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Old January 17th, 2003, 06:22 PM   #1
New Boot
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Decks and videotapes

I've been looking for a editing/recording deck, mostly for saving the head on my XLs.

Most machine spec's say it can play "Standard" and "minDV" tapes. However, it appears that only 60 min. minDV tapes are recommeded for use on professional grade machines. The only problem is, I've been shooting all 83 min. miniDV.

What is the difference between Standard and miniDV tapes, size, thickness? Can one use Standard tapes on XLs? What's the reason for recommeding not using 83 min. miniDV tapes on these machines?

Would appreciate it if anyone can clear this up for me.

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Old January 17th, 2003, 06:55 PM   #2
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The difference between standard DV tapes and mini DV tapes is size mostly. Standard DV measures 125mm by 78mm by 14.6mm. Mini Dv measures 66mm by 48mm by 12.2mm. The larger size allows for longer tapes and more recording time. Because of the large cassette size standard times will not fit into mini DV devices. However, some standard DV devices can accommodate the smaller cassettes through internal mechanisms.

Mini DV come in two lengths, 60 minute and 80 (3) minute. The only way to get a longer length tape into the same size cassette is to make the tape physically thinner. Thinner tapes are inherently more prone to stretching and other damage. Professional decks generally have a harder time with the thinner tapes. Pro decks are made to very specific standards and the tape transports are made to the thicker tapes specs. Using the thinner tapes in machines not spec'd for them can damage the tapes (eating) or worse break the tape heads. If the manufacture does not recommend thinner tapes (83) do not use them.

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Old January 17th, 2003, 06:59 PM   #3
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Standard DV cassettes are also referred to as full-size DV cassettes. The tape shell is much larger than a Mini-DV cassette and can hold up to 270 minutes of DV. Only a few camcorders have a tape transport chassis big enough to hold a Standard DV cassette. Among them are the Sony DSR250, Panasonic AG-DVC200 and the new JVC GY-DV5000, all of which are larger shoulder-mount cameras. Likewise, some DV decks accept these big Standard DV cassettes, such as the Panasonic DV2000 and the Sony DSR20, 30, 40 & 50.

The Canon XL1S and most other prosumer DV camcorders in its class will take only a Mini-DV cassette.

Sometimes the 83min. Mini-DV cassettes aren't reccommended because the tape is thinner and more prone to break, although personally I haven't had that happen to me yet. Hope this helps,

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Old January 17th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thank you Jeff and Chris. So would using 60 min. minDV tapes be OK? as well as perhaps recording from camera to deck w/ Standard tape it it for editing purposes?

Sorry, these questions may sound rather basic.
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Old January 20th, 2003, 12:36 PM   #5
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Been using a Panasonic AG-DV2000 deck, which allows for standard & Mini DV tapes, for 3 years now with both 63 and 83 minute Panasonic Master series tapes. Both lengths work just fine.
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