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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:23 AM   #1
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Recommended tape stock for V1?

I will definetely be purchasing the V1 as soon as it's available.

Lately I've been borrowing and working with the FX1 camcorder (just to get used to the format & feel)...and last weekend it occured to me that I was running out of DV tapes.

Which poses the question, now that I'll be working in HDV do I need the HDV tapes, or furthermore.... the Digital Master tapes?

I haven't had a single drop-out recording in HDV to the standard DV tapes I've owned for the last 4 years (yet), but if I'm going to be purchasing a lot more tapes and will definetely be working in the HDV format for a long time, should I switch over to these new tapes?

I suppose if I switched to the DigitalMaster tapes that would get pretty expensive.

Any thoughts?
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #2
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You can get whatever DV tapes you want. Supposedly HDV is more dropout resistant than DV. So if it was good enough for DV, it's good enough for HDV. But keep in mind, if you go with Sony, you can't use any other brand because the lubricant interacts with other tapes lubricants and can gum up your heads.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Wow really? Cause I have about 50 DV tapes that i've been recording to already and I wouldn't want to have to throw them out when I buy my V1U camcorder. Before I was using TDK/JVC/Maxell/etc. and I never had those issues.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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I meant Sony tapes not the Sony camera. So just keep using non-Sony tapes and you'll be fine.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #5
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Hi Craig

The way I've found of limiting drop out's is to only use a DV tape once... I use Sony Premium @ 29 Euros for 10 ... So I can get about 5 of these for the price of one Sony Digital Master tape which are around 14 euros each.

This gives me a good archive source and so far I've had very very few drop out...

Tape to my mind is pretty fragile stuff, I'd not want to do serious stuff on a tape that has been through the mill several times....

Regards
Gareth
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:23 PM   #6
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You only notice dropouts when they occur during a very important take, and after that, you wish that you had used the better stock in case that would help. If you shoot with pro-stock all of the time, you know that you are doing the best you can to reduce dropouts, even if you pay more.

The big racket may be the Sony DVM-63HD HDV vs. PHDVM63DM Digital Master tapes. The specs on the sites that seel them rarely compare the two with parallel specifications other than one: dropout reduction vs. regular miniDV stock. The HDV is quoted as a 90% reduction while the Digital Master is quoted as 95% better. No mention is made for a dropout rate on any of the tape stock.

My personal experience with vidible dropouts is about one per 1-2 tapes of TDK cheap stock, available for a little over $2/tape at CostCo after rebates (mail-in or instant) are applied. If Sony's reference miniDV tape is similar, buying the Sony HDV tapes would yield me one dropout per 10-20 tapes while the Sony Digital Master would yield me one dropout per 20-40 tapes.

As for the source of my dropouts, I can't say if it is due to a battery bouncing around on a monopod, the condition of the tape heads, or the actual tape stock itself. I never reuse tapes.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Sherman
Supposedly HDV is more dropout resistant than DV.
Where did you hear this? Since HDV uses long-GOP compression, dropouts are a much more serious problem with HDV. With DV, each frame of the video is individually compressed so a dropout is generally limited to a single frame (1/30 sec). But HDV's compression scheme works by recording the changes between successive frames. So a dropout in that format could yield up to a 1/2 second glitch on the tape.

I agree that if you're shooting something really important then you should use the best tape possible. However, I have been using the Sony Premium tapes in my Z1 and have not noticed any dropouts yet. Your mileage may vary. Personally I think it makes sense to use Sony tapes in Sony cameras.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:26 AM   #8
 
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Well, while HDV isn't any more or less prone to dropouts than DV is, HDV does have significantly more robust error correction than does DV.
DV/DVCAM operate across a single track
JVC HDV error correction spans 10 tracks
Sony/Canon HDV error correction spans 16 tracks.

Therefore, it could be technically argued that HDV is less prone to dropouts than DV, but if you do experience a dropout on an I frame, it's going to be a serious dropout.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #9
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I have been using the Panasonic/Maxcell/Fuji tapes for 5 years. As I understand it these are all the same basic tape, and wich ever one Best Buy has in at the time in a 5-6 pack I purchase for around $30. The 1st time I noticed a glitch was summer of 2005 using a Panny GS400. It was short-just like a skip in a persons step, but there was an accompanying short "pop" noise that was very noticeable. This winter I took that camera and an HC-1 on a trip, and must have had a bad batch of tape cause I had numerouse drop outs with both cameras. (It was in the Caribbean-so maybe just the humidity?) On the GS400 footage it mostly was the "pop" sound accompanied by scattered missed pixels. However the HC-1 HDV would suffer a full 1/2 second skip that was far more noticeable.
Questions for anyone with the experience:

1. Are the regular Sony Tapes - called Premium in Blue packaging better?

2. Are the Sony HDV (DVM63HD) tapes noticeably better?

I know about the Sony lube issue. 3 years ago my son took my 6 month old Canon on a trip and purchased Sony tape to use (I had been using Fuji). It stopped working shortly after that-but fortunately was under warranty.

