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Old May 22nd, 2003, 10:13 PM   #1
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Ameliorating dropout in post

Ok here's my problem- I shot a wedding with a friend. I used my DVX100 and my friend used his XL1S. His footage turned out with mossiac noise, characteristic of dirty heads. He ran the head cleaner a few times and it didn't make a difference. I tried playing it back in my spare camera (GL-1) and the footage was completly unusable, green bars and digital noise all over...mabye the GL-1 is incompatable with XL-1S footage? I dunno. Anyway...this is where it gets weird:

-He put a *new*, fresh, tape in and recorded on it and it plays back fine. Yet the footage from the wedding (all 3 tapes) all have digital noise

-When we capture it, it doesn't look to bad....a few artifacts here and there- HOWEVER, when I play it back via my timeline out to my editing TV it looks worse than ever! With digital noise non stop over the footage. For some reason when it goes out thru my capture card (Pinnacle DV500) to the TV it amplifes the digital noise in the footage. Though it doesn't look bad on the computer screen or if the camera is hooked DIRECTLY up to the tv for play back. (I don't know how my capture card can be amplifying the bad footage...but somehow it is)

-I even did an analogue capture from the XL-1S via the Pinnacle break out box and THAT even makes it play better. For some reason anything capture out thru the IEEE port thru my capture card makes the footage look worse (enhanced mossaic noise).

-We even tried capturing it on his Mac, which looked ok on his screen, output it off the timeline BACK to a FRESH tape....tested the tape by outputting to a TV....but STILL had the same problem when we captured it via my computer.

- Oh and lastly, if I capture it on my computer.....then encode to MPG2 and view it on the computer it looks ok. It's only if it's output to my tv thru Pinnacles Breakout box where it looks REALLY bad...like the digital mossaic noise is quadrupled!

Now I know it's not my computer that is the problem because the original tapes from the wedding are faultered (somehow). But for some reason when I capture it on my computer it makes it that much worse.

Does any of this make any sense. The way I'm wording this post may seem in dissaray but I'm at wits end!!!! There seems to be no continuity. Why would the footage look "ok" (ok meaning a few artifacts from time to time) in the capture window, but look terrible when played back on the TV connected to my capture card?!

Lastly, I noticed at one point tonight his camera was flashing "remove cssette tape" in red. Is his camera 86'd or what?! But then again all new footage records and plays back fine?! Can anyone tell me what is going on?!?!?!
Glen Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2003, 10:47 PM   #2
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Something similar happened to me 2 weeks ago. I did a 2 camera wedding shoot with 2 GL1's. Both cameras developed the exact same recording problem at the same time. Both cameras recorded with frequent and continuous digital jumble. There was some picture but much of it was jumbled and had audio drop outs. You couldnt tell anything was wrong while recording. No matter which camera I used to play back the tapes they were digitally jumbled. Since the tapes came from the same box I thought maybe they were defective somehow so I checked previously recorded tapes and they played back fine but when I recorded a new section on the old tape it was the jumble again. It appeared to me that the recording heads somehow had moved out of alignment. It was beyond conceivable that this could happen to both cams at the same time but apparently somehow it did. Quite mysterious. Maybe there are some sun spots just afecting cannon camera's. It was a horror story. I was pulling my hair out as both cams were messed up. Imagin having to tell the bride and groom not to mention loosing the $. Anyway my story has worked out ok.

I went to circuit city and played back my tapes in several different cams. Some of them played back the tapes without the digital jumble. So I borrowed a friends cam and everything played back ok except a small section that I could work around. I suggest your start trying different decks or cams to play back the tapes to see if you find some that do well that you can use to capture the footage. Different cams or decks have slightly different tolerences and allignment and may play the tapes better better or worse.

As to why it APPEARS to play back better on your computer monitor than on the NTSC monitor, this happened to me too but I believe it's because the interlacing issue that lessens the effect on your monitor plus the picture is smaller on your monitor than on your TV so its harder to distinguish. You will find when you render it to MPEG2 it will be even worse.

Both cams have gone in for service so I dont have a definative answer on the problem yet but I will. I suspect it was heads that moved out of alignment. I also cleaned the heads with no improvement. As to why it isnt recording badly with a tape now who can say but hope is not lost. I thought mine was but it worked out. Play that tape back till you find something that works with it.
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Old May 23rd, 2003, 07:21 AM   #3
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The thing is (which I forgot to mention) is that I DID try rendering to an MPG2. It seemed to Fix the artifacting- granted there was some in the really bad spots but the blotches all over the screen that were exibited (in the editing monitor) constantly all over the picture were eliminated- WHY? ...I don't know. The thing that is most odd is the lack of continuity. Why- if it has a certian amount of digital artifacting in the editing monitor does it look lessened drastically on the CPU? Granted CPU screens aren't interlaced- so I guess I should burn my mpg2 out to DVD and run it on the TV.

I suggested to my friend to pick up an inexpensive cam to try and do the capture. As long as I can just get the footage on my hd I'll be fine and he can send his cam back in for service. It's just getting the footage on the computer without this digital noise is the problem! Which cam worked for playing back your GL-1 footage?

BTW, what kind of tapes were you using when you ran into this problem?
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Old May 23rd, 2003, 08:23 AM   #4
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I used Sony tapes. Many cams seemed to play it back ok. I can't say exactly which ones. Once I saw that many were playing the tapes I knew I'd be ok and I ended up buying a GL2 since I couldn't wait for my GL1 to be serviced as I had another wedding to do. The other GL1 was a friend's. Now when it comes back I will have the GL1 as my second cam and a backup for single cam shoots. The GL2 played back the tapes fine. That's what I used to capture.
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