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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:17 AM   #1
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Re-using of tapes

hey guys,
just need some opinions on the re-using of
PANASONIC AY-DVM63AMQ
these are the master quality ones (the best apparently) or any other type of hdv mini dv tapes for that matter.

Is it defeating the whole purpose of paying the big bucks to begin with?

should these tapes be used once only?

I mean its not gold dust im filming, but i dont want artefacts either.

im just preparing to start as i intend to go on with this beautiful camera.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM   #2
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i used to always say that you can use a tape about 3 or 4 times before losing any sort of quality.. though really there will never be any loss of 'quality' as its DIGITAL.. you just may get more dropouts or timecode issues etc.. from the wear on the tape mostly.. i buy the cheaper fuji hdv tapes ($6.50 canadian each).. i always use a new tape for serious projects but re-use tapes for 'for fun' projects..
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 10:14 AM   #3
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The questions for tape reuse are several.

The increased likelihood of unintentionally taping over something you really wanted to save.

The possibility of deciding at a later, but oo late, that you really wanted to archive something after all.

The question of whether or not the camcorder record current is strong enough to completely erase and record over previously recorded material. (This is not an issue with blank tape, but might be an increased issue with tapes previously recorded in a different machine with a slightly different head alignment). People have occasionally reported seeing flashes of previously record material when playing a SD tape, probably due to an incomplete erase/record over previous material. Why this happens is a good question - maybe due to transient dirt on the head during record.

Tape wear is usually the least of issues, especially if using NLE, because the tape usually does not spend much time under a spinning head with no tape movement. This was more of an issue in the days of linear editing.

Tape is cheap by comparison to virtually all other factors in video production, especially TIME.

So you have to evaluate the risks and cost, and do what works for you. I use new tape for all capture, but will reuse tape for scratch and practice purposes.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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I use only new tapes, but on occasion I may reuse a tape for something non-critical. The AMQ tapes are $8 to $9 at most places, so the cost of tape is not really much of a factor. On a typical shoot we probably spend more on coffee and donuts and bottled water and pizza than on tape.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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I'm curious if anyone has ever tried bulk erasing a mini-DV tape. When I worked in radio, we would erase our broadcast cartridges (carts) and reel to reel tapes on a electromagnet device. The tapes were heavy duty for recording analog audio, and meant to be reused.

If someone is using blacked and coded dv tapes, it would wipe the time coding, but it should also eliminate the possibility of having previously recorded material reappear during subsequent playback.

For DV, is this a bad idea, or are they too delicate?

Last edited by Jason Sovey; August 3rd, 2007 at 11:34 AM.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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Tape is so cheap and hard drives can be so volatile, that I always use a fresh tape.
Itís just worth it to me to have multiple archives of my work. Iíve lost a lot of drives, but never a tape. The only good thing that can come from reusing a tape is cost savings of a few bucks. If you can afford an A1, use a new tape.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Weiss View Post
If you can afford an A1, use a new tape.
hmm, that logic isn't strictly true. Now I've afforded an A1 I'll not be affording anything else for a year without problems ;)
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 11:53 AM   #8
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Well that logic isn't *strictly* true... but it *should* be... at any rate, I have to agree that even the costliest HDV tape is still the single least expensive link in the production chain, so why skimp on it; why re-use it, and why use anything but the best? It's a matter of placing a value on the video that you're shooting... I'd never use anything but the best, most expensive tape I could find. Cheap tape should be avoided like the plague. And if I point an A1 at something, it's serious enough that I'm going to keep that video. For home / family / vacation / tourist stuff, I use the movie mode in my little PowerShot SD800 IS for casual video recording.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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I reuse each tape for 2 or 3 times. I shoot weddings using 2 cameras. A full day work gives me about 16 to 20 tapes. The cost adds up. Since I have multiple angles, if there are some drop outs, not too big of a deal for me.

When I finish a project, I export all final videos back to those old tapes for archiving.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I reuse each tape for 2 or 3 times........ if there are some drop outs, not too big of a deal for me.
So Taky, there are increased dropouts?
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 12:59 PM   #11
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I don't notice there is an increase drop out. Even for new tape, there might be 1 or 2 either at the beginning or the end of a tape recording. It's like completely random
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:24 PM   #12
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"The increased likelihood of unintentionally taping over something you really wanted to save"

Don that is a very good point.
especially since I'll be shooting in hdv but outputting to sd.
Who knows what may come of this footage down the road.

So I think based on this factor among the more technical ones
also I'll shoot on new tapes all the time.
I'll store these tapes under the perfect storage conditions
and if the time comes to call up one of them they'll be there.

Im sure ill find a use for at least some of them at some stage
for second cameras etc., backing up edited projects etc.

I do agree that comparitively speaking it is one of the cheapest
outlays we have and if quality is important one shouldnt cut costs here.

I usually shoot single camera event stuff which means no second chance!

Thanks for your comments and helping me decide.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:29 PM   #13
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I do short clips on the A1 for our local TV News each week.

I use standard mini DV tapes (always have) and don't see any problem re-using them.

These tapes are used in my camera, then played back on another one in the pre-edit, and then played on a tape machine in the studio.

I'm basically using three in rotation and will let you all know when I start seeing any dropouts or any other problems.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I reuse each tape for 2 or 3 times. I shoot weddings using 2 cameras. A full day work gives me about 16 to 20 tapes. The cost adds up.
Are you serious? So equally divided, that's 8 to 10 tapes/hours per cam on a typical wedding gig day?

Bill
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Old August 4th, 2007, 05:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Well that logic isn't *strictly* true... but it *should* be... at any rate, I have to agree that even the costliest HDV tape is still the single least expensive link in the production chain, so why skimp on it
Tapes are more expensive in the UK. I'm using the white Sony HDV tapes which cost as much as $20 each here. I buy the ones at slightly suspicious prices on amazon z-shops and ebay..
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