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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old July 21st, 2002, 06:14 AM   #1
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picture breakup

Recently had a couple of instances where tapes recorded on the XL1 would not play back on a couple of DVCAM decks. What is odd is that in one instance where five tapes were recorded consecutively with no changes made in the settings of the camera, the first of those tapes broke up into pixel-like chunks when played on the Sony decks, but the others were fine. And the other instance was that the first few minutes of one tape wouldn't play back in much the same way, but the problem suddenly fixed itself midtape. In both cases, the footage would play back OK from the XL1 itself. Anyone else have this erratic problem?
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Old July 21st, 2002, 09:53 AM   #2
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This is a known Canon issue - one that made me buy the PD150. Canon tape mechanisms does not seem to correspond to industry specs (JVC, SONY, Panasonic). Most XL1 users are forced to use the camcorder as tape deck since Canon does not produce any decks. Not all XL1s are having this problem. If you shoot a lot your video heads will get off pitch and you will as a result have this problem on your hands. Make backups of your tapes when you send the camcorder in for service because you will not be able top view them on anything once the problem is fixed.

Good luck.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 12:13 PM   #3
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To say"Most XL1 users are forced..." may well be a substantial overstatement.

Never had a problem interchanging XL1 SP speed tapes with other MiniDV gear, including Sony MiniDV and DVC decks. (I do not shoot LP.)

I've not used XL1-shot tapes in DVCAM gear, but an associate does use my XL1 shot tapes in his DCVAN system occasionally with no reported problems.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 12:16 PM   #4
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Aargh. Yes Charles this is a hassle. I think you should immediately play a recorded tape back from the XL1, onto a fresh dub made on your DVCAM deck. Then use the dub for editing. An extra time-consuming step for you but definitely bullet-proof. Welcome to "prosumer" gear.

I forgot who makes the tape transports for Canon but sometimes they won't play nicely with Sony. I've heard of better luck with Panasonic DV decks such as the AG-DV1000 & 2000.
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Old July 21st, 2002, 02:01 PM   #5
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That's probably a good idea Chris, hadn't occurred to me--I'll bet that will improve the sync issues for long batch captures also. Something to do with that locked/unlocked audio issue--or is the XL1 particularly bad at this also?

There's sort of a parallel between being an XL1 enthusiast and a Mac user, methinks...you miss out on a few things due to incompatibility, but you champion that which is unique about them and that makes it all worthwhile.
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