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Old August 20th, 2003, 08:42 AM   #1
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Problem with recorded tape on a PD150

I am having occasional tape glitch problems with my 10 month old Sony PD150. Picture becomes blotchy and seems to have shear lines near the centre of the frame. I have posted some screen captures at http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/videoman/ to try and give a better idea of the problem(may have over compressed them a bit much, but they should give you an idea).

These shots were from a wedding with only 10 hours on the heads. The problem occurs only occasionally and usually only over a few frames but I am unsure whether it is a camera problem or tape and just what to do about fixing it. Tapes are unused Panasonic AY-DVM63MQ.

Is this what people call tape dropout? Any idea whats causing it?

Regards, Mark
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Old August 20th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #2
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Looking at the pictures, it looks to me as if the error correction cannot cleanup a tape glitch.

I'd call the Sony pro support and point them to the pictures. Just don't mention the brand of tape. I think they will tell you that either the tape is bad or the heads temporarily got something on them that quickly 'fell' off.

Panasonic tapes have something of a long-term rep for this type of problem in Sony decks. Sony tapes, while they too can be bad, are rarely bad. So rare that I've never seen one in the roughly 1000 miniDV tapes or the 40 DVCam tapes I've shot.

If it were my camera, I'd run nothing but Sony tapes in it and never swap.

But to do so, you would have to clean the heads very carefully.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 01:38 AM   #3
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Mark

I have been running the Pan 63PQ and 83 PQ'a in my PD150 for over 1.5 years and never had a problem with them.

To date I have run a combination of 75 total of the Pan's(63 and 83PQ) through my camera and NEVER had an issue with them.

I have one more trip to British Columbia to shoot salmon fishing and then the camera goes back to http://www.armatos.com for its first cleaning and maintaince(I am 8 months late for the annual cleaning)

The Key with any camera and tape is to NEVER change brands of tapes in the camera. The diffenence in tape lub's and composition between different manufacturers can cause porblems gumming up the heads.

Some like Sony tapes, I swear by the Pan's.

Have you ever swithced tape brands in your camera?
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Old August 21st, 2003, 09:41 AM   #4
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"The Key with any camera and tape is to NEVER change brands of tapes in the camera. The diffenence in tape lub's and composition between different manufacturers can cause porblems gumming up the heads."

I know that not switching is the key to not quickly clogging heads. I do not agree that the brand of tape in the camera makes no difference as long as you stick with the single brand.

I still say that Sony knows best how to make tape for Sony cameras.

"Some like Sony tapes, I swear by the Pan's.

Have you ever swithced tape brands in your camera? "

Absolutely not. I won't run anything but Sony tapes. I don't accept non-Sony tapes from customers. They can loan me their camera and I'll dupe the tape. I've never had a head-related problem in my cameras or decks and I have over 900 hours on my DSR-20, 700 on the DSR-300.

We don't allow the use of anything but Sony tapes at the local community college where all the cameras are Sony although 2 of the decks are JVC. In 8+ years of DV camera use (VX-1000 to DSR-300 and JVC 500's) we have never had a tape head problem.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 11:09 AM   #5
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Mike

I agree to a certain extent, but come on, Sony is not the only one that knows how to make tapes.

When I asked if "you" had ever switched tapes I was asking MS to see if we could trace the problem.

I can find many people that have way more experience than me or you in this business and they will all have their opinions about what is the best and what works for them

My point was that what ever tape you start using, AS LONG AS IT WORKS, then dont change.

Claiming that one tape works beter than another is like saying Canon is better Sony. Its a matter of preference and choice.

I have over $15000 in Nikon still cameras and would never think of going to Canon. But I know good friends that would fight to the death defending their Canon equipment.

Again its a matter of what works for you and what you feel comfortable with.

I too will not accept any Non-Pan tapes in my decks or cameras! If the customer brings in a non Pan PQ tape, I ask them to supply the deck or camera that captured it or at the customers expense rent a deck to grab the files.

As far as Sony knowing whats best for their cameras, lets talk about the audio circuit in the early PD150s........................ ;o)

I am not trying to start a flame war, just stating that we all have our own opinions and ALL are valuable input to this forum.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 01:20 PM   #6
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Good luck in BC.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 02:19 PM   #7
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Thank you. If we can just get the salmon to see things our way.....
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Old August 21st, 2003, 04:28 PM   #8
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I have never changed tape brands. . . . it has been Panasonic from day one. I have emailed the local Sony Service Centre as recommended by Mike and shall let you know how I get on.

BTW. I just loaded the lastest footage from a recent wedding shoot and I found about a 20 frame segment of glitched tape that was a lot worse than the samples I have posted. Lines and blocks all over the frames and the audio seems affected too.

Mark
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Old August 21st, 2003, 05:12 PM   #9
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OUch. Don't you just hate that when the footage is unreplaceable. Fortunately, people do understand that technology does fail from time-to-time.

Just a thought. Is the tape transport still fairly quiet? Sony actually gave me a new PD150 because the entire transport seemed to fall apart and it was suffering from severe EMI susceptability (and they didn't know what to do about that).

Before they decided to give me a new camera, they had replaced everything in the transport that rotates. The camera still worked OK before they repaired it but it sounded like a cement mixer. The EMI issue they had never heard about. Turns out the problem is that radio transmitters and high-energy electronic pulses (like from police light bar strobes) will drive the steadyshot crazy. New camera still acts up when I'm in or near a police car.
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Old August 25th, 2003, 04:16 PM   #10
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Tape transport is quiet. Have spoken to the local Sony Service Centre(seems they have a problem with email as my original email to them remains unanswered:-(
They are unsure if it is a tape or camcorder problem and advised me to send the PD 150 and affected tapes back to them.
Strange thing happened. . . . . some of the faulty tapes are no longer faulty! I have been using my second camera(a Canon XM1) as a deck to upload my tapes to my computer for editing. The 1 frame faulty shot at the top of the screen captures page I posted does not exist when I view it with the Sony. The other shots further down the page are still effected but the damage is in different places on some of the frames(same frames. . .different places).
Tried to find the affected frame on another old tape and that is also no longer there on the Sony. And the 20 frame segment of glitched tape I referred to a couple of messages back turned out to actually be 40 frames on the Canon and 31 on the Sony PD150.

Anyway, I'm sending the Sony back to the Service Centre and I'll see what they can come up with.

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Old September 4th, 2003, 07:33 AM   #11
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Just got camera back from Sony(no charge) with a note saying they thoroughly checked the camera and could find nothing wrong with it. They cleaned it and advised me to only use Sony tapes in it from now on. I will follow their advice.

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