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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 24th, 2003, 07:36 PM   #1
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Mini DV Format on PD-150? Ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3009851302&category=21165

Guys I've had this question for along time... Can you actually record in Mini DV format?
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Old February 24th, 2003, 11:28 PM   #2
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Yes. With the PD-150 you can record in either DVCAM or MiniDV format.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 03:19 AM   #3
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Thanx
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Old February 25th, 2003, 09:28 AM   #4
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A tiny clarification, but one which seems to confuse folks. DV and DVCAM are both formats. "Mini" as in Mini-DV" is a tape size.

A PD150 will record in either DV or DVCAM. It will only record on a "mini" tape.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #5
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IIRC, miniDV refers to the physical tape format.
DV and DVCAM refer to the encoding algorithm used to record to tape.

The PD150 supports the DV and DVCAM encoding algorithms. The PD150 does not support other digital encoding algorithms such as DVCPRO and Digital8. In either case, miniDV is the physical format that must be used with the PD150.

For a comparison of the different digital encoding formats, visit www.videouniversity.com/dvformat.htm.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 10:20 AM   #6
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The PD150 can only play and record on a mini-cassette tape. It can record in either the DV format or the DVCAM format on the mini-cassette tape.

Mini-DV is a bit confusing as it refers to both the physical size of the tape and the recording format. To confuse things further you can buy either mini-DV tapes or mini-DVCAM tapes for the PD150. It will record equally well in either format on either type of tape. The mini-DVCAM tape is supposed to be more robust. As a practical matter most folks use min-DV tapes even for recording DVCAM.

There are of course also full size tapes which are primarily used to record DVCAM and sold as such, though some cameras are made to record on full size tapes in DV.

My point was, and I may regret raising this small point, is that there is no "mini-DV" format. There is DV and DVCAM. The PD150 will record in either. And yes there are lots of other digital formats too.
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Old February 25th, 2003, 10:31 AM   #7
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<< there is no "mini-DV" format. There is DV and DVCAM >>

Absolutely, and thanks for bringing this up, Rick. All too often, at trade shows I'll hold up a standard full-size DV cassette, and somebody gets confused. They'll say, "that must be DVCAM, because it's too big to be Mini-DV." And I'll have to quickly educate them that yes it is just plain vanilla DV, and that Mini-DV is *not* a tape format. It can't be preated too often, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old March 2nd, 2003, 01:30 AM   #8
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haha.. thanx guys! you know I would have never know that fact that it uses a mini dv tape... thanx! and I got 2 PD-150's :)
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 01:16 AM   #9
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OK, you guys seem knowledgeable on this, what about this...does the DVCam format require the DVCam tapes? I know that the Mini-DV tapes will work in DVCam mode, but it has occurred to me that they might be using a different bias on the recording head for DVCam because the DVCam tapes are actually a much finer quality tape which may also require a different bias also.

I talked to a pro about this once and because I'd only had the camera about a month, misunderstood his reply and have wondered what he said ever since. His response was that you had to should always use DVCam tapes in DVCam mode but I don't recall the very specific answer (which explained why) that he gave me.
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 05:26 AM   #10
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Unless I have a good reason to shoot DVCAM, I shoot DV. I use a minDV tape. When I shoot DVCAM I use the same tape. So far no problems.
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Old March 3rd, 2003, 05:59 AM   #11
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Basically, if you can afford to shoot on DVCAM tapes, then do so. The reason is that those tapes are going through a lot rougher and more thorough testing process, so in short, it's better quality that comes out from the production line.

We are talking about a chance that something goes wrong however, not that it will go wrong. I've used Mini-DV tapes and shot in DVCAM and edited it for a long time and have had no problems with it. But obviously, the risk of dropping frames or audio sync due to bad tape quality is always there. Its just not large enough for me to buy DVCAM media right now.

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Old March 3rd, 2003, 09:24 PM   #12
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Still, because it is a slightly different material on the tape I wonder if it requires a different bias much like the old standard audio cassettes versus the "metal" tapes.

I too have had no problems in a year and a half of use but still wonder what a Sony engineer would say.

Any Sony engineers reading this thread?
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Old March 4th, 2003, 09:15 AM   #13
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A Sony engineer would say that there is some difference but that the cameras can handle it or there would be some mechanism that would insure that the tape would not fit in the camera.

To repeat: It is a digital signal. As long as the camera and VTRs can detect a one and a zero there is no functional difference between tapes unless you are using a linear editing system.

Purchasing DVCam tapes for a NLE environment unless you are sending your raw footage to a studio that cares is a waste of money.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 09:24 AM   #14
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Let's turn the question around. Is there any PD150 owner here who uses DVCAM tapes? Just curious.
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Old March 4th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #15
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If you mean as a normal mode, I do not.
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