HC-1 FREEZE UP During Recording at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #1
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HC-1 FREEZE UP During Recording

My HC-1 will freeze during recording and then jump foreward. It seems to vary from maybe 1/4 second to 1 second. It never did this the 1st month I had it, but I was busy with the holidays, and only experimented with about 30min. of shooting. Then I took it out on a cold day shooting some snowboard shots at the the local ski area. It was only outside for 20 min. at a temperature of about 25F. Now I'm looking at 2+1/2 hours shot in the Carribean, and I'm seeing this happen about a dozen times on each tape. Also, while on this trip, it flashed a message that the heads were dirty and to run a cleaning cassette (which I did-haven't seen the message again). This on a camcorder that only has several hours of use on it seems strange, unless it had to do with humidity issues.
The tape I've used is FujiFilm DVM60. I've read about mixing brands, and that sony use wet lube vs dry on other brands. As I understand it Pannasonic, Maxcell, and Fuji are all the same tape. Since I've had good luck with these in the past and their available at BestBuy, I've stuck strictly with the Maxcell and Fuji.

So my question is: Is this a problem with the type of Tape I'm using? Or, as I suspect, a problem with my HC-1?

Has anyone else had this problem? If so, did switching tape brands (or anything else) fix the problem?
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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Since Best Buy, WalMart and all the other big chains also carry the Sony premium tapes, why would you use another brand in a Sony camcorder? I have 3 Sony camcorders and have never used any other kind of tape in them.

But I don't know whether this is a tape problem or not. When you say "freeze" do you mean that the camera actually stopped recording or that there is a dropout on the tape? I think a 1/4 sec dropout is about what you might expect with the Sony HDV system due to the long GOP recording. On a regular DV camera a glitch like this would typically only involve 1 frame (1/30 sec) but with HDV it affects multiple frames due to the compression scheme.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #3
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I have experienced head clogs on a DVCAM, several DV and a couple of HDV camcorders when using them at temperatures below freezing. Also DV and HDV camera heads do seem to take a while to "bed in" and again I have often had to use a cleaning tape on near new camcorders. It has been my experience that as they get older I need to clean them less, strange I know but that's what i have found. Maybe there are sharp edges on new heads that are causing oxide to get striped from the tape, as the heads bed in these edges wear smooth and the problem goes away. I don't know for sure.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #4
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Thanks Boyd and Alister

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Since Best Buy, WalMart and all the other big chains also carry the Sony premium tapes, why would you use another brand in a Sony camcorder? I have 3 Sony camcorders and have never used any other kind of tape in them.

But I don't know whether this is a tape problem or not. When you say "freeze" do you mean that the camera actually stopped recording or that there is a dropout on the tape? I think a 1/4 sec dropout is about what you might expect with the Sony HDV system due to the long GOP recording. On a regular DV camera a glitch like this would typically only involve 1 frame (1/30 sec) but with HDV it affects multiple frames due to the compression scheme.

Boyd, I have had Canon and Panasonic camcorders in the past. I had a problem early on when I popped a sony tape into my canon optura 200 that had been previously used with panny tape. I t was my 1st DV camcorder, prior experience with vhs camcorders was that tape brand didn't matter, you could swith brands, etc. with no problems. Then I read articles about people having problems with DV when switching tape brands. If switching to Sony tape would make the difference (and I don't have a defective HC-1), believe me I will do it in a heart beat. With my other DV camcorders, you could expect a drop out maybe 1-2 times a tape, if any. I seem to be have a heck of a lot more with the HC-1.

Do you use the Sony HDV tape or regular Sony tape (wich are you refering to as sony premium), and is there any noticeable difference? As you mention, dropouts are much longer in duration due to the long GOP of HDV.

Alsiter, that is very interesting, and thank you for your input. My old canon optura didn't do that until I swith to the sony tape, and cleaning did not fix the problem, had to send if back under warranty-maybe it was unrelated to the tape switch. My Panny GS400 went for about 20 hours before it flashed its "clean tape head" message.

I love the HC-1, the quality of the image blows the pants off of any SD camcorder with the exception that vx2100 has better low light. Its like looking at Discovery HD! Its nice to be able to compose a full wide image with so much detail.
It is very cinamatic like because of this feature. With SD's low resolution, your main subject has to be relatively large in the image to be noticed when viewing. This limits your ability to show the subject in its full surroundings.

The FX-1 is way to big and heavy to use (convienently) when travelling, hiking, skiing, etc., but the HC-1 is small and light. I can't believe the other manufactures have been caught so far behind that they've yet to produce a competing product.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #5
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You have probably been a victim of a dropout. Don't be alarmed, it's quite common among the HDV world. This is due to the much higher compression rate of HDV as opposed to SD. The best remedy is to use superior tapes. I have heard of the Fujifilm tapes giving similar problems, and I would steer clear of them. I have been using the SONY Premium tapes and the Maxell TDK tapes from Costco and haven't had a drop yet. You can also get a 6-pack Maxell TDK tapes from Costco for about $15, which is an amazing deal. Everyone else seems to agree that the SONY Premiums and Maxell TDK tapes are the ones to go with...that is, if you mind paying $15 for a single HD tape from SONY.
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