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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 February 28th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #1
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Tape Stock for Z1-Advise?

I did some test shooting with the Sony Master tape that came with the Z-1 and now I have to decide which tape stock I'm going to use for my projects. I have a bunch of Sony Premium tapes left from my VX days, but I see there are new tapes out like SONY DVM-63HD.

So what's the scoop here? Is Sony trying to make some bucks off the new HDV owners or is this tape stock really worth the $13-14 each? (the master tape is beyond my budget)

I am an independent , self-funded, documentary producer so I want to keep tape stock prices down, while still maintaining decent quality. Advise?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #2
 
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The tape stock is worth the cost, IMO. As time goes by, they'll get cheaper, too. +4dB greater range, and frankly, for HD-destined tape, this is CHEAP. Spend 80$ on an HDCam tape...then you'll see what I mean.
Not only that, but the new tape promises a much better error correction ratio, plus less risk of dropouts. Compared to 5.00 from Walmart, yeah, these tapes are expensive. Compared to the 80.00 of an HDCam tape, these are cheap. Compared to the cost of a dropout from a cheap tape, these are priceless.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 12:44 PM   #3
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I have been using the more expensive HDV tape on faith. It is nice to hear that there is actually a good reason.

Can you point me to a place to read more about the +4dB greater range, and what that means exactly?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 12:58 PM   #4
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Best Price on DVHD63

Good advice. Thanks. Best price I found was $12.83 + $5.95 shipping

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/edgewisemedia/somidvhd63mi.html
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Old February 28th, 2005, 01:00 PM   #5
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I have to agree with DSE on this. In the racing world we say "If you have a $5 head buy a $5 helmet." It's the same thing with my projects. In the big picture it's not all that much more money. And I feel my projects are worth it...or I wouldn't be doing them at all.

Cate,
Edgewise is a good company. I used to go to their HW office and tweek their Avids for them.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #6
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We've shot about over 100 hrs with my FX1 on standard Sony DV tapes and have yet to experience dropout. Maybe shooting 50i as we do is a safer bet. To be honest, I think the risk of dropout was overstated in the early days of the FX1, making people very nervous. If you have a budget for the more costly HDV tapes, go for it. I have no choice here in South Africa, as Sony don't bring it in. They suggest 1hr DVCAM tapes, saying they're as good. Mmm...
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Old February 28th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #7
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We have the same situation in the UK - no HDV tapes! Hard to trust in the sales claims if they don't bother stocking it. I hear the BBC is recommending using dvcam stock in the Z1 and FX1. It would be nice to have the choice.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #8
 
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I've not experienced any dropouts in over 100 hours either, but....I'm not risking it. Any advantage I can get, I'll take. Kinda like insurance.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #9
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Question for Mr. Eagle

<<<-- Originally posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle : The tape stock is worth the cost, IMO. As time goes by, they'll get cheaper, too. +4dB greater range, and frankly, for HD-destined tape, this is CHEAP. Spend 80$ on an HDCam tape...then you'll see what I mean.
Not only that, but the new tape promises a much better error correction ratio, plus less risk of dropouts. Compared to 5.00 from Walmart, yeah, these tapes are expensive. Compared to the 80.00 of an HDCam tape, these are cheap. Compared to the cost of a dropout from a cheap tape, these are priceless. -->>>

Where does that extra 4db kick in, during lots of movement? Please educate us beyond a bad comparison to HDCam tape. I would never compare the HDCam to the Z1 (100 grand vs 5 grand). I have heard folks say the DSR-570 looks better than the Z1, that might be more realistic comparison. DVCAM vs HDV is a draw cost wise.

I think the jury is still out on this one. I have a feeling it will end up like the debate of DVCAM vs MiniDV. Same tech specs but extra protection from drop-outs and the peace of mind you did all you could. I think Derreks' experience is very interesting related to Sony marketing of these tapes.

With all due respect sir, I do appreciate your input on this forum but you are intimately connected to Sony. Please correct my assumptions on this if I am wrong. Derrek has saved $1000 bucks on tape stock, which is 20% of the camera cost. I hope you do not find this offensive but considering the statement and the position you are in I have to ask because folks should not be led to believe this is a must have tape unless it really is worth the extra 10 bucks. Lets face it, high $$ productions would use the HDCam and a prevention of a drop-out is priceless on a production of that quality. You are speaking to many folks scrapping enough spare change to upgrade from a bogen to a Sachtler.
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