panasonic tapes?whats the difference? at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 21st, 2006, 08:03 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: vancouver
Posts: 310
panasonic tapes?whats the difference?

i have been buying the DVM63MQ tapes since i first got my dvx, but they are still pretty pricey. I'd like to know what the difference is between those tapes and the regular panny tapes or even sony tapes?

am i just spending the extra money because it says Master quality on
help me out.

Saturnin Kondratiew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 21st, 2006, 09:17 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Supposedly, you should get fewer dropouts and perhaps less head wear using the MQs than with "standard" consumer grade tapes. I say supposedly, because I've looked all over the web to find information on the differences between brands and grades of miniDV tapes and found very, very little.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 22nd, 2006, 03:44 AM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Posts: 585
I've also done a lot of web searching regarding tape quality, and many users say the less expensive tapes work fine. I've been using the standard tapes and have had no problems.
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 22nd, 2006, 04:00 AM   #4
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
whatís in a tape?

You can spend anything from £1.35 for Panasonic and JVC DVM-60 Mini DV tapes up to £13 for Sony DV HD pro. They all contain 70 metres of 6.35 mm wide tape and all they have to do is record ones and zeros, nothing else. So why spend thirteen pounds for the poshest Sony when you could have a packet of ten Panasonics for the same price? The answer lies in quality control. Everything from the cleanliness of the factory to the magnetic coating on the substrate, from component inspection to market penetration, it all affects the final price.

Iíve broken open a Mini DV tape to have a look at what Iíve bought for half the cost of a Marks and Spencer sandwich, and I am suitably impressed. Iíve counted 28 individual components Ė many of them very accurately made, very tightly toleranced injection mouldings that must be able to be snapped together in automated machinery at very high speed. The sticky labels, the case insert sheet, the cassette box and wrapper add four more components to the mix, and yet we buy these assemblies for pence and expect every single one of them to be perfect.

Letís list the components. For starters thereís the 70 metres of metal evaporated tape, spliced at both ends to a leader and trailer. Individual hub attachments are used to attach the tape to the two part feed and take-up spools. The cassette shell comprises two parts, one of which has a clear window and which has two steel leaf springs attached to it. The cassette door consists of three hinged components controlled by a coil spring and a two part release lever, and 2 other steel springs govern the spool brakes, this part having its own polypropylene hinges. Thereís also a sensor window, a sliding erase prevention door, the tiny spool ratchet brake and the whole lot is held together with 4 screws.

The design is ingenious, the build tolerances are breathtaking, the price asked is stupefying. What amazes me is how such a complex assembly of mechanical moving parts can be made so cheaply and so accurately, yet at the same time be made so reliable. When you see the 28 parts laid out it looks positively last century against solid state memory Ė which of course it is. But for now I never cease to be amazed at what it is Ė a 13 gb storage matchbox that has never let me down.

There's a protective box that encloses all DVCAM tapes, and the intricate moulding means that when the box is snapped shut and locked, it will ensure the tape survives a shark attack as well as being run over by a fully laden Land Rover. I wouldnít be surprised to learn itís waterproof to two metres, too. Such design excellence and elegance doesnít just happen; it comes about through dedicated, thoughtful people who well deserve their pay packets.

Sony makes several grades of tape, which it confusingly labels as "DV," "DVCAM," and "HDV," all packaged in full-size and mini-size cartridges. But from the standpoint of what you record on them, these tapes are all functionally identical, provided the cassette fits inside your camcorder, of course.

The only ways in which the tapes themselves differ is in whether there's a data chip in the cartridge, whether the cartridge is full-size or mini, and the quality of the tape. But even this is a misleading statement, since the "quality" of the tape has exactly zero effect on the quality of the recorded signal. Ignoring dropouts, a HDV signal recorded on HDV tape is absolutely identical to an HDV signal recorded on the cheapest DV tape you can find. Likewise, a DV signal on DV tape is identical to a DV signal on HDV tape, and so on with all the other combinations.

