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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #1
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HD/MiniDV Tape, Hype or not

Has anyone determined wheather or not the extra money for the "HD" Rated MiniDV tape is worth the expense or not?

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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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From all I've read, consensus seems to be that if you don't mix your media (brand and/or chemical composition of the tape) you should be ok. From a technical perspective, the data-rate is the same regardless of whether you're recording DV or HDV, so the tape doesn't have to travel faster or store more "bytes-per-mm".

That said, because of the compression involved in HDV I wouldn't be surprised if it's less tolerant of bit-errors, from tape re-use and/or age. With this in mind I've chosen to record to many DV tapes once, rather than re-use a few HDV tapes multiple times. Everything degrades with time. If I have something I *really* don't want to lose or to suffer drop-outs with age, I'll archive the captured NLE data to a different physical media like Dual-Layer DVD.

Since Mike (Horrigan) is here in Ottawa, I opted to use the same brand Panasonic tapes (currently AY-DVM63PQ) in case we ever want/need to collaborate. More likely him needing a second or emergency substitute HV20 than me. ;-)

Andrew.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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At first I was a die-hard on exclusively using the expensive HDV tapes. I more or less was forced to start using regular MinDV tapes in my FX1 due to simple economics and convenience. I was going through 5-6 tapes per week, and I simply couldn't afford to pay 3 to 5 times the price for the expensive tapes. Furthermore, when you run out and are in a pinch, you have to order them in advance as they are not sold in stores anywhere, at least nowhere I have seen. One day last year, I ran out of the HDV tapes and had no choice but either use a regular MiniDV tape or miss the shots. It worked just fine and from that day on I never bought another HDV tape.

I have recorded some 90 or so regular MiniDV tapes on the FX1 without a single dropout or problem. I have come to trust them completely, and to me it now makes no practical and economic sense to pay the very high difference for the HDV tapes. I'm using the Sony premiums (around $2.00 each when bought in bulk), the same tapes I've always used in my other two Sony cams.

When you're talking $10-$12 per tape versus $2-$3 per tape, there better be some type of incredible benefit, and as far as I can see, there isn't one.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #4
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good information thanks

Ive always had good luck with TDKs MiniDV in my GL2. TDK has been making magnetic tape for a lot of years and quality control looks so far to be a lock.
.... and Costo price for 5 tapes is hard to beat.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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I bought some Sony premium tapes then later realized that the Panasonic HDV tapes cost only a couple of bucks more so I've decided to use the 'better' tape since I don't go through that many tapes in a year.

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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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I started using the Sony HDV tapes with my FX1, figuring that it would reduce the number of dropouts. After still getting dropouts, I tried the Premium miniDV tapes, and found that I seemed to actually get less dropouts than with the HDV tapes. Needless to say, I have been using the Premium tapes ever since.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #7
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In my experience, it's hype.

I have shot 70 maxell tapes over the past two years with little or no problems. 2 years, 99.8% success rate.

I figure that's saying a lot - I took a theoretical 'risk', and I'm as safe and as happy as the next guy. I don't believe in depending on tapes for storage, I use mulitple data copies (DVD and Hard Drive) for that.
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