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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
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Old March 15th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #1
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suggestions - tape brand for FX1000

Is anyone using tapes less expensive than SONY HDV branded tapes on the FX1000 and having good results? I have upgraded from a VX2000 on which Panasonic mini-DVs worked reliably after getting bad performance from SONY tapes. One of the two leftover blank Panasonics I used on the FX1K had a few dropouts. The FX1000 being my first HDV cam, I am not sure if it is really necessary to use mini-DV tapes that are specifically labeled "HDV". Would be grateful for some feedback.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #2
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I use regular Premium Sony Tapes with great results, have used nothing else. The HDV tapes are supposed to be higher quality, but since I do not reuse tapes I see no point in them.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; March 16th, 2009 at 12:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 15th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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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 March 15th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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83 min panasonics

I use 83 minute Panasonic tapes, run them in Long play and get few dropouts.

Keep your camera clean is my theory, chuck any tape that has had a drop out, before filming roll 1 min from the head of the tape rewind and check that the footage is OK.

If you do a really high paying job, a wedding or corporate or special event then yes use new tapes but as alot of what I do runs directly to DVD & in my situation where the $$$$ return on what I do is often low, I just can't be bothered buying and having in stock footage that will most likely will never ever be needed again.

I haven't had a drop out in god knows how long (Not to say it won't happen again)

I am going Compact Flash soon anyway for the FX1000 and so there is no way I am buying anymore tapes as I have about 80 here that have only been used anywhere from once to 10 times each.

Having said all that there is a fair argument for only using new ones and yes they are very cheap these days.

Someone told me Panasonic were fazing the 80 mins tapes out. I do find the extra recording time handy.

Last edited by Martin Duffy; March 16th, 2009 at 01:22 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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I have always been a supporter of Sony Premium tapes, for SD and (until now) for HD. My previous cam was a Canon HV20 and only on the first tape I had a few drop outs. I shot 14 tapes with that cam, until I switched to the FX1000.
Now on my first tape with the FX100 (again) I have seen a few drop outs on a Premium DV-tape. So I started to worry.
Just like many of you, I have also read about the so called higher quality standard for HDV tapes. And also like most of you, I have been on the look out for statical evidence. So far I did not see that.
However . . .
Recently I've read a posting from someone in Holland, I happen to know and he told that he had been involved in the production of the tapes.
He said, that the tape is produced in a wider belt-appearance and that the magnetic coating (is it called that?) was "sprayed" on to the belt going from left to right and back, as the belt ran underneath it.
In his explanation he stated, that the consistency of the magnetic coating should be more even in the middle of the web, than on the sides. And that is why, he said, that HDV tapes are taken from the middle of the web.
That sounds realistic to me.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #6
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There is not doubt in my mind the HDV tapes are of superior quality. I've heard what you are saying before Jo.

But I just know I've never had issues with Sony Premiums. Never in years of shooting have I lost a shot or had to edit around dropped frames.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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But in these HD days the effect of drop outs is more severe than in DV times.
In DV 1 drop out most of the time means only one frame lost. With 25 frames in a second, that is 0,04 second. And you will hardly see that.
But in HDV you will lose one whole group, which is half a second.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 06:03 AM   #8
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I know it's an anomaly, but the worst tape I ever bought was an HDV tape that was loaded with dropouts. I've never had an issue with Sony Premium tapes.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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Bernd - Sony R & D put thousands and thousands of tapes through the deck mechanism before production started. Guess what tapes they used for this? A clue - it wasn't JVC, Panasonic, Maxell, Canon or Fuji.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Never re-use your tapes. They should go through your camera exactly twice: once when you shoot and once when you capture.
I know someone who prefers used tapes, as he knows they'll work if they've worked once ok.
And I also heard that tapes are fine to use a few dozen times. I've started using Sony Premium tapes with the Z5. Up to now they seem to work fine. For an important shoot I'll probably use an HDV job to give myself less stress.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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What's a few dropouts in your life...Just enjoy it!

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Old March 19th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
What's a few dropouts in your life...Just enjoy it!

Stelios
Suppose you shoot in the middle of India, during a yearly vacation.
Suppose you get some drop outs, but you only notice that, when you get back home.
I do not have that much money, that I will go back to mend the shortcomings.
That's why I would like to cut the amount of drop outs to a minimum.
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Old March 20th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo Ouwejan View Post
Suppose you shoot in the middle of India, during a yearly vacation.
Suppose you get some drop outs, but you only notice that, when you get back home.
I do not have that much money, that I will go back to mend the shortcomings.
That's why I would like to cut the amount of drop outs to a minimum.
Oh if I was shooting in India I would always have some Raki with me...
Jo, I know what you mean, that was meant to be a "metamorphosis" sort of statement...

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Old March 20th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo Ouwejan View Post
Suppose you shoot in the middle of India, during a yearly vacation.
Suppose you get some drop outs, but you only notice that, when you get back home.
I do not have that much money, that I will go back to mend the shortcomings.
That's why I would like to cut the amount of drop outs to a minimum.
You use the CF recorder as a backup and then it doesn't make much difference what kind of tape you use!
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #15
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Not practical when on a trip of 4 weeks. I would need as many hours on CF cards as tapes. Which mounts up till 8 hours on some trips. The FX1000 is expensive enough as it is. For me, that is.
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