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Old September 15th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #1
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Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
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Best Mini DV tape for freezing temps?

Hi. I have a Sony HDR-HC3. I will soon be taking it with me to Anatarcica. Can anyone comment on what is the best mini DV tape? I know little about this, but I assume that a dry (versus wet) lubricated tape would be less prone to freezing. Are there any "extreme" tapes that are good in cold temperatures like there are in CompactFlash cards.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #2
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The AMEII tape is as good as it gets. Beware having the cam get too cold, however, no matter what. Tape isn't your first concern, it's optics and operating mechanisms.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
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Old September 15th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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Like Douglas said, I heard the cameras are the ones that get too cold in freezing temperatures. I remember watching Doug Liman's comentary on the bourne Identity and he said he went through 3 cameras filming the outside car scene in the mountains becuase the cameras kept freezing up and wouldn't work.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #4
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Just attended a seminar on the XDCam. They used it to shoot the Iditerod (sp?) dogsledding race documentary. Never a missed frame or shot. Litterally froze the cams in ice, thawed them out and kept shooting.
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Old September 15th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #5
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From my experience doing low temperature testing of electronics.
It takes a serious amount of cold (more than humans could tolerate probably) to stop electronics from working, the self heating effect will keep it warm enough to keep going. Adding a thermal blanket can help no end.
However once it gets cold enough it will not start up.
If possible keep the gear powered up, use Eskies to store things, add some heat bricks if needed, batteries loose a lot of power at low temperatures, keep them above 0 degC.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 03:42 AM   #6
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I always use the Sony DVM-60PR3 tapes, haven't experienced any problems even in very cold temperatures (below -10 farenheit). I don't think any special tape brand are better than others.

The biggest problem will probably be your batteries and risk of condensation in your camcorder when you move your gear from warm to cold environments or the other way.
- Per Johan
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #7
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Hello Van:

The tape you use will be the least of your problems, I often shoot in conditions when the temp is -30 F and the tape has never been a problem. But I can't say that about, batteries and lens know it's cold when you need both hands to turn the focus ring.

As stated by others keep the camera and batteries as warm as you can and be very careful going from cold to warm in a hurry. One last suggestion...practice operating your camera while wearing mitts or gloves.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 01:38 AM   #8
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since i shoot almost exclusivly in the mountains i feel i could answer this question. sony premium tapes worked well, never dropping a frame. i dont think its the tapes that mattered. iwas working a down to -20C with out thermal blanckets on an H1 and a FX1 and they both worked with out problem.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 06:26 PM   #9
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my experience shooting in the high himalayas showed me that tape (I was using Panny MQs) holds up fine, it's the batteries that will give you trouble. Lithium batts really dont work well at low temps. Probably about 1 10th the amount of time you would normally get. I would either think about getting some Nicads, and definately invest in the Portabrace polar mitten
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