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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old March 13th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #31
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As I said in another post close by, I've shot 28 tapes, mostly Sony DVM63, with eight Sony DigitalMasters - I have not had a single drop-out, and no problems.

I've also shot about 5 Sony PDVM-40Ns (in 16x9 SD for a project started with the XL2). I think as long as you stick with one manufaturer's high-end tapes you'll be okay - just stay away from the cheap tapes and beware of deals - bad place to try to save money... Steve Rosen
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Old August 28th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #32
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Tape Stock

Could someone please advice me which tape stock to buy for the XL-H1, I used Sony's Mini DV premium cassettes for my XL1s, but don't know weather they will be fine to use with my new XL-H1.

Can I use the normal Sony mini Dv tapes or do I have to buy a special HD tape?

Thanks for the advice.

Didi
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #33
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We have done 3 separate shoots with Sony standard Mini-DV tape and have experienced no trouble.

I've read (never confirmed thru research) that switching tape brands is not good as their could be incompatability between the lubricants used. But I do not know if this is a fact or unsubstantiated wive's tale.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #34
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shouldn't this be the kind of research you do before you by the(quite expensive) camera?

either way, your sony mini-DV tapes will do fine. you do not need anyh special hdv tapes, they have just been checked to a higher standard for dropouts.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #35
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Thanks for the info, I thought the Sony premium Mini-DV tapes would be fine but my camera reseller wanted me to buy special Sony HD Mini DV-tapes that cost 3 times as much. Somehow I figured it to be a sales gimmick, but wasn't sure, thought I'd check over here first!!!

Thanks for the advice.

Didi Schoeman
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Richard
We have done 3 separate shoots with Sony standard Mini-DV tape and have experienced no trouble.

I've read (never confirmed thru research) that switching tape brands is not good as their could be incompatability between the lubricants used. But I do not know if this is a fact or unsubstantiated wive's tale.
John, I can confirm what you've heard. I made the mistake of switching tape stock in my XL1s when I first got it... not a good idea, my footage had incredible amounts of drop out, I had to send the camera to Canon for repairs and they put it down to me using different tape stock. SInce then I stuck to the Sony brand and have never had any problems with dropout... guess it's true!!!
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Old August 28th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #37
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Didi,

My dealer told me that ' If you shoot Sony, stay with sony' - 'carry a cleaning tape, but use it VERY sparingly (only if needed), instead opt for regular real head cleaning in a reputable shop (not nescessarily the factory)'.

I think that if you you're on the Serengeti Plains in the magic hour and a bull elephant rears back and roars and you had it beautifully composed with perfect presets, you'd want to know that the tape stock held up.

I'd pay 3 times the cost of cheap tape for max value footage. I guess it depends if you're comparing the cost of HD tapes to cheap mini DV or to film stock. Back in the early 90's, I wanted to buy a 16mm film cam. Then I found out it would cost me something crazy like $300 for 10 minutes of processed film stock. HD tapes still look pretty cheap compared to that.

Now, if you were just shooting cousin Ernie's wedding...

Just my 2 cents...

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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #38
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Didi,

Please spend the extra money and buy the Sony Digital Master tapes. They are about $16 each, but have a better shell and superior lubrication and coating. This is not a myth or a con trick.

Head cleaning tapes are effectively like fine sandpaper and remove a very thin layer of the head. To say "use sparingly" would be an understatement. "Use in emergency when you find dropouts and you are in the middle of a swamp" would be more like it.

I got a good price and good service from Tapestockonline.com.

Best,

Harry.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #39
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Hi Harry

Thanks for the info, now that you put it that way I'm going to rather fork out the extra cash on the Digital Master Tapes.

Thanks again.

Didi
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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #40
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If you're shooting SD you can use the regular mini dv tapes. If you're shooting HD use the sony HD tapes.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 02:51 PM   #41
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Just remember, a dropout in SD is just a minor annoynance as it may only affect one frame.

A dropout in HDV means that you lose many frames. I do not remember how many but it seems like you lose about 1/2 second.

I have been pleased with the Panasonic AY-DVM63MQ which are about $5.00 each (in quantity) now.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #42
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From what I have read, when recording or playing a MiniDV (or HDV) type tape, a coating (similiar to varnish) coats the heads.

The tape cleaning, ideally, just removes this unwanted coating on your heads.

In the real world, no one knows exactly when to stop the tape cleaning process. My best advice is the following the tape cleaning instructions precisely! If there is no coating on the heads, then the cleaning process does wear down the heads.

Canon's manual is not very precise as to how often one should clean the heads.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Richard
We have done 3 separate shoots with Sony standard Mini-DV tape and have experienced no trouble.

I've read (never confirmed thru research) that switching tape brands is not good as their could be incompatability between the lubricants used. But I do not know if this is a fact or unsubstantiated wive's tale.

John you're actually right on that theory. Switching the brand of tape does change lubricants and could potentially cause trouble with your heads!
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Old August 28th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Diewert
Didi,

My dealer told me that ' If you shoot Sony, stay with sony' - 'carry a cleaning tape, but use it VERY sparingly (only if needed), instead opt for regular real head cleaning in a reputable shop (not nescessarily the factory)'.

I think that if you you're on the Serengeti Plains in the magic hour and a bull elephant rears back and roars and you had it beautifully composed with perfect presets, you'd want to know that the tape stock held up.

I'd pay 3 times the cost of cheap tape for max value footage. I guess it depends if you're comparing the cost of HD tapes to cheap mini DV or to film stock. Back in the early 90's, I wanted to buy a 16mm film cam. Then I found out it would cost me something crazy like $300 for 10 minutes of processed film stock. HD tapes still look pretty cheap compared to that.

Now, if you were just shooting cousin Ernie's wedding...

Just my 2 cents...

Ken
You're 100% correct Ken, I've lost stunning footage due to dropout in the past and it's a terrible feeling, like going over a speed-trap!!! Only this one hurts more in the end!!!
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Old August 28th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #45
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I can't comfirm this, but I was told by a major camera store in Los Angeles that Sony MiniDV Premium was designed for use in single chip cameras, and Sony MiniDV Excellence should be used with 3 chip cameras to take advantage of the advanced technology. In any case, if you decide not to get HD tape, at least switch to Excellence. I don't own a XL H1, but I use one on paid shoots, and all the tape used is Sony PHDVM63DM Digital Master. Tape is the cheapest part of your trip, and some of the shots you might get, will never happen again, even if you could afford to go back. Just my thoughts......
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