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HDV tapes vs Mini DV tapes


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#1 Andrew Williamson

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:59 AM

Are HDV tapes, like the Canon Hdvm-E63PR HDV Tape, different (other than price) from Mini DV tapes?

I was AC on a shoot with the Canon XL-H1. The DP asked me for a new tape and I came back with a sony Mini-DV tape. He said, "No that's standard def, we need the HDV tapes."
They were out of the HDV tapes, and had to make a run. The Producers were shocked when they learned that the HDV tapes(Canon Hdvm-E63PR HDV Tape) were twenty dollars a piece (they bought three cases).

This is when I bit my lip. As far as I know there is no way increase the bandwidth of tape stock (unless you make the tape wider) or the data rate of a format. Isn't the data rate for HDV format 25mbs; the same as Mini DV. Has Canon increased the bandwidth of this stock? Or is this another example of HD washing?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 06:04 AM

> Are HDV tapes, like the Canon Hdvm-E63PR HDV Tape, different (other than price) from
> Mini DV tapes?

I sincerely doubt it. The bandwidth isn't any higher.

However, I can also see your DP's position - I wouldn't want to try and explain myself if you got a bad batch of tape. It's bullshit of course, but people in the film industry can be very, very, very conservative.

P
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#3 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:15 AM

The only difference between them is the quality of the magnetic particles on the tape. I've been shooting HDV on Panasonic Pro Quality tapes with NO problem. All the manufacturers have been doing is taking their higher end "pro" tapes, slapping an HDV label on them and then raising the price even more. Yes, there is a huge difference between the consumer minidv tapes and the professional tapes, but I've never found a difference between the HDV and pro tapes.

Matthew
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#4 Mike Andrade

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 11:15 PM

Ive shot on the same Panasonic DVM PQ's for 4 years now in SD and when I made the jump to HDV I stuck with them. I've never had any issues.
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:30 PM

I just bought an HV30. The Specifications page in the manual says that it uses miniDV tapes, nothing is said about special HD tapes.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:30 AM

In ALL the manuals for every HDV tape based camera it says to use miniDV tapes, so I take it any miniDV tape will do, so long as it is "Master" quality. If the HDV/miniDV tape is more expensive than a regular master quality miniDV tape, it's probably just all in the name.

But it is important (as I've been advised by editors, video & workflow techs) to stock the same brand tapes with their brand of camera. Sony w/ Sony, Panasonic w/ Panasonic, etc. (don't know about Canon, they could probably accept any brand tape) Something about the heads and lubricants that if you use a Panasonic tape in a Sony camera, it actually can gunk up and cause problems & errors when you're recording.

I guess those tape stock recommendations in the manuals aren't just marketing ploys ;)
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 07:16 AM

The only thing you pay for with HDV tapes is generally different tape coatings and lubricants. This suppossedly offers more reliable playback. It's not abot being able to record 'better' with HDV, but rather more reliable playback since frames are not individual but require knowledge of oeehr frames around them for proper playback. Last year we put a few different formualtions on a machine that measures drop outs and indeed the more expensive tapes had fewer dropouts overall. Do you need to pay for the more expensive tapes? Not really. What is the single most important thing to do is consistancy in tape. Always use the same formualtion for less head clogs and record problems. Other than that, any quality DV or HDV tape works fine in any machine, as long as you use the same formulation all the time. Tape formulations for HDV are mostly gimmicks that can indeed offer more reliable playback, but don't necessarily offer much than a good quality DV tape formulation. Save your money of you can. Tape formulation gimmicks are a standard part of the industry and have been since the days of Betmax and VHS. In fact I remember in the late seventies in tests of VHS tape it turned out one manufatuer simply loaded any number of formulations onto various grades of cassettes regardless of the end products suppossed quality.
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#8 Alex Plank

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:33 PM

I get $3.50 maxell minidv tapes from Walgreens and have never had a dropped frame problem. I've tried the $20 Canon master HDV tape and the only difference is that the canon hdv tapes have a larger more professional looking plastic case. While the magnetic coating on the Canon HDV master is theoretically better, i've never had a reliability issue with my maxell tapes.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 04:42 AM

> Something about the heads and lubricants that if you use a Panasonic tape in a Sony camera, it actually can gunk up and cause
> problems & errors when you're recording.

I've always used Sony PDV series tapes - the big blue shell DVCAM tapes - in my Panasonic camera and never had a problem.

P
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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 04:53 AM

> Something about the heads and lubricants that if you use a Panasonic tape in a Sony camera, it actually can gunk up and cause
> problems & errors when you're recording.

I've always used Sony PDV series tapes - the big blue shell DVCAM tapes - in my Panasonic camera and never had a problem.

P

I don't think it's to do with the cameras, it's to do with the tapes. Some tape formulations can react with one another and damage your camera. The famous example was Sony tapes and Fuji tapes which apparently interacted in a really nasty way but the advice as Walter was suggesting is just to stick to one brand and not mix and match. That way you don't get a build up of different kinds of gunk interacting with one another.

The cameras are just cameras tho! :)

love

Freya
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#11 Glen Alexander

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 04:53 AM

The more expensive tapes are probably better for archive material and multiple re-use, or is some cases just a marking gimmick.
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#12 Mike Andrade

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 12:12 AM

As many have already said the most important thing is to stick with one brand. From what I understand is that Panasonic tapes use a dry lubricant and Sony a wet lubricant. So thats why changing tapes would wreak havoc on tape heads. Stick to one brand or clean your heads before changing to another brand. B&H and a Canon rep both recommended Panasonic tapes for the XL2 and XHA1 when I asked this same question a while back. Sony tapes are supposed to yield great results with Canon cameras as well.
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#13 Brennan Heldt

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:32 PM

First post!

I've been using cheap Maxwell tapes with my A1 for a while now, though I would not recommend it.

Every so often I see glitches in the playback and I plan on using better quality tapes as soon as I can afford it.

If you need to use a cheap tape, it's going to be OK, just don't make a habit out of it.
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#14 Stu McOmie

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 08:37 AM

I use Sony DV Premium to record in HDV... the more expensive versions are more sturdy, but you shouldn't be using a tape more than once anyway...
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#15 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 04:07 AM

Two tapes Panasonic DVM63 PQ are unreadable, shot with Canon A1 in HDV mode.

Do not know what happened, in fast forward some footage visible, on Play... nothing, somhow I have to recover tapes... (((
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