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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 13th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Switching From Panny AMQ's to Sony

I've had my A1 for quite a while now and have shot about 40 tapes, all of which are the Panasonic AMQ 63min tapes.

I've pretty much had an average of about 1 dropout per tape... even after head cleanings. I've been reading that others have had similar problems and have since switched to Sony's more expensive HDV tapes and have reported far less dropouts.

So my question is...

Since I have shot about 40 tapes using AMQ's.... am I okay to run a head cleaner for 10 seconds and start using Sony tapes from here on out? I've read all about the whole.. "buy one brand of tape and stick to it." thing, but these dropouts are killing me. But then again, I don't want to make the matter worse.

Thank you for any advice or suggestions.
Deke Ryland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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That's the proper procedure--run the head cleaning tape before using the new brand. I did it and no problems at all. I also switched from AMQ to the Sony PHDVM63 Digital Master tapes. Zero dropouts so far. I think I've only shot about 20 -25 hours with them so far. It's never a good idea to switch back and forth a lot, but doing it that way is cool.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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Hey Bill... thanks so much for the confirmation on changing procedure. I actually ordered some new tapes today but decided to stick with Panny's. I have been using their AMQ tapes and noticed they have a new tape in their lineup (at least I never noticed it before)... the AY-DVM63HD. It's an HDV tape that costs two bucks more than the AMQ's I was getting at B&H. I figured I'd give their top-notch tape a try before I go switching brands.

Anyone tried the Panasonic AY-DVM63HD?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...nute_Mini.html
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Old August 13th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #4
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Those are the same price as the AMQ at B&H; probably worth a try. Interesting, the AMQs have gone down in price while Sony's gone up. I paid 9+ bucks for the last AMQs I bought. Now they're 7.99. First Sonys I bought were 14+ and now they're right at 17.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Deke, after 46 years working with magnetic tape, the reason you're getting dropouts is muck in the transport. When you open it to change tapes, you're letting in micro grit that floats in the atmosphere. It builds up in there and gets in the tape path.

I recently proved it again, with a new A1 no dropouts for 6 Pana MQ83 tapes till I quickly changed one out on an airfield. Then I got dropouts on the next 4 tapes. That's despite changing that tape under a cover. That's actually my fault, before going out I'd normally put in a new tape even if the current one is only 1/2 full.

When you change a tape, keep the transport open for the minimum time, have the next tape out of its poly case ready to load. Do it in a dust free area. Occasionally upend the cam with its tpt open and run a dust bug at the opening. I run the cleaner tape before each outdoor session, the A1 manual P144, says do it frequently. On airfields to keep grit out I cover all the exposed switches on the A1 with no residue black Cling tape.

That new Pana AY-DVM63HD packaging says for HD and DV use. JVC have the same, it's all marketing.

The more expensive tapes have a better quality polystyrene shell that's stronger, less inclined to deform under heat or pressure and most with steel pins. There's more stages of quality control in its manufacture and that's what you're paying for.

DV tape is not made on demand, they have to keep the stocks up around the world, but there'll be less inclination to do this with more cams going solid state, so watch out for your favourite type being deleted from the catalogue.

When tape sales fall below a certain level the big manufacturers will sell their plants to upstart companies wanting to make a quick buck.

They'll cut costs, quality will suffer and hasten the demise of DV tape altogether.

I saw all this happen with audio cassette manufacture disappearing under the onslaught of CDs then DVD. Keep a working DV tape camera to play your archives.


Cheers.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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after 15years with tape I must say, that with Sony is no problem, with canon is big problem.

that's all :-) .
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