Gents, (and I am SO grateful for you both entering into this dialog with me...)
There is no tracking setting on the camera, but I find intermittent "tracking", or "rolling" issues just on the camera side alone. I went to radio shack and got a head cleaner... used it..
1. Remember why I shouldn't waste my money on Radio Shack stuff, and buy a higher quality head cleaner from Sony (appx $30)
2. I may have misaligned heads in the camera.
1. Buy a better head cleaner,
2. Look into another 8mm player, rather than my camera, OR consider camera repair on an 19 year old machine.
I am going to order the better head cleaner, and I am going to research other 8mm recorders for use as a playback machine.
Meanwhile, I got a 6 pin to 9 pin firewire so I can bypass my non-working Maxtor drive. There could be additional interference going through that unit. I no longer need to because the 6/9 pin cable will go directly from the canopus to the macBook. I might have to digitize footage onto the mac, and then transfer to the off board 1t hd.
I am going to sort this issue by backing up, and dealing with the camera side first. It was confusing because sometimes the image was stable, and sometimes not. SO, I was kind of working ahead without sorting first things first.
I will keep you both apprised.
And THANK YOU so much for helping me.