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Old December 9th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #1
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Dropout question

I was re-using a tape to shoot some rack focusing exercises this morning, out on the snow. I was out there long enough for the camera (and me) to get pretty cold.
On the tape there were horizontal dropout lines showing what was on the tape previously. They showed on both my deck and my camera so it's on the tape.
After warming up and coming inside, I shot a quick bit in my apartment on the tape. No drop out lines.
I thought maybe it could be that I started a bit into the tape, but that was true on the second exercise as well.
Could it be the cold that caused it? Or could there be another cause?

Oh and just to be clear - a related question - am I understanding correctly that if I am using DV tape in DV Cam mode, it's recording at a higher quality?

I probably need to learn to clean my heads too - but if that was the issue there would have been a problem with both exercises.

Last edited by Kell Smith; December 9th, 2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #2
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DVCam doesn't record at higher quality, but it records the same information on more tape. This helps linear editing and might offer more protection against dropouts.
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Old December 9th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #3
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Thanks, that's what I thought.
Anyone have a guess as to what could have caused that dropout today?
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Old December 10th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Maybe

The temperature could have been a factor. The transport mech in DV is pretty small, and (as I understand it) each head pass records five lines of video. That's
a lot of stuff happening in pretty tight tolerances, which makes even a small dimensional shift potentially hazardous.
We've discovered this to be especially true if you've had to change tape brands.
Even if your heads are clean, fairly new, and carefully maintained, a switch in tape stock can cause probs due to the microscopic etching that can occur. A change in temp can be especially troublesome in such a situation.
If you ever get dropout on new tape, try putting your machine in pause during playback to see if it can re-build. That worked for us once, we had to record 15 minutes of location footage one frame at a time.....
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Old December 10th, 2007, 12:15 PM   #5
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I didn't change tape brands so that eliminates one factor.
Isn't there some kind of jacket that keeps your camera warm? Maybe at some point I should get that then. Or just use new tape if it's going to be cold?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #6
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Update:
I had an issue with it the other night as well. Then I recorded five minutes of black over the beginning of the tape and that seemed to solve the problem for the most part. There was a slight dropout in the later part of the tape but mostly it was okay for the two tapes I recorded.
Maybe if I record black over the whole tape?
I will get some new tapes, just hate to waste what I have and they are good for practice.
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