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Old November 26th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #1
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Is Sony Master Tape Worth It's Cost?

I posted a thread not long ago about tape stock, but I'd like to get more specific. Yes, I just wonder if it's really worth paying approximatly five times more for Sony Master tape than the premium grade. Any thoughts? Like I said in my previous post, I do feel a bit apprehensive getting my tape shoved into the same sack as my potato chips and cheap wine that I'll be shooting my documentary on the next day.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #2
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This has been answered many times before. Check out this section.

Personally, I use the DVM60PRO tapes for my Z1P. If I'm shooting something where I only have one shot at it, absolutely no take twos, I'll consider the more expensive digital master tapes. It's basically just insurance.

But as I said, this question has been asked and answered many times before. Have a search around...
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #3
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Moved from Open DV Discussion to The Long Black Line.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #4
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If the footage is so incredibly important, your money may be better spent on a second camera and/or shoot insurance.

2- I think that other factors far overshadow the practical differences between tape stock- if there even are any. There's many other reasons why your shoot will not turn out the way you want (i.e. weather, broken equipment, etc.). If you're in a situation where the footage is incredibly valuable, tape stock may be something you should think about last. You might want to first focus on all the other things that can go wrong (and these things are much, much more likely).
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Old November 27th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #5
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well, like I said, i'm shooting a doc here, and it's in a way like most footage from this genre where I don't have much of a chance to get a second take and probably wouldn't even try if I could 99% of the time; just the way I shoot. I realise that there are topics that are went over and over again on this forum, but there is always a new discovery, a change in quality of equipment, etc. so it's always good to have a fresh view. I take it that apart from an increased possibility of dropouts, there is no other difference in image quality with my tape, compared to the master tape?
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Old November 27th, 2006, 11:30 AM   #6
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Hi Jim,

Where about's in France are you?

Re: your tape query... my own findings having used both Master and regular Sony Premium tapes in my Z1 is that there is no noticeable difference, no more drop outs than with the dearer tapes.

This was backed up by a certain Jean-Paul Musso who runs "Ancor" in Boulogne-Billancourt, a company specialising in the kinescopage of HDV footage. He says in a recent article in 'Camera,Video & Multimedia magazine' that the main thing is to look after the rushes on the tapes by not reviewing them, and getting them downloaded asap. He maintains, after many hundreds of hours of material, having mainly seen drops on "expensive" but re-used tapes, concluding that specialist HDV tapes, give no more security against drop outs than regular ones. He has only rarely had problems with regular DV tapes.

So as I shoot lots of tape, I prefer to use Sony Premium's, once with no reviewing on important stuff... on a recent shoot with over five hours of tape shot I only had one drop out.

Voilà
A bientôt
Gareth

PS: I think if I had to shoot a once only, never to be repeated, mega important piece I'd invest in a Firestore or other solid state recorder...
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Old November 28th, 2006, 06:45 AM   #7
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Thank you Gareth!
I'm on the the edge of the Cevennes mountains about an hour and a half from Montpellier in a little village called Graissessac. Where abouts are you? Well, with much reluctance, I have been viewing some of my rushes from the tape. I still don't have the computer I need to get all this transfered to hard disk. I hope to have in a few weeks; am trying to find a used apple G5 on ebay. The premium tape has been good to me so far. I must have shot over twelve hours so far with not one dropout that I'm aware of except when I first put the tdk tape in the cam that was shipped with it. What exactly is the sort of degradation of image that could occur by viewing rushes from tape? I am of course aware of the general danger of the possibility of tape being damaged being run through any sort of machine.
I'm probably just missing something here because of my inexperience, but could you elaborate on the connection between one shot only shooting situations and the recorder you spoke of. I do wish I could splurge and pick up a sony deck recorder right now.

Merci encore!

Jim
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Old November 28th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #8
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accidently double posted

Last edited by Jim Benton; November 28th, 2006 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Double posted
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Old November 28th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
If the footage is so incredibly important, your money may be better spent on a second camera and/or shoot insurance.
Second Camera gets my vote. I've made it a practice to run a backup camera on almost everything that can't be redone/reshot.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #10
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Hi Jim
I'm just south of Lyon at the mo....

The recorder I'm referring to is the Fire Store: http://dvestore.com/theatre/index.html# look at the second link. If you watch Guy Cochrane's explanation it will do better than I can.

