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Old May 17th, 2003, 03:29 AM   #1
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tapes and cleaning

I have heard a lot about the tapes used in DV cameras. Is it ok if I just go to a department store and buy panasonic tapes or should I get some high quality tape that they only sell in camera shops.
my second question is how often should I clean the heads on the camera and is a certain brand recommended? I have been using a JVC head cleaning tape. thanks
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Old May 17th, 2003, 03:34 AM   #2
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http://www.dvfreak.com/tape.htm

My advice is to find a brand/type you're happy with and then stick with it.

The JVC cleaner should be okay. I suggest only cleaning your heads when you need cleaning, unless you're mixing brands/types---good way to wear out the heads---I haven't cleaned my 2 JVC cams for almost 4 years now. I've only been using Fuji miniDV tape in them.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 05:19 AM   #3
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find a brand I'm happy with? whats the difference between sony or panasonic, etc. will I see a difference in quality or is it just personal preference
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Old May 17th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #4
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Sony and Panasonic - two tape brands you DON"T want to mix. There are differences in lube on these two. What get's really complex is that there are fewer tape manufacturers than there are brands. So, apparently Fuji and Panasonic are actually the same (according to the site Frank posted) and Canon may be the same as well.

There are lots of opinions and Frank's advice may be the best. Find one that works for you and stick with it.

There may be differences if you are recording over a tape a lot or under certain climatic conditions (I've had one salesperson recommend the Panasonic MQ over the PQ if you are going to be in climatic extremes) where the tape stock may matter more than others. Unfortunately, it seems to be easier to find 'conventional wisdom' than actual data on types of tape stock, expansion/contraction with temperature, and type of lube.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 09:07 PM   #5
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sorry to keep posting dumb questions...but my main question still goes unanswered. Is it ok to buy DV tapes from a department store like wal-mart as long as I always buy panasonic? or is there a better quality panasonic that I will find from say B & H photo?
thanks for all the other info though. couldn't do it without you all answering my questions.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 10:13 PM   #6
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my opinion.... go with FUJI...
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Old May 17th, 2003, 10:28 PM   #7
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i'm glad you like FUJI but still I need to know if its ok to buy tapes from a department store like wal-mart or is there a higher quality panasonic that they only sell in camera specialty stores like B & H?
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Old May 17th, 2003, 11:05 PM   #8
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DV and mini DV are recording Digital information, so the quality will be the same as far as immediate use of the tapes. Higher quality tapes will probably last longer and are more durable under repeated use (playback and recording).

Wal*Mart sells the same tape as B & H (and specialty stores) in the lower grade from respective manufactures. However, you will not find the top grade tapes at the department stores.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 11:16 PM   #9
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Luke,
Panasonic has several grades of tape. The MQ series is their best, the PQ is their "professional". The EJ and XJ tapes are their consumer-grade tapes and are what you are most likely seeing in department stores.

In my experience, the grade you use within the brand is far less important than that you stick with a brand. I use Panasonic's PQ and MQ grades, often waiting for sales and buying in quantity. But I've also used the EJ tapes with no trouble whatsoever.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:14 AM   #10
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THANK YOU!!!!
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Old May 18th, 2003, 04:41 AM   #11
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Here's a good article:

http://multimedian.com/pcv/school/camcare.html
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