Drop-Out Problems - asking for advice at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old October 23rd, 2007, 09:17 PM   #1
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Drop-Out Problems - asking for advice

Hello there,

I am new here and hope anyone can help me.

I am currently shooting with the XL-H1. 25F Mode/ PAL and use Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ tapes.

Now, after looking at the latest rushes (tape 11-14) it seems like I have serious drop out problems. The picture freezes and when it starts running again the timecode jumps about two seconds. Sometimes even up to four seconds. It's not on all the tapes, some of them are completly fine and others are partly "destroyed". The drop-outs seem to be more within the beginning of the tapes.

Options I am considering:

- using a cleaning tape and test to shoot again with my stock....(already used the cleaning tape)

- Changing the tapes although I had good expierience with them in the past and never have heard anything bad about them.

- Getting the camera cleaned professional by Canon

Question I am having:

- Is there anything else which could cause the dropouts?

- Could it be something completly different and I am on the wrong track?

Any advise & help given would be great!

--------------------------------------

Marcel Reategui
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:28 PM   #2
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You definitely need to consider a regular cleaning interval for the camera. You can wait till a deck shows problems because you won't miss anything. But a camera can go for some time before you get the dreaded RF warning. DV tapes are notorious for causing build-up on the equipment's tiny heads.

I've started making it a practice to run a cleaning tape pass after every 24 hours on the heads. And, I've recently switched to Sony HDV tapes after numerous drop-out issues with JVC Pro and HDV. A colleague of mine reports nary a drop-out on Sony HDV stock after hundreds of tapes, so I'm giving it a try. Make absolutely sure that you clean the heads before switching stock, too.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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Hi there, I was having the same problem and did all my head cleaning and tape changing to no avail. In the end I had canon service the cam and they found the heads were clogged somewhat and that the tape path was not true. Both were fixed and from now on I intend to have regular servicing from canon.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:20 PM   #4
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I don´t recomend using cleaning tapes too often, it´s a bit like using sanding paper on your heads. The put a lot of wear on yor heads
I was told this by a trusted tech person
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Old October 27th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Hi there,

first of all thank you for the quick answers!

As I said I used a cleaning tape and tested the camera again. Nothing changed. The problem even got worse.
Yesterday (after some travelling days) I was at the official Canon support and they cleaned the heads within half an hour. A quick test and a longer one later that day showed no more drop-outs. I will be filming tomorrow and hope nothing more happens.

Since the camera is from a rental house I don't really know for how long the camera (heads) have been used. And they couldn't tell me either.
So I am plannining to get new heads for the camera upcoming tuesday since we will be travelling to more remote places within the next five weeks and I probaply will not have the same support availible.

Has anyone experience with changing the heads? Is there anything to watch out for when I get the camera back?

Thank you
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Old October 27th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #6
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Dear Marcel,

When changing out the heads on a camera, when properly done, the only concern would be alignment. But, if properly done, this should not be a problem.

I would take a tape, recorded before the head change, and then immediately test it to see that the tape will play back properly after the head change.

You may be able to record a test tape before you send it in, then include it with the camera, with a note for them to test it after the head change.

However, the Canon Factory Service people are very qualified, there should not be a problem.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #7
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Tapes

Hi Marcel,
Because the camcorder is from a rental house you probably don't know which tapes have been used in the XL H1.

Some tapes have dry lubricants (the one you use) and others have wet lubrication (Sony).

Many people around here say you should never mix those types in the same tape mechanism.

I'm using the same Panasonic tape. This decision was based upon a lot of information.
Once in about 30 tapes I got one short dropout. Then I run a cleaning tape and then I didn't get any more problems during the next 40 tapes or so.

You can look around the forum "The Long Black Line" to learn more about this.

I guess a manual cleaning could remove deposits better than by a cleaning tape.

Good luck!
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