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Old August 28th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
Evrin:
are they better, a minority here claims they are from real world experience. I have not yet in any thread seen one link that established this once and for all.
Kevin, yes I do think the Sony HDV tapes are better, I mentioned that in my post. For me it's just a theoretical "belief" since I have not yet experienced a dropout with regular DV tapes, but there are a few people reporting on this forum that they actually have experienced a dropout. This in not something that will ever be "established once and for all" as you put it.

It's rather a determination you need to make for yourself. If you can afford to loose some footage because of a dropout (shot is not very important or you have a B-roll camera rolling) and money is an issue, then go for regular tape. But if you have to make sure you absolutely have that shot without a glitch, then do not hesitate to fork out the $ and go for the HDV tape!

I hope you do understand the difference between a dropout with DV footage and a dropout with HDV footage. With DV you loose one frame out of 30 per second, you will never even notice; but with long GOP mpeg2 encoding if you loose one frame, the whole half second is ruined because each frame depends on the adjacent frames in addidion to it's own data. And that, my friend, will be a major headache!
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Old August 28th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #17
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[...] a minority here claims they are from real world experience. I have not yet in any thread seen one link that established this once and for all.
There is nothing more valuable than your own personal experience, so I suggest you use standard miniDV tape for HDV recording until the day you observe some drop-outs. Then decide for yourself if the insurance is worth it or not. It's a statistical game. It's about chances of drop out. You may be lucky. This might all be bunk. I'm sure someone somewhere has run a controlled study. I'd like to see it. My personal experience leads me to use the better tape for important shoots. For me, the cost of a reshoot far outweights any tape savings.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #18
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I was steered towards the Panasonic AYDVM63AMQ tapes, have yet to experience a dropout and pay $7.50 per. I see no reason to take a risk at that price.

I do however have a bookshelf full of "experiments" from my earlier days where I tried to cut corners, first with the legendary drilling-a-hole-in-the-VHS case to record SVHS, and later with some form of quasi-HI8 on regular 8mm tapes (can't even remember the theory behind that). In most cases, the resulting tapes are inferior to the true versions of the formats I was trying to approximate; in particular the 8mm tapes are full of dropouts. Of course times have marched on and tape manufacturing is a different animal than it was back then but still--
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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #19
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If you don't care about the occasional drop-out or glitch, then the standard, inexpensive tapes are fine. However, if it's a paying shoot, say it's a job you're doing for somebody else, then you have to ask yourself if you can afford the risk presented by cheap tape.
That's a decent thought except it doesn't address what happens if you use expensive tapes and still get dropouts. For the price difference between cheap tapes and expensive ones you could buy a Firestore drive and simultaneously record to both that and tape on most HDV cameras, giving a level of insurance you can't get from tape alone. So it's all about trade-offs of cost versus reliability and figuring out what works for you and your customers.

Personally I've seen zero difference in reliability between the most expensive Sony HDV tapes and cheap miniDV tapes from Sam's Club. I'm not experiencing any dropouts on cheap tapes in dozens of hours of HDV recording, and if I ever did get a dropout I'd just cut to another camera in editing - same as I did with DV. I'm happy, my customers are happy, and my profit margins are that much larger because I'm not wasting money on over-priced tapes.

The condom analogy is good for a laugh but doesn't really apply here unless you only shoot with one camera and don't have an HDD backup on it. That's like buying an expensive condom and then leaving it in your wallet.

P.S. I'd agree though that people should carefully consider and test their options in regards to tapes and not just assume cheap ones will work. Your mileage may vary...
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #20
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That's a decent thought except it doesn't address what happens if you use expensive tapes and still get dropouts [...]
Sony claims less drop-outs with Digital Master, not no drop-outs. May you never have the experiences I've had with HDV tape recording drop-outs. I'd like to see hard evidence on the real differences too, but there are so many factors and recording the data and controlling the experiment is complicated. In any event, in a perfect world I wish I could avoid HDV tape completely and record to solid state storage. But there are so many logistical reasons to record to tape at the moment.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #21
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In any event, in a perfect world I wish I could avoid HDV tape completely and record to solid state storage.
No single recording solution is infallible: I've heard of people having glitches using P2 cards and those cost over $50 per minute of recording time. Redundancy is the real security, not infallibility.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #22
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you could buy a Firestore drive and simultaneously record to both that and tape on most HDV cameras, giving a level of insurance you can't get from tape alone.
Well said. I fully agree with you that this is the best possible way to go -- you get the immediacy of edit-ready files; completely by-passing the capture process; plus a confidence back-up on tape which is also your instant archive copy.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 06:40 AM   #23
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Testing, testing...

