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The Long Black Line
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 08:35 PM   #1
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Trying to learn my lessons

Recently, I shot the musical at my high school. I used the school's XL1 and two XL1s' (dont know how they could afford them. MTV came to our school recently and we had better equipment than them.) I shot all three nights to be safe, and when i was reviewing footage i was finding that so much was worthless. I was recording in LP mode the entire time, but on 10 out of the 18 tapes it was all blocky and useless. I was dumping using a high-end sony DV deck (don't remember which one, all I know is that it supports both DV and DVCAM), and the 8 out of the 18 looked fine. I tested the others on the XL1's, and they were useless. I ensured that my crew packed their tapes, but it looks like that didn't help in all situations. Is it possible that dropping them could cause me to need to re-pack the tapes?
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Old December 4th, 2004, 01:50 AM   #2
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Ryan,

Your problem is that you chose LP instead of the standard SP. The only reason to ever use LP mode is if you will never use the footage for anything other than a home movie and don't plan to edit it in an NLE. The extra 30 minutes of record time is not worth the low quality in which it records.

Lesson learned :)
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Old December 4th, 2004, 07:46 AM   #3
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from what i've heard, and seen, LP in DV gives you exactly the same quality as SP. I had no problems in FCP with my footage (other than the problems importing. Next time i'll check out a Canon camera to dump my stuff in
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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:15 AM   #4
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lp is fragile at best

Sp and LP record the same dv25 stream to tape. The problem is that the tape is moving slower so there is less tape area to write the image. Hence the blocky, oversized pixelation you are encountering. LP is like digital zoom, photo capture and other features that populate the feature sheets for these products. Makes for nice copy on the long list of "features" but is of no benefit and should be avoided.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #5
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What he said, also when dropouts occur in LP mode, there is more data that is dropped out.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:40 AM   #6
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In Ryan's defense, he was probably using LP mode because Act I was 75 minutes long.......

So do you use LP mode on a 60 minute tape, or an 80 minute tape? My preference is LP mode and the 60 minute tape.

So what do you do when Act I is 105 minutes long?? Yes, LP mode and an 80 minute tape. I do know my JVC deck doesn't like that at all. I used a little Canon Optura for capture.

But if you are getting large number of dropouts, something is wrong. What I don't know.

The other lesson to be learned is try and review (or better yet, capture) footage each day on a multi-day shoot.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #7
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Try using the camera used to record the tape to capture?
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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:02 PM   #8
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Glenn Chan beat me to it! I was going to suggest the same thing: use the same camera for playback that you used for shooting. LP is not as "solid" as SP in terms of tape speed. So, what is recorded on one system, might be useless on another.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #9
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I think you will also find that if the "high end Sony DV deck" that was used to capture was a DVCAM unit, it does not support DV in LP mode.

My DSR-11 often plays my XL1s tapes with dropouts that aren't recorded dropouts. I often have to injest with the XL1s to get clean playback. I assume it is a tracking issue.

As previously mentioned, LP is best avoided altogether if you expect fault free playback, except on the camera it was recorded on, and even then its touch & go.

If you use XL1s for long events, why not take your DVCAM deck on the shoot, buy a 276 minute or 186 minute standard DV tape and connect via firewire to your camera using the DV control feature. The deck will start and stop with the camera. You can have a tape in the camera as a backup (recommended) or no tape at all.

If you don't own a DV deck, grab another camera. As long as it has 1394 IN, you can overlap record so as your XL1 tape is about to run out, start recording on the other cam. Its pretty easy to join together in your NLE afterward.

Obviously ensure the 2nd cam is set to VTR not camera and if you're using a DV deck, make sure the signal is getting onto tape. I once used my DSR-11 to record 4 hours of nothing because the INPUT SELECT switch on the front was set to S-VIDEO, not DV. Lucky I was rolling tape in the camera as well!

My solution for 2005 is to buy a Firestore FS-4.
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