Friend's XL-1S acting up- digital artifacts even after cleaning heads..... at DVinfo.net

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Old May 22nd, 2003, 08:40 AM   #1
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Friend's XL-1S acting up- digital artifacts even after cleaning heads.....

Me and a friend shoot wedding videography together. Me on my GL-1 or DVX100 and him on his XL-1S. We shot a wedding last weekend and my friend called me with concern about his footage. There seems to be digital artifacting on certian areas. The worst part is he ran the head cleaner a few times and it's still there. He had this problem once before in the past and the head-cleaner seemed to do the trick. Another odditie is his camera ate one of his tapes recently as well. He wants to test the tape in one of my cameras but I'm super anal about mixing tapes from different cameras etc. Are there any known issues with the XL-1S and digital mossaic noise in images, and it eating tapes? What can he do to alleviate the problem. Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 11:16 AM   #2
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It kind of depends.

Is your friend mixing tape brands? If so this could be part of the problem.

Is the tape noise seen just at beginning of a roll? This kind of problem does show up on many cams. That is why it is recommended to do both a pre and post roll. Besides this is good technique anyway.

The eating tapes problem sounds like a factory visit problem. The first XL-1 I had, had problem right out of the box. Since I was in the first few days of having the cam, the vendor shipped me another one right away and billed me for it (heck he did not want me to keep 2!). After he received the cam defective cam from me, he deducted the charge.

Hope this helps,
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 11:20 AM   #3
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Hi.

I own a XL1s and have not experienced nothing of that sort.
My advice: Send it to Canon service.

Note: Your friend probably does it allready, but remember to load and unload tapes only when they are at one end. Also, if you load a tape, and want to unload it immediately, donīt eject it without fastforwarding a couple of seconds.
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 11:29 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Arnaldo Paixao :

Note: Your friend probably does it allready, but remember to load and unload tapes only when they are at one end. Also, if you load a tape, and want to unload it immediately, donīt eject it without fastforwarding a couple of seconds. -->>>

Actually I never hear of that- and am not sure if he follows that practice. I'd assume he'd do it inadvertantly, as I really can't recall a time he needed to insert a tape then remove it before playing it for a few seconds at least.

Nathan, no he hasn't mixed tapes...he hasn't, ironicly enough, because I told him not too! As far as the mosaic noise being only in the beginning or end of a roll...I'm not sure I'd have to check it out myself. All he explained to me was it was doing it randomly. He's bringing the cam by today to capture his footage from the wedding, and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for "when" exactly the noise is showing up.

I did a search on this forum and apparently alot of people are having the problem of the camera eating tapes! Is this addressed by Canon? I have both a GL-1 and DVX100 and neither of them have exibited such a problem (knock on wood)- though the DVX100 is only a couple weeks old.
I'm trying to find a work around to sending his cam in for service as we have 2 more weddings to shoot in the next 4 weeks. Can he manually clean his heads? Where do you buy the stuff for it- I did a search on B&H and came up short. Lastly when you look into the open deck of the camera...what part, physically, are the video heads? Which part or parts need to be cleaned?
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 11:49 AM   #5
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Cleaning the heads.

Hi Glen.

The heads are located in drum like assembly, in the midle of the tape compartment. In a VCR you can clean the heads with special non fiber pads and isopropol(?) alcahol. You clean the drum and the heads (The heads are those tiny little things you can see in the midle of the drum). They are very delicate and you have to be extra careful. On the XL1s, with the dificult access you have to the head assembly and it beeing so small, I would say its doable but not advisable.

I would try again with a dry cleaning tape and a diferent brand of tapes.

Good luck
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 11:50 AM   #6
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Glen,

you will find that many XL users have experienced this problem. I have, my camera is actually at Canon now for that very reason. In many cases it will just be a good service and head clean. In extreme cases the drum assy will have to be replaced. Definately send it in as continous use of the head cleaner may only cause damage.
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 01:51 PM   #7
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I've had this happen

Glen,
I attribute my problems in this arena to high levels of moisture in the air here in Alaska. As, I can be shooting in 100% humidity on very frequent occasions.

What I have found (and have no scientific data to back this up) is that I am very careful with temperature changes to add to this scenario. e.g. give the camera time to exchange the heat(this is a common type of condensation generator), and be very careful with any moisture in your bag/pack/storage media on top of the air quality of your shoot.

Usually when you get to this level of moisture, my camera will flash in the view finder notifying me that the heads need to be cleaned. It has nothing to do with dirt, it's all about the moisture in my case.

I would also suggest using moisture abatement pads in your camera bag/storage media.

In all reality I'm suggesting repair service, but the above awareness has helped me quite a bit in reducing my service bills.
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