How quickly do Video Heads on a Z7 dirty-up? at

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.

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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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How quickly do Video Heads on a Z7 dirty-up?

Hello All,

New owner of a Z7, and loving it, but just a little concerned at an error message that locked the camera on my last job... "Dirty video head. Use a cleaning cassette". Luckily it occurred during head shots (I videotape weddings), and luckily I'd packed a head-cleaning tape.

Of course, I'd like to avoid this brief interlude in the future, so how often should pre-emptive action be taken? (That is, running a head-cleaning tape/having a service). Or might the maker have forgotten his cleaning rag the day he boxed this great little tool, and this is just a once-off.

Tapes used: Initially, 2xSony MEDVM63; then three and a bit boxes of Sony DVM60PROs. Recorded to tapes once only, and all played back through the camera. Current Hours Meter reads: Operation 140, Drum 100, Tape 70, Threading 150.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Regards, Matt
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Old April 18th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Personally I Panasonic tapes. Right now AY-DVM63PQ (Professional Quality), but I used their Master Quality tapes too and haven't had any trouble after blowing through at least 100 tapes.

I know one other person who uses Sony tapes, but I've worked for two separate companies that use the same Panasonic tapes, so I just have stuck with those to keep my heads consistent.

Also, why are you playing out of the camera? I would highly suggest to get a few Compact Flash cards & a Lexar FW800 card reader. I just had a 74min clip in 1080p24 that took less than 20min (actually maybe closer to 15min, can't remember now) to transfer into FCP. In theory, if you only shoot on your camera, it will last twice as long as if you shoot & capture off your camera.

Though if tape capture is really what works for you, I would suggest getting a Canon HV30, b/c I'm pretty sure it can play anything the Z7 records. I think it is more than worth the price of a HV30 to use solely for capturing so you can save a few hundred hours on your Z7.
Nothing says you're a serious video maker like S-VHS
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