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Old March 28th, 2005, 01:51 PM   #1
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Panasonic MiniDV Tapes

Hi - I've used about 10 Panasonic Professional AY-DVM60YE2B tapes in my Canon XM2 (GL2) (8.49 for a 2 pack from 7dayshop). I'm working on a serious film project soon and was wondering whether to switch to the Panasonic DVM 63 Pro tapes (3.42 each from kvjfairdeal).

Question ....

Will there be a noticeable difference?

If I make the switch, should I clean the heads with a head cleaner tape? Done this once already after one brand switch.

Paul.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #2
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The cheaper tape will give the exact same video quality, barring dropouts. I don't know of any evidence that shows more expensive tape leads to lower dropouts. More expensive tape may also be the same quality, just re-labelled and higher priced to make more money.

2- I wouldn't clean the heads. The tape likely uses the same formulation, and it would be ridiculous for a manufacturer's tapes to be incompatible with one another.

Also, when using mini-DV cleaning tapes, follow the instructions to a T. Do not clean the camera excessively as it wears away the heads (hence they recommend no more than once every 50 tapes for maintainance cleaning).
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Old March 30th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #3
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One reason to shoot with the more expensive tapes may be the quality of the tape itself. I find the professionsal grade tapes to be of a high quality in terms of robustness and durablility. The better tapes may not stretch as much or be prone to dropouts as much. But the information recorded on them is exactly the same quality.

Glenn suggests there may be little difference but I don't wish to find out the hard way with original material. I don't know of any tests either that suggest the pro grade tape is better or prone to less dropouts, I just know that I've always been satisfied with the pro grades.

My background is film so, in my humble opinion, the best DV tape is a relatively cheap price for peace of mind.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:00 PM   #4
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Well you could figure out the quality of normal tape by shooting a lot of it and seeing how many dropouts you get/notice. Most people shoot lots of tape and don't get dropouts. And when you don't get dropouts, the tape is more or less perfection. You can't really beat that.

The argument I suppose for normal tape is that it is so close to perfect that the dropout rate difference between cheap and overpriced tape is neglible.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #5
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One of the main differences, aside from price, the Master Quality tapes are thicker, and hold better magnetic signals. They are less likely to stretch, which would cause dropouts.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:01 PM   #6
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I doubt the tape would be thicker, because manufacturers tend to cram as much tape as possible into the cassette to get the maximum length. 60 minutes at normal thickness is the most you can get in there. To get 80 minutes you need thinner tape.

At least that's what happens for other formats like DAT and DDS-1/2/3/4.

Do you have a source which says the Master Quality tapes are thicker?
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:06 PM   #7
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It was most likely DV mag, or it's equivelent. I read it somewhere a few years ago, and it made sense.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:45 AM   #8
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Thanks guys - shot 7 hours of footage with the AY-DVM60's recently and got 2 dropouts ... thus may switch to the pro tapes.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Grove
Thanks guys - shot 7 hours of footage with the AY-DVM60's recently and got 2 dropouts ... thus may switch to the pro tapes.
hello paul, are these 2 dropouts really noticeable? I am also paranoid which tape will I use in my GL2. just bought a panasonic "ME DVM60" I don't what does that means, and it has a linearplus thing which the model is something like DVM60EPB. Anyone please help.... thanks
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Old August 21st, 2005, 01:53 AM   #10
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Hi

ME = Metal Evaporated. it's basically how the material is laid onto the tape. Metal Evaporated = good (basically).
DVM = something like Digital Video Movie (guess..)
60 = 60minutes available on tape.

rgds
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Old August 21st, 2005, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo Silva Jr.
hello paul, are these 2 dropouts really noticeable? I am also paranoid which tape will I use in my GL2. just bought a panasonic "ME DVM60" I don't what does that means, and it has a linearplus thing which the model is something like DVM60EPB. Anyone please help.... thanks
The "MEDVM60" appears on the front of a lot of Panasonic's tape labels. The number on the the side beginning with "AY-.... " is specific to the product. I don't know them all, but EJ near the end is their standard tape, XJ is professional, EL has a memory chip, EP is linear plus, and the one or several characters after those designations refer to packaging types (eg. quantities of 5 or 10, blister pack vs. brick pack, etc.). There are so many variations that Panasonic doesn't even list them all on their own web site.

Linear Plus is marketed as a higher grade of tape. There's certainly no harm in using it. All these product quality differentiations are of questionable value in my book. It's well known that a strategy of marketing the same product at different price levels was used for years with VHS tape to maximize profits by exploiting the psychology of consumers. I use standard EJ tape in my Sony, Panasonic and Canon cameras.
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Old August 21st, 2005, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
ME = Metal Evaporated. it's basically how the material is laid onto the tape. Metal Evaporated = good (basically).
The miniDV format requires metal evaporated tape, so tape brands don't really differ here.
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