Question about Canon GL1 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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The DV tape is totally macroblocking during playback. Is this an indicator of dirty heads?

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Hi there,

I've just posted this solution to another user:

This is likely to be your heads, but you need to be made aware of the following:

1) MiniDV cassette

The quality of your cassettes should first be considered:

Panasonic, Canon and several other brands use what is called "Dry Lubricant" cassettes. For this reason, you should AVOID at all costs, any cassette made from a manufacturer whose cameras use Wet Lubricant type cassettes. Unfortunately, this means you should AVOID SONY cassettes (as Sony cameras use the WET lubricant system).

Dry type cassettes also cause less wear on your heads.

I would highly recommend you use only Panasonic PQ (Professional), SQ (Studio) or MQ (Master) quality cassettes.

(PS: I use these Dry type cassettes on my Canon Pro Camera)


2) Camera HEADS

As stated in above (re the cassettes), if you have inadvertantly used a WET type cassette in your camera (i.e. Sony or similar), have been using old cassettes or debris/dust has entered the compartment, then there is a high probability that some microscopic contaminants may have fouled your heads.

If so, your heads will require cleaning.

The good news is, Panasonic have a MiniDV Head Cleaning cassette (DVMCLA) which can be purchased for around $8 - $15. (try Amazon.com).

If you choose to use this cleaning cassette, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you only run the cassette for a max. of 5 seconds ONLY, for each clean (and no more than 10secs, as using this cassette longer than stated, can cause wear). Then, try playback of your old cassettes to look for improvement. Cleaning is only necessary, if you experience drop outs on dry type cassettes, or pixelating of picture playback.

If this head cleaning process does not resolve your problem, then you will require professional assessment.


Good Luck !




"if this has helped you in any way, please rate this solution"

Posted on Dec 03, 2009

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