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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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XH A1 Tape Preference

So my XH A1 is shipping and should be here Monday. I can't wait. In the meantime I need to order some tapes.

Is there a preferred HDV tape used by Canon XH A1 users?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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unfortunately thats like asking what football team you support..you will get lots of different answers.
very much personal opinion based on own user experience. some swear by the panasonic AMQ tapes..some wouldnt touch them.
Ive gone back to sony hdv tapes for my two canon xh-a1s due to horrible drop outs on panas recently..but try one brand, if it works stick with it others have issues with the sonys..good luck
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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I like the basic Sony tapes. They're easy to buy in bulk, and also readily available in most parts of the world. Had pretty good luck with them so far. One more thing, you can also buy the matching Sony head cleaner so everything stays in the same family. For me that all adds up to one less thing to worry about.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #4
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I use the Sony PHDVM-63DM tapes. They're about $16 (USD) each. I've had zero dropouts. Before that I tried out the cheaper Panasonic AMQ tapes, about half the price of the Sonys, but after several tapes we had a box of 10 and had dropouts in 5 different tapes out of that box. Later on I had a dropout out of a tape from another box. Switched to Sony, no problems at all since then.

I know one person using the basic Sony HDV tapes, the 60 minute vs. the 63 min. pro ones, and he's not had any problems. So who knows. Personally, it's worth it to me to spend the money on the best quality, as long as I have paying clients. For personal things I probably would use cheaper tape.
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Old July 18th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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Panasonic AMQ all the way

My personal experience: I've used Panasonic Advanced Master Quality tapes exclusively in my XH-A1 since i bought it new last year. Roughly 25-30 tapes so far, zero dropouts. Phenominal product. The case is nice too, it's not the typical hard plastic of other brands, though I don't know about the pro sony tape someone mentioned (for sixteen bucks - that's pretty steep!). The panny AMQ case is a softer more 'flexible' plastic. Meaning it will never shatter or crack. Just a nice added bonus I guess. And you can get the Panny AMQ 63 minute for about 6 bucks a pop.

I've never used other brands in one of my XH-A1 cams. There is a school of thought on this - that mixing different brands different lubricants can clog the head due to the difference in lubricant/chemical makeup - and I've gone along with that theory and have had no problems. Maybe we can convince mythbusters to do a special on tape lubricants :)

Take care!

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Old August 5th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #6
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so are there perhaps differences in batches of the same tape? I just bought 5 boxes of panasonic 63 AMQ's and had dropouts on 14 of the tapes with a canon xh-a1. Previously I've shot 100's of hours with these tapes in a GL-2 and HV-20 with no dropouts...
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Old August 6th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #7
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I use TDK Digital Master tapes, cost about 10$, zero dropouts.
They're the best price for quality in my area.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Westphal View Post
so are there perhaps differences in batches of the same tape? I just bought 5 boxes of panasonic 63 AMQ's and had dropouts on 14 of the tapes with a canon xh-a1. Previously I've shot 100's of hours with these tapes in a GL-2 and HV-20 with no dropouts...
That has been similar to my experience 15 panny AMQ tapes, 2 useless, 2 or three with significant drop outs on my xh-a1.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 02:37 PM   #9
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Sony HDV 63 min. 1 little dropout after 15 hours of filming, did the 10 second head clean and no dropouts since in 5 additional hours of filming. Great quality when I have the lighting and white balance and focus.....
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 06:21 PM   #10
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Keep it clean.

Here's my take, post 5.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xh-...amqs-sony.html

Cheers.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Westphal View Post
so are there perhaps differences in batches of the same tape? I just bought 5 boxes of panasonic 63 AMQ's and had dropouts on 14 of the tapes with a canon xh-a1. Previously I've shot 100's of hours with these tapes in a GL-2 and HV-20 with no dropouts...
I finally got a chance after completing this project to test record over the "bad spots" on some of the 14 tapes. I had no problem in doing so. The dropouts were in the middle of shoots, so not caused by a mis-start or stop. And re-recording over them did not repeat the dropout. So it's either the camera hic-cupping, or more likely the tape had a wrinkle or was not tight. So I grabbed some unused tapes from the same original batch, fast forwarded, then rewound and shot 60 minutes of material. No dropouts.

I also found some unused AMQ tapes from a job I did 1.5 years ago. I recorded on them without re-tensioning. No dropouts.

So I'm thinking that perhaps the batch of Panny AMQ's I recently bought had a tensioning problem within the case.

It's a pain to re-tension EVERY tape before using it, but not as much of a pain as suffering with a dropout in an important shoot.

Mic
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Old October 8th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
I use TDK Digital Master tapes, cost about 10$, zero dropouts.
They're the best price for quality in my area.
I just want to mention that recently I've had some dropouts in my TDK Master tapes. I'm looking to switch brands. Maybe it was just a bad batch, but...
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Old October 8th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #13
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Ive used sony premium and HDV for quite some time with no dropouts as of yet.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 09:53 AM   #14
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I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but since I got the camera about a year and a half ago, I was recommended to use the Panny AMQ tapes by the great guys over at B&H. For about a year I had no problems.

And then I started getting the "Dirty Tape Heads, Use Cleaner" messages after about every 2-3 tapes! I was finally able to send my camera in a couple weeks ago for a check up and cleaning, and told them I used my camera for about 80 hours of recording, using only one tape brand. Canon wrote back to me in their estimation that there was "excessive build up in the drums for the amount of recording time claimed" After talking to a rep there, they suggested I use a different tape stock.

Anyone else have this problem?
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Old October 29th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #15
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Panasonic AY-DVM63AMQ

They are winners.
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