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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 May 4th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #1
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very long dropouts

Hello all,

I'm not sure if this is a tape issue or a camera issue, so I am starting here.

I know the tape issue has been run into the ground, but I am having a problem that I did not see in my search of this or the tape forum.

We did a shoot with two brand new XL-H1's in Florida a couple weeks ago. I am now capturing into FCP and am getting several 6 second long dropouts in each tape. My understanding from reviewing other posts, is that most dropouts should only be 15 frames, not 4-6 seconds!

Is there a problem with the cameras or is this just another tape issue?

Details:
2 new XL-H1's
pana DVM83MQ MiniDV Master tapes
same problem capturing from the camera or Sony deck (I tried both to make sure it wasn't a compatibility issue)
HDV 60i

I know the 83 minute tapes aren't always ideal.

I read all the tape threads and have no problem buying better tapes, but why are the dropouts 4-6 seconds long?

I called Canon and there officiall response was that they could comment on tape issues or recommend a particular tape since they do not manufacture tapes.

Thanks

-Bill
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #2
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I have had similar problem - not dropout, but unable to capture after several sec.
My problem was with the current install. of FCP. Trashed the install, and did a fresh one =>problem gone.
Have you tried to capture on another pc/mac ?
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Thoresen
I have had similar problem - not dropout, but unable to capture after several sec.
My problem was with the current install. of FCP. Trashed the install, and did a fresh one =>problem gone.
Have you tried to capture on another pc/mac ?

I did not try to capture on another device since the problem is quite noticable on the monitor I had hooked directly to the camera or deck while capturing. The problem seems to be on the tape from the recording.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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The 83min tapes are very thin. It could be a brief mis-track. I would not use 83min tapes. I have had problems with drop outs with panasonic tapes recently and have switch to Sony tapes. Too early to tell if it has made any difference.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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I would suspect the long tapes as the culprit, since it would be unusual to have two defective cameras and HDV is not normally that error-prone. I use inexpensive 60 minute miniDV tapes from Sam's Club in my Sony FX1s and have had hardly any noticeable dropouts -- fewer than I usually got shooting in DV.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. I am going to do some tests with different tape in the next two weeks to try to solve my problem. I know to be carefull and clean the heads if I switch brands. I just want to pick a tape I can stick with before I run too many through the camera.

Thanks again

-Bill
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #7
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I use both Sony and Panasonic brands of tape. Sony is (was) my personal
choice and Panny is what we use at work. I have had MANY more
drop outs using Sony tape, including premium, excellence AND master
quality 'flavors', than the Panasonic AY-DVM63PQ of which I have
only had one or two dropouts when usings HUNDREDS of tapes.

I think I am going to go to Panasonic for my personal use.

IMO, AVOID Maxell, TDK and especially Memorex which are
almost all universally bad. (I don't know if Memorex still makes
miniDV, but they shouldn't!)
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
I have had MANY more
drop outs using Sony tape, including premium, excellence AND master
quality 'flavors', than the Panasonic AY-DVM63PQ of which I have
only had one or two dropouts when usings HUNDREDS of tapes.
Great, I just picked up $600 worth of Sony Tapes!
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #9
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Don't worry Ken, the rule is to use only one brand exclusively - I have been using Sony tapes, both HD and Master, have shot over 60 tapes and have not had a single drop out (knock on wood - always dangerous to brag)...

One point to consider as well - these tapes and their containers are extremely delicate.. handle them like fine crystal - I've seen people slapping tapes in and out of cameras and decks thinking they're as robust as Beta tapes...

Insert them carefully, close the door gently, and wait for all the little whirring noises to stop before punching Record or Play - I don't know if this really helps with drop outs, but it will provide more peace of mind...
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:28 AM   #10
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Thanks Steve,

I feel better now. That's why I bought all Sony and that's why I bought $600 worth. I live on Island, a big island, but an Island none the less and have to order good stuff in.

Ken
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