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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 4th, 2004, 07:57 AM   #1
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Sony DVCAM " Master " Tape

Does anyone here use the Sony PDVM-40DM Digital Master DVCAM Video tapes versus the standard DVCAM tape....

are they worth the extra cost ???

And can they be used over and over again without damage???
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Old December 4th, 2004, 11:12 AM   #2
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No tape can be used over and over again without damage. How much they can be reused is always going to be a variable and cannot be predicted except in a general way.

I don't find DVCam tapes to be necessary in any case for my business. I use them but only in my large cameras and for archival masters. Otherwise I use the least expensive Sony DV tape at all times. I've never had a problem.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #3
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Mike's right, tape is pretty thin stuff and horribly vulnerable when you come to think about it. Lacing and unlacing is torture for it and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

My back-up camera runs for an hour unattended at weddings, from one end of the tape to the other. This is the gentlest thing you can do to tape, and as such I've reused the same cheepie Sony tape very many times, so much so that I've lost count. And you know what? Every single time it's perfect, so yes - to use your words:
"they can be used over and over again without damage"

tom.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #4
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Yes Tom, they can be used over and over. But what is the limit? Is it when you've lost a never-to-be-reinacted event because you saved a few dollars or pounds on an event for which you charge thousands?

That seems to me to not be a very good idea and certainly places a client's outcome at risk. I've spent a great deal of time and effort making certain my reputation is that I always deliver.

I wouldn't personally go throught the heartache let alone risk my reputation for that little amount of money.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #5
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Not quite sure what you're saying Mike, but I'm a great believer in the fact (as I'm sure you are too) that you shouldn't be using *any* untried or untested equipment on any gig worth tens, let alone thousands. This applies equally well to tripods as it does to tape, and unwrapping a $3 tape and expecting every single one out of the factory to be perfect at that price is asking for trouble. Even with 99.99% of them perfect (an almost impossible stipulation for anything so complex to manufacture and assemble), there will be tens of damaged / imperfect tapes out there waiting to be bought. It's the law of the land.

That's what's so good about tape that's recorded for an hour non-stop. The emulsion has been polished for a second time in my tape deckand I know there are no dropout areas, no wrinkles, no problems. I can't say that with hand on heart about a tape I've just (struggled) to unwrap, and like you I pride myself on my delivery promise. I'm not out to save a few dollars as you put it; I'm out to make sure I don't enter the arena with untried and untested equipement.

tom.
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Old December 4th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #6
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<<<-- snip and as such I've reused the same cheepie Sony tape very many times, so much so that I've lost count. And you know what? Every single time it's perfect, so yes - to use your words:
"they can be used over and over again without damage"

tom. -->>>

What you said in your first post, Tom, was that you used a tape over and over and over. Not that you use tape that has had a single pass through the camera as you state in your second post.

I don't object to reusing a fairly new tape from time-to-time. But I've never had (a limited proof, I know) a bad tape straight out of the wrapper. Although folks with bad experiences in that manner might not post, I don't think I've ever heard of a Sony tape failing when new. I do agree it will happen sometime. But much less frequently than the failure rate on a tape that has seen much use.

After all, that's why Sony 'invented' DVCam in the first place. Because the DV tape and format wasn't robust eough in ENG applications where they do reuse their tape over and over and they use it in a linear editing environment.
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