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Old January 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM   #1
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Sony DSR-25 and Canon XL2

I've been running into glitches lately, and can't pinpoint the solution. There are quite a few pieces of equipment involved here, so I'll try to explain as best I can.

Firstly is my Sony DSR-25 deck that "sees" glitches and timecode breaks where there are definately no timecode breaks. This happens regularly with tapes recorded with four different XL2s and a consumer Samsung camcorder, but not one hang-up with either of three different Sony VX2100s.

Secondly is five different Canon XL2s (one brand new, one 9 months old, and the others 2 years old) recording tapes that playback fine on other XL2s and a Sony GV-D900, but intermittently glitch while playing on my DSR-25 (as well as four other Sony decks). Of course, I've recorded hours of footage trying to replicate the problem, but it never shows up until working on an important project.

I have always used Sony miniDV premium tapes, but tried a Panasonic just for kicks, and it glitched too. Head cleaning tapes seem to make a difference (mostly with the DSR-25), but only on a very temporary basis. Since each item seems to goof up at one time or another, this points toward everything needing alignment/cleaning or a compatibility issue, even though that is a bit unbelievable.

Long story short, I'm out of ideas. If anyone has any tips or previous experience that will help me solve or even just determine the problem(s) I will be very grateful.


Thanks,
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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I have an xl2 and some Sony cams and none of my Sony's play nicely with the Canon or vice versa...

I know this doesn't help solve your problem, but I heard somewhere something about company and misery...
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Old January 4th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #3
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This is a known issue with some Canon cameras. I had two XL2 cameras and one of them would play back fine in my Panasonic 953, while tapes recorded in the other XL2 had practically non-existent audio when played back in the 953.

Yes, this is an alignment issue. It's also been said that Canon's track pitch is slightly narrower than other units and it causes issues at times, mostly with Sony equipment. In all likely hood, there isn't any timecode breaks as you stated, only a deck that's not able to read the timecode track dependably and it appears to be TC breaks.

No amount of head cleaning will cure this, and too much cleaning will wear down your heads prematurely.

-gb-
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Old January 8th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I've been hesitant to use the cleaning tape more than 3 times total (spaced out over the course of a week or so) to not wear the heads. I was beginning to think compatibility might be an issue, as Kevin mentioned. However, the deck has worked fine with multiple XL2s for a year, and only recently began goofing up (including glitches in older tapes when the recording was paused), which hopefully rules that out.

Greg, from your post it sounds like you're advising sending the Sony deck in for alignment, which is what I've been leaning towards as well. Could it be possible that one of the cameras got dirty and somehow spread the gunk around via miniDV tape and got all the equipment dirty? If that's the case, then I should get everything cleaned before spreading it around all over again.
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Old January 8th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholi Brossia
Greg, from your post it sounds like you're advising sending the Sony deck in for alignment, which is what I've been leaning towards as well. Could it be possible that one of the cameras got dirty and somehow spread the gunk around via miniDV tape and got all the equipment dirty? If that's the case, then I should get everything cleaned before spreading it around all over again.
Tough call there, Nicholi. In the past, it has usually been determined that the Canon transport mechanism was the out of alignment culprit. If the Sony is only unhappy with the XL2 tapes, it sort of points to the Canon.

But this...

Quote:
the deck has worked fine with multiple XL2s for a year, and only recently began goofing up (including glitches in older tapes when the recording was paused), which hopefully rules that out.
points towards the Sony deck especially since you say that older tapes are also affected. The Sony may have picked up some gunk that standard head cleaners won't take care of and will need a professional cleaning and alignment.

Good luck,

-gb-
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Old July 6th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #6
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Just an update on this situation:

I don't know why it took me so long to try this, but I played tapes recorded on a Sony camcorder in the XL2 and got the same glitches as the XL2 tapes in a Sony deck. I've tried different variations of decks and camcorders, all playing each other's tapes. All Sony play Sony great, and all Canon play Canon great, but they just don't like each other. So it looks like I'm one more person that can vouch for Canon and Sony not cooperating like they should.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #7
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This is why DV needed a tracking knob. Sounds like the alignment of both cameras and decks are diverging from the norm. I would still expect the Canon's are more out of spec more than the Sony's. Is there a common technician who is setting up the Canon's or the Sony's for you? They may be using an alignment tape which is not accurate anymore.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #8
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Wow, what a nightmare with so many variables. Could be only the deck has drifted, could be only the XL2, could be both.

Might be good to call both Canon and Sony, and see what their reccomendations are. If it were me, the key element of your description is that the Sony deck is no longer playing back old Xl2 tapes that it had previously played fine. If I HAD to make a call, I'd send the deck in for maintenance first. Follow that up with the Cameras if they are still not tracking right.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #9
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Definately sounds like an alignment issue on both sides. The weird part is that when all this first started, I was using brand new XL2s and a fairly new (less than a year old) Sony deck. Unfortunately we don't have a technician/engineer to keep the equipment in line, we just have to send stuff in when it starts acting flakey. Although I did send one (out of five) of the XL2s in right away and Canon replaced the insides, no questions asked.

I also thought the "played fine before, now it screws up" thing was weird, and am starting to second guess myself. I can play those same tapes on other decks and easily replicate the glitches, but they are only in spots that I hadn't tried capturing before. I'm thinking the glitches were always there, I just hadn't gotten to them until recently.

I called the companies. They're not much help. Canon blames Sony and Sony blames Canon. I'm not trying to blame any one here, I just want to get this solved. I do have a Canon technician's number, so I may try calling just to get some sort of answer, even if it's "they just don't like each other."
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #10
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Over the years we've had quite a few calls for help with tapes from Canon cameras that can't be captured or have glitches. Our DSR 45 will capture most of them, failing that we send them off to someone with a DSR 2000. We've even had one batch of tapes from a Canon that wouldn't even playback in the camera that recorded it after it had been 'aligned'. Only conclusion I can reach is the Canon cameras do seem to have their alignment drift more than Sony or Panny cameras.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #11
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I'm having a similar problem. I have 2 XL2s that I used for a wedding and I have a DSR-11 that I use to capture the footage. Both tapes from the cameras froze during capture for a few frames, then played normally. It would happen every few minutes on the tapes. I have had the DSR-11 for a couple years and this has never happened before. I'm not sure if the problem is the DSR-11 or something else. Where do you send the DSR-11 to be maintenanced? I tried using a cleaning tape, but it didn't help.

Thanks!
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Old September 9th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #12
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I have seen this a lot, as I from time to time use cams by Panasonic, Canon and Sony. But there is a cheap-and-easy way out of this....

Dub (copy) the original shot on the Canon FROM the Canon TO the Sony DSR deck that you are using. The Sony DSR will play that dubbed copy back beautifully, with no issues.

Barring that....In my experience, the best thing you can do is use a Canon cam like the HV20 for a deck. I would definately advise against re-aligning the canon, as it seems to record and play back just beautifully...on Canon equipment. Nor would I mess with the Sony. Odds are neither is truly "mis-aligned", they both will more than likely fall within spec. However, the variation or tollerance allowable per the spec is likely the source of the problem.

I know this from experience in trying to run Sony and Panasonic original tapes thru a JVC deck. We sent the JVC in for service, it came back "no work performed" because it checked out within factory specs.


In general, because of that, I would always prefer to use a deck or playback device the same brand as the cam used to record the material. Or, simply make a copy as described of tapes that are giving you a problem.
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