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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 December 23rd, 2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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Which tapes to use in the XH-A1

What tapes do you guys recommend for the XH A1?
Should they be dry HD HDV tapes like this?

Panasonic | AY-DVM63HD 63 Minute Mini DV Tape | AY-DVM63HD | B&H

Thanks.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 02:28 AM   #2
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I have been using Panasonic "DVM 63 AMQ" tapes in my XH-A1 and my wifes Canon HV30 since they were new and have not had any problems "yet".


Paul W. H
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Old December 24th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #3
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There are some long threads around here discussing this topic. The bottom line is that it pretty much doesn't matter, just stick with one brand on your camera or you might have some problems with the tape heads. I have used Sony Premiums on all my cameras. Only one minor dropout on the XH-A1 in the last year.

Pat
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Old December 24th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #4
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I use TDK (HDV) tapes. Not a single dropout in 6 months.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #5
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I've heard you can use any brand of dv tape you want as long as you run a cleaning tape between switching brands. I've used only Sony minidv in my HV20 and never really had any problems.

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Old December 24th, 2008, 07:48 PM   #6
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The Panasonic DVM63AMQ seem to be a favorite for Canon users. I did a bit of research before I jumped to HDV with my XH A1 nearly a year and a half ago and that tape came up most often.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Olson View Post
I've heard you can use any brand of dv tape you want as long as you run a cleaning tape between switching brands.
correct, but not recommended.

JS
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Old December 27th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
correct, but not recommended.

JS
What do you recommend John?
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Old December 27th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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I wouldn't want to clean the heads a lot cause that is wear and tear on the heads.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #10
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For personal stuff, Sony Premiums.
For clients, Sony Digital Master 63's. Try and avoid 80 min tapes, as they are often too thin.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 02:02 AM   #11
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What is if any difference between the Sony and this?

Canon | HDVM-E63PR Video Cassette | 1313B001 | B&H Photo Video
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Old December 28th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #12
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I don't know about the Canon master tape, except that it costs $18.50.

I use the Pamasonic 63 min. AMQ tape (Advanced Master), and I just bought a box locally at a store for under $7 a tape. Here is some spec info on that tape:
Tape Resources - Panasonic AMQ - Ultimate DV / HDV / DVCAM Tape - Frequently Asked Questions -

I have searched the web in the past and found detailed information on many of the different tapes sold, but haven't recently. The information being recorded is identical no matter what tape is used. The structure of the tape, the particular chemicals used in the manufacture, the durability of the tape in several dimensions, etc. are differences in the tapes. All the manufactures make a consumer tape, a mid-range professional tape, and a high-end professional tape (and possibly other designations as well). Prices vary wildly, so it is difficult to say if pricing is actually inline with manufacturing cost. I think in some cases it might not be.

In the past six months the Panasonic AMQ tape seems to have come down in price about 20-25%.

I have read that Canon tapes are made by somebody else I think (Panasonic?), but that may or may not be true, and that wouldn't mean tapes are equivalent any way.

Bottom line, to get a grip on the subject, it is necessary to search and find detailed specs on each given tape and compare them (relying on trusted technical sources).
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Old December 28th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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I did alot of research previous as well, and decided on the Panasonic AV-DVM63AMQ as well.

They are $5.63 each at B&H here:

DVM63AMQ | B&H Photo Video
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Old January 4th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #14
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One question in my mind is how many times can you or do you use a tape? I suspect there is no one right answer. What do you look for in a tape that tells you its reached its end of useful life and needs to be thrown away?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #15
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Our rule here is: never reuse a tape. Sounds profligate, but it's not:

(1) Tapes cost less than a good roll of color film. It's false economy to re-use them.
(What sense does this argument make? Have had to use the simile with management, we're a newspaper. We used to issue a hundred rolls of $5-a-pop film to photographers and not give it a thought, now they complain if we buy a hundred tapes a month. So I make this point, they sometimes seem to get it....)

(2) Tapes can and do develop drop-outs, physical wear and oxide particle loss with repeated use. Do you want to risk your effort and the time and expense of producing a piece to save $5?

(3)Tapes are your fall-back archive for your work, if you use them over or throw them away the access to your raw files is gone too. My two cents. // Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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