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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:10 AM   #1
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High-quality Mini DV Tapes?

hello, guys.
just wondering if there are any types of specific high-quality mini dv tapes out there, for sd camcorders (like sony vx2100 for instance) that would guarantee maximum quality. i remember there used to be "metal" or "chrome" audio tapes/cassettes for master recordings that would make them sound crystal and sharp. is there an equivalent to that in the mini dv world? in other words, are there better quality tapes than mini dv that would be compatible with mini dv sd camcorders?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:46 AM   #2
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It won't make any difference - DV is digital - that is 1s and 0s - nothing else.

In the olden days, with analog recordings, it did make a difference, but not now.

A 1 or 0 is either correctly recorded or not. If it isn't recorded properly it's a dropout, which is a completely missing frame or sequence of frames, and you'd really notice it! but thankfully, they're very rare, but you'll know if you've ever seen one.

The best tape will only reduce the likelyhood of dropouts and nothing else, if it's recorded correctly, it will look no different on the most expensive tape compared to the cheapest tape.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:29 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply, Chris. much appreciated.

how about dvcam and dvcpro tapes? is it possible to record onto such tapes using a mini-dv sd camcorder? will it not make a difference in quality?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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no difference at all. (Unless you have a DVcam camera)

The 1s and 0s are either correct or they're not. In the old days of VHS, there was a difference with strong signals and weak signals, but digital doesn't work like that.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:45 AM   #5
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oh well. cheers :-)
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Old April 6th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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If you just use the tape once then there is no difference in quality/dropouts. BUT if you want to be able to use the tapes more then once then you should go for the more expensive tapes so that you avoid dropouts.
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Old April 7th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #7
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Using two inexpensive tapes once, rather than one expensive tape twice, is a lot wiser.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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Is this true? Just finished reading another thread that said the total opposite. They recommended the higher quality tapes.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by G. Lee Gordon View Post
Is this true? Just finished reading another thread that said the total opposite. They recommended the higher quality tapes.
ummm, care to share the link then, so we can talk about it???
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #10
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I've used sony premiums (dvm60pr3) with my vx2100 and they're quite cheap, Been using them the past 3 years and never re-use them.
As long as you stick with one brand and always use new tapes your good to go. So my opinion is buying more expensive tapes is a waist of money.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #11
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There is a difference in tape quality. The more expensive Sony tapes have thicker magnetic layers therefore less drop out and will deteriorate (lose the magnetic information on the tape) less quickly.

I use the most expensive Master series once then put them on the shelf. I've never had a bad tape or drop out issues. The cheaper tapes will have more dropouts, more transport issues and can be used less times before dropouts occur, etc. If what you are recording is important use the best Sony tape you can afford. Tape is cheap.

BTW I've been shooting on tape for 25 years and have seen just about every problem that cheap tape in broadcast or DV formats can create. There is a difference.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #12
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On one hand it is all 1's and 0's, but on the other hand higher quality tapes are supposed to be made of higher quality materials meaning they should be less prone to physical damage (stretching, drop outs, etc.,) and will stand up better over time. While I think you should be okay w/any name brand of tape, I would stay away from brands priced well below average. Same thing for optical media. Yeah, some places will sell you a stack of 100 DVDs for $2.00, but good luck reading those DVDs a couple of years down the road. ;)

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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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I have to agree with Noa. I have VHS tapes from 30 years ago that all work now. I have expensive Sony Pro grade Hi8 tapes from the 90's that have lots of problems whereas the consumer tapes of the same period are just fine( both Sony and both ME). These expensive Pro grade Hi8 tapes were intended for linear editing and came with the same sort of marketing Sony now give for their present expensive tapes!!!!!! I tend to have the opposite from what one would expect. The cheaper tapes are just fine the expensive tapes are the worst performers certainly for Hi8. With this in mind I have exclusively used Sony Premium since I started with DV around 1997 and DVCAm standard size in my DHR1000 deck and for DV and HDV in my FX1 have not seen any problems. They are just used once to shoot and once to capture to the PC most are even shot at LP for program length reasons. The key is do not mix tape brands or even stock if you can help it.

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Old April 18th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
The cheaper tapes will have more dropouts, more transport issues and can be used less times before dropouts occur
No drop outs or transport issues here so far and that's with the cheap premium tapes and my camera has many hours on it, not sure about using them more before dropouts occur, could be, but I never do. Using a tape more then once is asking for problems.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:04 PM   #15
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Been using and reusing Sony DV tapes since 1995. Have over 500 mini dv tapes that have multiple record, play and re-record cycles on them without any problems. DV tapes are far more rugged than most folks think.
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