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Old January 25th, 2013, 10:50 AM   #1
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Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

Sorry this is so long,
In August I shot a wedding using a Sony DSR-250 camera. Yes I know it's old. But I have used it hundreds of times. I'm not the most technical, so I don't touch any settings unless given specific instructions.

I shot a wedding job I got on my own, which I've done quite a few times. I shoot auto focus, and the only buttons I touch are record, zoom, and audio to see the audio on the viewer. For this event I used brand new, still wrapped mini-DV tapes.

I use a consumer Samsung mini-DV camera to upload my footage to my Mac Book Pro. I just got it, and its a slightly older camera as well, but in good condition. I uploaded 1 prior wedding video successfully in the fall.

Anyway, capturing was going fine until it just stopped and said something about a time code error and this message "the audio sample rate of one or more of your captured media files does not match the sample rate on your source tape. this may cause the video and audio of these media files to be out of sync. make sure the audio sample rate of your capture preset matches the sample rate of your tape." My friend who owns the camera said not to worry about it.

But my MAIN problem is what I discovered next on the tape. It was playing all slow, jumpy, voices garbled, kind of like it was in slow motion. I video taped a snipit of it and sent to my friend. he said, don't panic, you just need a camera head cleaning tape. So I went and got one. Followed instructions, put tape back in, still plays bad. I put another tape from the same wedding in, that is bad too. I put a tape from a different wedding in, and it is fine.
What I don't get is, I watched a few minutes of the tapes on the camera I was shooting on while at the wedding and it was fine.
What is the problem???!!! I'm freaking out because this is someones wedding video, and I'm horrible at technical stuff and I don't know where to begin to fix this issue.
Thank you!!
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Old January 25th, 2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

That error rarely means what it says, and is fairly common when the camera is trying to read a tape, but making a bad job.

It sounds like a combination of two things. Two cameras with very slightly different alignment, posssibly with slightly worn heads.

The test, after cleaning is to use a brand new tape, record a sequence and try to capture it. Do this on both cameras, then swap the tapes, and see if they can be replayed without dropout. This may point to one camera being the problem. If one camera does have worn heads, then the transfer TO tape will be less than 100% - which with data correction may be invisible when played back on the other camera. Or you could find that it will not replay on the camera it was recorded on, because something was lost on record, then more lost on replay - taking it outside the ability of the electronics to correct. Trial and error will help - but if the data loss was on record, then you're on borrowed time as once your other camera wears a little more it will be a problem again.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

You need to find someone (or a rental shop) who has either a DSR-11 or better (DSR-25, 45 etc), a JVC BR-HD50 will also read a DV/DVCAM tapes and has a very good error correction system (I know, I've had to use it before now!) then try to capture from the deck, if that fails to read the tape the you're stuffed (technical term). The playback using a camera is not really designed for ingesting stuff on a constant basis, a deck is actually designed for it, my DSR--11 has played over 3000 hours of tapes from hundreds of different cameras and never missed a beat and just gets a head clean every 50 hours or so.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtney Manders View Post
I use a consumer Samsung mini-DV camera to upload my footage to my Mac Book Pro.
If you recorded in DVCAM rather than DV mode, the Samsung camera won't play the tapes properly. See if you can borrow the DSR-250 again and use it to capture the tapes.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

OMG thank you so much! The tapes played fine on the camera I shot with.
So relieved!!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

Hi Courtney,
Glad you sorted it out- tape is scary stuff! As an ex HDV tape shooter may I make a suggestion? When you load a new tape , leave the lens cap on and press record and let it run to the end.

This serves two purposes and will give you a more reliable tape. Firstly, it ensures that any tight spots on the spools are eased and that the tape is not suffering from stiction by being a bit tight. Secondly it writes a timecode from beginning to end continuously so you never need to worry about gaps in the timecode because you stopped and rewound for a review.

It's old standard practise and is called "striping"from the full size DV days but holds good today, and is often forgotten as a quality assurance technique. Hope it helps someone.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

Except most HDV cams don't have an "insert" mode so the whole pre-striping thing is a complete myth. It's a completely useless procedure and most NLE makers, especially Adobe, recommend against it, as you are more likely to create an unreadable timecode break when the new TC takes over and have capturing problems. Pre-striping went out with U-Matic.

You could do a FF/REW to relieve the tension and that wouldn't hurt, though.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

I agree. 'Pre-striping' or 'Blanking' a Mini DV tape with timecode doesn't do anything, and will be hazardous to your workflow.

Todays Mini DV cameras have an END SEARCH feature, so after you stop videoing to review it, you can auto pre-cue it to the exact end of that video. When you start videoing again, the video and timecode will be continuous, without any gaps at all.

With a new Mini DV tape, first FF/REW, then record 10-15 secs of the cameras colour bars and tone at the beginning, to get past the start of the tape.

Cheers.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #9
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Re: Mini DV Tape Playback Issues!

Well it looks like I stand corrected!!. I will go and stand in the corner.

It is true that I am talking about personal old experience and certainly used to have problems with gaps back in the hi-8 days editing on a Sony editor, and adopted the habit throughout my mini DV/full size DV and HDV cameras and never had a problem.(but it sounds as if I probably wouldn't have done anyway.)

I sold my last HDV camera last year and have been solid state since..Panasonic ac160a and Edius 6.08. Life is so much simpler now.
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