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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old August 20th, 2003, 12:19 PM   #1
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Match the supplies to the equipment

Let me get up on my pulpit here.

We buy expensive and fragile electro-mechanical equipment that costs thousands of dollars. We then place ourselves and the equipment in situations where failure means a loss of revenue and reputation.

We spend resources like water to get ourselves ready to play the videographer game and then we try to save a buck or two on tape.

Why, I ask?

Why would anyone not use Sony tapes in a Sony tape recorder? Sony knows best how to make tapes for their own hardware. They designed the camcorder and know what it requires for maximum reliability and life.

The price of their tapes in even minimum volume is low enough to not matter in the long run.

We pay a great deal for access to Sony's professional assistance program but the use of non-Sony tapes, while it cannot strike us off their list, gives them a place to point their corporate finger. Something they cannot do with an all-Sony operation.

I strongly recommend using the brand of tape that is offered by the manufacturer of the camcorder/deck. If you have a mixed bag of camcorders and tape decks, then I'd say stick with one brand according to the camcorder (your origination source) since you cannot recover from lost footage.

Off the pulpit and thank you for your time.
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Old August 26th, 2003, 03:46 PM   #2
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But what if i use the cheapest tape that Wally world or Cost-to-much has to offer........................... and i mix cheapo brands as well?

Let me see. if'n I saved a buck a tape , after about 75 tapes I could afford to get the gunk professionally removed from my heads. That is if they lasted that long.

Mike, your soapbox is just fine with me, you're preaching to the choir.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #3
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Whilst I agree with the comments above, I recently shot a wedding reception that lasted more than one hour. As a result, I had to change tapes, resulting in camera downtime, i.e. loss of audio and video.

To this end, I'm tempted to buy the Panasonic 83 minute tapes and use these AFTER cleaning the tape heads on my PD150 and DSR-11.

Penny for your thoughts...

Regards,
Neil
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Old September 28th, 2003, 11:10 AM   #4
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For longer-than-an-hour situations, the 83's aren't necessarily the best solution. They're thinner, which may lead to crinkling or other problems. Even though Panasonic makes them, the DVX100 manual says that you shouldn't use them. (similar to how many audio cassette player manufacturers recommended you avoid the 120-minute audio tapes). So, if you decide to do this, proceed with caution.

The other not-recommended solution for longer-than-an-hour is to use LP mode, but that's fairly universally recommended against.

The ideal solution for longer-than-an-hour situations may be a belt-pack hard disk recorder, such as the CitiDisk DV or Laird CapDiv, which would give you about three hours of continuous recording, plus built-in redundancy -- you can record to the in-camera tape as well as the external hard disk. But that's about $600 - $1200. Or more.


Another way you could go is to get a cheap DV camera off ebay or something, and hook it up through firewire to your main camera, and then just before you change tapes, tell the cheap camera to start recording what it's seeing through the firewire from your main camera. That way you'd capture what was happening on it during the tape changeover, but the drawback is that you'd have to piece the show together in post, vs. the other solutions which provide the entire show in one continuous tape.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 04:34 PM   #5
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I've used PAnasonic PQ's both 63 and 83 for weddings and events in both of the 150's and the old VX1000 for well over 2 years (105 weddings and no way to count the other events) with no problems either in camera or post (loading up to editor) however I do understand and appreciate what Mike is saying about staying with one mfgr.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 06:09 PM   #6
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You can capture the DVX100, while recording, via firewire to a laptop hard disk. So, depending on the size of your hard disk, battery or mains power etc., you could record for several hours. (Or you could record just the last 20 minutes or so, after the tape ran out)
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Old December 20th, 2003, 07:28 PM   #7
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Since we are talking about whose "longer", I recently discovered that you can set to miniDV SP mode while using the 3-hour DVCAM tape in my DSR-250. The result is close to 5 hours of straight recording, as soon as my BP-L60 battery arrive.

I thought that was cool.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 08:34 PM   #8
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Guys, you are getting way off the thread.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 10:47 PM   #9
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New to the forum with one caveat - my VX2000 stops outputting audio over the firewire when a tape is ejected. I run it to a laptop (got a 4 hour laptop battery), but can't change the tape without 2 drops in audio (1 when tape is ejected and another when the next tape is put in). Just fyi on long recording.

I completely agree with the same tape brand thing. I was a victim to the early DV panasonic/sony tape gunk problem. I only use sony tapes with my VX (so at least i can blame Sony when there's a dropout).
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 01:39 PM   #10
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I agree with Mike, I use only Sony in my VX. However I did have a failure (new tape got all chewed up in the 1 month old VX on a tripod.) with a Sony tape in a Sony machine, so bear in mind that anything can happen.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 02:11 AM   #11
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Ok Mike,
I understand this has been talked about many times but, I've stuck to the Sony brand in my Pd150 but I don't use the DVCam tapes instead I use the cheaper Sony Mini DV tapes for recording in the DVCam Mode? Is this ridiculous? There's a big price difference here.
Thanks,
Todd
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Old February 25th, 2004, 10:44 AM   #12
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Not at all. I only use the DVCam tapes (the large ones) in my DSR-300 when I need the long run-time. I always use the cheapest Sony miniDV cassettes otherwise.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 06:04 PM   #13
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Must mention that there's a difference betwen buying tape cheap and buying cheap tape. Once you have settled on a favorite (Panny for my Canon in my case), definitely stick to it. Then shop aggressively for a good price. My solution is, now that I know what I like, I certainly don't want to run out of it and be forced to use mixed brands... so I buy a bunch of them (last load was 100 tapes) and now it's almost impossible to have a problem. Of course, when you buy in quantity the price gets better. That's how to buy tape cheap without buying cheap tape.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 03:17 PM   #14
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I agree with Mike Butler,

I purchased a box of 50 Maxell 63 minute MiniDVs (DV-M63PRO) for just under $200 CND and I couldn't be happier with them. I've filmed four weddings with the Maxells so far and it has been great. Plus, the extra few minutes of tape gives me a handy bit of breathing room when the wedding and/or speeches run close to an hour.

I think, in the end, people don't want to fork over $200 on tapes all at once because it seems like a lot - but bulk is a better price per tape. And like Mike said, once you've found something that has yet to let you down, stick with it.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 06:32 AM   #15
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Just to disagree on a point, Sony is split into so many (often warring!) departments its unreal. The people who are involved in the purchase of their standard "Premium" (think thats what they're called, the orangey packet ones) tapes from the manufacturers, who undoubtedly have zero connection with Sony, aren't the same people involved in the design and manufacture of their professional series cameras. Whilst I tend to try and stick with the same brand for the same reasons as others, I wouldn't pick Sony tapes over Panasonic just because they carry the Sony brand on them.. in this case its irrelevant.
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