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Old January 18th, 2002, 06:38 PM   #1
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what is best mini DV tape for XL1

I have tried numerous types of mini DV tapes in my XL1 including Canon's own brand as well as SONY Premium and Excellence, FUGI, Panasonic, TDK. SONY's tapes appear to have the better performance and durability, however, I have also heard that the magnetic strip on SONY mini DVs is damaging to the heads of the XL1.
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Old January 18th, 2002, 07:41 PM   #2
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Much of this is personal preference. I believe the Canons are just repackaged Panasonics, albeit at a higher price. I'm a fan of the Panasonic 63MQ Master -- the regular grade works well, also.

Many will advise against mixing brands -- particularly wet lube types (Sony) and dry lube (Panasonic). Probably not a good idea. Just find one you like and stick with it.

There are several good sources, including one of Chris' sponsors.

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Old January 18th, 2002, 11:28 PM   #3
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My advice is to chose either Sony or Panasonic and then stick with that choice. Get yer tape from Pro-Tape, www.pro-tape.com --- a Community Sponsor.
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Old January 24th, 2002, 05:34 PM   #4
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Panasonic tape works great for me. AY-DVM60EJ. Have had none of the cross-camera-compatibility blues that some have reported.

BTW, I know that there are those who will say don't do it, but....
let me put in a plug here for taking the time to pre-stripe your tapes. That's one of the first things they taught in Community TV training--and then it was not even timecode, just a continuous control track. But now, you have the opportunity to lay down 62 minutes of beautiful break-free timecode in your slow periods (maybe while you watch re-runs or sit and wait for your job to render). I'll do up a bunch of them and put a symbolic stripe with a black Sharpie across the face of each tape before dropping them in my PortaBrace. This way, when I am out running and gunning, I can quickly slap a tape in my cam and not worry about it. Heck, with that done, you don't even have to fumble with undoing the shrink wrap.
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Old January 24th, 2002, 07:50 PM   #5
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Pre-striping

Mike,

I've heard the good (continuous timecode) and the bad (wear and tear, some image quality loss) about pre-striping tapes. Never have tried it yet, but thought I'd give it a go...just to see.

So, basically, just put the lens cap on, unplug the mic, and hit record...is that all that's involved?
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Old January 25th, 2002, 05:56 AM   #6
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I agree with some of the people that Panasonic tapes are very good, no problems in my XL1, dont mix brands this can lead to head clogging.
I have never been a lover of Sony SVHS for example, too many dropouts, so it was natural of me to steer clear of them with DV
Tony, plus the Panasonic here are much cheaper.
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Old January 25th, 2002, 11:24 AM   #7
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That's about it with the XL1, John...this camera has the maddening feature of not being able to record like a VCR. Supposedly when the camera was designed they were concerned about piracy etc. so they intentionally dummied it out. The new XL1S's have corrected that omission.

This is why I use my little Elura for that task, just treat it like a VCR and record from the A/V jacks with nothing plugged into them. Plus if I am putting wear and tear on, it's only putting it onto a 1-chip "familycam" and not the XL1, which I like to keep packed in the PortaBrace ready to "grab and go." Usually I leave the Elura plugged into my system as the "interface" or "breakout box" both for digital and analogue capture plus print to tape (and feed thru a D/A to dub on the fly, then later use the digital master in the Elura for a source deckfor more copies.)
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Old January 26th, 2002, 09:58 AM   #8
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Sheesh, Mike. Why didn't I think of that? Chalk it up to dain bramage.

Wouldn't you know, I just sold my Elura a couple of weeks ago. Otherwise I'd have adopted the method you just described.

I was doing everything (shooting and editing functions) with the XL-1 and meanwhile my Elura was feeling mighty neglected. Actually, I'd have sold it anyway. I've got my eye on three pretty pricey items...a Frezzi light, a used Glidecam or Steadicam, and also DVD Studio Pro and so I need to scrounge up all the extra cash I can.

