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Old November 20th, 2016, 06:21 AM   #61
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Haven't shot on tape since I got a EX-3 back in 2008. Now I mostly shoot on my Red cameras or FS7.
Tape? Good riddance.
The headache and wasted time of capturing is something I never want to experience again.
We did have to re capture a bunch of Dv tapes from early 2000 and onwards for a Tv series we did two years ago. It was a pain, the ones shot on a XL-H1 couldn't be captured from the Sony camera we used for this. The H1 was long since sold and we tried to find another one to capture from without luck.
We had quite a few tapes that had deteriorated so much that lots of parts couldn't be digitized.

Ps I have managed to format a card before backup once or twice since I went off tape, so no system is fail safe
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Old November 20th, 2016, 08:26 AM   #62
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Owen - agree 100% with you... I am still using my Canon XL-H1A, and XH-A1S cameras....
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Old November 20th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #63
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

I'm impressed and amazed that people still shoot on tape. I'm curious as to what type of productions you guys are doing?
Dave, I see you are still on final cut 3. I think fcpx alone is worth going tapeless. It's just so much faster to work with and I'm on a Mac Pro from 2008
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Old November 20th, 2016, 02:48 PM   #64
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

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Originally Posted by Joachim Hoge View Post
I see you are still on final cut 3.
I think that is Final Cut Studio 3 which would be Final Cut Pro 7… right? I am actually still on Final Cut Studio 2 with Final Cut Pro 6. I believe the changes in FCP 7 were pretty minor and it was still a 32 bit program limited to a total of 4gb memory usage.

I spent awhile using the free trial of FCPX recently and it looks like something I will eventually transition into, it ran fine on my Mini. But I'll be working primarily in standard definition for awhile with all my legacy footage, and I am so used to FCP 6 that I'm not all that motivated to upgrade at the moment. Legacy footage…. legacy software…. :)
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Old November 20th, 2016, 03:11 PM   #65
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Joachim - correct Final Cut Pro 7 and 6 I am still using... my MacPro is still humming along...
I do have Final Cut X on my 15" macbook pro, but have just started learning it over the last year or so... (not enough time like I wish)

I mainly shoot theatre productions, mostly community theatre... and Dance Recitals in the summer.
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Old November 21st, 2016, 04:19 AM   #66
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Can you still import from tape in fcpx, or would you have to import from fcp7 first?
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Old November 21st, 2016, 04:27 AM   #67
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH12743?locale=en_US

"You can import media from a tape-based camcorder or device. To determine which clips you want to import (rather than importing all of them), you can view them using Final Cut Pro before you import them.

Final Cut Pro supports tape-based import of the DV (including DVCAM, DVCPRO, and DVCPRO50), DVCPRO HD, and HDV formats."
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Old November 21st, 2016, 08:23 AM   #68
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Happened to see someone with the iconic Z1U after a college football game the other day. I bought the FS-100 the minute it came out and didn't look back. Takes perseverance to stick to tape this long!
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Old November 21st, 2016, 05:02 PM   #69
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

I still use tape - I like that I can archive everything I shoot and still have 20+ year old miniDV tapes which play without issue ; my older 8mm and Hi-8 tapes play fine too , as do U-Matic , but the oldest VHS or Betamax tapes , dating back to late 70's early 80's can sometimes be problematic - all I do with the analogue stuff is transfer to DVD if people ask , which isn't often these days .

I've been shooting DV since getting a DCR-VX1000 early on ; that machine died a while back and I picked up two JVC GY-DV500 cameras for next to nothing , used them for a year or so then traded them for a HVR-V1E , which I still have : small enough to use for holidays and family stuff , but good enough to use for the odd 'homer' . Although I shoot on HDV , most people still want DVD ( I can burn Blu-Ray but seldom do ) so really the important feature is that the camera shoots native 16:9 . Just recently I noticed that ex broadcast SD kit can be had very cheaply and spotted a DSR500WSP for sale two miles away . Got the camera with a Fuji lens , which I traded for a Canon wide angle lens better suited to my needs , then picked up a dozen PAG L95/L75 batteries , about half of which still have good capacity , a couple fair and four not much use . Although only SD , BBC were still using these for news up to a year or so back and I can still shoot very nice pictures for output on DVD - while I can run 3 hour tapes , I also have three Firestore FS-4 HD recorders , one of which I just put a 120Gb drive into , giving a run time of over 500mins - I will upgrade the other two soon as this is ideal for recording long conferences , breaking down into sessions or presentations and burning to DVD . Being a proper pro camera it has XLR audio in , and also an on board Sennheiser 3000 series receiver , so the options for audio are good , although only two channels .

