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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:26 AM   #1
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Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Has anyone had problems with tape drop out on any Z5 E purchased in Britian or Europe in the last 3 months? I am recording in 1080i 25P and I have been using new Sony tapes (DVC Premium and HDM-63G) purchased at different times so I think it unlikely to be a tape issue. I also ran at least 15 tapes following the theory of new heads needing time to get 'used being heads' but still had problems. Sony has now replaced the camera with another new one. I have only run 2 tapes and the same problem seems to be happening. Is this just me being unlucky or could there be a bad batch of cameras?? Thanks for any feedback
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:50 AM   #2
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

be aware:

there's a bad batch of sony tapes -

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/services...repprogram.pdf

i doubt very much it's a bad 'batch' of cameras.

are you mixing tapes? isn't dvc panny? if so by mixing tapes (old?) it could well be dirty heads.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 07:16 AM   #3
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi thanks for your reply. I am just trying to eliminate all possiblities hence the bad batch of cameras question It doesn't look like my type of tape is in the 'bad batch' Sorry but I am not familiar with the term 'panny'. Sony didn't seem to think using a premium tape and a HDV tape was mixing tape. Also on the newest camera I have used 2 similar tapes but the same problem occurs. They also cleaned and looked at the heads on the first camera and sent it back saying they couldn't find the problem which then persisted.. Is there any way this is software related rather than tape or head related. Thanks
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

panny = panasonic.

so, if you've had 2 cameras with the same problem then i think you might well have found a camera problem - though i haven't read of any other people posting similar problems....

do the dropouts also appear on playback in the camera?

do they fall at the same spot every time or are they random?
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi again Thanks for the clarification on 'Panny'. All the tapes I used were Sony. I can't be 100% sure but I think the problem is mainly but not entirely on playback as I replayed one of the drop out tapes on the 'latest' camera and drop outs are in different places. I have been capturing entire tapes and I am getting 4 to 8 drop outs per tape and the drop outs seem to be in different places as well as the original places and of varying lengths... Any ideas??
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Just out of curiosity, do you see the dropouts though the LCD on your camera or is it once it's ingested?
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi. I have seen the drop outs on the LCD (but that I don't always catch them) and these drop outs are confirmed when capturing to FCP. A long take gets split into separate clips with anywhere between 2 and 10 frames missing between clips and if recaptured it can happen in new places. A few tapes have one or two drop outs the worst 8 to 10. I still need to test the newest camera to see if it's worse or better. I would really like to trouble shoot this issue as I have heard so many good things about the Z5 which is why I bought it. Thanks for any insights. Robb
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Old April 24th, 2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

I had a huge problem out of the blue with my Z5. I was using consumer Sony DV tapes, which I'd used without problems for two years (more like 10 years if you include using them with the PD150/170). The time code kept disappearing, along with the video, on playback. But when I fast forwarded, I could see the image, though.

I took the camera in for service. Sony could find nothing wrong with it after days and days of testing.

We then used the same batch of tapes in a brand new Z5. Within five minutes it indicated the heads were dirty. I shifted to more expensive HDV tapes and haven't had any problems since.

Thankfully, we also record everything to CF card on the MRC1 otherwise it would have been a disaster.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi. Thanks for your post which sadly confirms but doesn't explain what the core problem is here. I also had a PD150 for 8 years with barely a hiccough and one of the reasons I bought a Z5 is that I am going on location in the Himalayas and won't be able to down load CF cards as I will be away from power sources for some time. 20/30 hours of CF cards is going to stretch my budget. After reading your post and the hearing how your problem occured out of the blue is quite disturbing as I don't know how I can trust this type camera to be reliable when I really need it because the cause of the problem is still unclear. I was on a shoot filming (with the first camera) using HDV tapes last week and I got just a many drop outs as with the premium tapes.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
panny = panasonic.

so, if you've had 2 cameras with the same problem then i think you might well have found a camera problem - though i haven't read of any other people posting similar problems....

do the dropouts also appear on playback in the camera?

do they fall at the same spot every time or are they random?
Hi again
So if this is a camera problem. Do you think it's hardware or software? I tried testing again today and I captured the same new tape 3 times to see what happened. I was able to see the 'freezes' in the LCD and it dropped out in the one place 3 times a 3 others completely randomly. I have to talk to Sony tomorrow and would like to be as clear as I can about the issue. Thanks for any feedback Robb
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Old April 25th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #11
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi Rob,

Sorry to hear of your plight and thanks to Leslie for posting the notice from Sony.

Most drops in relation to backing and oxide cohesion are caused by extreme changes in temperature and/or humidity. Those conditions of operation and extremes will be specified and published somewhere..

If you are storing tapes, either prior to use or after use, try to store them in an environment which is cool and of average humidity - but possibly more important one which is constant as large and sudden swings in the environmental conditions will be a catalyst to some types of tape. So if you are going up mountains, to the beach or into the tropics, I would consider the way in which you store your tapes for the journey and the shoot.

