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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 September 20th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #1
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Good tapes to shoot HD with?

Hey

I recently purchased an FX1. I am thrilled with it so far, however I keep having skips and gaps in my video. I've been using cheap Panasonic DVM60 tapes, and was wondering if I need the sony HD tapes to avoid this. If not... what do you use?

Thanks,

-Mike
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Old September 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #2
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I have used Sony premium tapes exclusively in my A1 and other 2 Sony cameras. I haven't shot a whole lot of HDV with the camera yet, but no problems so far and I have seen similar reports from others. To play it safer you could use Sony DVCAM tapes, which are expensive. Or playing it even safer you could use Sony Digital Master tapes which are really expensive.

Rather than cover old ground, you might want to look at the following thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=50892

This one is also applicable....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=48827

and this:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=45662
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Old September 20th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #3
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It seems that (based on what I just read) the amount of dropouts are far more significant for me than for everyone else... I've shot maybe 15 minutes so far and I've had 3 dropouts. I'll be picking up a better tape soon to see if it helps, otherwise I think my unit may be defective.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #4
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Probably a good idea to clean the tape heads before switching brands. My Z1 included a Sony cleaning tape, did the FX1? However one might make a better case to use a Panasonic cleaning tape this time instead.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 05:19 AM   #5
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Mike,

I had a similarly bad track record for dropouts using the Panny tapes on my previous camera. I have since changed to Sony DV Excellence tapes and have not seen a dropout for a very long time. On my Z1 I have been using DV Excellence and DV master and have yet to see a drop out. I think that you will find that switching brands without head cleaning is a very bad idea - hence Boyd's suggestion that you do a head clean first. Sony tapes use a different lubricant to Panasonic and swapping brands sometimes leads to frequent dropouts.

I recommend that you get a decent quality tape (either Panasonic or Sony or other) and stick with it. I am sure that this will give you far less problems.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 06:21 AM   #6
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I use Panasonic tapes and don't really have these problems. The trick is to clean the heads often when using HDV. The FX1 does come with a supplied head cleaner.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 06:34 AM   #7
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I agonised over choice of tape for my Z1. I eventually decided it had to be Sony as obviously the camera is designed with it in mind. I use Premium and Excellence (I believe it's also sold in Australia as "Pro"). The only dropouts I've had after dozens of tapes were with the Premium, and then only minor dropouts for a couple of minutes on one tape. If doing an important shoot I always use the Sony Excellence (it is supposedly from a better part of a production run than Premium, and has 2dB higher carrier-to-noise ratio than Premium, retentivity of 530mT versus 500 for Premium versus 550 for HDV, coercivity of 120kA/m versus 105 for Premium versus 125 for HDV). If it were a really important shoot I would use Sony HDV or Sony Digital Master. Try never to swap to another brand as the lubricants are different & can cause clogged heads.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 07:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Try never to swap to another brand as the lubricants are different & can cause clogged heads.
I've been using random selections of tapes (Sony, Panasonic, TDK, etc) in my TRV900 ever since I bought it, and had to clean the heads last weekend due to audio dropouts. That's the first time I've had to clean it since I bought the camera in 1999, after hundreds of tapes and many hundreds of hours of use (it's my edit deck as well as a camera).
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 07:26 PM   #9
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Cleaning the heads didn't help, but the new HDV tape did. I'll be shooting a lot this weekend, so I'll see how well they did the trick then.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:49 PM   #10
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Using cheap tapes is like putting a Tiffen filter on a Canon L or Schneider Kruznach lens. It defeats the purpose. Why spend thousands for a camcorder only to feed it the cheapest stuff around?

GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 06:36 AM   #11
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I have only put the hdv tapes in my fx1 when I have to use tape. So far so good.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Grant
I've been using random selections of tapes (Sony, Panasonic, TDK, etc) in my TRV900 ever since I bought it
Please, this is getting really redundant. If you want to join in a general discussion about switching tape brands please direct your comments to this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=50892
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 04:44 PM   #13
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Please, this is getting really redundant.
Then maybe you shouldn't have started the discussion on switching tapes? Complaining about me commenting on a discussion you started is bizarre.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 05:52 PM   #14
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Actually He didn't. It was someone else who started it. He tried to redirect all of us to the related topics already discussing this issue.
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