Serious problem - XL1s did not record to tape at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old May 26th, 2003, 08:15 PM   #1
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Serious problem - XL1s did not record to tape

I own an XL1 already and a GL1 with no problems (until I started using a new XL1s). The XL1s is 3 months old and has been used to shoot one full-day wedding and 1 corporate shoot without any problems....until this past Saturday.

I was filming a wedding with the new XL1s, it was filming fine for the whole day, until the beginning of the reception. I inserted a brand new tape and it was recording (with the rec message flashing on the viewfinder and counting down the minutes as usual). Then after the best man speech I put it on standby (which I was doing all day anyway), when I powered it back up, it said to remove the cassette. Well, the cassette was jammed and wouldn't come out. I didn't want to fiddle with it so I filmed with the other camera for the rest of the night.

Well, I took it to Canon and they were great, they got the tape out and are going to replace the recorder unit.

BUT, the big problem is that even though they got the tape out, it didn't record anything! The 20 minutes of reception footage is gone!! Like it didn't record at all, no time code, no sound, no video?!?! Has anyone heard anything like this before?

I have heard about switching tapes and I am wondering if that has anything to do with it. I started off using TDK tapes with this unit for about 5-7 hours of shooting, then I switched to Panasonic for the two weddings.

Does anyone know why this happened? I am very frightened about this happening again, now I have to deal with clients who are are going to be very disappointed. Is there a way to prevent this so it doesn't happen on future weddings or should I just consider it a "things happen" situation?

Please, your help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old May 26th, 2003, 08:35 PM   #2
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Don't mix the tape stocks, they have different coating and it can create these kind of problems. One of my friends used TDK tapes but it got stuck halfway through the shooting, other times he couldn't rewind them or playback at all etc. So he is not using TDK anymore and it seems to work a whole lot better. Use Fuji, they are really good, fuji also makes the tapes for Panasonic.

Cleaning the heads between tape stocks is a good idea as well.

EDIT

PS. He used the XL1s. DS
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Old May 27th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #3
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I wouldn't swap tape manufacturers either without running a head cleaner.

Since your tape jammed, it just as possible that the tape was still having trouble from the get go.

The only other thing to try is to run the tape through another player and see if it works.
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Old May 27th, 2003, 03:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies.

My question now is whether or not the camera had anything to do with the fact that it didn't record anything onto the tape or was it the tape itself that caused this problem?

When I get the camera back from Canon, if I stick to one brand only, will I have this problem again? (of the camera showing that it is recording, yet nothing is being recorded?)
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Old May 27th, 2003, 03:43 PM   #5
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No one can predict the future. When the camera comes back from Canon service check the camera out thoroughly before any important paying jobs.

There is no way to tell if the information is actually being recorded to tape unless you stop the tape, rewind and play it back. Just because the tape is moving, and an image appears in the view finder is no guarantee that information is being recorded on tape.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 10:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

I thought that by asking around I might be able to figure out how to prevent the problem in the future, but if this is one of those situations where you can't really predict it, then I guess just checking each tape before I start filming is the only real solution.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #7
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XL-1s recording

Jeff:

Actually there is a way you can check without shutting down and going into VCR mode... you just hit the Record Search or the Playback button on the left side of the camera, just above the EVF Display ON/OFF button.
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Old May 28th, 2003, 04:10 PM   #8
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Thanks for the correction Charles. I keep forgeting about Record Search.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #9
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AN update: I still haven't received the camera back from Canon, but I've come to the conclusion that is must have been the camera itself and not the tape (through research and tests).

I've read that Panasonic makes good quality tapes. I've checked through the actual tape which didn't record and it worked fine in other machines. I recorded footage onto it with another camera and vcr and there have been no problems with the tape at all.

Canon is replacing the recording unit (the camera is less than 3 months old) Looks like I just got stuck with a "lemon". I read that if anything is wrong with equipment, you should be able to find out within the first few months of use (often during the warranty period).

Oh well, live and learn.
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