Not having had it long , I've been running tape as well as the Firestores , then overwriting once I know everything is happy . For training films or events I shoot small cassettes and keep the original tapes .

I may get round to running the camera tapeless with the Firestores , but for now there is no reason not to shoot tape as a backup . I'm using two of the Firestores in SD mode with the DSR 500 and the other one in HD mode with the V1e - always recording QuickTime which I can ingest straight in to FCP7 , edit then output as QuickTime at the required resolution and burn DVD or BluRay using Toast 15 .

It works well for me , and I have decent kit which cost me very little .
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 12:30 AM   #70
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

Oh , re capturing tape - I've never understood why people risk tape damage and add wear to mechanisms shuttling back and forth - also time consuming . I always capture the full tape in one continuous playing ( capture now in FCP ) then pick what I need in the computer . I can go have a coffee , put batteries back on charge or do any number of other things while the tape is capturing .
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 05:56 AM   #71
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

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Originally Posted by Derek Heeps View Post
I still use tape - I like that I can archive everything I shoot and still have 20+ year old miniDV tapes which play without issue
I have given a lot of thought to this recently and with big disk drives getting so cheap , I think it's time to capture all your old tapes if they contain anything important. Don't know about you, but I am 67 and the recent death of someone special made me realize just how important some of my old tapes are.

While you might like the idea of archiving everything on tape, the sad fact is that one day you'll be gone. And the chances are, your younger friends and relatives won't share the same love of tape. I've moved my home 8 times over the past 25 years. Each time I reached the point of just throwing stuff away and getting on with my life. I also had the sad duty of cleaning out my father's and grandmother's homes after they passed away. Again, quite a bit was just discarded. I felt bad about it, but you just can't save everything and I reached a burn-out point where I had to put it behind me.

Boxes of old tapes are the kind of thing that may very well end up in a dumpster. But a 5TB disk only costs a bit over $100 and can hold about 400 one hour DV tapes (better double-check my math here ;-) It's small and has a much better chance of being saved. Looking ahead to the future, I imagine some kind of AI could even be used to scan the files and catalog the contents.

This all became very personal with the death of the friend I mentioned above. I'm completing a documentary about her now, using 18 tapes that I shot 15 years ago. The tapes are part of between 200 to 300 hours of performances and rehearsals that I filmed during the 18 years I worked for the Opera Company of Philadelphia.

A friend who still works there dug through a bunch of forgotten boxes in a store room to find the original tapes and got permission to give them to me (so far he has found about half of the tapes from the 40 operas that I filmed over the years). I was actually surprised that the company was willing to give these tapes back to me… operas involve hundreds of people, lots of contractual obligations and four unions, so there's a certain amount of paranoia about any video that is shot.

But here's my point…. people are busy enough dealing with today's problems and just don't care a lot about preserving the past. When I retired in 2011, all my tapes were neatly organized in plastic storage bins. Evidently somebody wanted those bins for another purpose after I left, so they just dumped the tapes in some random boxes filled with other junk. In other words, the bins (which cost $4 each) were more important than the 10 years of history on those tapes.

So, (if anyone is still reading this ;-) consider your obligation as a videographer to preserve history. One day your tapes may be the only record that remains of the important people and places in your life. Give some thought to capturing them in a compact format that can easily be saved, backed up and preserved.
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 10:06 AM   #72
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

I've been on an longterm journey to transfer my shelves and shelves of tapes. I started off capturing straight to disk but quickly realized that especially with the older ones, the captures would often corrupt/drop frames etc. And I've lost enough drives to failure over the years to realize that it's a tough version of archive. My compromise was to transfer all of the analog formats (VHS, SVHS, 8mm, HI8, 3/4, 3/4SP, Betacam) to 2 hour DVCAM master tapes, which I will then capture to hard drive as needed but keep the tapes as long term backup. I still have my perfectly functioning DSR20 deck, and added two top of the line DSR1800A's, which until a few years ago sold with the SDI boards for around $18K and I was able to pick them up for around $175 each...! So I feel pretty covered for the future.

