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Old January 29th, 2002, 01:54 PM   #1
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Reusing tapes on the XL1

I am starting a project that will require me to capture over 60 hours of video. I had planned on reusing tapes I had used for a couple of previous projects. I read on this board that there may be some problems with the XL1 recording over previously recorded tapes which has made me kind of nervous. Buying 60 hours of new tapes is quite an investment but having my shots trashed due to an over recording bug is also distrubing. Does anyone know if this is real and if so in what circumstances.

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Old January 29th, 2002, 02:18 PM   #2
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Here's something that I can attest to from experience. I use Panasonic tapes and had only recorded on them one time. It was just practice footage so I later used the same tapes again.

When I checked them later, there were spots of pixelation, bad audio, and then also some long patches where the old footage and new footage were interlaced in horizonal stripes.

Do yourself a favor...don't reuse tapes for critical shots!
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Old January 29th, 2002, 03:03 PM   #3
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I agree with the last post. I've had several similar experiences on my XL-1 with Panasonic, Sony and Fuji tapes. I'd stick with new tapes.

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Old January 29th, 2002, 03:14 PM   #4
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I would *never* consider burning old tape on a paying project. For personal use though, it's no big deal.

One thing that might help is to run a head-cleaning cassette for about five seconds before re-using an old tape. Also, don't change recording speeds. If you're re-using an old tape recorded in LP, then shoot in LP again. An old tape shot in SP needs to be shot over in SP again. My buddy Craig Berlin at Pro-Tape is probably going to think I'm nuts for suggesting this, but when I shoot DV, I'm the kind of guy who throws salt over his shoulder, doesn't walk under ladders, and knocks on wood. Hope this helps,
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Old January 29th, 2002, 03:49 PM   #5
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Cleaning the heads makes sense......

No LP over SP makes sense........

What about blackening the tapes with no audio? Has anyone tried this? I,d like to go to 4 channel 12 bit on tapes previously recorded at 2 channel 16 bit. Is this an oxidation issue? "When I checked them later, there were spots of pixelation, bad audio, and then also some long patches where the old footage and new footage were interlaced in horizonal stripes. " That's pretty bizarre!

This has amazing implications. What about the guy who records color bars or pre-blackens the tape for timecode issues? What about pre-roll/post-roll to prevent timecode breaks when removing tapes? I guess you have to make sure you pass the overwrite point.

This is a personal project by the way, but still......

Thanks to all who are sharing their expertise.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 03:56 PM   #6
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Howdy from Texas,

<< What about pre-roll/post-roll to prevent timecode breaks when removing tapes? >>

Avoid this problem easily, by using the Rec + / - buttons on the camera (or remote) to back the tape up a few frames and pick up the previous time code. This should become a regular habit for everyone shooting DV.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 05:08 PM   #7
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I'm starting to notice the interlaced horizontal band/stripe problem on my two month old XL1S. In reviewing all tapes recorded with this camera since new, I notice some glitches on just about every tape. Many have the above problem, others just patches of pixelation.

I have contacted Canon and they say it is probably just a dirty head, but there were problems on the very first tape put in the camera. I have run the head cleaner on it three or four times as they suggested, but withing the first 15 minutes recording on an unused tape, the interlaced horizontal stripe problem returned.

Needless to say, I'm not real happy with the camera at this point and will be sending it in for repair. If the ritual Chris describes is necessary to get good video from this camera, then Canon needs to include that in the User's Manual.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 05:17 PM   #8
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Ed, I know this will be a big hassle, but after reading your description I think you need to go ahead and send the camera into Irvine. Sounds like a misalignment in the heads.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 05:25 PM   #9
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I have and old XL1 as opposed to the XL1s but after reading the above I think I am going to run a test. I'm going to clean my heads and then blacken a previously used tape, play part of it back to see what I get, (i.e. pixelation? striping? sound?) and then record over it to see what happens. I'll keep you posted.....

Chris.....any suggestions on the optimal way to blacken and overwrite the sound?
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Old January 29th, 2002, 06:04 PM   #10
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Problem recording over previously used tape are not unique to Canon camcorders. Just ran into the same issue with a tape in a Sony DHR1000. Occasional audio drop outs and bands in the video. Not often, but enough to present a problem.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 06:16 PM   #11
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Has anyone had trouble after writing black to the tape between recordings? Does this prevent audio/video "blead through" or is this an oxidation problem?
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Old January 29th, 2002, 07:27 PM   #12
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When my XL-1 was brand new, I did a shoot where the first 30 minutes of the tape were blank (blue screen, no A/V)-- it was the second tape I ran. Everything appeared to be recording normally. It finally filled in, pixel by pixel. After that, the rest of the tape was OK.

On the tapes since then where I get the banding, I usually prestripe around 30 seconds or so at the start, then back up a little to start the shoot. That's when get the banding. Interestingly enough, the prestripe video is always OK.

Also, on a live theater performance, this usually happens on the first act, but seldom on the tape for the second.

It's been back to Canon once, during warranty, but will need to to back again (Probably at my expense!)

I've come to realize that it must be a Canon "feature".

Gotta get that Firestore!

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Old January 30th, 2002, 07:24 AM   #13
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I have learned my lesson ... what a TERRIBLE way to learn it, though. I thought I could re-use a tape "just once" if I re-striped (lens cover on, audio unplugged).

The footage was HORRID ... a few seconds of the previous tape and then pixels and stripes for another few seconds. I have to go back out today and re-shoot -- bringing all my gear back and taking another 2 hours or so of what would have been edit time just to get what I screwed up.

NEVER REUSE TAPES for anything that means anything to you!!

A related question ... how often should I clean the heads with a cleaner tape? I just sent it for yearly check-up in November.

I use panasonic DV tapes ... should I use a panasonic cleaner or the canon cleaner tape??

thanks!!

.... still screaming about those darn freaky pixels and stripes ... but SO GOOD to read that this is the cause ... I thought it might have been my camera!!!

deb
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Old January 31st, 2002, 09:33 AM   #14
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Has anyone tried reusing mini dv tapes after bulk erasing them? This has been done for years with audio tape with no problems. Why wouldn't it work with mini dv tape? With a bulk eraser, which erases the entire tape all at once, without the need to run it through a tape transport, you are sure to eliminate all data on the tape so as to avoid some of the odd effects people have experienced. Anyone had experience with this method? Do you think it is a practical solution?
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Old January 31st, 2002, 01:35 PM   #15
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We routinely reuse tapes in 5 different XL-1 cameras and have never experienced the problems everyone here has indicated. There honestly should be no difference in recording the first time versus recording the tenth time. We do usually restrict ourselves to a couple of reuses but have only noticed problems on one camera where the tape head was going out of alignment. This happened twice to that camera and was repaired twice under warranty. The second time, the entire tape head mechinism was replaced. So, I don't understand the major problems with reusing tapes at least a couple of times.

Edward
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