The only way in which the tape "quality" makes any difference at all in the robustness of the recording, the likelihood of being able to play it back later. And it isn't by any means clear that there is a practical, real-world difference even here. Personally Iím inclined to think that since tape is so darn cheap to start with, a few extra pounds can be justified for peace of mind, even if I might in practice be giving Sony what amounts to money for nothing.

Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #5
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 119
Panasonic tapes use a dry lube. Sony tapes use a wet lube. It is this lubricant that when mixed dirties the heads.
Jason Varner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 09:44 AM   #6
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 157
Jason - so which lube hurts the heads, dry or wet? I'm guessing dry, but am not sure.

BTW - I sent an email to you regarding another subject. :)
Frank Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #7
Major Player
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Waynesboro, PA
Posts: 648
I think its a constant mixture of the two lubes that will cause gunk build up. A wet or dry lube alone shouldnt damage the heads.
Matt Stahley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2006, 02:15 AM   #8
Inner Circle
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
a bit of confusion here about tapes..

the build as descibed is explicitly intricate..
but when comparing tape brands makes and models, it all comes down to cost..

Pana DVCMQ63/83 tapes are processed through an advanced form of Metal evaporative procedure. The S-AME (Super Advanced Metal Evaporation) improves the videotape's magnetic density by 400% over current Panasonic MiniDV models. The S-AME technology offers three key advantages: higher output power for more precise recordings; low head wear and reduced head clogs thanks to the use of a dry-type lubricant;

The PQs are using the SAME dry lubes, but arent using this advanced form of magnetisation.
The 83 minu tapes are the only ones to use the chip. Im yet ot find a new piece of gear which actually utilises this chip as tpae indexing is now done via metadata on teh tape itself. I can literally view all my DVX shooting settings on my MX500 (my capture deck) with NO CHIP.

The JVC ProHD tapes (the white ones) are rebranded MQs (Matsushita IS the parent company after all.. )

The Sony HDV tapes are overpriced for what they are. They also use a dry lube, and more than likey a similar evaporative magnetisation method to the MQs.

I use MQs for Z1 HDV and havent had a dropout, this is becuase i clean my head every 25hours, AND i wind my tapes to alow the deck itself to set the tapes tensioning PRIOR to recording. I used to do this with MQs and teh DVX, but it turns out the tapes themselves are wound in bulk during manufacture with a similar tension setting which the DVX operates on.

PQs are perfectly fine for the DVX, however anything with a wet lube could cause problems as teh DVX is known for its temperamental heads.

Also if intend on changing tape makes and models be sure to run a head cleaner first. Then run the new tape for at least a minute to run the new tapes lube into your cameras head.
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2006, 08:30 AM   #9
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: new york, ny
Posts: 32
difference in tapes

Panasonic as well as Sony will give you the run around when you ask about tape quality. The fact is that they all seem to work the same. The one thing that is important is that the heads should be cleanned with a head cleaner when you switch brands, preferably stick to one brand. No need to pay the price for master tape. Have you ever seen oc camera manuals.. USE ONLY SONY BATTERIES... Right!
Winston Vargas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #10
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 661
I reuse tapes quite often (in my cheap cameras) and I've found that the Pana MQs are incredibly resistant to wear in this regard. Cheap tapes cannot really be reused even once without at least a few dropouts here and there. The MQs can be reused at least twice or three times before I start to notice dropouts, and sometimes more.
Jad Meouchy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2006, 09:42 PM   #11
Inner Circle
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
Jad, my test count for Panas (well Rexel when they were looking after Pana here in aus) was a total of 7 overwrites without dropouts.. THEN on the 8 was when issues started.. baing that sometimes, timecode would reset ((dont ask me, i have NO idea how that happens as i wasnt using free run timecode)) and obviously tape dropouts.

ive reused tapes up to 3 times.. and thats it. then they get commisioned to th home video library and used for family stuff which can live with a dropout here or there (but im yet to see it.. )

these are all MQ tapes by the way..

PQ's the count came to 5, so i wouldnt reused PQs more than twice... and thats only if i had to...
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network