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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #1
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Another FX1 tape record problem

Taping in HD on standard miniDV Sony tapes (Always same brand). I noticed after capturing and viewing footage that sporadically I would have a frame freeze for about 1/2 second. It would happen maybe once every 10 minutes or so. Not on a regular time table. At first I thought it was something wrong with my capture procedure so I put the tape back in the camera and watched it. Same freezes at the same spots. So it had to be either the tape or the record process. Recorded another event on a differrent tape after using a head cleaning tape. Still happened but possibly less frequently. Still don't know if it is tape related or camera related. Anybody else had this problem and any solutions except ship to Sony (ugh).

(edit) Oh BTW I tried recording direct into my editing program (bypassing tape) and did not have the problem but I may not have recorded a long enough sample. But that still means it could be tape or record related.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like a tape dropout. Are you re-using tapes? Might be time for a professional cleaning. How much time is on your heads?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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We are using FX1s for 3 years now and we have seen enough times such dropouts to be worried. It's not certain it's a head thing or a tape thing in your case, in our case it seems to be a thing with the tapes but not only that (see the second paragraph). For our weddings we usually have at least 5 hours of raw material and we randomly have from 0 to 7-8 dropouts (once we had 20 or more!!). But when we go for the expensive HD tapes from Sony, we never get any of that stuff. Always stable and clear.

But we noticed another thing too. More artifacts to my camera than to my brother's. That should mean camera problem, but I change between 3 FX1s and am always leading the dropouts. So, I made a research back then and found out that maybe it happens because of the nature of my shooting that demands shaking and moving the camera more "wildly" than my brother's who does mostly steadycam. But even so, HD tapes by Sony seem to be a solution since they have some mechanisms for shock absorb or something like that (those tapes are also very expensive).
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Old May 13th, 2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Guys, thanks for replying,
Adam, I have had the problem both on reused and new tapes. But I have never used the HD tapes - too expensive. If it is a dropout problem it makes the camera almost unusable for special event 1 camera shoots, at least with tape. I had not heard of this particular problem with the FX1 before and there must be MANY of them out there. Has no one else besides Dimitris noticed this problem? Would sure like to know if it is tape or camera originated. But either way its going to cost some money. Either more expensive tapes or a hard disk/card recorder or camera repair (arrrrggggg)
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #5
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I think Sony has released a device that allows you to record to memory card (I think CF) in most Sony prosumer cameras, including the FX1. I don't remember the name of the device but I can check it out in a few hours, but I remember its cheaper than a hard drive recorder (and definitely safer). But besides that, there is a chance of faulty tapes in all the similar cases. Once we bought from a guy that had tapes with higher dropout rate than our next seller. Many users say that they never had such problems. It may be true but it also may be true that they usually shoot DV and not HDV. It makes a difference because many times a dropout in DV may not be visible at all, maybe it's a slight glitch in a corner of the image or 1/25 of the second of faulty audio. But the same dropout in HDV means 12 times more damage. And this is definitely visible.

Also, some people say that HD tapes can be re-recorded many many times without problem. Maybe you should buy half a dozen of them and experiment with multiple re-recordings.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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You know, for the past 3 years I have hardly seen a single dropout with my Z1. Now with a tape I made a few weeks ago I have a bunch of problems. On another tape from the same evening there are no issues. There are a couple dropouts on another tape I made a few months back too.

I need to spend a bit of time looking into this, because as I was capturing in FCP it appeared as though the dropout was in the capture but not on the Z1's LCD screen itself, so it could be an FCP issue. Guess it's time to run a cleaning tape through also, then maybe send the camera in for a tuneup if this keeps happening, because there is no way I can reproduce our performance videos if the tape is bad.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 01:43 AM   #7
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I haven't tried it yet (and I hope I will never need to) but I heard once that there is a Sony service at Sony Media Services who can repair damaged dv and hdv media and even recover data under dropouts. As I said, I hope I'll never need them but you can never know.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #8
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Boy, what a deal that is. You make a camera and a tape that create drop outs and then you create a division that will charge to recover the data you lost in the drop outs. Great business model!
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Old May 24th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #9
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I too have had similar problems...

The camera appears to record properly, red light & "REC" on screen, but when playing back it is the blue screen on my Z1 or when playing on FX1 my camera returns a C:31:23 or C:31:42 message.

I've noticed artifacts on the video too, thought maybe it was caused by strobe lighting but had the same problem without strobes at last event!

This has happened on both my FX1 and Z1 on reused tapes.

I use the sony premium tapes and was advised that these tapes are consumer tapes... not professional.

Is it ok to re-use tapes?

Is it best to invest in the higher quality tapes? If so does anyone know a UK outlet.

Thanks,

Tom
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #10
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I'd say it's pretty dangerous to re-use the premium tapes. A few times we tried it, we noticed interferences from the previous recordings (frames from the older recordings should appear from time to time!!) and also more artifacts. I don't know about UK but here in Greece we have found a seller that gives away the Premium for 1,5 Euro, which is pretty cheap I think. But Amazon UK has also very good prices, especially in HD tapes (4 pounds each, instead of over 10 in Greece).
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Tom, I personally don't reuse tapes for any critical work. All new jobs get new tapes. Better safe than sorry.
As for your C:31:23 or C:31:42 error messages, I would suggest sending your camera in for service. The reason is that the C:31:23/C:31:42 codes are tape transport errors.

Now, this might just mean a cleaning of the tape assembly is required. But it could also mean that, as was the case with one of my cameras, that the tape transport might have to be replaced.

If you are experiencing only some dropouts, then a cleaning is probably only required. But, if you are experiencing a blue screen or recorded tapes, then it very well could be a tape transport problem.

I had a camera, that showed as recording fine, but when I went to review the tape, the screen was blue, except while in play mode, either fast forwarded or rewound the tape. Then the sped up preview would be seen. It turned out that the tape transport went bad and had to be replaced. Also, the C:31:32 and C:31:42 codes appeared in my viewfinder.

The FX1/Z1 cameras have well documented tape transport problems.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #12
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"The FX1/Z1 cameras have well documented tape transport problems"

Has Sony (or anyone) come up with a fix for this problem or is it just get it repaired each time it happens?
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Old June 5th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #13
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Oh, it was the tape tension... was something like 9gms, was meant to be 3.5gms... all fixed now!
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Old June 8th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #14
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Terry, the freezing of a frame comes from the camera keeping the previous frame when there is an error in the record mode. This is usually an indication of either a dirty mech, defective tape, or worn mech.

JIm
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #15
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Thank you, finally someone with a straight answer about what the frozen frame means.

I guess if I use a head cleaner, use a new expensive Sony HD tape I maybe can eliminate or confirm the first two. Worn mechanism arrrgggg!
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