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Old May 6th, 2008, 05:53 AM   #16
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I've shot more than 40 hours of video on my A1 with Sony's "premium" MiniDV tape (about $2.20 wholesale) and have yet to have a dropout event.

The problem with the "90% less likely to have drop out" claims is that I've yet to see any tape manufacturer say what the error rate on their basic tapes is so one can't know what comparison really means. 90% less likely compared to what exactly?

Between my SD and HDV work, I've shot hundreds of hours on the inexpensive Sony tape and think I've had one for two drop outs that I can remember. Maybe I'm just lucky.

How clean the camera's heads are and physical conditions like temp. and humidity etc. are more critical variables I'd think.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #17
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This was something I was definitely curious about too. Thanks for the clarification guys. :)
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Old October 25th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #18
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I've shot over 100 miniDV tapes between my two XHA1's some Sony some TDK both brands costing $2 a tape in HDV with no drop outs.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 05:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
I've shot more than 40 hours of video on my A1 with Sony's "premium" MiniDV tape (about $2.20 wholesale) and have yet to have a dropout event.

The problem with the "90% less likely to have drop out" claims is that I've yet to see any tape manufacturer say what the error rate on their basic tapes is so one can't know what comparison really means. 90% less likely compared to what exactly?

Between my SD and HDV work, I've shot hundreds of hours on the inexpensive Sony tape and think I've had one for two drop outs that I can remember. Maybe I'm just lucky.

How clean the camera's heads are and physical conditions like temp. and humidity etc. are more critical variables I'd think.

Excellent post.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #20
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Vincent, if you're still monitoring this thread, you can get slightly higher quality miniDV tapes like Panasonic PQ at Hai Chew in Sim Lim Tower. These are probably a better risk than buying very cheap tapes. The price is quite reasonable and I'm sure you will be able to bargain better than me. :)

Richard
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Old October 29th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #21
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Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter View Post
Vincent, if you're still monitoring this thread, you can get slightly higher quality miniDV tapes like Panasonic PQ at Hai Chew in Sim Lim Tower. These are probably a better risk than buying very cheap tapes. The price is quite reasonable and I'm sure you will be able to bargain better than me. :)

Richard
Hi Richard

Thanks for the info. Will check up the shop.

Thanks all for the sharings too.

Rgds

Vincent
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #22
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DV tapes

This is the first time I have posted to this forum. I am upgrading to a Sony FX7 camera. What is the exact model of the Sony Premium tapes you are using? Is it the DVM60PRR tapes? I did not realize that this was such a big issue. A lot of great info. on this forum, I love it.

Thanks,

John
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Old December 12th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #23
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Panasonic is about the only company that I have seen publish any technical data about their tapes. The following specs are for their AMQ tapes.

Data Signal Output Level (21MHz): more than 0dB
Frequency Response (21/10.5MHz): within 2dB
Overwrite (10.5/21MHz): less than 2dB
C/N (21MHz): more than -1dB
C/N (10.5MHz): more than -1dB Impulse Response (1/90Tb) within 5 Recording Characteristics Optimum Recording Current: 0dB Tracking Signal Output Level (0.47MHz): 0dB
Overwrite (0.47/21MHz): less than -1dB
Magnetic Characteristics Coercivity: 120KA/M
Max. Residual Magnetic Flux Density: 500mT
Squareness: 0.8

I have no clue how these specs effect on what I see on screen. But I do know that there is a difference in the specs between their AMQ tapes and Panasonic's lesser grade tapes. Not a big difference, but a distinct difference. I think virtually every tape manufacturer claims that their expensive tapes have better color, better picture, fewer drop-outs, etc. I have no way to quantify any performance difference nor can I really see any difference. But who knows? It could be true.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #24
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Yes, Greg, it could............

It could also be possible a quarter of the Earths population is really Aliens in disguise and that you can, indeed, win the lottery without buying a ticket.

Then there's the telephonic "You and your familly have just been awarded a free holiday to [post name of exotic location here] by [name totally unheard of corporation here] for a week, just because you're you" phone call.

Digital is digital, if it can read it, it will always be the same, regardless if the coating was dried mud or bats blood and no matter what it's characterisics might be.

