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What type/brand miniDV tapes are you using?


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#1 koi

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 07:55 PM

I'm about to purchase an HDR-HC1 and want to know what people are using for MiniDV tapes and does brand/type/time(60, 80, 90 minutes) make a difference?

Thanks!
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#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 08:24 PM

Sony has released an HDV tape specifically for HD cameras. I have read somewhere, and i don't remember where....that the new cameras are having a few issues like the old days with residue ending up on the heads.

They say to avoid this you must use the same brand of tape all the time....
Is it a marketing ploy from Sony? Or is it the truth? who knows, but i for one am not going to take the chance, i will be using the same tapes in the Z1 from now on.

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#3 Drew

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 08:36 AM

There is talk that the longer the tape, the more fragile it is. I've heard of a few tape failures on the 83min tapes near the end. Personally I've never had any problems.
The issue of the same tape brand is an old one before all the tape manufacturers started using the same lubricants on the tapes. Haven't heard of that issue in a while so if there is one, the person is likely using older tapes.
I use Panasonic AV83MQ or AV63MQ master quality tapes.

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#4 curtisleo

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:36 AM

In my decks, I use Sony DVCAM Full size tapes, for miniDV, I use the cheap Costco TDK 60min tapes. Been using them on my Canon XL1a, GL1s, Sony PC100, DVR-xxx cameras, no issues besides the general cleaning cycle.

Basically when you start seening the "macroblocking" typically vertical bars in the video, it's time to clean the heads. Cleaning tapes basically polish the heads on the drum. All tapes have some type of lub on it and will clog heads over time. Cleaning with a wet tape is sometimes needed.

Since being in the broadcast industry, I've come across almost every single tape format. Number one problem we all run into is, all decks must be cleaned with a tape cleaner (dry type). Once a year, the deck is ripped part and overhauled. Unless you are running your decks about 20 hr days, 365 days a year, you'll be fine without this overhaul every year.

BTW, there are only a few tape manufactures and majority of all tapes produced come from the same roll of tape. :blink:

HDV is the same, it just requires a tape with a good NR ratio. ie. MetalFilm

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#5 koi

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 07:28 PM

Regarding tape head cleaning, from my VHS days, I seem to recall that using a brand new tape and playing only the new (blank) section of the tape was suppose to help clean the heads.

Is this folklore or truth?

Interesting that HD tape is metal tape and they all come from the same reel.

I just received the Sony HDR-HC1. Still waiting on the Bluefin housing.

Dave