Guess I should invest in a cheap capture device?

EDIT: By the way, Travis, how much did that head cleaning cost? I'm thinking it might be a good idea to just ship it in if its not an arm and a leg.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 07:02 PM   #6
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My camera was under warranty, so it cost nothing except the $20 to ship it to Canon. So I have no idea how much it would cost.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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It's always good to post stuff like this! I've had my XL2 since October, and shoot outdoors with a kata cover on, and have experienced the same thing... HEAD CLEANER! nice to see similar stuff here.
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Old April 17th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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Someone told me today that they were getting the heads cleaned on their XL1, and it cost around $200 to $300. I'm not sure about that though.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #9
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How often should you run a cleaner through it? Instructions say don't do it "more than needed"...whatever that is?
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 01:02 PM   #10
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update: i ended up sending the camera to canon because the head cleaning didn't solve the trick for too long. it was a 300 dollar repair, but i got all new heads and parts so essentially i've got a new camera. using your primary camera as a capture device puts way too many hours on it!
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Old April 27th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #11
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Head Cleanners?

What brand or type of head cleaner would be the "best" for maintaining my cam?
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Old April 27th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Acosta View Post
What brand or type of head cleaner would be the "best" for maintaining my cam?
I use Panasonic tapes. And also use a Panasonic head cleaner.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #13
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XL2 Tapes & Head Cleaners

Hi. We purchased a 2nd hand XL2 two years ago and have used it since. It was used for shooting and capture. We have used 4 different tape brands and a TDK Head Cleaner. We've cleaned the head but the tape eject sign still appears. We believe the camera should be put to service. How many hours of use can the XL2 heads take before they need to be serviced? Also, what is the best recommended brand of tape and head cleaner to use on the XL2? Do we need a certain head cleaner for the XLH1?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #14
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Head cleaning

Adam, Thanks for the reply. I was also wondering what a good "cheap" capture device would be and how much it might cost?
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Old May 16th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #15
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I was also wondering what a good "cheap" capture device would be and how much it might cost?
If cheap is what you're going for (and I can't blame you), then pick up the cheapest, most consumer-type mini-DV cam you can find (you can even get an old crappy used one if you like, and more likely than not it'll be just fine as a capture deck). If you're just using it as a deck, then it doesn't matter what the camera section can or can't do, functionality-wise. Since digital data is digital data, and because the DV format is so standardized, even widescreen 24p XL2 footage played back from a $300 handycam will look every bit as good as it does when played from the XL2, and the pulldown and 16:9 flag will remain intact. You'll save a lot of wear on your XL2's heads, and if the cheapo capture camera ever dies, you can just get another one.
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