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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
...plus TRV900, PD100A and other Sony DV camcorders.


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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #1
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Which Tapes Best?

I know it's an age-old question...but seeking as much input as possible to make best decision.

WHICH TAPES BEST FOR HC1000 or other DV camcorders?

CRITERIA for SELECTING

HIGH QUALITY

(little to no dropouts) for occasions when it's a one-time, one-chance shoot...or if drop-outs appear, it would require a reshoot.

LONGEVITY OF TAPE

So...if project takes several years...can still use the tape with confidence that it's still OK (as long as properly cared for)

COST

Limited budget...so would not want to use more expensive taspe unless it makes a difference. But also want the best tapes I can afford...that meet requirements.


QUESTIONS.

1. Choices seem to be narrowed down to:

If SONY

SONY EXCELLENCE versus SONY PREMIERE
__________

If PANASONIC

PANASONIC PROFESSIONAL versus PANASONIC MASTER
___________

SONY versus PANASONIC

SONY EXCELLENCE or SONY PREMIERE versus PANASONIC PROFESSIONAL or PANASONIC MASTER
________
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ARE the 83 MINUTE TAPES OKAY?
______________________
FUJI...no?

(I've noticed that few seem to choose FUJI.)
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WHERE TO BUY:

Have heard that www.tapeandmedia.com is a reliable company. Any other recommendations?
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ANY ONLINE REVIEWS OF TAPE RECOMMENDED?
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Realize theres are a lot of questions. Also, realize the questions have been considered in other forum areas...but would especially appreciate opinons of those using the DV cameras...here.

Opinions on any one of the questions will be VERY appreciated. THANKS in advance.

Sandra Warshaw
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Old July 28th, 2005, 04:52 PM   #2
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I use FUJI. I don't know why. Always have. I guess it's their affiliation with film. I used to use MAXELL when I first started because they made my cassette tape of choice but I eventually started buying FUJI. I really don't think any company wants to make bad tapes so if I can't find FUJI, I will buy another brand. I've never heard of any one company have a bad reputation for bad tapes. You hear it all the time about DVD+/-R media, though.

When I used to buy VHS tape I selected KODAK or Polaroid. In a sense, I choose tapes that are made by companies that make or used to make film because they are more used to dealing with the quality of an image.

I'm sure if we dug deeper, we'd find that cassette shells and tape are made by other manufacturers. Even SONY may farm their bits and pieces out. One of the major manufacturers of magnetic tape for a whole slew of companies has been 3M.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #3
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I use Sony premiums. I don't like to put anything else in my camera because the emulsions HAVE gummed up when I tried Panasonic tapes, just after two tries.

Luckily the Panasonic head cleaner was good.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #4
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I have been using Sony Premium in all 3 of my Sony cameras (VX-2000, PDX-10 and Z1) and have always been happy. You can read everyone's theories on this for days, and it's hard to know what to believe. Personally, it seems logical to use tapes made by the same company that made the camera. I'd like to think that they consider the emulsion and lubricants in the design of the transport and heads, but maybe I'm just an optimist? ;-)

As for where to buy, we always urge people to use the DVinfo sponsors which are listed on this page: http://dvinfo.net/sponsors/index.php.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #5
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Thanks! This is ALL VERY! helpful in evaluating information. I know it's been discussed on other forum threads. But, I hadn't read some of the information I'm getting here...

About Panasonic---REALLY REALLY good to know

Fuji--I did a lot of trial and error with Fuji Hi-8 tapes and ended up preferring them to Sony. So, suggestion here does encourage me to consider them...when I hadn't.

But, Boyd, like you said, it seems people form strong opinions/theories so it's difficult to evaluate best approach. Though, from your experience, it sounds like I wouldn't go wrong choosing the Sony Premiere.

But since nobody seems to be expressing a really strong opinion/argument for one versus the other...still it seems it would be good to try the different ones out to decide between the Sony (Excellence versus Premiere) and the Fuji versus Sony

However, I've read that it's bad (very bad) to mix tapes on same camera.

But does anyone have any personal experience/opinion on that--mixing tape brands and mixing tapes of same company (Excellence versus Premiere)?

Again...I know that it's one of those questions where opinions differ...but would still GREATLY appreciate hearing people's current opinions/experience regarding mixing tapes. It sounds like one solution is to clean heads if you're going to change tape brands.

Thanks in advance for taking time too respond!

By the way...this is a GREAT!!!!!! FORUM. Sorry I had camcorder problems...but glad they led me here! I'll take suggestion to heart about supporting the reputable businesses that support this forum.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #6
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I used JVC tapes, but had problems, and now use Sony Premiums in all three cameras.

Mike
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Old July 29th, 2005, 08:55 PM   #7
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There does seem to be general agreement that mixing tapes is a bad thing. The different manufacturers are said to use different lubricants, so switching brands creates a sludge that can foul the heads. If you really want to mix brands, use a cleaning tape - of the same brand - before switching to another brand.

But honestly, I don't know why you'd use anything other than Sony tapes in a Sony camera. The pennies you might save hardly justify it.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
There does seem to be general agreement that mixing tapes is a bad thing. The different manufacturers are said to use different lubricants, so switching brands creates a sludge that can foul the heads. If you really want to mix brands, use a cleaning tape - of the same brand - before switching to another brand.

But honestly, I don't know why you'd use anything other than Sony tapes in a Sony camera. The pennies you might save hardly justify it.
Well, I think the strongest argument is that you can blame it all on SONY if something goes wrong when using their tapes in their camera. ;)
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Old July 30th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #9
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While needing to be concerned about cost...my main concern was to get the best tape for my camera.

So...SONY it is.

I agree there are a lot of theories out there.

So, it's been frustrating trying to evaluate equipment, tape, etc.

So it's GREAT!!!! to have this forum where questions are answered by people with first-hand experience and expertise.

Thanks!!!! for input.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:15 AM   #10
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Yes, stick to Sony Premiums. You can bet the Sony R & D engineers put thousands of miles of this stuff through their tape deck mechanisms before they reached production. And I bet they never tried Fuji or Maxell or Sakuri.

tom.
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