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Old October 11th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #1
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Panasonic 80 minute tapes

Can anyone offer any opinions, experience, useful information about the Panasonic 80 min MiniDV tapes?

I have an even shoot coming up in a couple of weeks (dance school concert), and using the 80 minute tapes would get me out of that bind of having to change tapes during each half.

All thoughts graciously received.

Thanks,

marks
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Old October 11th, 2007, 02:59 AM   #2
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Mark...........

You don't say what format you're shooting - DV or HDV

You don't say what camera - ? (not that that info is really of any value)

You don't say whether you use these tapes regularly or not?

You don't say what tapes you usually shoot on?

If you :

a. Normally (and in this case) shoot DV,
b. Don't use these these tapes as a matter of course, and want to try them: -

Then - run a cleaning tape through the cam beforehand, do the shoot, run the cleaning tape again and see how it goes.

If you :

a. Shoot HDV

b. Don't normally use these tapes

then IMPO don't even think about it.

If you :

Want to try it:

Do a test run beforehand and see if you get a dropout shitstorm. If so, guess you'd better not use them. If not, why not.


CS
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
You don't say what format you're shooting - DV or HDV

You don't say what camera - ? (not that that info is really of any value)

You don't say whether you use these tapes regularly or not?

You don't say what tapes you usually shoot on?

If you :

a. Normally (and in this case) shoot DV,
b. Don't use these these tapes as a matter of course, and want to try them: -

Then - run a cleaning tape through the cam beforehand, do the shoot, run the cleaning tape again and see how it goes.



CS
Hi Chris,

My bad.

* I have never used these before.
* We will be shooting DV.
* The event will be shot with 4 Panasonic DVX100's. The cameras will be hired, so I don't know what tapes are normally used in them.
* The Concert will comprise two roughly 1-hour halves, but I can't rely on the length.

If the quality and performance is as per the usual 60min tapes, then it will save me having to co-ordinate tape changes across the cameras, and also simplify the subsequent edit.

So, the question is a logistical one, but not something I want to gamble with on the night, hence the question about other people's experiences and thoughts.

Hope this fills in some details.

Ciao,

marks
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Old October 11th, 2007, 04:28 AM   #4
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Hi Mark...

What can I say?

The general concensus (if there is, indeed, a general concensus) is that 80 minute Mini DV tapes are to viewed with profound suspicion.

There have been a number of other posts here that swear by them, used them since the 1920's and never had a problem, yada, yada, yada.

I shoot HDV entirely and have a major problem with dropouts even on the best tapes @ 63 minutes.

I used to shoot DV on the same tapes (different camera) and never once had a problem.

Go figure!

Can anyone give you an accurate answer to your question?

Don't think so.

On hired gear (suspect in itself),

80 minute tapes (oooh, dodgy)

..............well, you get the idea.

My gut feeling?

I reckon they'll be fine (don't quote me on this).

New tapes (they will be new?).

Clean camera tape paths? (You will clean them, right?)

Probably be smoother than a baby's bum and not a glitch in sight.

Unless, of course, it's not.

If you get another 100 posts on this subject, they will, almost without fail, swing somewhere between one extreme or the other on this subject, and not one will be in any better position to enlighten your decision.

Your call, my friend.


CS
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Old October 11th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #5
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We often use Panasonic 83 mins tapes on both DV and HDV shoots in a variety of Sony cameras - DSR 300s, FX1s, A1s and have never had a problem. But it's no surprise that Chris is wary of them when he has problems with 63 mins tapes.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #6
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If you're hiring cameras, why not try and get hold of a dsr500 or 570? They take the large DVcam tapes so you can get 184mins of uninterruped recording on one tape (subject to batteries, of course). Or, try and hire a firestore or something similar for longer recording
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #7
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Certainly food for thought here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jefferies View Post
If you're hiring cameras, why not try and get hold of a dsr500 or 570? They take the large DVcam tapes so you can get 184mins of uninterruped recording on one tape (subject to batteries, of course). Or, try and hire a firestore or something similar for longer recording
4 cams? 2 hrs each? 8 hrs - a whole normal workday - of capture time? With an audience eager to see results? (Or is it live-switched)? I don't envy you.

