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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 December 30th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #1
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Missing Scenes!

Hi Everyone and I hope that you all have a fun and safe New Year's Eve tonight.

I'm looking for help on an issue with my XLH1. About 6 months ago I was shooting a short movie for a friend of mine. Later after I captured the footage, I could have sworn that some scenes we shot were missing. Since this was mostly a fun shoot, we did not log time code data for each scene as we went. Therefore I had no way of confirming that any scenes were missing, just "Hey didn't we shoot one where......?" Lucky for us my friend,who directed, loves to do many takes of everything, so no problems in post.

A while later I tried to do a test to see if there was a problem with the camera. I took a slate and wrote numbers on it, like scenes, 1 through 60. I shot each number for about 10 seconds and then captured and reviewed the footage. All of the scenes were there, so I figured that it was all in my mind and the camera was fine. But since that day, I look to make sure the little red dot is on and the time code is rolling each time I start to record.

I did a shoot a couple of weeks ago, where I could have sworn we did a couple more takes then were on the tape, so watched it closely again yesterday at a shoot.

Well, I confirmed yesterday that it does occur! I put bars and tone on the beginning of the tape prior to the shoot. The first three shots were two establishing shots of a house, one with a bicycle and one without and an establishing shot of a custom truck we were using in the shoot. When I captured the footage, they were not on the tape. It went from the bars and tone to the 4th shot, another of the truck. There was no break in the time code, nothing to indicate that they were ever shot. They just were not there. I believe that a few other shots were missing too as I took many shots of the truck driving away and found only three on the tape.

At first I thought it might be an issue with scene detect during capture and that they were just not logged, but I reviewed the tape and they are just not there period!

What seems to happen it that either the camera says it is rolling and code code is running when it is in fact not, or the camera backs up during the pause to the end of the previous scene. This can't, by the way, be blamed on the review button as it is never touched and that it only backs up 5 seconds for review. Although, I might have to start using it all the time to confirm shots!

My question is this: Have any of you experienced the same thing, or maybe thought you had, but just thought it was an error on your part, or that you were just CRAZY?!?!?!

I will be contacting Canon tomorrow, but the warranty ran out about one month ago. I hope that I can convince them that it has been there all along. May it is an issue they have seen before.

Thanks-----Mike

Oh P.S.: Now I have to make a 100+ mile round trip of Juno, Florida today to reshoot the house! GGGGRRRR!
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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; December 30th, 2007 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Added comment.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Hi Everyone and I hope that you all have a fun and safe New Year's Eve tonight.
Hi Mike,

I think this may be part of the problem. Today is only December 30th. Tomorrow is New Year's eve. So not only are you missing some shots on tape, you're missing an entire day (December 30th). Perhaps you are caught in a time/space warp and it's affecting the camera. You are in Florida and therefore, pretty close to the Bermuda triangle. :-)



Okay, seriously, I've never seen that happen, but if for some reason, you pressed record, and the camera didn't roll tape, maybe that's what is happening. I've seen some pretty weird electronics failures in my day, so I consider anything to be possible. Perhaps you might want to watch to see if the tape reels are moving when you press record.

A strange problem indeed.

-gb-
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Old December 30th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #3
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Hi Mike,

I think this may be part of the problem. Today is only December 30th. Tomorrow is New Year's eve. So not only are you missing some shots on tape, you're missing an entire day (December 30th). Perhaps you are caught in a time/space warp and it's affecting the camera. You are in Florida and therefore, pretty close to the Bermuda triangle. :-)

-gb-
Damn, that's what happens when you got old! There goes the party I had planned for tonight!!!!!! The brain is just gone!

But serious, it is hard to check to see if the reels are turning and in some circumstances not practical, like on your shoulder. I will start putting a lot of pre-roll and triple checking the time code though! I wish I knew what was causing this.

Well, I'm out the door for a trip to Juno!

Thanks Greg. The best of New years to you my friend! I know, I should get that Sony camera, huh!

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #4
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Mike;
I have noticed that sometimes the timecode will start flashing when I hit the record button and will continue to flash without starting the tape. If you wait around 30 seconds, the timecode and the tape will start running. If you assume that the tape is running it is possible to miss a short take. I found this problem shooting a feature earlier this year. I have missed seeing it on docu shoots in the past as I was moving too fast and was too concerned about the action and less concerned with the camera. Watch the timecode very carefully and confirm it is running.

I keep meaning to send in my H1 for service to have Canon see if they can find the issue and fix it. Just haven't yet.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #5
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Not sure about this, as I haven't done HDV capturing lately.

BUT...are you sure you didn't shoot some of the scenes DV instead of HDV and then switch it on the tape? I'm pretty sure that the HDV capture screen will just skip portions of tape that are DV. Just a thought.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #6
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Not sure about this, as I haven't done HDV capturing lately.

BUT...are you sure you didn't shoot some of the scenes DV instead of HDV and then switch it on the tape? I'm pretty sure that the HDV capture screen will just skip portions of tape that are DV. Just a thought.
No, the tape is continuous and of course I didn't shoot part and part. The tape is just like I never pushed the button, but of course I did.

Before I left to reshoot the footage this morning, I sat the camera on the table and tried to get it to do it again. No luck!

Back from the reshoot now,that is along drive for footage that will be seen about 2 seconds, literally.

