Huge amount of dropouts at DVinfo.net

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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #1
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Huge amount of dropouts

And by huge, I mean every 5 or 6 seconds.

I just finished a 7 day shoot in rather adverse conditions. The camera, a JVC GY HD200u was great. But with one tape, shot basically in the middle, I have dropouts every five or six seconds in one 30 minute run. After that, I finished the same tape the next day with no dropouts. The rest of the tapes have no dropouts, both the 7 or 8 shot before and the 5 or 6 shot after. I just now realize I was getting dropouts when I was transferring the footage over.

What do you think caused it? Was it a bad tape that coincided with the one segment of shooting?

Any ideas?

Thank you again for any help you can give me.

PS The tape was a JVC Pro HD. The scene that had all the dropouts was when I was kneeling and filming a conversation in low light using an AB UL2 light and there was quite a bit of camera movement.

Last edited by Jason McCormy; October 27th, 2008 at 11:04 AM.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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Dirt on the heads possibly. I have had several HDV tapes do this over the years. It's very inconsistent and sometimes seems to be a bad tape, other times dirt. I haven't seen that shaking a camera around causes dropouts. I recently shot 80 tapes outdoors and didn't have a single problem. Two days later I used 10 more tapes from the same tape purchase at an indoor shoot and one tape was a problem, the whole hour. Had to cut around the dropout. Another time I was capturing HD100 footage from a dry, dusty part of Africa (I wasn't the cameraperson). This was a big problem as fine dust had gotten into the cassettes. But since the dust would eventually move off the tape, footage that initially captured with drop-out could be recaptured fine.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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That is really interesting. If I was recording to a drive and the tape at the same time, the problems would only occur on the tape? Hmm. Have they released that SD card recorder yet?

I am going to try recapturing the tape and see if it works better now.

For capturing, are their any small and cheap camcorders that can transfer over 720P60? I use a little Sony to transfer 1080i footage from my larger more expensive Sony's and it works great. Is their a small camcorder I could do the same with?

I don't suppose a 1080i camera could do it since it is already recorded onto the tape?
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Old October 27th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #4
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No cheap way there I'm afraid...

Probably dirt indeed or a string of dust or so caught in the mechanism... It is a possibility with tape based systems - you can never be completely certain. HDD or solid state have no such problems. Although tape remains very, very easy for archiving.

So shoot on HDD (or soon solid state) and tape simultaneously - the tape goes straight into the archive, the HDD/Solid State is actually used (and no more capturing either - so you rule out writing errors due to dirt or temperature or whatever, AND you rule out reading errors while playing the tape for capturing. Capturing time is also reduced a tenfold or so).
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Old October 27th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #5
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Can you recommend any drive based systems now? The MRHD100 looks really good, but I don't know if it is out yet. I like the way in my photos it seems to build right into the JVC.

This is very annoying. So there are no cheap 720 cameras that would work? Darn.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #6
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That one will be out in March. For now you can get the HDD recorder (DR-HD100). Trust me, if you have that, you won't look back at the ugly truth about working with tape... it seems so unreliable all of a sudden - faster workflow, no more drop-outs, no more getting to a shoot and having forgotten tapes (:-)), no more waiting on the drums to start rotating, no more winding, no more header records, ...
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason McCormy View Post
This is very annoying. So there are no cheap 720 cameras that would work? Darn.
720p is really a production format (as e.g. the Varicam uses). It is no format for consumers and it needs progressive chips and such that are just to expensive to put in cheaper camcorders. Well, a camcorder wouldn't remain cheap if it could do 720p.

If you can upgrade your car to go from 0 to 60 in 5 or 6 secs, it wouldn't be still a cheap car, would it?
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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Good point. I suppose if you buy quality from the start, you buy quality all the time then. Is the DR-HD100 reliable? Do you see any point in waiting until March for the ability to use SD cards too?

Also, does it mount securely? I spend the last few days being chased by angry people on ATV's and lost a nice mic I had mounted on a shoe extender. I'd hate to loose a harddrive with a bunch of footage too.

And another question, does it let you know if there ever was a problem with recording, a dropped from due to a bump, or something else like that, or do you have to pay really good attention to the footage after you transfer it to a computer? My concern would be in case I wanted to reuse a tape I had been running as backup.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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You obviously can't beat solid state, but it is rather robust. You need the IDX O-FS-100 bracket as well - but then it secures tightly and it can have a few knocks...

If there's something wrong, you get a notification in your viewfinder - that's the beauty of 2 pieces of gear that have special presets to work together.

Let's put it like this: if you buy now, you probably won't regret it. If you wait, you might not regret waiting because you haven't tasted a tape-less workflow - you'll just have to bear quite some time with tapes and that's somewhat annoying.

I'd say to buy now - I am certain you won't regret it and it might be half a year before the solid state is easily available. Also, you should consider the price of SxS cards. If you want 32Gb, the cost of those cards will be going down in half a year, but not that much. You can buy the HDD now and swith to SxS in a year or so when the 32Gb cards (or 64Gb by then) have come down seriously...
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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Ok, thank you. I'm going to buy it on my next paycheck or talk my boss into it. I have an Anton Bauer system, will the IDX mount work?

Thank you for all this great information.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #11
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No, but there's another mount for that. I'm in europe, so we don't get to see a lot of A/B here, but I know they have a bracket as well. You can send me a mail and I'll look the type up if you want...
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Old October 27th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #12
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That is very kind, but I'll just ask Anton Bauer. I had a strange series of questions for them last week and they were very helpful. No laughing at all:)
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason McCormy View Post
Good point. I suppose if you buy quality from the start, you buy quality all the time then. Is the DR-HD100 reliable? Do you see any point in waiting until March for the ability to use SD cards too?

Also, does it mount securely? I spend the last few days being chased by angry people on ATV's and lost a nice mic I had mounted on a shoe extender. I'd hate to loose a harddrive with a bunch of footage too.

And another question, does it let you know if there ever was a problem with recording, a dropped from due to a bump, or something else like that, or do you have to pay really good attention to the footage after you transfer it to a computer? My concern would be in case I wanted to reuse a tape I had been running as backup.
I always shoot tape when using my FireStore (nearly the same model as the DR-HD100). If you are purchasing a HDD, get the DR-HD100. Any money saved by getting a cheaper model directly from Focus Enhancements isn't worth the troubles it can cause down the road.

Once and only once did the HDD bungle a shot. I could never rescue it from the hard drive. At that point I was glad I had a tape backup.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #14
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Do you have any difficulty with the firewire connection to the hard drive? And also, how did you point it? I was looking at the Anton Bauer mounts and they seem to put it on the side of the battery pack. That is where our wireless mounts are now and I think it might interfere.
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