MiniDV/XL-1 and Tape Condensation : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread


During a recent documentary shoot with an XL-1 we've had a major problem (lost 20 minutes of good footage) with dropout on two seperate occasions. Both occured when we moved from a colder climate to a warmer one within an hour, and the temperature changed 10-15 degrees (San Francisco is a miserable city for shooting; humidity changes frequently too).

We think it is condensation, but are unsure (the warning never came up and I maintain the camera cleaning in a faithful and regular manner). Has anyone else noticed such a problem? Is the XL-1 particular sensitive to temperature changes or is a MiniDV related problem? We were shooting on Maxwell tapes.

If so, how can we avoid this problem? Documentary work demands quick changes; waiting two hours, as the manual suggests, with the deck open often is impossible as time is of the essence.



-- todd walker (, August 22, 1999


I use Panasonic tape for my xl-1. I have heard about problems with Maxell video tape & other products, stay away from them. Go Panasonic or Sony....the cost is about the same.

-- chip michaels (, August 22, 1999.


Had a similar problem in similar conditions while shooting with a VX 1000 in Poland. But not only was some footage desparingly glitched but the record heads were damaged. I was never sure if moisture was the problem or dirty tape heads or some other malfunction. My problem seemed to have something to do with hot audio levels bleeding into the picture's bandwidth. And so into the shop my camera went. Let me know if find out anything more. Best of luck.

-- Byron Shah (, December 28, 1999.

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