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-   -   Mini DV Tapes vs Mini HD Tapes (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/long-black-line/145991-mini-dv-tapes-vs-mini-hd-tapes.html)

David Bertinelli January 17th, 2007 10:37 AM

HD mini DV or "standard" mini DV
I've got a new Canon XL-H1 and about to buy some tape.

What is the real difference between the Sony HD mini DV cassette and their
Premium mini DV cassette.

What is the difference between any brand of HD mini DV tape and a "standard" mini DV tape, besides price?

Am I doing an harm to the H1 or "short changing" myself by using Sony's Premium mini DV tape, which I've been using for years? The marketing gurus put HD on the case and claim that it is neccesary to pay 3x the price over non-HD tape. Is it?

Some of you may respond; you've paid $10K for the camera and your worried about paying $10 for tape, its the cheapest thing you'll be buying for the camera. I'm just wondering what are we getting for the money.

I've searched around and couldn't really find an answer.


Chris Barcellos January 17th, 2007 10:51 AM

This issue has been raised many times before. First, any MiniDV tape will record HDV. There should be no difference as to what you get off of it in terms of image quality.

I personally think HD labeling is a sales gimic, but others indicate the highest quality HDV tapes may prevent drop outs more common to HDV.

I think the consensus is that you should choose a brand of tape, and keep using it so you don't run into reaction between lubricant types on different tapes that can clog heads....

Despite that, I am sure there are a lot of people out there who mix tapes, and never have a problem.... and use headcleaner tapes if they do.

I ve had an FX1 for about 14 months now, and shot may 100 hours on it, but haven't had to even run a head cleaner on it. I ve used primarily Panny and TDK tapes, because I get them in bricks or blister packs cheaper than others, and haven't experienced, issues. Others will tell different stories... So go for it.....

David Bertinelli January 17th, 2007 11:10 AM

I just back from the XL-H1 forum and the thread "Pre-purchase Jitters and ?s". I read the thread right after I posted my thread and there seem to be a few people using Premium tapes (non-HD) in their H1s without any problems. I'd just like to a clear explanation of the difference.

I agree with you about the HD labeling sales gimic. Just like in thread I mentioned, the salesman selling a HD UV filter.

I work with another cameraman and we've been using the Sony Premium tapes in our XL-1s and XL-2 and we haven't run into any major problems. We buy the tapes in bulk so it would be nice to continue doing so, without having to buy two different types of tapes.


Fred Foronda January 17th, 2007 05:33 PM

I've been using Sony's Premium (blue packaged ones) since day one of my FX1 never had any problems.

Nick Ambrose January 18th, 2007 12:59 PM


Originally Posted by Fred Foronda
I've been using Sony's Premium (blue packaged ones) since day one of my FX1 never had any problems.

Same here.

David Bertinelli January 18th, 2007 03:37 PM

So, What's all this hype about HD mini DV tape.

According to members here, who I trust more then the marketing gurus, it sounds like it isn't necessary to run HD tapes.


Denis Danatzko January 18th, 2007 04:48 PM

My limited understanding is
that the biggest difference is in the manufacturing process. I've been under the impression that the higher quality, more expensive tapes are coated with their respective layer of magnetic coating applied through some vaporous-metal process. I believe that method somehow is supposed to provide more even distribution of the magnetic layer, which leads to claims of fewer dropouts, while the less expensive tapes use some other process (I think maybe a chemicial deposition process rather than some form of vaporized metal). I know that the deposition process (and maybe even the metal used) is one of the differences (other than the size) between Panasonic's mini-DV and full-size DV tapes.

Others here can probably give a much more detailed explanation.

Pieter Jongerius January 20th, 2007 03:56 AM

Hi All,

maybe some of you can shed light on this: couldn't it be true that DV and HDV have the same vulnerability to dropouts because it is /the same amount of data/.

Both DV and HDV record at about 25Mbit/s, if I'm correct. So, any tape fault would affect the same amount of data in terms of bits-on-the-tape. Of course, HDV is MPEG2, so the question would be if MPEG2 is more easily affected by dropouts than the regular DV encoding. I could imagine this, because of the GOP structure.

Anyone who could take this from speculation to facts? Hope so..


Dan Keaton January 20th, 2007 09:56 AM

If you have a dropout on a tape recording using MiniDV, then you may lose part of one frame, or possibly an entire frame. Both have happened to me.

If you have a dropout on a tape recording using HDV, you will probably lose 15 frames or about 1/2 second.

Correcting one frame in post is sometimes possible. Adjusting the audio is harder.

Correcting an HDV dropout that lasts 1/2 second is not feasible, in my opinion.

Chris Barcellos January 20th, 2007 01:35 PM

Drop out in HDV is more serious because of GOP, I would assume. In HDv Frames are interdependent on others, so dropout on one frame could effect many other frames....

Despite that, in a year with my FX1 I have not seen many drop outs. Obviously if you are shooting something very precious, take the greatest precaution, and include the HD premium tapes.

Mike Teutsch January 20th, 2007 02:01 PM

The differance is the amount of money you pay for them! Shot 5 tapes last night, and I doubt I'll have any drop-outs there either, as I have never had any with my Sony Premiums at about $3.00 each/50 at a time.


Vincent Ng May 5th, 2008 10:44 AM

HDV recording on MiniDV tape

'm new to HDV recording and would need some advise. I have just purchased the XHA1 and was looking for the right MiniDV tapes for recording. The Video accessories shop mentioned to me that I should purchase the MiniDV tape that supports HDV which cost much more than a normal MiniDV tape.

However, curiously, when I insert a normal MiniDV tape into the camera and shoot in HDV, the tape seems to be able to record and output the footages rather well.

Could I ask if anyone could advise:
1) What is the different betwen MiniDV tape that is designed to support HDV recording and the normal MiniDV tape that has generally been used for SDV recording?

2) Is there resolution different the two which I couldn't tell? Do I need to invest in such costly tapes for all my HDV recording?


John Miller May 5th, 2008 01:57 PM

No difference between them. Using high grade tapes marked for DV will be fine for HDV.

DV and HDV have the same bit rate. As far as the tape is concerned, there's no difference.

Vincent Ng May 5th, 2008 08:11 PM

Hi John

Thanks for the clarification. Seems that I can save up some cost to buy the standard MiniDV tape in bulk for my shooting instead of going for the individual HDV MiniDV tapes.


Vincent Ng

Jamie Allan May 6th, 2008 03:46 AM

HDV tapes are generally higher quality, often coming from closer to the centre of the master spool - the stats say you're 90% less likely to experience drop out/distortion etc which are common with cheap MDV tapes.

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