Question about Samsung SC-D353 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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Even after using head cleaner, no playback

MINI DV CAMCORDER - PANASONIC Couldn't playback. Used my old head cleaner, didn't work. Got new SONY head cleaner, still won't work. On VCR mode - no playback just black screen. Can rewind and forward etc. min:sec won't move though. On Camera mode - Records, but min:sec don't move and can't pause or stop recording.

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Re: Even after using head cleaner, no playback


Posted on Mar 02, 2008

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Playback flickering

Hi there,

The most common cause of this is dust, debris or contamination on the heads.

Firstly, it's extremely important that you use only DRY LUBRICANT type DV tapes on the Canon branded camcorders.

Different manufacturers design their heads to be used with either Dry or Wet (coating lubricant type) tapes - NEVER BOTH. Canon is DRY type.

Consumers are led to believe that they should be using well known branded DV tapes, such as Sony. This is fine, if your camcorder is a Sony. However, you should NEVER use Sony tapes in your Canon - Sony tapes are of the WET type.

So, the question is, "Are you currently using Dry or Wet type tapes, or a mixture of both?" If you have used either a WET tape, or a mixture of both in your Canon, then this may have contaminated your heads.

If this is so, then don't panic - simply run a special Head Cleaning cassette (for Dry tapes) in your Canon for no more than 5 secs. Note: your heads are very delicate, so only run the cleaning tapes for a few secs at a time.

Also, try to avoid recording over the cassette too many times, as the quality will sometimes degrade each time.

An example of the Dry tapes are the Panasonic ones (Myself and other Pro Videographers often use Panasonic Prof, Studio or Master Quality tapes, as these are some of the better quality Dry tapes on the market).

As your XL2 is a Pro Camcorder, I recommend you stick with Studio quality (or higher) cassettes.

See this link for Dry DV tapes:


See this link for Head Cleaner cassette:

If the problem still exists after head cleaning, then suspect either a faulty cassette (most likely) or damaged heads requiring service.

Let me know how you get on...


"If this has helped you, please be kind enough to leave a testimonial"

Jul 09, 2011 | Canon XL2 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

1 Answer

My heads on the xm1 seem to be dirty, ive used a sony cleaning tape, it only makes a difference for an hr or two taping, any sugestions

Hi there,

Firstly, I must explain how the MiniDV system works:

Although this may sound illogical, MiniDV camcorder heads do actually use a type of lubrication cassette system and there are 2 types:

- DRY lubrication (Canon, Panasonic, JVC etc)
- WET lubrication (Sony)

Now, if you haven't noticed already from the above 2 types, you are in fact using the WRONG type of cassette on your camcorder.

Although Sony cassettes are often readily available (and often perceived to be the best quality), by using Sony cassettes on a Canon camcorder (or Pana, JVC for that matter), you are in fact causing premature wear on the heads. So, the condition you are describing as 'dirty' heads, is in fact caused by the use of the wrong (wet type) cassettes on your DRY type camcorder.

Using "WET" type cassettes on a DRY system camcorder, can often leave residue on your heads, or worse....cause wear. The same principle applies to Sony camcorders - use only Sony 'WET' type cassettes, not Dry cassettes.

This also applies when using HEAD CLEANER cassettes - as indicated, you have used a Sony Head Cleaner cassette (this is a WET type cassette), when in fact, you should be using a DRY HEAD CLEANER cassette (Pana, Canon etc).

CAUTION: when using a head cleaner cassette, only playback the cassette for no more than 6 sec's at a time (anymore will damage the heads).


For your Canon camcorder, use only DRY MiniDV cassettes (Pana offer cassettes from Studio, Professional to Master Quality), including DRY Head Cleaner cassette. This should improve the playback quality from your camcorder.

Mar 25, 2010 | Canon XM1 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

1 Answer

Distorted sound on playback, samsung mini dv camcorder.

Try a DV tape cleaner first. If that doesn't work, see what it would take to get the audio heads realigned. Any camera store can do that for you.

Dec 18, 2008 | Samsung SC-D67 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

1 Answer

Sony playback screen

in either case the head condition is bad.. pls inspect the tips on the head whether it is not damaged in the cleaning.inspect the drum hours also..

Nov 08, 2008 | Sony Handycam DCR-VX2100 Mini DV Digital...

1 Answer

Black lines on playback no playback

hi, if you have stuck the head cleaner in and this has not removed the black lines then the head might either need a thorough clean or may be damaged.

Jul 03, 2008 | Panasonic NV-GS17 Mini DV Digital...

1 Answer

Panasonic camcorder skips on playback

Try to clean the head by using Head cleaning casatte,if the problem remains same .The head is week .For more information u can call 9448259620

Feb 16, 2008 | Panasonic PV-GS300 Mini DV Digital...

1 Answer

Mosaic picture during playback

either use a manufacturer recommended head cleaning tape or have a tech give it a good hand cleaning. Panasonic head cleaning tapes work well.

Nov 14, 2007 | Panasonic AG-DVX100A Mini DV Digital...

1 Answer

Problem with sound during playback

do not used that cleaning cassette it will ruin your video head...cause the cleaner is very rough....just forward a blank new tape for cleaning...the problem of your camera is the tape alignment...

Jul 24, 2006 | Panasonic NV-DS29B Mini DV Digital...

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