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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 7th, 2002, 02:21 PM   #1
ucsbgaucho
 
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Video quality problems - help!

I have been using a used XL1 which I purchased about 2 months ago, and everything has been pretty good. I am shooting a lot of college sporting events for the university I work for, mostly men's and women's basketball. I get great pictures, although it seems like every once in awhile, and sometimes quite often, the picture will flicker and parts of the image will be out of line, almost like what you'd see if you had DirecTV or digital cable and the connection goes bad for a split second, the whole image is there but it seems like squares of the image are shifted to the right or left, and its very noticeable. I know its not an editing issue because the problem is there when i play directly from the camera to a TV. Could it be a problem with the audio affecting the video? There are points when the crowd roars and is very loud and I would have to go look again but maybe the loud audio is affecting the video. Has anyone else experienced this? I've used 2 different miniDV tapes and I get the same on both. Should i try lowering the audio recording level? Any suggestions are much appreciated.
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Old January 7th, 2002, 02:37 PM   #2
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Off the cuff I would recommend that you get and use a MiniDV cleaning cassette. Your heads may be getting dirty, particularly if you purchased the camera used or if you have used it for many hours without cleaning. (Remember, the hours you run the playback to capture your footage also counts towards run-time.)

Re: your sound problem, I don't think peaking-out your mic would affect your video although it certainly won't do your sound track any good <g>. Yes, you should always monitor your sound with closed-cup headphones and set your levels accordingly.
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Old January 7th, 2002, 03:53 PM   #3
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You might also have a tracking problem. One has been plaguing my XL-1 since it was new. Most of the "glitches" are less than a second, and typically affect both video and audio. I've also frequently had horizontal "banding" at the start of a tape.

Vic
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Old January 15th, 2002, 04:47 PM   #4
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Banding Problem?

Hi Vic,

I just started having a problem with my 2 month old XL1S that sounds like the banding problem you described. I was doing some tests using a tape that had been previously used once, but I've seen the problem on new tapes as well. The tape is Fuji ME.

This particular tape had many areas where there were digital drop-outs (square areas missing video data) much like the originator of this thread described. Other areas had wide horizontal bands that would last for only a few frames. On close examination of the bands, it appears that every other band has the image frozen in time while the alternate bands continue to move. Does that make any sense? Is that what you experienced at the beginning of your tape? These "glitches" were noticed when viewing the tape on a TV connected to analog outputs of the XL1S.

It's hard to believe that dirty heads are causing the problem but I'll get a head cleaner and give it a shot.

Ed Frazier
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Old January 15th, 2002, 06:57 PM   #5
ucsbgaucho
 
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I went out and bought a head cleaner for $15 and it seemed to help quite a bit, I still get a few little square blips randomly around the picture, but the problem I had of large squares, maybe the width of the frame and 20 or 30 pixels high, was gone. Hopefully if I use it a few more times these tiny squares will also disappear, cuz they are still noticeable.

does anyone know of a list of authorized Canon repair places in the Southern CA area, specifically Santa barbara, that I might take it to for cleaning if I decide to do that?
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Old January 15th, 2002, 07:05 PM   #6
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Yep -- sounds real similar. I typically record (prestripe) approx. 30 seconds on a new tape, then back up and start at the 20 second point for the shoot. On many occasions, the new video will be interlaced in horizontal bands for a few seconds, sometimes longer. I recently had a tape that I lost the first 8 minutes of, both video and sound. (Interestingly, the prestripe video is always clean.)

I always use new tapes, and the best quality. I've also cleaned the heads, to no avail. Right after I got the camera, I lost about 30 minutes of data -- just a blue screen on playback. Time code during record was rolling normally -- no indication I was recording nothing.

I sent the camera back to Canon, and they "replaced the frame", whatever that is. Since then, it has been intermittent. It's always at the start of the tape.

It's been REAL annoying.

It's got to go back again--I plan to try to tie the problem back into the warranty period, but no doubt, I'll have to pay!

Vic
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Old January 15th, 2002, 09:11 PM   #7
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Canon Service

ucsbgaucho,
The closest location to you looks like Irvine. I'd give 'em a call.

http://canondv.com/service/repair.html

Good luck.
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