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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #1
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Panasonic tape line

The following are Panasonic tapes and their corresponding prices at B&H Photo (categories are from

AY-DVM60EJ 60 minute DVC (Mini DV) tape ($2.59)

AY-DVM63PQ 63 Minute Mini DV Professional Quality Video Cassette ($3.65)

AY-DVM63AMQ 63 Minute Mini DV Advanced Master Quality Videocassette ($6.29)

They don't have these listed at, but B&H does sell them:

AY-DVM60XJ 60 Minute Mini DV Professional Digital Video Cassette ($6.99)
AY-DVM63HD 63 Minute, High-Definition, Mini DV Video Cassette ($7.99)

I'm strictly an amateur videographer. I do the occasional small wedding, sporting event or stage performance. I don't charge money ~ just something I do for friends and co-workers. I have always used the comsumer level AY-DVM60EJ tapes. I have recently upgraded cameras from a 3-chip Panasonic consumer model, to the Sony HDR-HC1. The first few times I used the Sony, I noticed a couple of dropped frames on each tape. Naturally, I want to avoid these, so I just bought a ten pack of the prosumer level AY-DVM63PQ tapes.

How much of a difference is there between the three (or perhaps even four) levels of tapes? If I shoot several AY-DVM63AMQ tapes and don't experience any dropped frames, am I losing out in any way by not going up to the next (to the professional) level?

Long term archiving is not a major concern of mine as I author the tapes to DVD shortly after shooting them, and that is the medium by which I distribute them to the recipients. While I do properly store all the tapes for posterity, I'm not terribly concerned about having to go back to them in the future.

Randy Rogers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2007, 05:57 PM   #2
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The main thing is to just stick to that one tape to that one camera. If the Sony tapes are causing dropouts, you may like to either clean the heads and try the Sony again. BUT I would recommend the Panasonic AMQ tapes. They have never given me a problem (touchwood!) on my H1 since day 1. And yup, its always and only this tape that is in my camera.

That said, the higher quality tapes may prove their worth if you are earning a living. Dropouts on HDV is a no-no.


Yeo Wee Han is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 24th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #3
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I use the AY-DVM63AMQ on all my HDV cameras. I experience a few dropouts here and there, but overall I like them better than the Sony Excellence series at the same price.

The dropouts on HDV are terrible because you don't just lose one or two frames, you lose a whole GOP!
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