Musings of a Techno-phobe: When Will Mini DV Go The Way of The 8 Track? at
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Musings of a Techno-phobe: When Will Mini DV Go The Way of The 8 Track?

My brother in law recently loaned me his Sony HDR-SR11 to use in tandem with my HC1. There's no doubt the SR11 is an amazing little device but after using it I can't help but notice how much I like my mini DV tapes.

Maybe it's just because I'm old and contrary, but I like having that little cassette at the end of a shoot, I like having all my originals stored without using 1 mb of harddrive space.

Not that I can complain, it wasn't that long ago when I was in school and a classmate shelled out $7000 for a used editing table so he could sit there with scissors and tape to put together a film that couldn't hold a candle to the production values of iMovie on a $700 Mac Mini. He planned on $1000 per minute out of his own pocket to produce a 30 minute film. Now I'm well on my way to producing an HD short film for closer to $50 per minute.

So I can't complain. But I still like my Mini DV tapes.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #2
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Just because a bunch of us have gone tapeless does not mean that everybody has to do so. Saying you like tape because you are a techno-phobe it may open you to a certain amount of ridicule from techno-philes. You'll porbably get some gibes about recording on wax cylinders. But, there are still people shooting weddings with Super 8mm film cameras as per this this very recent DVinfo thread:

My personal take is that tape was great for miniDV --- I mostly used the Sony and TDK miniDV tapes from our Costco in Billings and hardly ever had a drop out. I thought I would be doing tape in parallel with CF/SD cards for some time to come. But, I've hardly captured a tape in almost a year. I am printing to archive tapes less and less often. I just ran into too many drop-out issues when I started shooting HDV and was only too happy to go totally tapeless.

I shoot mainly events and depositions, which is to say, ephemera where there is very little call for shelf life. For depositions, I still archive to tape in addition to the other forms of storage (cheap USB drives and DVD/Blue-Ray disks). Plus, I've got the business "turn-over" that pays for the tapeless units and camcorders.

But, when you start out with a small business or are making "indie" films, and where you can burn time more readily than money, tape seems a very economical choice for shooting and storing your work. When you've got a very tight budget, so much the better if you prefer tape.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 03:11 AM   #3
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I still use miniDV tape exclusively!

Recently I bought a new cam to go with my XH-A1 and after much research bought the Canon HV-40 and it's a fantastic camera and to be honest one thing that made me get it was that it was tape - I became aware that it might well be the last consumer cam produced using that format and I liked the idea of getting something that was the end of an era.

Like you I like the idea of the simplicity of archiving plus the new AVCHD format of similar priced cams seemed like a very slow process to get to the editing stage thus negating the quick hard disc archiving possibility. Also, I've always tended to review the footage as I capture, thus only capturing what I need, so never understood the argument about speed - one still needs to watch all the footage and get to know it which is what takes the time. By capturing everything one fills up masses of disc space with loads of footage one will probably never use.

Mind you, I still play cassette tapes and vinyl records so am probably a bad example!
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Old August 25th, 2010, 03:23 AM   #4
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How do you get that link to play Jay. and in total agreement geoffrey although i have a 550D now as well as my HV30.
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