A few people mentioned "hard evidence" in this thread.

Although there are differences, in the end tape serves the same purpose as CDs and DVDs - storing ones and zeros... so I am thinking... did any company come up yet with a way of testing tapes? If a clearly consumer-oriented inexpensive CD/DVD burning program like Nero can have a disk tester included in the toolkit, is there a way to do it with tape? Maybe a DTR with the proper driver program? I don't remember coming across anything like that.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #24
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Ervin:
I don't this is valid that this will never be established. If Sony and others are charging quadruple they should have a white paper on it then -- since consumer reports does not seem to want to do the test -- of course that would be better an independent test.
thanks David, I'll go with what you say.

Kevin: were you one who said in past thread the the expensive tapes were like Monster Cables? that a good analogy (if it's true)

Don't think recording to a hardrive would work for me as I"m handholding a small camera.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #25
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I bought a 5 pack of the master HDV tapes... was $50 for 5? either way... I went through those in a day, didn't notice any dropouts... then I bought 50 "premium" tapes for $105 shipped... and... no dropouts... I've gone through about 30 of them so far.

So meh... I'll stick w/ the premiums for now... :)

And I'm not in a "safe" enviroment... I'm filming paintball, I've had tapes drop in the dirt/grass and get shot at (while in the plastic case in my pocket). Zero. Dropouts.

Right now my HDR-FX7 is at sony getting a new LCD hinge (possibly a new LCD) and maybe a new microphone cover... It got shot a few times ;) I still need to clean my lens hood.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #26
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[...] Kevin: were you one who said in past thread the the expensive tapes were like Monster Cables? that a good analogy (if it's true) [...]
<argument tone = "Playful">

I don't think the Monster Cable analogy applies in this situation. There is a real difference between standard miniDV tape and Digital Master tape (though I would agree the price premium is out of line), and there is a measurable difference in terms of drop-outs (I would be willing to bet one could measure it) on the other hand, Monster Cable is a total rip off, I have challenged Monster Cable sales people to a bet based on a double blind study and no one has been willing to put up any money. It's well established among audio engineers that standard cable is every bit as good. On the other hand, the standard tape vs. Digital Master debate is not so clear cut. While you'll find people who have observed a difference in terms of drop outs, I'm sure there is no one out there who has heard the difference between quality cable and Monster Cables, and if they have, their belief would in fact fall apart in a double-blind study. The standard tape vs. Digital Master tape study would not be as clear-cut. And unlike Monster Cable, Sony is giving you a choice of four grades of MiniDV tape: Premium, Excellence, High Definition, and Digital Master. Monster Cable offers one: expensive rip-off in fancy packaging. They have also bullied retailers to push generic cable off their shelves. Sony has not done the same with their tape, they offer consumers a choice, and in fact, you have to go out of your way yo buy the Digital Master. Thus, I would argue the Monster Cable analogy does not really apply.

</argument>
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Old August 29th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #27
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I worked recording with magnetic tape for 46years. Keeping the tape heads clean minimizes dropouts.

It's interesting, the consumer DV tape manufacturers have recently gone from recommending the heads be cleaned when you see the dirty head message, dropouts or every 25hours to... 'clean the video heads frequently'

Don't rewind a cleaning tape to use it again, it's not worth risking coating the heads and guides with any collected residue, dust or dirt.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #28
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This may sound like a stupid question but I need to know because me and a buddy of mine have been arguing about it for a while. Question - does it make a big difference quality wise using a sony hdv tape? Ive been using costco tdk tapes on my fx-1 and notice no dropouts but I was wondering If you get higher quality images from the sony hdv tapes. Mahalo
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #29
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If you don't have any dropouts, the quality is the same. It's 1s and 0s. You could test by recording the same material to two different tapes, and then using a difference composite mode to check the difference.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #30
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I was wondering If you get higher quality images from the sony hdv tapes.
Choice of tape does NOT affect image quality. It affects only your chances for dropouts or glitches.
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