XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem 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 March 16th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #1
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XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

I'm a new owner of an XL H1A camera and let me first say, W O W!!!! Having shot on the XH A1s, there is definitely a difference. That being said, my problem is that it seems when recording that the camera is doing something similar to skipping frames or perhaps it is. What's happening is that when I playback the footage, it is crystal clear and then all of a sudden, it seems as though the footage freezes, gets grainy and then starts up again. The cycle is continuous throughout the playback. I did pull the lens off and remount and rerecord. This seems to have resolved the issue in the shot term but to most, I'm sure my concern is obvious. I don't want to shoot a wedding and get home only to find that I have footage that can't be used.

Has anyone had this issue?
Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks for reading and responding.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

There is a good chance this is caused by dirty heads, although it could be a problem with the tape transport system and heads. Try using a head cleaning tape and see if this clears the problem up.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #3
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Thanks for the advice. I tried cleaning the heads but that didn't seem to work as well as I'd hoped. My guess is its something more serious. Does anyone know roughly how much it'll cost to have the cassette and heads removed and replaced?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice Covington View Post
I'm a new owner of an XL H1A camera and let me first say, W O W!!!! Having shot on the XH A1s, there is definitely a difference.
I thought both models use the same sensor, just different lens. Is there an obvious difference in sharpness?

Reg your playback problems, are you using new unused tapes? Re-using your tape can trigger more drop-outs, if a cleaning tape doesn't help then you need to send the camera in for service. You can ask at Canon service for a quote but it won't be cheap. Another "solution" would be to turn your camera into a hybrid by adding a external recorder like a firestore.
I added a sony hvr-dr60 about 2 years ago to my xh-a1 and have not regretted it, this ofcourse will not solve your problem with the tape recording and you are probably best off just to have this fixed, I always run a tape as back up just in case my ext recorder would fail and that gives a safer feeling.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

The camera do have the same sensor however the XL H1A has been reengineered to perform better in low light. I can't recall where I read this but it is evident when you compare image quality. Honestly, I was blown away. I am sure that there is no XF300 in my future.

Good advice with the external device. In fact, when I get home, I'm going to try a direct connect to my MacBook to see if I can get good footage. This will obviously be a tell all as it relates to the a Guam problem. I contacted Cznon yesterday but my phone dropped before I could get a live for the repair.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Maurice,
Based on the photo that you posted in the other thread, it looks as though you have the original XLH1 and not the XLH1a. These model was the predecessor to the XHA1 and therefore should theoretically be inferior. However, I still own the XLh1 original and briefly owned the XHa1 and I swear that the H1 looked better to me. So much so that I sold the XHa1 after only a few weeks,

Regardless, it wasn't a night and day difference but there was something better about the H1 image that made me stick with it. And now with my Samurai the SDI out is priceless too me. I thought it was a waste back then....but now I could not live without it. I am now trying to be an elitist but I could not stand the idea of going back to HDV tape. Mind you I do run a tape in the camera as a backup, but I have yet to actually even check one!

Good Luck and I thing you got a heckuva deal.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Is the Samurai a cheaper alternative to the Nano Flash because this piece of hardware, if purchased new, is roughly $2,900.00.?

What's throwing me off with my camera is the serial number in the battery compartment. The camera is identified as an XL H1A despite it looking exactly like an XL H1. When I got it the heads were extremely dirty but I think I have solved the problem for now but like you I am looking for an inexpensive alternate to the tape that shoots
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Atomos Ninja / Samurai Forum at DVinfo.net

This is a link to the Atomos forum here on DVinfo.net. Check that thread and see what you think. I have posted over there many times and I can respond to any questions you have. The NanoFlash is an awesome porduct, but my boss gave me a budget under $2k and this really hit the mark. I am recording to an SSD and I also have a hard drive that works great. It includes batteries that have lasted me all day on 3 different shoots. It has a screen to proof your shots on in realtime or after the recording, but don't count on it replacing a real field monitor. It is not accurate with colors and such.....much darker than the recorded image. The Samurai has been great for me.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

I just wanted to thank all of you guys for responding to my post. It looks as though if was dirty heads. This camera is not cranking out some really good footage. In fact, for what I am doing, there is absolutely no way that I would consider going up to an XF300//305. I just don't see the benefit when none of my clients are requesting blue Ray.

Am I drinking to much of the XLH1 Kool Aid?
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Old April 15th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: XL H1A Recording & Playback Problem

Good to see your problem is solved, about your clients not requesting blu-ray, actually it does not matter wehter you have a xf300 or a xlh1, both are "HD" camera's and are intended to be delivered on Blu-ray type of media meaning something that can show the full potential of the camera. Anything less, like dvd, means downsizing and delivering less quality both camera's can produce.
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