So IF the Sony Premium (regular) tape is better, I will clean my heads before switching and go the Sony route. If someone has experience with the HD tape - I'd like to know if you think it is superior - and if so, enough to justify the 3X-4X price difference. Thanks - Have a good weekend everyone - PK
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Old October 27th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #10
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For anecdotal evidence, I noticed a dropout on my first regular Sony HDV tape during my first take with a Z1U. The funny thing is that the audio dropped out for fraction of a second while the video continued. Has anyone seen a dropout like that ? I'm almost inclined to blame other equipment.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #11
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HDV for HDV

You can do it for price or for quality. If you work on the cheap, you run a much higher risk of dropouts. If you have paying customers, you have to insure the absolute best quality work. I am using a Z1, and use the HDV white tapes because it is the best way for me to make to minimize drop outs. I have been shooting with this camera sinceJune of last year and have had zero problems. Zero. For me, the extra investment is worth the peace of mind, and quality control.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 08:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kepen
So IF the Sony Premium (regular) tape is better, I will clean my heads before switching and go the Sony route. If someone has experience with the HD tape - I'd like to know if you think it is superior - and if so, enough to justify the 3X-4X price difference. Thanks - Have a good weekend everyone - PK
Given the oft-mentioned problems experienced when mixing Sony and Panasonic/Fuji/etc. tapes, I doubt that anyone has recent experience of both types in the same camera. Most of my video friends have chosen to stick with one brand.

Following recent problems with my Canon XM1, I have followed a Canon engineer's advice and have switched to Panasonic PQ tapes rather than the normal "DVC" tapes. My regular supplier in Somerset sells PQ tapes for a little over 3, compared to 1.85. I use perhaps 15 - 25 tapes a year and never reuse them.

AFAIK, Sony are the only people to make tapes specifically labelled as "for HDV", and the difference in price compared to the normal tape is huge, which inevitably makes people wonder if it really is that much better, or an opportunity for a bit of price gouging...
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry
AFAIK, Sony are the only people to make tapes specifically labelled as "for HDV", and the difference in price compared to the normal tape is huge, which inevitably makes people wonder if it really is that much better, or an opportunity for a bit of price gouging...
Other brands of HDV tape have emerged, including Panasonic and Maxell. The real question is the difference between the HDV tapes and "digital master" HDV tapes. I'm wondering if that is the scam.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:03 AM   #14
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I don't think it's a scam, just clever marketing.
Several years ago I asked out tape supplier about the difference in Sony DV and Sony DVCAM tapes. He said info he got from Sony said that tape is made in huge long rolls on big wide sheets going through rollers and cutters and things. The wide sheet is slit into the proper widths just before it's loaded into cassettes, all automatically, naturally. The cheaper tape comes from way out on the edges of the sheet, and the more expensive stuff comes from closer to the center, where allegedly it would be less prone to contaminants.

I don't know if that's true or not, I got it third hand. The point he made was that it's all from the same sheet but some may be a bit better than others. Also, back in the days of 2" and 1" tape the big difference between "pallet" stock and master stock was that the master stock was inspected more times per running meter for problems, whereas the pallet stock was inspected but not as many times. (It was called pallet stock because you bought tape in those days by the pallet. An delivery truck would back up and unload it with a forklift.)

I've used DVCAM stock for a long time with no problems. A friend of mine also has used DVCAM stock for years with no problems, but he shoots so much that he's been spending more than he would like on tape. So a few months ago he converted to the Panasonic stock, the good stuff but not the super extra good stuff. I don't know the exact designation, but it's got a PQ at the end.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
I don't think it's a scam, just clever marketing.
Several years ago I asked out tape supplier about the difference in Sony DV and Sony DVCAM tapes. He said info he got from Sony said that tape is made in huge long rolls on big wide sheets going through rollers and cutters and things. The wide sheet is slit into the proper widths just before it's loaded into cassettes, all automatically, naturally. The cheaper tape comes from way out on the edges of the sheet, and the more expensive stuff comes from closer to the center, where allegedly it would be less prone to contaminants.

I don't know if that's true or not, I got it third hand.
Bill -I have heard something similar too so i reckon there's probably some truth in that story.
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