The only thing I can think of is that the tape simply does not move. If the tape does not move, the drum could still be laying down timecode, but all in the same exact place. Therefore when you start up for the next scene it detects the previous timecode and starts from there again. If the tape never moved, the time code starts from the same place again.

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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Mike;
I have noticed that sometimes the timecode will start flashing when I hit the record button and will continue to flash without starting the tape. If you wait around 30 seconds, the timecode and the tape will start running. If you assume that the tape is running it is possible to miss a short take. I found this problem shooting a feature earlier this year. I have missed seeing it on docu shoots in the past as I was moving too fast and was too concerned about the action and less concerned with the camera. Watch the timecode very carefully and confirm it is running.

I keep meaning to send in my H1 for service to have Canon see if they can find the issue and fix it. Just haven't yet.
I know if it goes into pause, it will back up about 3 seconds or so and then when you start to record again it backs up slightly more then rolls to the previous end and starts recording. This is not the issue though, because my shots were about 30 seconds each.

Frustrating!

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #8
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Mike,

Is it possible you're experiencing a standby problem ? Let me explain.

If the camera is on...and sitting for say 5-10 minutes in pause. it goes into a standby mode. When you go to record...there is easily a 10-15 second "wake up" time...BEFORE the timecode even moves. The record light is lit....but nothing is happening.

Finally...the TC will begin to move and you are now recording. I've gotten caught with this a couple of times...on set. Camera is on...lighting is happening...and then...time to roll....and well....wait...wait....wait....okay...finally SPEED.

I have hit the record button....think I was recording...then hit it again...only to realize...it never recorded at all !!! It's all related to that "standby mode"...

I think it also has to do with...when the camera wakes up...it has to look where it is on the tape...and the Long GOP has to do some calculations....

Anyhow...try that....turn the camera on...let it sit for 10 minutes...and try to record.
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Last edited by Kevin Martorana; December 30th, 2007 at 03:11 PM. Reason: typo
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Old December 30th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #9
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Thanks Kevin,

But, like I have said, it does show the time code moving and I did 30 second plus shots. What you are noticing is the stand-by mode as I have mentioned above. That is not what this is. I see time code rolling.

Thanks---Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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Well we have had several problems similar to this. This "just use your camera to capture" stuff is pretty ghetto, too. Sorry, fans. We have the H1, the A1 and the HV10 and LOVE the pictures. However, I am seriously thinking about switching to Sony's next year now that they are releasing similar cameras but also have a supporting deck.

Mike, it's possible you have a misaligned head or something. We just sent our A1 in and they said it was misaligned. We were having a lot of capture problems at beginnings of tapes...or it would only capture 10-60 seconds at a time. Our HV10 does this, too, so I'm thinking it has the same problem.

To their credit, Canon tech support was awesome. They turned it around VERY quickly (had it back to me in a week) and didn't charge us for fixing another problem that was our fault (headphone jack got yanked).

As I griped about the lack of 24F support to the tech on the phone, he just signed "I know, I know." I have a feeling I wasn't the first griping. :-)

Good luck. I would send it in as soon as possible.

Kevin
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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #11
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I'll try to explain one more time! :)

This is not a capture problem, this is a "never laid down or recorded in the first place problem." I have no problems capturing, no drop-outs ever.

Thanks---Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #12
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Mike the time code moving is record run not free run right? It just seems that kevin (martorana) possibility is more likely.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #13
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Mike the time code moving is record run not free run right? It just seems that kevin (martorana) possibility is more likely.
Yes, record run. Kevin's explanation is the closest to what happens, but is not exactly what occurs. Yes, there is a hesitation in recording as the camera comes out of pause, gets the head spinning, rewraps the tape, and rewinds and plays to the end of the last scene before it starts laying down new material and time code. But it is not 30 seconds. I checked it many times and it is about 3-5 seconds. There is no way I would miss 30-40 second shots.

The only thing I can figure is that the tape does not move and the head simply lays down new information and time code on the exact end of the previous scene. Therefore when you start another shot, it is still at the previous time code starts from that location, if at all! After all, I lost the first three scenes in a row. It was actually good that it did that, as if it had not I would not have picked it up.

It is very curious indeed and I will be watching like a hawk to try and catch it happening again. The way to tell is to watch the time code for the end of a scene, say 00;00;50;17, and see if the next scene starts from that point or all of a sudden starts from say 00;00;30;03 and drops about 20 seconds. I just do not normally log each clips time code, but you can bet I will be watching very carefully.

Thanks to all---Mike
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Old December 30th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #14
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Mike, have you tried switching to a different brand of tape? 18 months ago when I purchased the XLH1, I started using Panasonic's Advanced Master tapes and a lot of the footage showed a blank screen when played back in Sony's 25U deck. When I would FF the tape the picture was there, normal speed it often wasn't there, so I switched to Sony's Digital Master tapes and haven't had a single problem since. Now about 100 hours later I also haven't experinced a single dropout either.

Hope you can find the problem soon.

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Old December 30th, 2007, 10:46 PM   #15
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Mike...

Wow...lots of interesting ideas here...but your problem is certainly very bizzarre. The fact that you can see TC running...in record mode...and not get a signal is unusual to say the least. I would think that only if the heads were passing tape...would the TC run (except in free run mode).

sounds like you will need to send it back to Canon....but I understand the frustration in not being able to RECREATE the issue....!!!

I would think that if anyone who owns an H1...and uses this forum...and has run into this...would be able to shed some light on your problem.
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