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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 11th, 2005, 02:37 AM   #1
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DVCAM vs. MiniDV tapes

We're getting ready for a shoot and have a stock of: Sony PDVM-40N and Panasonic MiniDV ME DVM60 tapes to choose from.

Can anyone advise as I am uncertain as to whether or not I will experience problems (drop out) with the Sony DVCAM tapes running in the XL2? Also, it appears that the XL2 has been running a steady supply of Panasonic ME DVM60's and there is a Panasonic MiniDV head cleaner in the kit. Should the heads be cleaned when switching over to DVCAM tapes if their use is recommended?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Eric Bromstead; July 11th, 2005 at 02:43 AM. Reason: unfinished post
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Old July 11th, 2005, 05:24 AM   #2
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If you've been running Panasonic tapes in your camera, DO NOT change brands unless you have the heads professionally cleaned. Changing tape brands, like you're considering, will gum up the heads and you won't be shooting anything that you can use. Each company uses a different kind of lubricant--one dry, one wet. Mixing the two will make mud in your heads.

Insofar as the DVCAM tapes are concerned, they work perfectly in the XL2. These tapes are more hardy and durable than the comsumer grade tapes, therefore you have a far lesser chance of dropout. If you want ever greater protection against droput, try the Sony Digital Master tape. It claims to have 95% fewer errors and 60% less dropouts compared with Mini-DV tape.

REMINDER: Do not switch to Sony, or any other brand, until you have those heads cleaned!

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Old July 14th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #3
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I could just like to say that the comments made in the reply are complete nonsense!

Changing tapes will in no way cause problems with the camera unless there are problems with the tape. A normal head cleaning will do just fine. We don't make a habit of using different tape stock in our XL2's but when this has been necessary no problems have been encountered.

This type of doom laden info has to be nipped in the bud, before you know it's fact!
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Old July 14th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #4
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Martin, with all due respect, those comments are not nonsense at all but sage advice actually. I'd like for you to quickly browse through our Long Black Line forum (devoted to the subject of DV tape) and you will find scores and scores of people who have reported problems with changing tape brands. It is in fact a REAL issue. Hundreds of our readers can attest to that. Some of our site sponsors sell tape for a living; they deal with the product every hour of the day, and they'll tell you the same thing -- it is a REAL issue. I firmly stand behind Jay's advice to Eric. You need to be bitten by this issue only once to be converted. We must have at least a thousand posts on this exact topic; our official stance here at DV Info Net is to err on the side of caution and we always recommend NEVER changing tape brands without first cleaning heads. Jay was right on the money. Thanks in advance,

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