Panasonic minidv tape vs Sony minidv tape at DVinfo.net

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Old September 30th, 2002, 12:37 AM   #1
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Panasonic minidv tape vs Sony minidv tape

I would like to see some discussion on this very convoluted subject. Since minidv is a standard, the tapes baring the insignia Minidv should be designed with the same standard/specs. But it seems not too! Don't mix the brands is the warning that is echoed over an over. Some say Sony and Panasonic are both dry formula. Others say that Sony is wet and Panasonic is dry tape. With all this misinformation how is one to know which road to travel. We need actual data/specs not guesses, since it's our equipment that will suffer and us too!

Is one tape (wet versus dry) better? Does the wet leave more residue then the dry tape or vice versa? Is Panasonic better then Sony? Any thoughts would be great info for everyone on this mysterious road of tape.


Michael Pappas
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Old September 30th, 2002, 01:44 AM   #2
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Hallo Michael, when I bought the XM2/GL2 I was told that sony tapes were soft while the panasonic hard tapes. soft tapes are good for all sony camcorder, and for panasonic and canon it's better to use a hard tape. So I always use panasonic for my Xm2.

I hope this will help a bit, Dave
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Old September 30th, 2002, 07:19 AM   #3
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There is a lot of magic in tape. HOwever, the specs are typically performance specs, and manufacturers can use different formulations to meet the performance spec. That can mean somewhat different mechanical propertieies, different magnetic material, and variations in the lub material. And most makers do not give a lot of technical information about their tape. At one time Sony and Panasonic (Matsushita, who happens to own half of JVC too) were the only makers of MininDV tape. Not sure what the situation is today.

As folks may recall, the lub compatibility issue was big in the late 1990's, and resolved in around 1999 or so. But there still are other potential issues not as severe that may be induced by changes in tape.

The one MiniDV tape(s) billed to be dry lub are those from Panasonic labeled "S-AME" technology. I believe that Panasonic intorduced this tape for use in their DVCPRO (DVCPRO tape is MP based) machines that can also play MiniDV.

I believe that the bottom line is that all major brand tapes are good. The stuff labeled for DVCAM and Panasonics Master is more costly, and may be higher quality in that it is more uniform with fewer drop outs. Given that tape is the least of costs in production, there is little reason to buy bargain basement tape for paid work.

Needless to say there is a lot of information, and conflicting information on the web. The best apprach may be to find a tape you are satisfied with, stick with it, buy in quantity, and check each new lot you receive before a money shoot.
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