One thing that is interesting is that as I move through each format, I'm learning that analog decks are going through various pricing fluctuations from year to year. Right now a well-functioning 3/4"SP deck is worth about twice as much as that much later model 1800, because they are more rare. Some of my decks needed servicing but it has been nice to see that they still command enough in the used market to justify putting money into them to get them up to spec, and then I will be selling them off after I transfer all of that format's tapes. Can't wait to free up the shelf space..but many, many tapes to go!
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Old November 22nd, 2016, 07:37 PM   #73
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

I do hear what you guys are saying , but I see it a little differently .

Up in my attic I have a number of plastic storage boxes ( funnily enough ) containing several hundred tapes , the majority being MiniDV , then quite a few 8mm/Hi-8 , and not so many VHS and U-Matic.

A lot of these are original camera tapes of people's weddings I filmed , then other events , conferences and the like . I recently had one customer come to me for a copy of his daughter's wedding I filmed 20 or so years back - but that is the only one so far . Most of the tapes , of jobs done for other people , don't have any personal meaning to me , but I always kept them as I have the space and I reckoned someone might ask one day . I don't mind keeping the tapes , and I still have machines to play them , but I wouldn't waste hundreds of hours transferring them .

While I have found some VHS/Betamax tapes to have deteriorated , everything else seems to hold up fine , even after decades . On the other hand , I don't think hard disc drives are at all reliable , certainly not consumer level ones , and I've had to recover a few over the years .

Transferring 400 tapes onto one drive strikes me as putting all your eggs in one basket : if that drive goes blotto , you've lost the lot ; if something happens to a tape , it's only one tape , and possibly only one small section .

I trust tapes a lot more than I do hard drives . I don't particularly love tape - but I do see it as a more practical and reliable long term storage medium .

At work it is a bit different - we have a photo and moving image library going back comprehensively to the 60's , and random stuff much further back .

This comprises of a sizeable room full of metal cabinets containing photographic negatives , 16mm film , and video tape on various formats ( VHS/S-VHS , M2 , MiniDV , HDV ) . These are all catalogued and accessed fairly regularly . Photography has been all digital for about 10 years now and archived on NAS , with nightly incremental backups - just as well since more than a few hard drives have failed over the years . We shoot XDCAM and video is archived onto the same system .

If any legacy material is asked for from downstairs , it is scanned/captured onto the system , but until then it can stay on whichever medium it is on - far too much work to transfer everything - there must be tens of thousands of pages of negatives and many thousands of video tapes .

Oh , for personal stuff that I do care about : kids growing up , holidays etc - all that stuff has already been captured ( if it wasn't already digital to start with ) and multiple copies passed round the family .
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 01:46 PM   #74
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

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Originally Posted by Derek Heeps View Post
Transferring 400 tapes onto one drive strikes me as putting all your eggs in one basket : if that drive goes blotto , you've lost the lot ; if something happens to a tape , it's only one tape , and possibly only one small section .
I hate to state the obvious, but if the case or archiving footage, it should always be stored on at least 2 systems.
You can get a 8 Tera-byte HDD now for about $170 (USD) that will easily hold over 650 full mini-dv tapes.
I use the 3-2-1 backup method:
3 copies of the data (Original tape, HDD #1, HDD #2)
2 different storage types (Tape & Spinning Platters)
1 copy kept off-site from the other

And that off-site backup should be geographically far enough away that a disaster (man-made or natural) cannot take-out both backups at once
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 02:25 PM   #75
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Re: Survey - how many of us still shooting on tape?

I've transferred / captured all but a couple of my HDV tapes and store the files on HDDs. For each HDD worth, I actually have two physical drives which each have an identical copy of the same data.

If one drive dies, I still have the other. If both drives die at the same time ... well, that's life. There is only so much you can reasonably do.

Andrew
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