Have you no way to go tapeless?

D
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Old October 11th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #8
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Paul:

Hiring cameras -- but with a budget, and since I don't have a lot of experience with a wide range of gear, I just want to play it safe.

Denis:

Come on, I can hear the envy in your words ;-) This is a labour of love as much as anything. Will have two experienced Cam. Ops. (left and right), but one static wide toward the back, and one central for closer pans (me).

The school got sick of Vid Co's turning up at the last second, with no prep, and then paying good money for a crap product. I had done some behind the scenes stuff for them (my daughter is a senior in the school) and so they asked me if I would run it this year. Got a good crew and my job will be more directing than cam. op. Basically, they know that I care, which I do.

No live switching (I'm not ready for that!). Fortunately for me Vegas 8 now has support for multi-cam edits (max. 4 cameras). I have done some experimenting and this will make my life a whole lot easier. With all the same cameras and white balancing, colour should be close to right, and my job should be mainly shot selection. It will be easier than some of the stuff that I have done, since each item will be a discrete unit, rather than attempting to put together a dance/music film clip.

But the longer tapes will mean I don't have to be so concerned with the logistics of tape co-ordination (and subsequent resync issues).

Mike:

My head DoP (recently shot a short film I wrote) is also happy with the tapes, so I think the idea is a go.



Thanks for all the feedback. Still interested if anyone else has relevant thoughts.

Ciao,

marks
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Old October 11th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #9
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I use them, and only had a small bit drop problem with one tape (the first time I switched from the 63 minute to the 83!), since then though - I have used them frequently this year and haven't had an issue with them.

Lets put it this way - I plan on ordering the 83 minute tapes again for next years stock.

Ryan
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Old October 11th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #10
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Tape Snags

Avoid AMQ. They are a finer grain tape, on longer shoots there can be probs with SD cameras that have any kind of wear on them. Panny PQ's should work out fine for you.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #11
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If the casing is the same, then I guess the tapes must be thinner to fit. Will that be a problem (on the long term) for burn through? I don't know, maybe some expert might tell us.

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Old October 11th, 2007, 01:10 PM   #12
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You've got four cameras... it's unlikely that you'll have problems that you can't cut around.

Balance that against a screw-up when you change tapes... you have a very small level of risk either way. But it should be something you can cut around.

It's likely more worthwhile worrying about other things that can go wrong, like poor camerawork / communication. e.g. cameras not matching being one camera is overexposed, that kind of thing.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #13
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Hi Mark--

Just to elaborate on Stephen's comments; I've used the Panny DVMPQ83s, with mixed results. (Shooting with Canon XL2) I think a total of four times, mostly with timelapse footage. Two out of the four times, I had major dropouts; but the other two were fine. (One tape mishap could've been caused by condensation, but the cam didn't give me the condensation warning).

I still have a couple of blank PQ83s, but I'm reluctant to use them now. So, IMHO, I'd advise against using the DVMPQ83s specifically.

Oh, and I think Glenn has the right idea :)

Best,

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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #14
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I have always wondered about the Panasonic 83 minute tapes.

To me, it appears obvious that a Panasonic 63 minute tape is not full, in other words, there is room for much more tape in the cassette.

Also, it appears, to me, that 20 minutes of extra tape could easily be placed into the cassette, using the same thickness of tape.

So, I feel, without any special knowledge or fact, that the 83 minute cassettes use the exact same tape as the 63 minute cassettes. I would love to know if this is true or not.

If so, then the actual dropout experience should be approximately the same with either length.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #15
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The 83 minutes tapes use thinner tape???

If you rewind a 60 minute tape, it looks pretty full?
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