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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 July 27th, 2005, 08:09 AM   #1
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What tapes to buy for my z1?

hi
I will be recieving my z1 on Saturday!(woohoo) and need to buy some tapes.
the Sony HDV ones are very expensive 15 a pop. I have read about NOT mixing tapes between brands? and about dropout which seems to be very random and irrespective of type or brand of tape. Does anyone have any advice about what tape I should buy and stick to? I have read DVCAM tape are good enough for HDV is that right? HELP! I need to buy some tapes before Saturday! Also anyideas where from?
cheers

mat
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Old July 27th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #2
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tape for z1

Hi,

I have (2) z1U's and I use the recommended tape. Why go cheap on tape after having spent so much on the camera, at least that's my reasoning. Saying, that I have experienced a couple of bad GOP's in my first 10 hours of tape. I plan to use DV rack and tape together as a fail safe when I can.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #3
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You don't say where you're from, but your post implies it could be the UK. If so then I'm not sure where the best place to buy things might be.

Personally I've been using the Sony Premium tapes in all my Sony cameras for several years and haven't had any problems. That's what I've been feeding my Z1 as well, although I haven't shot enough in HDV mode to definitively say they are the best choice. Here in the US you can find them for maybe $5 each in the large discount store chains (Best Buy, CompUSA, WalMart, Target, etc) or for even less by mail order.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #4
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We're using Sony Premium tapes in our FX1 and Z1 with no problems...

Robin
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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Hi
I a min the UK! As always -like most of you- I am trying to balance price with performance and wish to save money where i can.. I assume it I stick with Sony then if i use Sony Premium then sometimes use Sony HDV tapes I will not get clogging?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #6
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Does anyone use the 80min Premium tape? If so are there any problems with them? Also what about the Sony Excellence?
cheers
mat
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #7
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I assume this is true, but don't know for sure.

Matthew, it's helpful for others to know where you are, and this information should appear on all your posts. Please take a moment to click on the link "controls" on the top left of the page, then click on the Edit Profile link on the left. Now scroll down to where it says "additional information" and fill in your city/country.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:04 AM   #8
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I have updated my profile! I feel purged of guilt...
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Old July 27th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #9
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And I have just noticed that I am now a regular crew member as I have hit 20 posts!! I feel great...
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:15 PM   #10
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I am suspicious of expensive tapes, I don't think they're value for money in most situations. I've always used el cheapo panasonic stock and can't say they have ever let me down more than anything else would. If I want to archive stuff then I do use more expensive stock because in the long term they have a thicker skin and tend to tend age better. That is to me the only advantage of quality tape.

I've seen DVCAM tapes dropout, I've seen Beta tapes drop out (and these drop a lot) and so on. Dropout is a fact of life. You've got to consider that if you're paying 10 a tape because the manufacturer says they drop out less than a 3 tape, what they are actually saying is that they'll drop on average every three hours, as opposed to 1.5 hours for a cheapie. You do the accounting.

I don't know how this all works for hdv footage, but again I cannot see why things should work that much differently, despite what some people say, HDv still uses the tape to store info in the same way.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Poore
I am suspicious of expensive tapes, I don't think they're value for money in most situations. I've always used el cheapo panasonic stock and can't say they have ever let me down more than anything else would. If I want to archive stuff then I do use more expensive stock because in the long term they have a thicker skin and tend to tend age better. That is to me the only advantage of quality tape.
I'd disagree with this on several fronts, but the most important thing, particularly with HDV, is that you need a high S/N ratio. This is why Sony, (and now others) are shipping HDV tape. HDV has a lower error ratio than DV, but a potentially greater disaster if there is a drop out. Greater S/N capability (+4dB) is important, as it offers greater error correction, and greater error correction plus fewer errors, means the decoder is doing less work. BASF showed a fairly remarkable demonstration of why the image is better using a higher grade tape, simply because the decoder is doing less work. Mark Dileo, co-author of the HDV book with me, (engineer by trade) also demonstrated this, showing the various voltage levels and how they read back from the tape. However, he didn't test more than a couple tapes, and neither have I.
However, as a general rule, the reason better tape stock costs more, is because it does a better job, lasts longer on the shelf, and is more accurate in storage of signal/playback reproduction, and being shuttled.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #12
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I recorded my brother's wedding and reception on the Sony PHDVM63DM Digital master tape, 7 hours of footage and not one dropped frame.

I haven't used any other tape in my camera. If the footage is that important, why risk it?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathew Hamilton Green
Does anyone use the 80min Premium tape? If so are there any problems with them?
Sony 80min Premium never gave me any problems in DV mode, though I haven't tried them in HDV yet. I think an interesting alternative though could be Panasonic AY-DVM83MQ Professional Mastering DV tape. I think this is the highest grade Panasonic DV tape and at least at the B&H costs the same as Sony Premium 80min. In the past, with DV, I have had countless issues with regular Panasonic tapes on Sony DV cameras, but AY-DVM83MQ was always rock solid. I'm suspecting that after cleaning heads (if you use Sony tapes for 60 minutes) this could be the greatest 80min+ tape for HDV. I did some quick tests several times at the very end of the same AY-DVM83MQ tape on my Z1U in HDV mode and so far no dropouts. Also, you get a total of 85 minutes on that tape (83 + 2 bonus minutes). This is very nice especially if you record long events without interruptions, such as theatrical playes, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathew Hamilton Green
Also what about the Sony Excellence?
To be honest, those gave me more trouble in DV days than Sony Premium. Mostly with audio though. I haven't tried them for HDV yet.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #14
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I'm with Spot on this one. The most expensive tape is still the least expensive component in the production chain, so why skimp on it? Why would you put anything other than the best tape in a $3,000 camcorder. What is your video worth?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #15
 
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Especially when you consider single HDCAM tapes are 80.00....can't complain much about a 10.00 tape. But it's all relevant, I guess, because clients paying for HDV aren't paying for HDCAM.
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