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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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benefit of HDV tapes vs DV tapes?

I noticed that the HDV tapes are almost 5 times as much as the regular MiniDV.

My understanding is that the FX1 can record 1080i on a MiniDV tape. If this is true whats the benefit of using the HDV tapes?
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Old April 16th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #2
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Hi Martin,
Yes your FX1 works perfectly on regular mini DV tapes. The HDV cassettes supposedly offer less chance of drop outs.... but the info recorded is identical in every way: 0's and 1 's.

I have been shooting with a Z1 for 4 years now and have only ever used Sony Premium tapes. I have had so few problems with drop outs I can't honestly believe the tapes five time the price would be any better.

There is a big debate on this and some will maintain there is less risk using the HDV tapes... but personally as I don't reuse the tapes I can't see the extra expense is justified.

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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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so this is similar to the MiniDV vs DVCAM format? no improvement over actual image just more reliability?

thanks for the answer!
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Old April 18th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #4
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Same here, I've always used Sony premium (the cheap yellowy orange wrapper) DV tapes in all my cameras, including the Z1. Never had any major problems.

The odd dropout over the years, fixed by recapturing the affected section.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #5
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Me too never used HDV tapes in over two years on a V1, Z7 and S270.

DV premium are fine as are recycled Dvcam tapes.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #6
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I only use SONY DV premium and no dropout. I had to use once TDK tapes but had a lot of dropout. I almost always use the each tape once.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:15 AM   #7
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http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/7483/sonypremium.jpg


Me too using it for SD or HDV on my Z1 no problem at all.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #8
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HDV specifications call for the use of MiniDV tapes. There's no different specification for HDV tapes. If you see "HDV" on the label, the only thing that tells you for sure is the tape meets MiniDV specifications, no more and no less.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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Tape rules:

Don't waste your money on HDV tapes. There is no difference in picture quality between these and regular MiniDV tapes -- it's all digital. Sony Premiums are fine and can be had online for a little over $2 each.

Tape manufacturers often say that HDV tapes are built to higher standards than regular MiniDV tapes. That's frequently claimed but so far no one has ever presented any statistical evidence, anywhere, that this is so.

Even if it is true you need to do a cost-benefit analysis to decide if overpaying for all your tapes is worth the reduced chance of a dropout, especially if such dropouts are easily cut around (as they are in all the shooting I do). If it's a once in a lifetime event and you want to maximize your chances of having every frame be perfect, then the more expensive tapes may be worth it for you.

When I first started shooting DV I used the TDKs available at Costco for about $2.50 each. I used a couple of hundred without a dropout or any other problem. Later I switched to the Sony Premiums because even with shipping they were cheaper. Iím on my fourth case of 100 and have had maybe three dropouts total in two years. Costco now sells the Sony Premiums instead of the TDKs.

Don't mix tape brands. Sony uses a different lubricant than others and switching could gum up your heads. Run a cleaning tape for 10 seconds and then pick one brand and stick to it.

Never re-use your tapes. They should go through your camera exactly twice: once when you shoot and once when you capture.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #10
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I have had 2 HDV camcorders. On the first, I only used high $$$ HDV tapes. I never had a drop out. On the second, I haven't been as picky and I have switched between Sony HDV tapes and Sony Premium tapes without any problems. Until my last shoot. I did have a drop-out with a Sony Premium tape. Fortunately, it was a 3 camera shoot so I could easily work around it. But if that drop-out would have happened in the middle of the "perfect" take for a TV spot and there was only one camcorder, I think I would have a PO'd producer and talent. In situations like that, the client usually pays tape costs anyway, so why not spend their money on the best tapes you can get? While I can't prove it, I really think "HDV" branded tapes are probably less prone to drop-outs. On the other hand, I'll will probably still use the cheap tapes for my personal shooting or multi-cam shoots where it isn't so critical and I am having to foot the bill.
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