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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 19th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #1
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Dirty Heads!

I have not ever had this problem with any camera that i have shot with, and certainly didn't expect it from the H1. I was shooting on location when i got the warning in my EVF that the heads were dirty. At the time i was shooting i was outside, and it was not dusty, or rainy, or dewy or muddy, it was a comfortable temperature, and had been for the most part of the week. What went wrong, and what should i do?
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Old March 19th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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Benjamin,

I'm pretty sure this means it's time to stick in the head cleaning tape. That is unless you have a reliable shop nearby that will do a proper wet cleaning. I still haven't used a head cleaning tape in mine yet, but I keep one in my bag at all times.

I'm reluctant to use a tape for maintenance, but I've been involved in long discussions here with guys that use them regularly. It shouldn't be a problem.

Have you been mixing tapestock? Or had your tape compartment open for any longer than normal period.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Richardson View Post
I have not ever had this problem with any camera that i have shot with, and certainly didn't expect it from the H1. I was shooting on location when i got the warning in my EVF that the heads were dirty. At the time i was shooting i was outside, and it was not dusty, or rainy, or dewy or muddy, it was a comfortable temperature, and had been for the most part of the week. What went wrong, and what should i do?
It is simply telling you to clean the heads. Just run a cleaning tape for about 5-seconds and it will be OK to continue filming.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #4
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I have a Canon cleaning tape, that I will run through. Why i ask is, I've been told that running cleaning tapes is very bad for the camera, so i just keep it for emergencies. I did mix Tape stock that day, and was worried about doing so, but didn't think that the camera would give me a needs to be cleaned warning, i"ll stick to my canon tapes for now.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Richardson View Post
I have a Canon cleaning tape, that I will run through. Why i ask is, I've been told that running cleaning tapes is very bad for the camera, so i just keep it for emergencies. I did mix Tape stock that day, and was worried about doing so, but didn't think that the camera would give me a needs to be cleaned warning, i"ll stick to my canon tapes for now.
I think that this qualifies as an emergency.

To say that cleaning tapes are very bad for the camera will incite Mike T and others. I'm not sure that we've beaten the subject to death, but it's pretty close. Some guys will run the dry type cleaners on a relatively regular basis. It's generally agreed that mixing tape brands will cause some kind of 'dirt'.

I just use the Sony PHDVM-63 tapes. If you search head-cleaning tapes on this or other forums, I'm sure you'll get your fill of advice.

Oh, BTW, only run the tape for 5-10 seconds like Tony says (I'm pretty sure you just need to be in VCR mode and push play).
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Old March 20th, 2007, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Richardson View Post
I have not ever had this problem with any camera that i have shot with, and certainly didn't expect it from the H1. I was shooting on location when i got the warning in my EVF that the heads were dirty. At the time i was shooting i was outside, and it was not dusty, or rainy, or dewy or muddy, it was a comfortable temperature, and had been for the most part of the week. What went wrong, and what should i do?
Nothing really went wrong which you could have completely prevented.The dirt might have just moved into the correct place to clog the heads. Mixing certain tape brands increases the risk of dirty heads but does not guarantee it will happen the same day you do it. It could show up a day later or never. Getting dirty heads is something which happens to everybody if they shoot enough tape. I am definitely for running a head cleaning cassette in these cases because it is a quick and efficient solution to continue the shoot. Remember there is a reason they give you a warning in this case. They don't want you to have a poor record. If it never happened they wouldn't have to give you a warning. If your camera continues to get cloggged heads then you might have a problem. If it never gives you the warning again I wouldn't be surprised by that either.
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