False Triggers on Canon XLH1 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 5th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #1
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False Triggers on Canon XLH1

I am glad to see this note in the CD newsletter:

"Record Delay Still on Track. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, the record delay will still be part of the upcoming beta firmware. Record delay defers the start of a time-code triggered record by a user selectable number of seconds. This delay reduces the number of false triggers due to tape repositioning and various other time-code events."

You Canon XLH1 users, is this false trigger a problem for you, too?

I've been wrestling with false triggers on my first-gen Canon XLH1 (no timecode in the HD-SDI stream) for the entire time I've owned my NanoFlash. This issue has been frustrating to deal with, and I finally gave up on using the timecode trigger function. In fairness to CD, no one at CD or Canon had looked at my camera, and I had become convinced that the problem was in my camera (even though I did not see time code incrementing during at the camera during a false trigger). I resorted due to double-punching the camera and the Nano at the same time. This really affects the way you shoot!

I hope that this update fixes this problem for the XLH1, but, as I've placed an order for a Panasonic AG-AF100, I almost don't care. A Nano and AF100 look to be the hot ticket.

Aloha,

Jeff
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Old October 5th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #2
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XL H1 & XDR False Starts and Stops (Same as Nano ?)

Hi Jeff:
This is also a problem with the XDR. However, I have only observed false starts and then quick stops if my XL H1 unspools the tape from the head, which it will do if I leave it in the Record >Pause position for too long. I usually get a false start and quick stop if I forget to have my XDR turned off BEFORE I bring the XL H1 out of standby. If you are observant to put your camera into standby,THEN turn off your XDR or Nano (I understand there is no On-Off switch for the Nano ?) and after make sure you *bring the XLH1 out of standby FIRST,* THEN switch on your XDR or Nano,* you should not experience false rolls on your CD recorder.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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...all these 15 frame clips

Mark,

My problem is far worse than that. When I attempt to use TC trigger, my nano is almost *constantly* going into record/stop. While its doing this, I can't rely on it to go into record when I need it to... it might actually BE recording, which might then cause it to stop instead of start. All this while the tape just sits there, with no incrementing time code to be seen in the viewfinder or on the LCD on the side panel. When I finish a shoot, I insist on transferring (and deleting) the video myself so that my client doesn't have to see all of these errant files.

So, I double punch, starting the HDV tape and the nano at the same time with two hands. I can't tell you how badly this has affected my work in the field when shooting documentaries.

Prior to instituting this double punch routine, I usually ended up with MANY files that were 00:00:00:15, a few that were 00:00:01:00, a few more that were 0:00:02:15, and a few more that were 0:00:03:00. At 100Mbps, these eat up space. Oh, and combine that with it being very difficult to double punch while wading knee-deep though an ancient Hawaiian fishpond, I tended to let the recorder roll, eating up more space. I hate handing my raw to clients or other editors— these unending shots make me look like an idiot.

But, on a positive note, after my nano fried itself (a story too long to tell), I insisted that their repair tech re-engage the On/Off switch. I love it! CD has long held that they received a bad batch of switches, therefore they disabled them. Not sure why they didn't change suppliers...

Jeff
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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Can You Purchase a CD Remote Start or Rent an XDR ?

Hi Jeff:
I am sorry to learn of your Nano difficulties. I did not know the false start and stop thingy was as egregious as it is in the Nano. With the XDR and my XL H1 I have never had the device fire off into Record with tape at a stand still in the XL H1. This is a head scratcher to me. I understand your double punch solution can be extremely inconvenient to your doc shooting. I am on a documentary right now with my XDR, and I can confirm to you there's no way I can double punch record my XDR when rolling on the fly.

May I suggest one of the following possible solutions......

1. You purchase a remote start / stop switch for your Nano Flash and tie it down near your XL H1's upper handle or wrist and thumb start/stop camera switch position to facilitate a less painful and quicker double punch record / stop method.

2. You purchase or rent a Flash XDR to use with your XL H1. The XDR is much better suited for use with the XL H1 in my opinion, and does not have the false start / stop problem. There is also a little red push button on the bottom of the unit for on/off operation.

PM me, and I can put you in touch with an authorized Convergent Design dealer who still has fresh stock of XDR's if you're interested.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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Mark,

I do have the remote/TC cable, and I mount the remote trigger button on top of the lens, where I can see the tally light. I mount my NF at the back of the XLH1's Anton Bauer battery mount, inline with the camera's centerline. It makes for a balanced, fore/aft and side/side shoulder rig. Funny thing: I'm now on my third cable. The first one used a GREEN tally light. I have never seen a camera with a green tally light! That was so hard to get used to. And, there's no tactile feedback in the remote trigger button. It's hard to tell that you've punched it. Combine that with the loooong press required to STOP recording... sigh. Cameras, ones that I've used, offer tactile feedback in their trigger switch, and pressing Stop is the same as for Start.

No budget to purchase or rent an XDR. At this point, I have to assume that the problem here is my XLH1, but I won't put any more money or effort into it. Hopefully the next firmware release will solve this, but, my Q4 calendar looks to be light on shooting, so I'm just gonna hang tight until the Panasonic AF100 ships.

Jeff
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Old October 10th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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Jeff,

I'd contact member Michael Galvan here on DVInfo. He uses an XL-H1 + nano combination with a lot of success and has never mentioned a problem.

HTH & good luck.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #7
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Dear Jeff,

We have to conclude that the problem is not with the cables.

We sent you one and it did not work.

We send you a second one and it did not work.

Then we sent you a third one, manufactured at a different location, and it did not work.

You sent us one back, we tested it and it worked, and then we dissected it attempting to find any problems, but we could not find any.

We have an option for both Red and Green Tally Lights. Green is required for aircarft use.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #8
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Time Code Trigger > Last TC

Hello

This is Andy with Convergent Design,

Have you tried setting up a record with the trigger set to Time code Last TC? wether the time code is supplied via Embedded in the SDI Stream, or LTC it works the same.

I have Tried it here with our Canon XHG1 and I have had no false Starts as well as with our Canon XF305 and with both if TC Last TC is used they will trigger flawlessly when the tape is running.

Where if just Time code Trigger is used, I have seen False starts right after a stop,

The differences between the Time Code Modes is with Time Code Trigger it is looking for any Advancement in Time code, where Time Code Last TC looks for greater than the Last TC to Trigger, and it also works just fine in transition from 23:59:59:-- to solid 0.

Best Regards
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 12:32 PM   #9
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1.6.226 didn't help... must be my camera?

Andy,

I tested 1.6.226, and that didn't help much. If I set the delay start to 3 seconds, it sometimes worked, but then my results were mixed. And, for someone used to shooting news and docs, it's weird having to wait so long for the recorder to start!

It seems to me that the problem must be my XLH1. It will soon be retired, so I'm not going to spend any more time on this issue.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 01:30 PM   #10
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Dear Jeff,

We had a report that Timecode Trigger Delay did not work in our Public Beta 1.6.226.

We duplicated the problem in our lab.

We are working to correct this now.
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