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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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A Tapeless Rant

Attn: In no way am I saying that going tapeless is bad but I dont "think" its for me, yet.

Rant: I own the Canon XH A1 and I love this camera. I shoot mainly, mostly weddings - and I love that too. As we all know, the XH A1 shoots on tape and I think that shooting on tape is wonderful and efficient - why?

Well, now I shoot with no less then 2 cameras and at the end of the wedding day the 2nd cameraman hands me the tape and thats that - I don't gotta offload the footage from SDHC cards or SxS cards or P2 cards or CF cards and hand it back (depending on if the 2nd cameraman has another shoot the next day or so). Often I have weddings the next day also - the day beginning at 7/8 am sometimes earlier -- for those weddings I would need to come back home from the wedding that night at say 1 or 1:30 and start offloading or If one has a laptop - do that at the wedding. Offloading footage means that I better start purchasing hard drives which means more money.

I don't know if its just me - but I don't think its just me. After I shoot a wedding I bring the tapes home and put them aside and finish editing the weddings that I have to edit and then when it comes time to edit the wedding then Ill offload them - and the ones that I have finished I can then delete the capture files because I have the tapes and have DVD copies of the finished versions.

From my experience I find tapes to be more reliable than hard drives - for back up also. I know that eventually I will have to tapeless and thats a given and of course for the same day edits - tapeless is so much more efficient. Maybe Im asking for too much but this is just a rant that im trying to figure out.

My apologies if I offend the tapeless lovers - its just a personal opinion but you can definitely give me some advices to help it make it easier.

Thank you
-Prashanna
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #2
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SDHC cards are almost as cheap as tapes now, so you just buy enough to last you a few days/shoots, that way there's no rush to offload one night ready for the next day.
If you were shooting with an EX1 and using the cheap cards and and your 2nd cameraman was also using the same cards then you just hand him some of your cards before the shoot, when he finishes the shoot then he just gives you back your cards.
If you're not using a cards then i can understand why you think it could be an awkward workflow, but if you did use cards then i doubt you'd go back to tape.

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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:50 AM   #3
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I can see your viewpoints on the matter of tapeless capturing of events. I too still shoot tape. The quality isn't worse than tapeless its just that shooting tapeless is supposed to save time when it comes to capturing. For those people who are shooting tapeless those are the people who like to edit as soon as they can. For me, shooting tape gives me the opportunity to sit down and watch all the footage with out feeling like I could be doing something else, because in reality, I can't be using the computer if I'm capturing with it. Thats on the tape side.

But on the tapeless side, I can see those view points as well, get to the editor put your card in copy the footage over and go. Edit as you go and if you find a shot you might want to put somewhere else you can switch it later. Not that you can't switch things later with tape, I'm just using it as an example. Now they are editing and you're still watching footage so I guess they would say that they are more efficient. I see your point though when you say that the cards are expensive and you can't use them like tape, some of them are in the 700+ range. Although if you search the forums here you will see there are people who are using readily available hardware on the market to record with the EX1-and EX3 with cards that are about the same price as tapes. And that said you can use those cards over and over again with out worrying.

So I guess I just defended both points of view, but for now I'm sticking with my XH-A1
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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Tape or Tapeless

The problem with tapeless from my perspective is the way others in Central Fla. use tape in their workflow as opposed to downloading from hard drives or SD cards.

I download the tapes entire contents without a break; (I know the tutorials all tell you to break everything up into discreet clips); its easier & faster this way. I then go thru the large bin & pull out my discreet clips etc.

Working tapeless all you have is are discreet clips & you have to identify each one; eats up a lot of time. Just one mans opinion.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #5
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Why not enjoy the best of both worlds and shoot both ways simultaneously. The tape is your instant archive and your back-up; the tapeless recording acquired by an on-board hard disk drive or flash memory recorder is your instant-edit-without-tedious-capture.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Why not enjoy the best of both worlds and shoot both ways simultaneously. The tape is your instant archive and your back-up; the tapeless recording acquired by an on-board hard disk drive or flash memory recorder is your instant-edit-without-tedious-capture.
This is something I wanted to look into this year. Are you doing this Chris? Is there a device that your recommend to do so? I shoot with Sony FX7's in HD... if that helps at all. I would love to be able to have the "instant backup" as you say and also have the instant access to the video w/o capture.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the great inputs.

Something like the Sony Z7U would be something that is ideal for what I want. Shoot on tape and CF cards at the same time. That is why im looking into purchasing the MRC1K CF card unit for the XH A1.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prashanna Jayaseelan View Post
Thank you all for the great inputs.

Something like the Sony Z7U would be something that is ideal for what I want. Shoot on tape and CF cards at the same time. That is why im looking into purchasing the MRC1K CF card unit for the XH A1.
The Z7U is a great camera - you will not be disappointed. I love being able to record on both compact flash and tape. It's also a good camera in low-light.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dawn Brennan View Post
Is there a device that your recommend to do so?
Look into the nNovia QuickCapture and Shining Technology product lines...
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Old April 8th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #10
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Backup

One aspect of using tapes is the back-up quality the offer. If your computer, or ext hard drive die, or folders are accidentally deleted, it's nice to know that any and everything worth keeping is still sitting on your shelf. As a producer at an NBC/CBS/MNT affiliate and we shoot with hard-drives. Once in a blue-moon, a shot or two off the hard-drive will be screwed up or not record. At least you can recapture off tape and not reshoot. Tapeless is cool but to ensure I always have my footage, I recommend keeping tapes too.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #11
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Tapes vs Cards

Well here is my take:

I get home from a wedding and the last thing I want to do is down load a tape or card. The next thing on my mind is soaking my feet or the pillow. Have never had a mini tape fail 15 years. Most of the guys shooting tape less are still running a tape just in case.

When I do decide to download my tapes, I set it up to capture and then go do something else. Whats the rush ? The next wedding is usually next weekend and I always have a back up in case of total computer failure.

Too me its to risky and would not want to make the phone call to the bride and say I lost your footage.

If your a newsman and need the footage its great but for a wedding video guy it can be a disaster, where word of mouth can kill your business.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn Brennan View Post
This is something I wanted to look into this year. Are you doing this Chris? Is there a device that your recommend to do so? I shoot with Sony FX7's in HD... if that helps at all. I would love to be able to have the "instant backup" as you say and also have the instant access to the video w/o capture.
Dawn I also had (and still have) the FX7 and now I have the Z5 and does exactly what you must look into.
Sony : HVR-Z5E (HVRZ5E) : Product Overview : Greece

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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #13
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Dawn I also had (and still have) the FX7 and now I have the Z5 and does exactly what you must look into.
Sony : HVR-Z5E (HVRZ5E) : Product Overview : Greece

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Except that the Z5 does not come with the CF card unit and the Z7 does - but you can purchase the MRC1K unit seperately for around $885US.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #14
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Sony Z5

I would like to second the recommendation on the Sony Z5. I love recording in both Tape and CF flash. The tapes sit on my shelf for piece of mind, and I transfer the flash files onto my esata 5 bay enclosure. I then burn another copy of all the footage on Blu-Ray, and that sits on the self too. If I want I can also take a finished project and export to tape right off the NLE timeline in case I need to make changes after the project has been wiped.

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Old April 9th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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Ever notice that there has never been a thread from someone saying they are going back to tape from tapeless?

There is a really good reason for that.
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