Sony "Dual Layer": More stuff to gunk up the heads? at
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Old February 17th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #1
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Sony "Dual Layer": More stuff to gunk up the heads?

So here we are with our Z1U considering whether to buy these hoidy-toidy-la-dee-dah-elite special cassettes that cost literally 5x-more than we are used to paying...

Maybe I'm looking for a reason not to spend this money, but when I see them saying ""Dual Layer for 60% fewer dropouts and 95% fewer errors!" I think to myself: "Uh, won't a dual layer of that stuff be more likely to come off on the Z1U heads?"

Honestly I'm not a cynic about tape. We have had a couple bad experiences putting, for example, Fuji tape in a Sony VX2k...that convinced us to never cross brand lines. We use exclusively Sony tape in our Sony cameras and Panasonic tape in our Panasonic cameras. Never the "best stuff" but not the cheapest options either...

I think we all suspect that we're getting ripped off if we buy the premium tapes. Are there any independent labs dissecting the different classes of tape to reveal whether there is really any difference or not?

If not, all the information we get is coming from the manufacturers, so how can we have confidence in these claims?

But back to the 'latest thing:"
"PHDVM-63DM Sony Digital Master Tape for HDV" ::
Common sense says to me, ""dual layers" means "more gunk stuck (we hope) to the tape" and more gunk stuck to the tape means more gunk to get onto my tapeheads."

Tape is a small small percentage of our costs: I'll spend 5x more if someone truly independent shows me some scientific analysis that proves my concern is misplaced. Until then it's plain old Sony DVC Premiums for my Sony Z1U.

What do YOU think??
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Old February 18th, 2005, 06:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
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I shot with the free MasterTape Sony provided in the box for my Z1. Anyone else get that free tape too?

It had 1 dropout that latest a second and the weather was perfect and my movement was minimal. (I was on a hill shooting the Hollywood sign, so it was LA weather.) It was probably 3 minutes into my first shot with the camera, so it's possible the camera needed to be broken in?? I don't know.

In my experience, the cheap tapes are not good...I've had good experience with "Premium" Sony tapes in PD-150's. They're the more expensive mini-dv's, but never had any bad dropouts. Plus, I feel like using the same tape helps the heads in the long run.

Anyway, the MasterTape had a drop out for me.
Christopher C. Murphy
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