Difference in MiniDV Tapes? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-27-2007, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I am ready to buy my 1st camcorder (HV20) and I have no experience with MiniDV tapes. I can't find any specific threads talking about tapes. They seem to range from inexpensive ($4) to expensive ($20).

If a standard 60 minute MiniDV tape is ok, how many minutes will I actually get in HD? The expensive HD tapes say about 63 minutes.

I will be going to Europe in a couple of weeks and I would like any information you can provide. Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-27-2007, 06:04 PM
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A 60 minute MiniDV tape will give 60 minutes in both DV and HDV modes because they run at the same bitrate; HDV is more compressed. Most tapes I've come across tend to have some slack and run a bit longer than 60 minutes; usually they average close to 62 minutes.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-27-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tony.

I just found out the HV20 won't be out until April.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-27-2007, 07:46 PM
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Why do they sell HDV Tapes then that cost 3x that of MiniDV's?

HDV 2 Pack $30,
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1118839842945

MiniDV 6 Pack $30
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1152228560526

I was looking at one of the HD cameras the other day and saw this, then though about how I couldn't afford the $600 for a HD-DVD burner and the thought of keeping all my movies on $15 tapes made me puke a little in my mouth, but if I can store them on $5 tapes (less from Sams Club) it makes it a little easier to swallow.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-01-2007, 03:35 PM
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You can get those same tapes on Amazon 2 for $20. I dont' know if there is any real difference. I plan to buy some regular miniDV also and just see if I can tell a difference.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-01-2007, 09:13 PM
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With the more expensive tapes, you get a little better lubrication (so less wear on the record heads), and most people believe fewer drop outs.

Scale it to what you're shooting. If you;re just shooting the dog playing with the hose, use the cheaper tapes. If it's a once in a decade trip to the isalnd of Santorini, get the best tapes possible.

I pretty much use the Sony Digital Master tapes exclusively, at $20 a pop.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-02-2007, 05:47 PM
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there are 2 types of tape. 1: dry lubrication 2: wet lubrication. All Sony tapes use the wet type. One is no better than the other, but don't mix them together because they're going to clog the head. If you must change types, use head-cleaner before changing to a different kind of lubrication.

The pricier tapes are, well, better. I've used cheaper tapes and especially for HDV (due to GoP/intraframe compression) you'll have a higher chance of getting tape dropout thus creating picture breakup.

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-11-2007, 01:55 PM
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I'm bumping this because I think maybe the question should/could be "Which BRAND" of tape is best. I remember back in my audio cassette days that Maxell was, at least in my circle, considered to be the best tape for doing your own recording on. So the question restated again.

Which BRAND of tape seems to be best for MiniDV?
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-11-2007, 04:42 PM
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one drop out is one drop out too many for me. So far, the only brand and type that haven't failed me yet (touch wood) is Panasonic Advanced Master Quality. I haven't tried Canon because they are crazy expensive. Sony, TDK, Maxell have all failed on me one time or another (the most being TDK).

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post #10 of 17 Old 03-12-2007, 04:35 PM
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Having read all the threads here concerning HDV camcorders, I am ready to buy the Canon HV20 (I preordered it from J&R).

My prior experience with camcorders is with a Sony Digital8, so my knowledge of the different Mini-DV tapes available is non-existent.

I therefore would be grateful if all you knowledgeable folks would advise what tapes to purchase for this new Canon. Brands, types, etc..

At least I have learned from these forums not to mix brands or types of tape.
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-12-2007, 04:45 PM
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mixing brands is okay, mixing type without cleaning the head prior to type exchane is not okay (wet vs dry lubrication).

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post #12 of 17 Old 03-18-2007, 04:03 PM
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How do you know which brand uses wet lubrication versus which uses dry?
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-18-2007, 04:05 PM
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Sony is the only brand with wet lubrication.

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-19-2007, 01:52 PM
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I've had good results using TDK tape with DLC ( Diamond like carbon ) coating for HDV.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-20-2007, 12:20 AM
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But ... we are looking for a cheap tape that performs as good as an expensive tape...
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post #16 of 17 Old 03-20-2007, 05:22 AM
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LOL! If anybody can find one, please let me know too. Because if I can save the tape expenditure, I can pass along the savings to my clients (and that's going to be a saving of anywhere between $200 to $500 per project, which in a grand scheme of things is not a lot... but still you can buy a lot of Sashimi and Sushi for that amount!! )

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post #17 of 17 Old 09-23-2008, 11:18 AM
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I'm a big fan of the Sony DVM80PRL. It's not exactly cheap at $7.50, but it's reliable. And the saying "you pay for what you get" is true in my experience with film media.
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