Timecode on Canon XL1? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old October 17th, 2001, 07:34 AM   #1
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Timecode on Canon XL1?

I have followed the advice regarding trying to keep a timecode on the XL1 and nothing seems to work. Every time the Camera is switched from a shoot setting to VCR and back again the timecode re-sets itself. It also happens when a battery is changed, the camera is switched off and on and when it lapses in to stanby mode. I have tried prestriping, but to no avail. This is going to make editing very difficult and time consuming, I have no in and out points for continuity.
Surely there is little point in a camera without a functioning, trustworthy time code.
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Old October 17th, 2001, 08:58 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Tickfaw, LA
Posts: 1,217
Interesting problem??

I am not sure what your problem is. There is another thread on this that is worth reading here.

Switching from VCR to camera mode *DOES* unload the heads. If the tape advances to portion of the tape lacking a t/c the t/c resets. It may not do this everytime, but it does happen with regularity.

Here's a few things to try...

1. Record anything for a few seconds. 20 to 30 seconds worth is more than enough.

2. Using record review (NOT VCR MODE!!!!) back the tape up a few seconds worth. Is the t/c being displayed in the EVF? [The answer should be yes.]

3. Now put the cam in VCR mode and backup the tape to the beginning of the segment. In the EVF is the correct t/c being displayed? [The correct answer should be yes]

4. Re-insert the tape and repeat steps 2 and 3 again. [Both steps should function normally]

5. In camera mode, using record review advance to the end of the segment being sure to stop on valid t/c.

6. Record a new segment.

7. Repeat 2 and 3 again, being sure during step 3 to backup to the previous segment. The t/cs should not reset.

What you have done is verified that the cam can lift the correct t/c off tape. As long as you start recording a segment on a valid t/c, the t/c continues. The suspicious thing you are doing is switching between vcr and camera modes. You can do that, but it is very important to position the tape on a valid t/c via record review and not VCR. You may also be a victim of the XL-1 standby mode.

Nathan Gifford
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Old October 25th, 2001, 01:31 AM   #3
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XL1 Timecode

Thanks for your advice Nathan, I tried it and it seems ok, but checking the work on record review means there's no sound, and obviously that needs to be checked too.
I understand from a professional editor friend of mine that, unreliable timecode is normal on these lower range DV Cameras. Hopefully it wont pose to much of a problem when downloading the rushes (We will use Avid/Media 100)
The Camera is definetly broken though, aside from the timecode issues, It looses takes at random,(On playback all I get is a blue screen with no timecode) and certain scenes have had to be completely re-shot, because on playback the scene has been devided by thick black horizonal strips, whist at the same time flashing the image on and off and producing uneven bursts of sound which appear synthasised. Ocassionaly the scene is divided by the last image shown through the camera, like stipes of the two images on top of each other. Its as if the camera is memorising the last image it has seen, storing it (even if on another tape) and mixing it with another peice of footage. Its completely unpredictable as to when this occurs and I can think of no explanation for it. I dont no...Someones coming to take a look tomorrow. I bought the camera second hand and did'nt get a guarantee so I'm not sure what my rights are.
Ever heard of anyone experiencing this kind of thing on an XL1?
Sometimes the work is fine (I just have to check eveything! Its extremly nerve racking, and I'm not sure when this is happening maybe on playback? It always looks fine on the moniter and evf).
Thanks again for your advice.
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Old October 25th, 2001, 02:01 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chigasaki, Japan.
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Lisa, I had the black stripe problem with mine to. I had to send the camera to Canon, they replaced the head and now it all works fine. It wasn't too expensive, for the repairs and service I paid US$340.
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Old October 25th, 2001, 09:01 AM   #5
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Black stripes

Wow, someone else has had the same problem.
Well I will have it serviced and hopefully it wont happen again.
Anyone else had the same thing? It's good to gather evidence...

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