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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old November 15th, 2002, 09:34 PM   #1
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Tapes for GL2

I have read the posts from a while back about the recomended brands of tapes to use in the GL2, but I am still a bit unclear. From what I understand Panasonic or Sony is a good brand to be using in the Gl2. What I don't understand is if there is really any difference between (for instance) Panasonic PQ tapes and the normal grade of Panasonic tapes that one would find in the average consumer electronics department at a store. I think I saw that the consumer tapes have graphite or something to lube the tape, where as the pro tapes do not.
So, this seems like it means that one would have to clean the heads more often with the consumer tapes, but does it mean that it will shorten the life of the mechanism/heads to use consumer tapes instead of pro tapes?
Since consumer tapes are more readily available, I need a good reason to justify getting Panasonic pro tapes mail ordered instead of conveniently picking up consumer grade Panasonic tapes at a local store.

PS.
Just ordered my GL2 from ZGC today. Hopefully it will arrive sometime next week. I got a Canon cleaning tape as well, but I am hoping to avoid needing to use it too often.
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Old November 15th, 2002, 11:12 PM   #2
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Congratulations on getting your new GL2! You won't be disappointed. And good for you buying it from ZGC! They're really fine folks who take real good care of all of their customers, particularly DVInfo members.

Regarding tape brands, Sony and Panasonic both make good products. More important than brand & grade selection is that you stay with the brand you choose. (Pick An' Stick is our motto here.) Abundant anecdotal evidence suggests that the different lubricants used by these brands can cause some problems if you switch between the two. I believe that the difference in lubricants is betweeen brands, not between intra-brand grades.

Regarding tape grades, frankly there's little practical difference. Unlike analog recordings which can be sensitive to a tape's substrate density digital records everything in binary. I've never seen any difference between grades of Panasonic tapes. While there is a slight difference in each grade's spec sheet I suspect that the primary difference may be the quality of the cassette's construction. But if you do not reuse your tapes (a no-no), don't subject the cassette to heavy wear, and always keep the cassette in its case when not in use I don't think you'll have any trouble with the less-expensive grade. I use the MQ grade of tape most often but also use the "consumer" grade of tape.
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Old November 16th, 2002, 12:54 PM   #3
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Ken,

Thanks for the info and the insight you gave into my tape question. You mentioned the issue of reusing tapes. Is it ok or not ok, to record over MiniDV tapes several times? I have been assuming that I would be able to record over the same tape at least a couple of times, or is this assumption wrong?

I am thinking of using the Panasonic AYDVM60EJ1 consumer grade DV tapes. Do you think these will be ok for my GL2 long term? If I would ever switch to the PQ pro grade of Panasonic tapes, would that be a problem?

I'm just trying to make sure I start out on the right tape and that it will be readily available. It seems that the Panasonic AYDVM60EJ1 consumer tapes are widely available at consumer electronics stores, where as the pro grade Panasonic tapes I would have to mail order in quantity.

Thanks

Jerry
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Old November 16th, 2002, 06:49 PM   #4
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I record over tapes but it is wise to check the recorded material for drop-outs. If taping an important event like a wedding I always use new DV tape. I have witnessed drop-outs from re-used tape.
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Old November 16th, 2002, 07:09 PM   #5
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Jerry,

Panasonic PQ tapes are under $5, can the consumer grade be that much cheaper? I stocked up on th PQ tapes from Zotz.
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Old November 16th, 2002, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: re-using tapes, it's a matter of risk assesment. In any particular situation ask yourself if the material you're shooting is worth more than the $5-7 that a new tape would cost. If the answer is no, shoot away on old tapes.
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Old November 17th, 2002, 01:22 PM   #7
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Thanks to all who have responded to this tape issue. I agree that the cheap price that Zotz has on the Panasonic PQ tapes makes it hard to not got with those tapes. My only concern is that I need to "stock up" on these tapes from Zotz on the west coast, and since I am on the east cost, it makes it a little tough to get tapes quickly when needed.

My current plan is to probably start using some panasonic consumer tapes from a local source and start using these with the GL2 as soon as I get it. At some point, I may stock up on the Panasonic PQ tapes from Zotz. Is this a realistic and safe way to approach it? Will I run in to any trouble if I switch from the Panasonic consumer tape to the PQ tape? I would probably run a cleaning tape through the camera when I make this switch.


Jerry
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Old November 18th, 2002, 07:43 AM   #8
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Fuji

I have used Fuji DVM60 tapes for almost 2 years exclusively in two different cams (Canon ZR25&GL1). I have gone through dozens of them in the ZR and portions of a couple with the GL and I have never had a problem with them. I started using them on the advice of a friend over at DV.com (Frank G.) and never regretted it. I have also seen many others post good experiences with this tape. Very little drop-outs and excellent durability. I'll never use another brand.
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