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Old June 3rd, 2005, 10:17 PM   #1
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What tapes are you using for HDV shooting?

Do you use standard miniDV tapes or the super-duper Sony HDV tapes? Is there really a difference?
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 11:56 PM   #2
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I've shot about 15 hours on standard DV tapes with minimal dropout problems and all of that shooting has been outdoors on an FX1 which has been modified to accept Nikon lenses (so it's easier for dust etc to get inside).

I've got a foreign trip coming up where I expect to shoot about 20 hours of material, so I'll be taking about 40 tapes. Total media cost about 60. Now work out the cost of that for P2 cards and you'll see why the price and capacity of those will have to change very dramatically before they're in my budget range.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:10 AM   #3
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Ummm.... in all fairness to P2, it does require a workflow change... You wouldn't buy 40 P2 cards at any time (unless of course they actually hit the $4.00 mark, but I wouldn't hold your breath). Instead you would offload to a laptop that most of us already own and already bring on the set any way...

P2 does not equal tape, and it was never meant too.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments Kevin - I'll try not to hijack this thread into a P2 versus tape argument because that has been covered elsewhere. I'm not anti-P2, but a realistic assesment shows that for my budget and the work I do it's a non-starter at the moment.

Anyway it's all academic because the trip I'm on about is in September and the HVX200 won't even be out then. The combination of FX1 + standard miniDV tapes is just too much of a bargain to overlook; if I dump it in favour of P2 next year then it will easily have paid for itself.

One point I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere is that the minimal cost of tape encourages you to keep the camera running. I do wildlife stuff and often leave the camera running for minutes at a time in the hope/expectation that something interesting will happen. I fear that luxury would be curtailed if I switched.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #5
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Paul:

I'm a wildlife videographer also and I've been watching with interest the RAM caching capabilities of the high-end cameras and believe one of the
prosumer
HDV or low-end professional HD cameras may be coming out with this capability soon.


, if the camera is on standby, it is constantly capturing the last 10-15 seconds of exposure to a RAM cache. Therefore, you don't have to keep the tape rolling or anticipate when the big
moment
will be. As long as you start recording quickly after the desired event occurs, you've captured it. It's like a mini time machine in the camera!

This technology will greatly decrease the missed
opportunities
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Old June 4th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #6
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Bill:

Concerning your post--which was the original topic--here is what Sony says about standard miniDV versus professional HDV tapes:

"While the HDV format can accept conventional DV tape, only DigitalMaster tape has a dual layer of magnetic material. The result? Higher RF output, lower noise, 95% fewer errors and 60% fewer dropouts compared to DV tape!"

You may already have read that. Is it true? I guess that is why you're asking. I would like to know also. Anyone?
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Old June 5th, 2005, 02:48 AM   #7
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HDV tape

I use only the DigitalMaster recommended HDV tape for the Z1. So far I have one dropped frame in 20 hours of footage. The long GOP scares me.

I would say that it all depends on what you're shooting. If it's not mission critical, then why pay more?

Lewis

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Old June 5th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #8
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Has anyone successfully mixed the different types of Sony tape in the Z1?
So far I have been using the cheapo Premium because I had 2 boxes in stock. I have shot a few events with these now without any problems. I intended to use the expensive HDV tapes for weddings but I don't want to take the chance of incompatibilities between the stocks.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #9
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We use only the Sony premium tapes in our Z1 and FX1. Remember that different brand tapes use different lubricants and mixing tapes can gum up the works in an camcorder and/or your editing deck, requring more frequent cleaning.

We standardize on tapes for specific cameras and editing decks to avoid cross contamination from different lubricants but even then use only Sony tapes. Our experience have shown them to be the best with the fewest dropouts or dropped frames. Based on our experience with the new Sony premium tapes, we may start using them for all shoots -- HDV, DVCAM and DV. They are, in our opinion at least, that good.
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Old June 6th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #10
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Sony Premium DV Tapes

The last time I bought a few Sony Premium tapes (from Walmart), their package said Made in Mexico. And it wasn't anything like "Tape made in Japan, Assembled in Mexico", but the plain "Made in Mexico". I haven't tried shooting anything serious with them yet on Z1U, so I'm wandering if the quality is as good as the Japanese version. This is the first time ever I saw a miniDV tape that was not made in Japan. Any thoughts?
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Old June 12th, 2005, 04:04 PM   #11
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What not to use!

I recently acquired the JVC GR-HD1 and don't have much experience with HDV as such. However, I had a lot of problem with TDK miniDV tapes I bought at Costco. So my recommendation is to avoid this one unless someone else can prove that s/he got good results with it. I am not going to use this again in my HDV equipment. I hope it helps.

Look at my original post at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45720 .
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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #12
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I've shot about 10 hrs on Sony Premium (blue wrapper), 1 drop-out so far.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #13
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Normal Panasonic DVC tapes. Roughly 3hrs and not one drop out...yet.
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