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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 16th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #1
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DVCAM vs DVtapes

I'm pretty new to this format (all other camcorders have been HDD or DVD), so I need to ask this question.

Does everyone (at least w/ a PD170) use the DVCAM tapes or DVCAM recording on standard Mini DV tapes?

I'm assuming from everything I was told that the DVCAM format is much cleaner and better so I would think that people selling their film would want the best picture possible...yes no?
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Old March 17th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #2
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The image quality is identical between DV and DVCAM, it's the same 1's and 0's. The difference is in the method that it's put onto the tape. DVCAM runs the tape faster and changes a few other things which - theoretically - should make it a more robust storage medium. Personally I have never really been convinced of this, especially because Canon, Panasonic and other companies have made highly regarded products which don't use DVCAM and nobody seems to have problems with them.

The cynic in me has to connect that fact that you will use 50% more tape, and tape sales are a big part of Sony's business (or at least they were in years past). If you're shooting something really important which can't be replaced then, why not use DVCAM as long as you have it? But the quality will be exactly the same as DV. You *might* end up with a tape which is less prone to errors when capturing, but I don't think there's actually any hard data to support this. And you will only get 40 minutes on a standard 60 minute tape, which may be a problem for people who film events.

If you're interested in the tech details, see this: The DV, DVCAM, & DVCPRO Formats -- tech details, FAQ, and links.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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thank you for the thoughts and the link
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