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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 August 7th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #1
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New Owner of the H1a

Well I got my camera. Lots to learn and I have a bunch of questions I'm holding back on. This is a big step from the XL1s,

any advice before I hit the field, like is there anything I need to do to this camera ?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 11:02 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new member of your family.

Run a head cleaning cassette for about eight or ten seconds before you put that first tape in.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Congrats on the new member of your family.

Run a head cleaning cassette for about eight or ten seconds before you put that first tape in.
Wow Chris i thought you had to avoid head cleaning tapes all together but to run one through a new camera i am getting shivers.

Rob.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #4
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Dear Robert,

This is a good idea. This is not bad for the heads. Do not be afraid of running a head cleaning tape, just follow the instructions carefully.

I have not read the XL H1a manual, but Canon states that this is the recommended procedure for new XL H1's.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 10:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Robert,

This is a good idea. This is not bad for the heads. Do not be afraid of running a head cleaning tape, just follow the instructions carefully.

I have not read the XL H1a manual, but Canon states that this is the recommended procedure for new XL H1's.
Hey Dan

How often should you use a head cleaner.

Rob.
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Old August 9th, 2008, 07:01 AM   #6
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Dear Robert,

Congratulations on your new XL H1a!

Canon recommends using a "Dry Type" head-cleaning tape "Frequently" (Page 138 of the original XL H1 manual).

I do not have my XL1s manual available, but I faintly remember it said ever 25 hours or so.

I interpret "Frequently" to be about every 10 to 20 hours of tape running time (this is the total of record and playback times).

Before every shoot, I record at least 30 seconds of color bars on a new tape, and then play it back checking for problems.

A lot of people are very concerned about running a tape cleaning tape.

From what I read a few years ago (I believe in a Panasonic professional "White Paper"), it said that while tapes are running, a thin film of a "varnish" like substance is built up on the heads. This is caused by the heat of the spinning heads and the very slow linear speed of the tape.

If the tapes are cleaned "Frequently", by using a dry-type cleaning tape for the proper time (5 to 10 seconds maximum), this "varnish" is removed. I use the Panasonic head-cleaning tape, as do many others.

Some people clean their heads before every recording. Personally, I feel that this is too "Frequently". Others wait for 25 hours of recording time (or longer).

I have never read where 10 hours is the optimum time; it is just what I use.

If you have a very important shoot and have not cleaned your heads for 5 hours or more, I do not feel that you will hurt you camera by running the cleaning tape for 5 to 10 seconds. Remember, you are, in most cases, just removing the “varnish”.

Just do not rewind and reuse the cleaning tape. It is meant to be used just once. When you get to the end of the cleaning tape, discard it.
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