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Old September 15th, 2003, 01:43 PM   #1
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SONY tapes Throw the Heads off on Canon-XL1?

Howdy ho,

I've been a happy Canon XL-1 owner for five years now. A couple of years ago however I rented a SONY PD-150 to shoot in the jungles of Cambodia (wanted something smaller and less intimidating to my subjects).

I have just gotten into FINAL CUT PRO 4 and have been using my Canon XL1 as a deck to digitze from. I've been noticing that some of the SONY PROFESSIONAL tapes that I have from Cambodia (that were shot with the PD-150) are mosiacing and pixilating and showing noise. This wasn't always the case.

Most recently while putting a demo reel together I inserted a PANASONIC tape that had been shot with the PD-150 and it didn't play right. Could this have thrown my heads off? My camera is messed up now and I've sent it back to Canon for maintenance. My question is: Is it a bad idea to use the Canon XL1 as a deck with tapes that were not shot with the camera?

Thanks for any insight,
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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #2
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I'm experiencing the same problem with my JVC GY-DV301. Ever since I used Sony Premium tapes, my cam started to drop audios, more frequent mosaic and noises.

I tried cleaning it but failed. I've got to send it back to JVC for maintenance.

Heard that Sony Pro tapes use wet lubricant which might be a problem to most camcorders video heads.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 06:19 AM   #3
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I have been seeing some of the same problems with my Sony EX tapes...I have invested heavily in spares of Sony tape stock would like to get to the bottom of this...Is Sony Tape junk or not....?
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Old September 16th, 2003, 08:41 AM   #4
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It's not that Sony tapes are junk or that Panasonic are better it's the fact that they use different lubricants and it's when tapes are mixed that you get problems. Both the Sony and Panasonic tapes are excellent products and you shouldn't have problems with either provided you stay with the one brand, use either Sony OR Panasonic, NOT both.

Beth your problem your be that different tapes couldd have been used in the rented PD150 and your Sony tapes could have picked up the different lubricant which could be causing your problems. There have also been problems reported between recording on Sony and playing back on Canon. Your best bet would be to rent or borrow a Sony deck or cam to capture your Sony recorded tapes.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 05:18 PM   #5
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I have never had any problems with SONY tapes. Plus I have been in lots of very high humid areas in Mexico (like Cambodia) and Sony tapes seemed to stand up very well, and this is likewise been shared with other people I have talked to that live in high humidity areas throughout the Americas.

I think its more the case that Adrian states, as even in teh days using an Hi-8 Pro camera, mixing of tapes caused my heads to go as well.

Like many posts in here...Lots go for Panasonic and lots go for Sony or other brands, but the moral of the story throughout is don't mix tapes.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
SONY tapes Throw the Heads off on Canon-XL1?
What's really funny is just yesterday I was at a pro shop downtown, and the salesperson preached not to use Sony tapes in the Canon XL1/s. She went into a deep explanation of why. I should add that she has an impressive film/video background and years of professional experience. This was her opinion, and I just wanted to share this.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 12:24 AM   #7
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Hi Frank,
Would you care to share some of that sermon? I've used nothing but Sony in my cameras, and have still had a few problems. I'd like to see if any part of the salesperson's explanation answers my questions.

Thanks.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 01:39 AM   #8
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In a very high percentage of XL1/s that displayed head problems, their owners had used Sony tapes. She thought that Sony heads where slightly different than XL1 heads, and the Sony cams worked better with Sony tape (because Sony design their tape for Sony cams); thus XL1 cams and Sony tape don't mix, causing head problems. (Take this sermon with a grain of salt. I listened, I shared; don't ask me for a further explaination. I don't have one.) :-)
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Old September 17th, 2003, 01:55 AM   #9
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Yeah, I wouldn't take it as gospel, nor would I nag you for more info. I've got too many tapes I may want to playback later to switch brands now (besides, I just got one of my cameras serviced and would have to do it again!). It is interesting, though, so thank you for sharing.
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Old September 17th, 2003, 03:12 PM   #10
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Well thanks to everyone for adding their $0.02. I feel like I've learned a few tips.

I have always been happy with the SONY PROFESSIONAL tapes. I too used them under great duress both in high humidity and dust in Cambodia and in extreme heat travelling throughout the US in mid-August.

I think the moral of this story is DON'T MIX tape and DON'T use your camera as a playback deck if you can avoid it. Each tape does have different lubricants that do effect the heads. I'm not sure I am convinced that the SONY brand is the problem - I probably just need to stick with it rather than flipping from SONY to Fuji then to PANASONIC.

In the meantime I have decided to invest in a cheapy min-dv walkman for playback while my camera gets its "heads" together at Canon;)

Thanks again - this has been very helpful!
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Old September 18th, 2003, 03:29 PM   #11
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Just to add, I have never been able to play back tapes recorded on my Sony VX2000 in my XL1 (or the other way) In fact, i have never been able to play tapes recorded on my XL1 in anything but my XL1. But they will play in other Canons. On the other hand, tapesw recorded on my Sony will play in my Panasonic aand my JVC vcr.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 03:33 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Chandler : In fact, i have never been able to play tapes recorded on my XL1 in anything but my XL1. But they will play in other Canons. -->>>

I have 3 XL-1 cameras. I use a Panasonic AG-DV2000 to capture tapes recorded on all three. If I start to get consistent sound bobbles, I know it is time to send a camera in for maintenance to get the heads realigned.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 03:59 PM   #13
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I had only one problem with a Sony tape in my XL-1. Still I switched to Panasonic just to standardize on a particular tape since I do have problems when switching brands.

Other than that, I have no complaints about Sony tapes.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #14
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I won't deny that it could be the heads (probably is), but if it is, they were misaligned from the factory, because the first tape I ever recorded on the cam still plays back flawlessly. If I could just get along enough break in jobs, I would send it in for servicing (well, at least after I transfer everyting I have that still matters!).
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Old September 18th, 2003, 07:39 PM   #15
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Jeff, my wife's cousin shoots weddings every weekend with the XL1. He uses Fuji because he says that he has had the least amount of problems with this tape brand. For the last couple of years, he's only used Fuji. And my cams (non-Canons) can read his tapes with no problems.
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