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Old April 6th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #1
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MiniDV vs Digital8 tapes

I've been filming with two Sony TRV840s for several years and have been switching tape brands, using LP/SP in the same camera and then transferring footage via firewire using the camera as a deck. I have not noticed a dropped frame to date. I still get clean footage and have never cleaned the heads.

I know it's been talked about in several posts (and I've read them), and I've been reading about how the pros (who would be the one's who know) only use one type of tape and stick with it in SP mode. In the VX2100 forum it says to use only Sony tapes in Sony equipment (filled under Sticky). I just got a VX2100 and am concerned about keeping it in top shape (video heads).

My question is: Is the Digital 8 tape a more durable tape than MiniDV (and that's why I didn't experiance any issues with my Digital 8 cameras) or is it that the higher end cameras are more "delicate" and the lower end one's can handle the different grades of tape better?

I got Sony Premium tapes at BigBox Mart and have only used one, but can get JVC DVM60ME tapes locally for a good price. Should I stick with the Sony or is it better to switch to the JVC since it's still early on?

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Old April 7th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Grant Harrington View Post
Is the Digital 8 tape a more durable tape than MiniDV
Pretty much, yes, the 8mm tape is more durable and more robust than the smaller, thinner DV tape. Likewise, the smaller DV tape transport mechanisms inside these camcorders are also perhaps more delicate than their 8mm counterparts. There are other factors involved too, but the main thing is that you should not expect to switch tape brands in DV as freely as you did in 8mm.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #3
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There are other factors involved too, but the main thing is that you should not expect to switch tape brands in DV as freely as you did in 8mm.
Thank you for the explanation. Now, to my question of Sony Premium DVM60PRL tapes vs. JVC DVM60ME tapes is it still best to stick with the Sony and is that grade, which is listed as lowest quality in scale on the packaging (which seems strange to name it Premium), better than the non-Sony brand mentioned above?

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Old April 8th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #4
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Over the last few years we've sold 1,000s of the DVM60s without complaint, probably over 50% of them have been used to record HDV as well. Can't really say if they're any better or worse than anything else, seem as good as the Panasonic tapes that we used to sell, good tape these days just works. Outside of Sony and Panasonic I've had grief with other tapes though.
Aside from that though the biggest factor isn't tape, it's doing things like recording in LP, condensation or guides out of alignment that cause all the nasty problems.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Over the last few years we've sold 1,000s of the DVM60s without complaint, probably over 50% of them have been used to record HDV as well.
By DVM60s, where you referring to the Sony DVM60PRL or the JVC DVM60ME, or saying that it doesn't matter as long as I stick with one brand? I'm new to worrying about same tape type and quality, since I've only used Digital8 prior to my VX2100, which sounds like it (D8) was more robust.

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Old April 8th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #6
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I've tried allot of brands of MiniDV tape. I would say that Panasonic looks the best for the price. The Panasonic also looks better than Sony by what I've shot so far.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #7
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I've tried allot of brands of MiniDV tape. I would say that Panasonic looks the best for the price. The Panasonic also looks better than Sony by what I've shot so far.
Bottom line seems to be (in this thread) use whatever gives good results and stick with it even if it's not Sony brand tapes in a Sony camera, VX2100. The VX2100 forum states: http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=13527, but since it's a question about tapes, I wanted to post in the proper forum to get my answer.

Even though I bought them at Wal-Mart, since they are Sony brand, they should be fine (and used since it's a Sony camera) is what I'm gathering? And as long as I continue buying the same model # I should be alright.

Still confused. :-)

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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:09 AM   #8
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I used to think I had to use nothing but Sony evaporated-metal (ME) Hi-8 tapes, at $15. each, for Digital8. Then, I tried TDK metal-particle (MP) Hi-8 tapes and haven't used anything since. They are also the best for analog Hi-8 and I've had no glitches with them. I've bought them for around 2 for $7. or 2 for $8., at several large chain stores. I have some 17-year old TDK ME tapes of a special type that were triple-coated. I re-use them even now, for my infrequent Hi-8 camcorder shooting and they still perform well. They were the all-time best for Hi-8, for low-noise and rich color.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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Metal Evaporated Tape was originally designed for Hi-8mm analog video recording. (I don't know about 8mm video however) The concept was that an 8mm videotape could record more bandwidth signal if more of the recording chemistry could be mixed into the same amount of tape space. Hi-8 Metal evaporated tape did actually record more bandwidth onto the same tape area than the regular hi-8 tape for analog video recording.

I don't know the technical explanation nor the process but basically Sony or whomever was making the Hi-8 tape could vaccuum pack more of the recording properties onto the tape with the metal evaporated process, but with a price. The price was the metal evaporated particles would start to microscopically fall off with either from the first play, or after just a few plays, whereas the regular 8mm tape, although it recorded slightly less bandwidth, was more rugged.

Back in the 90's the idea was to immediately dub the metal evaporated Hi-8mm tape to betacam sp or a computer. Once digital videotape recording came along, if the regular non-metal evaporated tape could actually record all the ones and zeros the digital camcorder is putting out, than non-evaporated digital videotape is probably a better way to go than using metal evaporated tape, since the odds are particles will start flaking off the metal evaporated tape.

However, it's also possible, and I'm just guessing here, that if you were going to record in LP mode that the metal evaporated tape might do a better job of recording all the ones and zeros that are now being crammed into a smaller tape area. But beware, I would treat the metal evaporated tapes with kid gloves and not shuttle them back and forth too much.

I personally use standard Sony digital 8 tapes and they work fine. I heard that they may have been discontinued however so keep that in mind.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 04:16 PM   #10
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Grant:

Digital 8 v. Mini DV:

Had a forum discussion about this a year or so ago. See this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...%22Digital8%22

The general consensus re: mini DV is pick a particular brand and stick with it so as not to risk cross contamination of different lubricants. If you do have to change, run a head cleaning tape.

I've used Costco TDK for years, and not had any significant issues.
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