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Old June 30th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #1
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I may want to switch tapes.

I have a few Canon A1 camcorders and an HV20. In the past on my older camcorders I used the Maxell brand tapes so just stuck with them since I have a boatload of them already on hand. Maxell seems to be the "bottom of the barrel" quality wise according to most. In my old SD days I had very little problem with dropouts or clogs.

Now in HDV land I get a few dropouts in each project and it varies from cam to cam which one is dropping the most. For a typical wedding project we are talking between 5-10 dropouts total with about 8-10 tapes of footage shot during the day. Is this a normal ratio for dropouts? Should there be any at all. If this is normal I can live with it as we are always shooting with mulitple cams and have been able to cover the dropout easily enough.

I have contemplated switching to another brand and the Sony Premium seems to be the most popular version that is economically priced. My problem is I have lots of projects in the backlog so during the process of shooting new jobs on a new tape I will still have to upload a bunch of the older Maxell tapes. That means I will be switching brands frequently in my designated upload cam. This upload cam is also my third cam for a wedding shoot. I don't want to run a head cleaner each time I switch or I will wear out the heads in a heartbeat. Short of getting a 4th cam (for which I don't have the budget) what is the best method for me to use regarding switching tapes if I choose to do so.

My 2 Canon A1s should be ok since they are used only for shooting. I just don't want to switch, shoot a wedding and the whole thing be hosed from the tape switch. If I switch over it will be the last time I switch with these cams.

Thanks for any help!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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This seems to obvious to be helpful, but would it work to have two upload cams; one for the old tapes and one for the new until you're switched over?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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That's where the problem comes in. I have an HV20 for the upload cam now and 2 Canon A1s. If I dedicated another cam for uploads only I would have to purchase another A1 or HV20 which is not a budget item I am ready to invest in at the moment. I have other more pressing needs that I could spend that amount of money on right now. :-) I have thought of that and know that if I do get another cam I don't want it to be a 2nd consumer cam so the investment goes pretty high.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #4
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I'm just curious; why would you need a dedicated upload cam?
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Old July 9th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #5
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Because I still have a backlog of footage that was shot with my current Maxell tapes that will eventually need to be uploaded. My current upload cam is my HV20 which is also my third cam at a wedding for the static shots. For shooting everything would be from the new brand but for uploading that same little HV20 will need to upload my backlogged Maxell tapes and then the new Sony tapes. I could upload all the sony tapes right from the A1 but my HV20 will still have to go back and forth for shooting and uploading with multiple tapes till the backlog is completed.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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HDV Tapes

I have owned a GL-1 & GL-2, the GL-1 gave me the "remove tape" message a number of times while editing 2 projects. I found out that Canon uses the same tape transport in all of their camcorders. The clutch on the takeup reel gets contaminated & allows the tape to develop slack, this causes the transport to stop, then you must eject the tape. This was very aggravating, when I made the move to HD I got rid of he Canons even though they produced great video quality. My FX1 has given me no trouble.

Several others & I use only maxell SD tapes with no drop outs or other malfunctions. Two of us are shooting Hi Def.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 06:42 AM   #7
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i use sony premiums and and get as many if not more than you do with the maxwell ones.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #8
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Phillip, I used to argue against the passionate warnings to stick with one brand. I don't anymore--it's not a bad idea to stick with one brand, and it's normally convenient.

But I do think in this case you may be a bit overly concerned. I have switched many times without ever running a head cleaner. In three years with a GL2, a Sony VX2100 and a Pany GS200 (my upload cam and third cam for shoots) I have run a head cleaner a grand total of two or three times. With all due respect to those whose experience is different, that's my experience. Your mileage may vary.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #9
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It really is interesting the different theories and stories people tell regarding this. I think for now I will just stay with my current Maxell tapes. I asked a tech about it once when getting a cam repaired and he said not to worry about it. He felt the different tape types were prevalent in the early days but over the last few years tapes have pretty much become the same compositions. At least that is what he told me. I will stay with Maxell but not worry about switching unless I have major problems.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #10
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Here at the U. of Michigan media center, we have had lots of experience
with all kinds of tapes and brands. I personally like the Panasonic DYM64PQ
tapes. I use them in my XL-H1 with good results. I used to be a die hard
Sony Premium fan . . . no longer. In fact, I have had issues with even
the most expensive Sony Master Quality tapes. Taperesources.com
has the Pannys for $3.99 each and while no tape is perfect, I find
the DYM64PQ to be an excellent value. If you have used Sonys a lot
and want to try these tapes, you will need to clean your heads before
doing so.

As always, WMMV.
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