Before use I pre wind all tapes by spooling them to the end and back again, this way the tape is retensioned to the camera. I then apply an air duster to the camera's tape mechanism once I'm ready to go.

An old VT method, but it's served me pretty well over the last couple of years I've been using the Z5 with DV Premium tapes.

I've had the occasional drop - one tape in ten I would estimate with a loss of a frame or two in one section only - nothing more. The scene was often recovered on recapture possibly suggesting it was a particle of dust on the tape replay rather than an oxide issue at recording - although it has happened, but rarely.

As for the HDV63s I've not seen any noticable difference in reproduced quality to begin using this type, but this is only subjective opinion without any objective assessment.

The convenience of tape for archiving is without comparison, but I guess if you are shooting in extreme environments then personally I would leave my tapes behind and use solid state.

:)
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Old April 25th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #12
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

"Women don't hit harder, they just hit lower! "

and bang on target! completely overlooked 'environmental' factor - storage, shooting, etc., which can prove fraught with problems if not taken into account, especially humidity.

i too shoot exclusively with sony dv premium - and in many years can count the dropouts on one hand. (i never use the camera as a deck, and never playback tape in the field). this has been true for my last 4 cameras (150/170/v1p/z5p)
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Old April 26th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Buckley View Post
Hi Rob,

Sorry to hear of your plight and thanks to Leslie for posting the notice from Sony.

Most drops in relation to backing and oxide cohesion are caused by extreme changes in temperature and/or humidity. Those conditions of operation and extremes will be specified and published somewhere..

If you are storing tapes, either prior to use or after use, try to store them in an environment which is cool and of average humidity - but possibly more important one which is constant as large and sudden swings in the environmental conditions will be a catalyst to some types of tape. So if you are going up mountains, to the beach or into the tropics, I would consider the way in which you store your tapes for the journey and the shoot.

Before use I pre wind all tapes by spooling them to the end and back again, this way the tape is retensioned to the camera. I then apply an air duster to the camera's tape mechanism once I'm ready to go.

An old VT method, but it's served me pretty well over the last couple of years I've been using the Z5 with DV Premium tapes.

I've had the occasional drop - one tape in ten I would estimate with a loss of a frame or two in one section only - nothing more. The scene was often recovered on recapture possibly suggesting it was a particle of dust on the tape replay rather than an oxide issue at recording - although it has happened, but rarely.

As for the HDV63s I've not seen any noticable difference in reproduced quality to begin using this type, but this is only subjective opinion without any objective assessment.

The convenience of tape for archiving is without comparison, but I guess if you are shooting in extreme environments then personally I would leave my tapes behind and use solid state.

:)
I don't think my current problem can be environmental as I just bought a batch of Premium and HVD tapes less than 6 weeks ago. My question is this. Is the 1080i 25P mode the real problem. I shot hours of footage on Sony Excellence tape in the dv cam mode on my PD 150 in India at high altitude, in dusty environments. I replayed the tapes on camera, replayed them to log them then captured clips and sometimes did it again . I have stored these at least 150 tapes in a moderately damp house in moist Ireland. I wanted to recapture something I shot 5 years ago a a month or so ago. Not a problem . No spooling, no deck. Just my PD 150. Now I buy this lovely new Z5. Set it to 1080i 25P and every single tape ( Around 20 to date) has a minimum of 4 major drop outs. A concert project toally blown as a huge gap in the middle of two songs ! A irrepalceable visit to Ireland by the Dalai Lama with gaps when he's saying amazing stuff gone. It looks like I got a 'lemon' camera but not only that I just got a replacement camera from Sony that's doing almost exactly the same thing. Apologies for the emotional rant but you can't fix a problem if you can't identify it. I really appreciate the posts and comments. Perhaps I have asked a question that can't really be answered.. Thanks again
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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #14
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

I have never seen a dropout on the LCD even when I get the very rare dropout. I use Panasonic tapes and never have issues but the tape is now just a backup. Robb, this is not an answer to your problem, but stretch your budget and get the cards. The cards really are reliable, download in 5 minutes and give you piece of mind. I would contact Sony and see what they say. There is obviously a big problem. I heard someone mention that Sony is able to recover some bad tapes, maybe you can give that a shot if you have irreplaceable footage. Trust me, get the MRC-1 unit and cards. Good luck and keep us up to date on how this plays out for you.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:26 PM   #15
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Re: Z5 drop outs on new a camera

Hi Thanks for your reply. Yes cards seem inevitable but it would be nice if the tapes really were back up too. Sony is taking another look at my camera in the next few days and hopefully they can find what the problem is. I'll keep in touch about it. My son was using a 60D as a 2nd camera so it looks like the worst losses may have been covered..
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