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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:09 AM   #1
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Different tapes = different results?

Sorry if this is similar to other posts out there, I tryed searching and couldn't find all the info so easily.

I am trying to figure out the differences in different tape qualities. I did a small amount of research on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_DV#DVCPRO) and other sites to understand the difference between normal mini DV, DVCAM and DVCPRO. The main thing I am trying to understand is how much of a noticeable difference in video quality, different quality tapes bring. I have a DVX100b so I would assume that the panasonic DVCPRO tapes would be the best fit, but things don't always work like that.

This is what I would appreciate help with:
1. The visible difference between different quality tapes
2. other issues that better quality tape might resolve
3. any info on DVCPRO25 vs DVCPRO50 and which tapes shoot in which mode. ( if that makes no sense, it was on the wikipedia article above, that is where i came up with that.)
4. what tapes will work best with my camera (DVX100B)

basically, I know very little about tapes and would like to know as much as I can. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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Sorry, I would edit my post so I don't sound like an idiot, but I would basicaly have to delete every thing. I didn't realize before that DVCAM and DVCPRO were different size tapes, i thought they were just variations of mini dv tapes.

I would still like to know the difference in quality between the different levels of mini dv tapes that companies provide (for panasonic the consumer vs profesional vs master quality).
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Old June 1st, 2007, 04:09 PM   #3
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In the realm of digital video, well anything digital such as DAT, DV, etc the quality of the tape has zero impact on the quality of the image. Either the data is there or it's not.
Where different quality tape can have an impact is with issues such as dropouts, that's when the 1s and 0s get lost due to bits of tape flaking off etc. DV and DVCAM write the same quality video to tape and the tapes labelled MiniDV, DV and DVCAM are interchangeable, in most cases they're identical apart from the label. DVCAM writes at a higher tape speed and is less likely to suffer dropouts. where most people get confused is that DVCAM tapes are typically in the larger D5 shell, same tape, just more of it in a bigger cassette. You can however record in DVCAM onto the smaller MiniDV tapes on any DVCAM capable camera or VCR.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #4
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There are Mini - DVCAM tapes that you can use in Mini DV camcorders. http://www.abelcine.com/store/produc...cat=267&page=1
They are a lot more expensive but they're recommended for professional production. Chances of drop-outs and damaged tapes are a lot lower with these.

The quality of DVCAM is the same as DV, it's the same codec, only DVCAM uses more space on the tape (like SP mode uses more space than LP mode, you could also see DVCAM as the "super SP" mode of DV).
The difference between the tapes is that consumer tapes are focussed on low production cost, sacrificing mechanical quality of the tape and cartridge.
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