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Old August 1st, 2004, 08:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Lee's Summit, Missouri
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dv tape brands with GL2

over the past few years with consumer dv cameras, I have collected many, many DV tapes of various brands, and I have not been doing a great job of organizing them, labeling them, etc. Now that I have my GL2, I am a bit worried about the problems you can supposedly run into when using different brands of tapes. Today I was rewinding a tape in the GL2 when it suddenly stopped and prompted me with an error message saying to eject the tape. This horrified me because it was a tape of a wedding that had not been imported yet. Nevertheless, it scared me into wondering what all the different tapes are doing to my camera. (the tape is fine, by the way).

Now, back to the main point:
I have over 50 DV tapes, most of them Fuji, a bunch of JVC and Maxell, and a couple Sonys. The Sonys and the JVC tapes are probably the older ones and should be tossed anyway. Of the remaining brands, is there any way to tell if they will cause problems when mixed in a camera? Should I discard the others and go with Fuji only from now on? (since thats what I have the most of).

I'm tired of being paranoid about having tape problems and buying new tapes every time I shoot an event, So I'm trying to minimalize any problems. Does anyone know how many times you should be able to use a DV tape before its no longer reliable? Also, when re-using a tape, is it OK to just record over the existing footage? or should I black the tape first? And if I were to do that, should I just record with the lens cap on for 60 minutes, or use final cut and 'print to video' a black screen?

Thanks in advance for all your help...
and sorry for the long post and so many questions :)
Chris Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1st, 2004, 11:24 PM   #2
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Location: Chatham, UK
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this has been answered so many times on this board but to put in a nutshell this is what works for me.

1. I use Fuji tapes exclusively.
2. I do not use my XM2 to capture DV to my PC or just to playback, I use a cheap DV Camera for that.

Fuji is not the only tape manufacturer but the main point is to stick to the same brand. A colleague of mine used Fuji all the time and then popped in a Sony and got a tape error message and freaked. He cleaned the heads and went back to Fuji, since no problems.

When I go on Cam shoots for other people I use Fuji tapes, I supply them if they do not.

Have Fun with your new GL2 and take the worry out of the equation and use the same tape brand only.
Alan McC
Alan McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2004, 01:00 PM   #3
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2 months aho I had Journalist workshop with my XM2 and since everything was camera+laptop I was forced to use my baby as a camera and a player. Unfortunatly, the 4 of us instructors brought 4 brands of tapes and had to use them. My XM2 had intensive play/rec of my Fuji tapes and played others Sony Premium, Maxell, and TDK. No problems at all, but I wouldn't do it ever again, just in case. We agreed to stick with Fuji (this forum also helped in decision).
Darko Flajpan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #4
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Ditto on using a cheap dv cam for capturing. I have a Cannon ZR70 - it's great for capturing. I can also take it on vacation and not have to worry about size and or being overly cautious with the cam.

As for the tapes, I never re-use them. I shoot what I want, then I put the tape away for good. Sony is my dedicated brand of choice - personal preference really, not really any reason why I chose it over the others.
Matt Elias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2004, 02:33 PM   #5
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Location: Lee's Summit, Missouri
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Thanks for all your input
I have two cheap DV cameras as well, but neither of them work correctly right now. Since I've only been shooting with the GL2, I keep forgetting to get them fixed. One of them will turn on and record video, but the sound never records correctly, and the firewire port doesnt work anymore. The other camera has recently just decided not to turn on. This one may still be under warranty and hopefully I can send it in for a free repair. If this is the case, I'll use it as a VCR rather than the GL2.

I have recently been buying Fuji tapes because they are less expensive than the others. I can buy them at B&H Photo for around $4 each. So I guess I'll just toss the other brands of tapes and stick with only Fuji just to be safe.

Thanks Again...
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