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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #1
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Mini DV tape for HD shooting, do I need "hd" tape?

When I saw B&H advertise in accessories for "HD mini DV tape", I assumed that you need this to shoot true HD. So I bought a box of it.

I later learned on this board from an unrelated thread that this is not so. That the triple/quaduple priced HD mini DV tapes only "supposedly" make for less drop outs, and that really 99% of time, standard mini DV tapes with accept/shoot/create... the HD video just as well. case closed for me.

But today in Circuit city store, a sales guy says , no you need HD mini DV tape to get true HD, and a 2nd sales guy there said, yeah, all the camera reps came in and gave a demonstration to this effect. So now I"m back to being a bit confused ont he issue again.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:56 PM   #2
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You can record HDV to any Mini DV tape. What you were told a Circuit City was bunk (probably why he was working there and not working as videographer).

However, when you get a dropout on HDV it tends to be greater in length than one in DV. Prevention of dropouts is why you'd want to use higher quality tapes such as ones labeled for HDV.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 05:26 AM   #3
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Try a search

It is always a good practice to try a search before posting a new question: this one has been discussed extensively in "The long black line" forum. See for example http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=hd+tape or http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=hd+tape.

Sales people live on commision (most of them) so it is their best interest to steer you toward more expensive stuff. Your interest, on the other hand, is to find out what the truth is - do your search on this forum, read reviews, read anything you can reach on the internet; then make your own decision.

I sometimes buy things from the local stores, but ONLY after doing extensive research on the product. Then go to the store and buy it, not paying any attention on what the part time high schooler sales aid might say... leave me alone, I've done my homework, I'm buying what I need, not what you have for sale!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #4
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It all comes down to the question "what is your video worth?"

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.

As for me, the video I shoot has value, so I never consider anything but the best tape I can buy. I wouldn't shoot HDV on anything but an HD-branded cassette. Hope this helps,
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Old August 24th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #5
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good point Chris, if I was being paid by a client I might agree.
This project I'm doing is my on footage for my own website, still important, but I can probabaly pass on the $10 tapes and get the $3 tapes and put up with one glitch once a year.

But I would agree, that one glitch a year, on a client job, could bring massive grief from a prickly client.

Evin, thanks for the links, what is your opinion?

Also, issue of using different brands, I need to finish the expesive Sony tapes I bought, then want to go back to the cheaper regular Maxells, any worry there?
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Old August 25th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #6
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Hi Kevin,

the salesman were just trying to get you to buy more expensive tape, and he lied: you can just record HDV on a normal minidv tape.

If you switch brand, run a tape cleaner trough it.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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IMO... if dropouts will be a problem for you, then you either need:
A- A second camera.
B- Insurance.

Simply getting more expensive tape won't cover your butt... you can still get dropouts or other things on the shoot can go wrong.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #8
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Chris is so right.

From personal experience, I've seen much more dropouts when shooting HDV on standard MiniDV tapes compared to when I shoot HDV using Sony Digital Master tape. The huge difference in price between standard miniDV tapes and the Sony Digital Master miniDV tapes is a reason to take pause, however, I've got hard evidence based on my own experience, the quality of tape makes a difference in terms of drop-out when it comes to recording HDV. The trade off is, would you rather save money on tape, with the increased risk of drop-outs? Or, spend more on the tape, and reduce the risk of drop-outs? This has been well convered in other threads, but the point bares repeating.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #9
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This thread comes up way to much here. What baffles me about the topic is this: Most if not all posters on this site seem to fall into two categories, professional video/filmmakers or serious amateurs. A high quality tape like the Sony PHDVM-63DM DVCAM Master Digital Cassette is $16 when bought in quantities of 10 or more at B+H. The cheapest Mini DV tape I could find on the site was $2.50 in quantities of 10. Ask yourself one of these questions and use the answer to pick your tapes:

1. If you are a professional, are your clients and/or your reputation and/or your time worth $13.50 to you?

2. If you are an amateur is your project or your time (if you had to reshoot or spend additional post time to fix) not worth $13.50?

3. If you're just shooting family memories are your child's first steps not worth $13.50 to you?

While I realize the cost of tape is magnified by the number of tapes isn't the importance of the project also magnified by the number of tapes you shoot?

Stop the madness people! Cheap tapes are like cheap condoms, they're great when they work.
--JL
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Old August 25th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #10
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Interesting guys. I have not shot enough with both mediums to compare, but on this forum I've seen very high end folks on both sides of this. Too bad there is not some website like consumer reports that have done the definitive unbiased controlled study.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #11
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Kevin, I would advice you to do a search on this topic on this forum. It has been covered lots of time, and maybe you'll gather more information and opinions in those threads.
Best regards,
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Old August 26th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #12
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Yes, I read all those threads thanks. The minute I think I've decided that it's not worth the money, other smart folks come on and say it is. so there is no consensus even among the smartest guys here.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #13
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My opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
Ervin, thanks for the links, what is your opinion?
While I feel honored by someone asking for my opinion, Kevin, please keep in mind, this is just one opinion as you have already seen here.

My Z1 came with one Sony digital master tape and I used that. Also with the camera I had a rebate from Sony consisting of 10 digimaster tapes, two NPF-950 batteries, Vegas 6, and and instructional DVD for using the camera. The box with those ten tapes is still untouched! I am aware of the possibility of dropouts when using less expensive tapes, but as an engineer I also know: Mr. Murphy is right thinking that everything that can go bad, will eventually go bad, including expensive Sony tapes. I am using TDK tapes from Costco (not exclusively, that answers your other question) and never had a problem so far. I know, the day will come, and I too, will have a dropout.

I am not saying that the expensive Sony tapes are not better; yes they are better! I am saving them for that "all important" shot coming up some time in the future. But if I ever had a shot my life or carreer as a professional videographer (or serious hobbyist as someone put it above) depends on, I will not depend solely on the Sony tape: I will either attach a FireStore or a laptop and record BOTH onto the tape and to the hard drive.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:57 PM   #14
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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.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Laronge View Post
This thread comes up way to much here.
Imagine how I feel about it. If only I had the time, I'd combine all of 'em into one big thread.

Thanks Josh for an excellent post. Everything you said there was golden. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Cheap tapes are like cheap condoms, they're great when they work.
Brilliant. Couldn't have said it better. Thanks again,
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