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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old March 2nd, 2005, 02:16 AM   #1
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miniDV tapes

I have a few questions.

1. What I understood from earlier posts is that Sony uses a wet lubricant on the tape while Panasonic uses a dry one. What kind does TDK uses ?

2. Is TDK a good brand to stay with ?

3. What does the "ME" code on the tape mean ?

Thanks !

Frank
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 05:39 AM   #2
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TDK

I use TDK too
ME meam Master Enregistrement i think
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 06:27 AM   #3
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Frank,
what type of tape brand to use doesn't matter, as long as you stay to a specific brand like: Sony, Panasonic, TDK etc.

Another important thing is running a cleaning tape from time to time. Personally I use to clean the video heads for every 5-pack.

Xl2 will also give you a warning if your video-heads get dirty

- Per Johan
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 07:24 AM   #4
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Canon's reps have reccomended to me that I use only "dry" type cassettes with my new xl2. (Hence the reccomendation in the manual for the dry head cleaner)

Unfortunately, I have beenunable to ascenrtain with ANY certainty on this board, which companies manufacture which varieties. Indeed, It seems that even Pannasonnic manufactures both wet and dry versions of their tapes.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 11:37 AM   #5
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I have been using TDK with my XL-1 and now XL-2. Have not had one single problem with them thus far.

As for what ME stands for, that would be Metal Evaporated which is the method used for putting the magnetic media onto the mylar backing. The old analog audio tapes were basically ferric oxide (rust) particles or chromium dioxide (CrO2) and if you recall it was necessary to tell your deck which type you were using so that the bias signal to the record heads could be properly applied. Due to the data density required for DV recording, the tape has a very thin layer of metal applied. This is similar to the evolution of hard disks in the mid 80's when they went from being rust coated platters to 'plated oxide media' which is what allowed the higher density sector format of RLL encoding (25 sectors/track as opposed to the earlier 17/track).

Ooops guess I got a little carried away with that answer.

-gb-
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:17 PM   #6
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When I bought my XL2, they told me NEVER to use "wet" tape. Actually he said use the Panasonic dry ones because with it you NEVER have to clean the heads. The "wet" once lubricate and leave it oily, so I guess I will just follow his directions for peace of mind...
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Old March 24th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #7
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Yeah, ME is "Metal Evaporated" as Greg says.

I'm using Maxell tapes. Anyone know whether they are wet or dry? Does anyone have a list? Does it really matter? Sounds like maybe it doesn't.

-cw-
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the great input ! ;-)

Frank
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Old March 24th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #9
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Charlie,

To my knowledge, Sony is the only one using wet lubricants. The others are a dry formulation. FWIW, I have mixed Maxell when shooting for another person and gone back to my TDK's without ever having a problem thus far and that's without running a head cleaner between changes.

Best of luck,

-gb-
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Old March 27th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #10
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It was recomended to me by Brian at Zotz tyo use Panasonic AYDVM33PQ mini DV tapes. They are "dry". that's the only brand I use these days. After 20 tapes later, still no cleaning needed.

As a side note, I've heard that the last company to actually make recording tape, which would I suppose include the tapes we use for mini-DV have officially closed their doors a couple of months ago. So, with that in mind, when supplies run out eventually, where does that leave us? Will Mini DV tapes be a thing of the past, and we'll all own Cameras like the XL2, and have nothing to put in them except recycled tapes? And all cameras will be harddrive based? The thought seems a little disconcerting at the moment. :(
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Old March 27th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #11
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No MiniDV Manufacturers?

<<<-- Originally posted by Joseph Andolina : ... I've heard that the last company to actually make recording tape, which would I suppose include the tapes we use for mini-DV have officially closed their doors... -->>>

This seems highly unlikely, and if true, someone would surely see a business opportunity to go into the business of making tapes.

I really hope this isn't true.

Christian
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Old March 27th, 2005, 08:55 PM   #12
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Since I am still playing with the camera, is it ok to recycle tapes? Im just messing with the settings and playing them back and erasing over them.. Or does this hurt the camera in any way? ( I DONT THINK SO?)
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Old March 27th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #13
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I label the tapes I reuse for testing, "Scratch tapes." I tape over them for exposure tests, lighting practice... things like that. No harm to the XL2, you are just putting more wear and tear on the tapes, and increasing the likelihood of drop outs on those specific tapes.

I seriously doubt we will see the end of tape production soon. I can still by VHS, and HI-8 tapes. (I think I even saw the old BetaMax tapes offered online, so someone must still make them.) Even if tapes dissapeared tomorrow, I would feed a line out of my XL2 to a hard disk solution. So, no worries.
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