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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 June 27th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #1
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HC7 Dropouts?

Is anyone else having issues with dropouts? I am using Fujifilm tapes, and in theory, they should be fine. On my last tape, in 13 minutes, I had at least 3 full dropouts, and 9 TC breaks according to my NLE. I have logged another tape and some a couple of suspected points, but not this bad. This was the 6th tape I have run it it.

I plan to try 3 Sony HDV tapes this weekend, but it should not be that much of a difference. I was thinking it might just be a profiling issue, but not sure. Could Sony really make it so that a dry tape that is not theirs have this many issues?

Precautions, I cleaned the head with Canon head cleaner tape before I started recording this one - time for a new one? I used canned air to clean the bay before loading the tape. While it was in the helmet cam, most of the dropouts occurred before I started moving.

There is the possiblity I just have a head problem on the new camera too.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #2
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I had only one with the Sony tape and that was when we went from a warm room to the cold and raining outside.

But the other brands, there have been many issues playing those tapes back sometimes. It's best to rewind and fast forward the tape a couple of times and tighten the reel as it is loose most of the times after ejecting.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for replying Jack. The rew/ff strategy is not one that I would consider. There are various discussions in Thin Black Line that cover it.

The key points I remember are that wears the system and may cause profiling issues as AC vs DC power may change the how the tension is done. It is better to stick with a brand and type as the specs will be similar, so the tape will track across the head in a similar fashion. If the issue was tape edge debris, the ff/rew could actually increase the chance of depositing that on the tape or head and create more intermittant read errors.

I am definitely going to try the Sony tapes. In theory, the tapes are mechanically more precise. I just worry that Sony is playing the name game without a significant jump in quality. That discussion is better left the TBL section of the forums.

Thanks
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Old June 28th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #4
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Resolved and I am now less of a disbeliever. Sony DVM63H tapes work flawlessly so far. I recorded 31 minutes without a single issue. Either Sony figured out how to make the unit dependent on their tapes or there is a huge difference in tapes. I was only getting a single audio dropout in about 10 tapes with the Fujis on my VX2100.

Another note on a FF/REW strategy. The HC7 has a stepped motor speed on rewind. It changes speed slower as the tape gets closer to 0 on rewind. This would make the tape tension inconsistant across the entire 63 minutes.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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I've only used one tape so far on my HC7, and it was a TDK "Superior Grade". The tape worked fine with 0 dropped frames and no noticeable dropouts. I would like to settle on one brand and the local stores seem to be selling mostly Sony tapes, so that may be my next choice. If I can find TDK again, I'll likely continue using it.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 07:33 AM   #6
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I've shot about 20 hours on TDK (from Costco) with only one dropout. It was in the last 30 seconds of tape (the only time I've ever gone that near the end). I got a clear capture on the second try.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #7
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I've used 2 Sony PHDVM63DM Digital Master tapes with my new HC7.
No issues. No dropouts.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #8
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Never mind, will repost in the tape forum if I need further info. Thanks guys.

Last edited by David Jasany; June 29th, 2007 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Info not needed
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