mini dv tape life and reuse

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by homeshire, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. homeshire macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Ohio, looking toward Germany
    #1
    i'm new to shooting video and importing, editing and burning to disc. i have a simple question i'd like an answer to. discs are much cheaper than mini dv tapes. so i'd like to burn all to disc and then reuse the tape. my hope is to avoid paying $5. a pop every time i get to the end of the tape.

    if i record over on my mini dv tapes, how many times can i expect to do it without degrading the quality of the output? also, how will i know when to get ride of a tape and use a different one? thanks.
     
  2. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #2
    Quite possibly its just me but i use a tape once and that is it. I tend to buy my tapes in bulk so they are cheaper than $5 a piece, but to me any degradation isn't worth re-using a tape.

    Edit: I searched and found this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=147374 I believe it answers the question pretty well :)

    Ed
     
  3. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #3
    Find a cheaper tape supplier; you should be able to get them for under $2 a tape.

    So far as burning to DVD goes, if you compress them at all, you'll lose some quality. If you create a 'data' DVD of your .dv clips, then you'll get about 20 minutes per DVD.

    Bear in mind that the more you use your tapes, the more degradation you'll get on them and the more wear on your camera's heads.

    If you really want to re-use tapes, put the DV content on your system, edit it and then export it back out to dv onto a clean tape. Then use your original tapes again (so long as you don't think you're going to want the raw footage again)
     
  4. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    3-5 times would be the max I would go with although the manufacturers insist you can record hundreds of times.

    I use DVCAM, which is the robust variant of the miniDV tape specification and I've noticed increased drop-outs after the third re-use of tapes.

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
     
  5. technicolor macrumors 68000

    technicolor

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    Dec 21, 2005
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    #5
    I normally dont reuse tapes, I like the idea of having a collection of footage.

    If you are going to reuse your tapes I suggest you black them before you reuse them.
     
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NY
    #6
    i would say 3-4 times at the max. i also heard that if u want to record over stuff, you should record black over the the footage...then record over the black....
     
  7. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #7
    I'm not sure blacking is necessary, unless you're afraid some old hot donkey porn shots accidentally make it into the court deposition tapes shown at a trial. :p Most modern recorders add proper timecode and proper shutdown and startup ensures continuous timecode.

    Packing tapes might be necessary to ease tension. You do so by fast-forwarding and then rewinding the tape to remove any tension and dislodging any small debris that could cause havoc on the record heads.

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
     
  8. homeshire thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Ohio, looking toward Germany
    #8
    thanks for the replies. you've made me rethink and go back to my original preference of retaining the tapes as archives. now if i can only find a cheaper supply.
     
  9. warnergt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    #9
    Donkey porn!? Hee hee!

    I agree with Lacero 100%. It doesn't take many uses of a DV tape
    before you experience drop outs. And drop outs really suck.
    They can ruin what would be a great clip. New tapes seem a
    little expensive but they are cheap insurance.
     
  10. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #10
    DVCAM is a recording spec, not a tape spec. The actual tape that DVCAM records on is identical to DV tape.

    I agree with the others that you probably don't want to reuse a tape more than a few times. You're just rolling dice that there won't be more dropouts each time.
     
  11. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #11

    There is quite a difference between the tapes. DV tapes are much larger than their MiniDV cousins. The quality on DV is also aimed at broadcast/professional versus pro-sumer/consumer market. There are technical differences in the two also, hense the quality difference.

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #12
    Yeah, even if the tapes are ~$3-4, I look at them as a cheap backup. I use once, import, slide the switch to prevent recording over, and then edit footage as appropriate. While I want to turn things into watchable movies, I figure I can always go back adn get the original footage if I want to. In the meantime, it's backed up on a tape cheaper than additional hard drive space would cost.
     
  13. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #13
    DV and miniDV are different-sized cassettes. The tape inside is the same for both. DVCAM records at a higher tape speed than DV, reducing the chances of dropouts and other quality issues. DVCAM and DV can both be recorded on the large or small tapes, provided you have a recorder/camcorder that supports both formats.

    DVCAM is just Sony's variant of the DV recording standard. The tape stock is the same as DV. See here for more info:

    http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-tech.html#DVformats
     
  14. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #14
    An advertisement that ofen come up on this site is here:

    http://www.store.yahoo.com/protape/

    Apparently as low as $2.19 per tape. Never ordered from them but might be worth a shot.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    FIrst off find an Internet retailer and buy the tapes 20+ at a time for less than 1/2 the $5 price

    Also note that the DV format is much higher quality then the DVD format and DV has even more advantage if you edit. If you are going to archive your work keep it in DV format untill you make the final copy for distribution.

    Here is what I do. I shot the tape then when I'm done with the shoot, no matter if the tape is full or not I pull it out of the camera and open the write lock so the tape can not be over written. Only then do I rewind the tape. Next I download the tape to the computer. Then I remove the tape, lable it and put it in a safe place and hopefully never toutch it again.

    Next I make a quick pass to cut out and delete the crud, the stuff I'll never use. Then I backup the remaining DV format video files. I call this backup a "master". I cut the final show using the master.

    Even if you pay $5.00 per tape your time is worth more. Most people would never erase a tape as it provides a "last chance" backup.
     

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