Nevertheless...to heed good advice...I'm going to stripe some tapes tomorrow morning and then make some test shots utilizing the idea from afterburnerDV (Adrian) in another thread where you take a photo at the beginning of each setup for quick searching. Between the striping and the quick indexing...my life just got easier.

Cheers to both of you.
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Old January 28th, 2002, 03:54 PM   #9
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dain bramage! LOL!
Today I'm the one with dain bramage...after spending a few hours shooting 3M Spray Mount indoors without proper ventilation--I was comping up some ballot boxes (actually survey form drop boxes) and won't need to drink booze for a week! :-)

That's quite a shopping list, sounds expensive once you get done with Korean taxes & duties. I'm curious if B&H was able to help you out.

My gosh, I don't know what i'd do without that Elura! (probly have to buy some econobox like a ZR25 or sumthin) Today I just used it again to capture a clip. Interestingly, the process went something like this. The not-so-bright agency in NYC,l rather than asking what format we wanted,sent it on Beta SP, of course I have nothing to play that back on here. We called them to fix it, and their only other copy of that was out at some post-house in the City having some stuff dubbed from it for another project. So over to my friends at a post-house nearby who I know to have Beta decks...BUT...her Sony DV deck will only play back in Mini DV, it records in DVCAM, still not a format I have.

Then...she thought to use her Sony camcorder to record the Mini DV. Success! I was almost ready to bring over my Elura & plug it into the Beta VTR! But instead I only had to use it to capture to FCP and then I could save it out in QuickTIme to load into a PowerPoint presentation today!
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Old January 28th, 2002, 09:09 PM   #10
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Best Tape?

Well, for a long while it was really Sony PDVM-40's (DVCAM) and everything else. Then Panasonic came out with the EB and XB, later becoming the PQ and MQ. Panasonic is the only company with a professional / broadcast line of products other than Sony's DVCAM. With the 63MQ at half the price of Sony DVCAM 40's, I'd recommend it. It has a particle density 4x greater than the PQ and a high grade shell. Our customers seem to have very good luck with it.

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Old February 7th, 2002, 11:09 AM   #11
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Mike...missed the update e-mail on this one, so never got back to you. Apologies.

Turns out the local dealer here helped me out with the Frezzi. It'll arrive next week. I have dealt with B&H Photo in the past and they have always done right by me. Most retailers balk when you tell them you want something shipped to Korea...but B&H doesn't even blink. Plus, their sales reps take the time to really talk to you if you need more info.

Still holding off on the Glidecam or Steadicam until I can find a used one. I'll continue looking here in Korea, and I've got Adrian keeping an eye out for me in Japan. Until then...I'll just tell everyone I was aiming for the "jittery cam" effect.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 07:06 PM   #12
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John--

Heh heh...yep, just tell'em you worked with Soderburgh on "Traffic!"

Just might wait until I have a specific project that I can peg the cost of the Steadi against, just can't justify getting it on spec.

By the looks of it, it might be easier for me to get my Frezzi barn doors from your man in Seoul by the time I hear from Frezzi right down the road in New Jersey! :-) Strange, considering the quick callback I got from him when I wanted the Mini-Dimmer.

Maybe I'll just call B&H.

cheers
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Old February 7th, 2002, 09:44 PM   #13
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GG,

It's like a scene in the movie "Big Blue"...ever see it?

The lead guy has to go to a formal reception but doesn't have a suit. Jean Reno lends him one of his...way over-sized. The lead character comes in to show how the suit looks on him...it's hanging off him in massive wrinkles, and Reno notices that he's wearing tennis shoes.

Reno: Very chic!
Lead Guy: (referring to the shoes) Does it look okay?
Reno: Are those the only shoes you've got?
Lead Guy: Yep.
Reno: Then...it's very chic!

So, until I can afford a Steadicam or Glidecam...my style of shooting is going to be...

...very chic.

(and someday when I win the Academy award, DPs around the globe will say "Isn't he that guy that overused the "jittercam" effect [groan])

Hey...call B&H. They'll take care of you.
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