If your camera system is analogue, that's a different subject entirely, however, as this is "The Dvinfo", I think we'll stick to digital.

Build quality with tapes is about consistency and contaminents, get either of those wrong and you get dropouts.

Some are better than others with one or both.

Even the best will get bad batches.

The rest comes down to quality control.

Fail or don't care about the latter would appear to be where the wheat gets sorted from the chaff with tapes.

Even so, tape has been pushed to about it's absolute limit, and with the advent of Long GOP, the repercussions of even the slightest flaw has major implications, thus driving the move to solid state or other alternative storage methods.

Tape characteristics tell you a lot about a tape, and absolutely nothing.

CS
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Old December 13th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #25
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Dear Greg,

The claims that some manufacturers make about better color, etc., are completely groundless.

With digital, your camera sensor's image is converted to digital, then stored on the tape digitally, just ones and zeros. (Tape is always an analog medium, but the data stored is ones and zeros, nothing in between.)

The magic of digital is that the tape just has to record the ones and zeros, not subtle variations in a signal.

With analog, the signal gets recorded, and when the tape is read and processed, you get back the original signal plus some noise.

With digital, the signal gets recorded, and when the tape is read and processed, you get back the original signal without any added noise.

In other words, with digital you always get a perfect recording and playback (unless you have a tape dropout).

When the tape is read, the analog signal on the tape is read as ones and zeros. If it is close one, it becomes a one, if it is close to zero, it becomes a zero.

The important part is that when this works (and it almost always works), you get back the exact same image that you recorded. If the tape works at all, the image is exactly the same, regardless of the brand or quality of the tape.

"Better Color", is just marketing hype for MiniDV or HDV tapes.

The difference in tapes is consistency and low dropout rates.

I hope this helps
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Old December 13th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #26
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Dan & Greg...........

Dan,

Thanks for your erudite and logical explanation of the situation.

It seems I have a way to go with that approach - I'll work on it.

Well done and thank you.

CS
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Old December 14th, 2008, 12:00 PM   #27
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Dear Chris,

Thank you for the kind words.

We are in complete agreement - better color / better picture from a specific tape is just hype.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #28
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FWIW, it isn't as simple as a 1 is always a 1 and a 0 is always a 0.

The digital signal is inherently analog when recorded to tape. All digital communications are inherently analog at the most fundamental level. The key thing is whether the square wave analog signal is sufficiently unambiguous to ensure correct differentiation between 0 and 1. Dropouts, foreign matter and dirty heads add to the likelihood of the raw analog signal either being too close to call or just wrong.

The DV and HDV formats have a tremendous amount of error correction embedded into the signal that gets recorded. That information never makes it beyond the device on playback.

You can guarantee that a supposedly perfect dub from one camera/deck to another will not be perfect. The error correction within the device will have done its job admirably but where the errors are too great, the device will set various flags in the output stream to tell the decoder (e.g., on your PC) to mask appropriate parts of the video or the audio (which has the highest error correction on tape).
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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:07 PM   #29
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MiniDV vs HD miniDV Tape Mixing

I read on some other posts that you shouldn't mix brands of tapes in your camcorder, why exactly?

I just ordered a HV30 that will be here tomorrow (can't wait) with a 3 pack of Sony HD MiniDvs'. I also have some TDK and Maxell and Sony regular miniDVs. So if you shouldn't mix brands, what about mixing the HD and the regular ones? Obviously I wouldn't mix on the same shoot between HD and SD.

Also, if miniDVs are all 0's and 1's.....what does it matter to have HD tapes? Is it just that it holds more data like CD vs DVD?

Thanks.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:31 PM   #30
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In some cases if you switch brands you will get head clog. If you must change, use your head cleaning tape before you switch and then again after you switch back to your first brand. The only difference between HD and regular miniDV tape is quality. The more expensive tapes in theory don't have dropouts nearly as much. However, I know people shooting HDV with Sony's cheap Premium tapes with no trouble. You don't get any more data on them, except that the professional versions are 63 minutes instead of 60 to provide room for color bars and tone at the head and tail.
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