As far as I know you'll not get any image degradation from reviewing tapes, just more chance of damaging the fragile tape, crinkling it, jamming the tap drive etc...as well as general wear on your camera....that said these cameras are fairly robust.

the hard drive system, while not 100% there yet, is pretty good for circumstances where you don't want to use tape. It is not as small as the Panasonic P2, but you you get 8x the space.

cheers
Gareth
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 07:52 PM   #11
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Re: your tape query... my own findings having used both Master and regular Sony Premium tapes in my Z1 is that there is no noticeable difference, no more drop outs than with the dearer tapes.

I have a V1U on the way. Does the above suggestion about both Master and regular Sony tape comply with or violate the "stay with one brand" rule. In other words as long as I stay with Sony, am I okay? Or do I have to not only stay with Sony, but with the same type of tape within the Sony brand to comply with the "don't mix tape" rules?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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Good question Rene, I am curious about that too...
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Old February 16th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #13
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The real difference between HDV and DV tapes

I posted this on another thread because it's the best explanation I've read of the difference between the two types of tapes:

In accordance with HDV camcorder standards, the HDR-HC1 records to MiniDV tapes. There are major benefits here: the tapes are cheap, they’re readily available, and they are compact. However, we’re scoring HDV down half a point for media over regular DV because of the importance of using high grade tapes with HDV. All tape formats suffer from a problem called dropouts, when a frame isn’t recorded because a scratch or other defect with the tape. With MiniDV and many other formats, dropouts are not a huge problem, because one lost frame when you’re working with 30 frames a second will not be noticed by the human eye.

The HDR-HC1 and all HDV formats use something called key frame compression. This means that every half second the camcorder takes a key frame, somewhat like a reference frame. The next 14 frames after that frame are based on how the video changes from that original frame. With DV, every single one of the 30 frames is a keyframe and holds all the information. Theoretically, this means that with HDV if you loose a frame because of a dropout, you’re going to loose a half second of video, it will just display as black. However, the problem is not a serious as the theory suggests - not many have reported it or lost critical footage. The higher grade "made-for-HDV" tapes do reduce dropouts, when one occurs the camcorder's LCD and VF will freeze (blank out) for half a second but the FIREWIRE HDV output contains quite a bit of useful frames and often just 3 or 4 (out of the 15 GOP) are damaged. This is a small glitch compared to what people first feared would happen on a tape dropout. Another way around this is to capture the HDV output over FireWire or component directly to a laptop or external hard disk. DVRack is about to release their HDV upgrade and other manufactures of "Pyro Firestore" type portable HDDs that accept DV are being upgraded to work with HDV feeds.

However, if you use a higher grade tape it will significantly reduce the number of or possibility of a dropout. Sony has even made a special MiniDV tape that is specifically designed for HDV shooting. Of course, this tape doesn’t come cheap, it costs $13 per tape vs. about $6 per tape for standard MiniDV tapes. But if you are shooting something important it is really important that you use the high grade tape to minimize the chance of a dropout.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...iew/Format.htm

I've used Panasonic, Maxell, JVC and Sony (all DV) on my Sony HC1 and I haven't had any problems. Just wonderful pictures.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #14
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What the above quoted article doesn't tell you is that HDV uses more error correction than DV, so a single dropout that would be visible in DV as a little 'sparkle' wouldn't affect HDV recorded over the same piece of tape.

Clearly the guy writing the article knows little (why am I not surprised?). A dropout in HDV does not cause x frames of black, the decoder is smarter than that, it causes the previous frames to be repeated.

If you check Sony's own specs on their "HDV" tapes you find they only offer improved performance after the tape has done a lot of head passes. That'd be fine if you were doing linear editing which I doubt anyone is doing with HDV. Tape goes over the heads once when it's recorded and once when it's captured and then it sits on a shelf.

We've sold 1000s of DVM60 tapes for recording HDV in Z1s, FX1s, A1s etc. No unusual number of problems or dropouts, probably less problems than users had with DV, most DV dropouts go unnoticed anyway.

Still if it's real mission critical stuff that's costing big dollars to shoot use the more expensive tape, if something goes foobar it's one less source of anguish even IF it wouldn't have made any difference.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #15
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I've been using the cheapest tapes I could find, only after re-using them 5-6 times before they'd crap out and the footage was completely unusable...

I finally experienced a dropout after probably 50+ tapes... on a cheap fuji-film...

I just grabbed 48 panasonic tapes for $30 shipped off ebay... I'm not expecting perfection but this is just for practice stuff... nothing I'm too concerned about...
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