Moving miniDV tapes between camcorders

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jeshepard, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. jeshepard macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2006
    I currently own a Canon XL1S (which I love), but I'm thinking of getting something smaller that could carry around with me more often. I'm thinking of a Panasonic PVGS500, but I remember reading something a while ago about moving tapes between different brands of camcorders is a bad idea. Something about different types of chemicals used on the heads. Is there any truth to this?

  2. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The warning is using different types of tapes on a single camcorder. Not sure if it's a valid claim. But if you use the same brand of tapes on all of them, you shouldn't have an issue. Or buy a head cleaner and use it.
  3. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    I've switched between Sony camcorders and my Canon XL2 with no problems. I use the sony DVC60 Premium tapes though.
  4. Cybrvid macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2006
    the wet lube dry lube miniDVtape debate

    Here's an article discussing what I think you may have heard about. It's about using different brands of tape in the same camcorder.

    I have noticed some timecode break issues with tapes shot using a Canon camera and playing back in another brand of deck before as well.
  5. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    so, why exactly would you be "moving tapes" between the two?

    just use new tapes for your new camera.....

    are you meaning you will shoot some footage on one cam, the swap the tape to the other and shoot more? why not just buy a new tape?
  6. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
    Maybe he wants a new camera(and sell the old one) and wants to still be able to use the tapes he shot with the old one in the new camera seamlessly
  7. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    This isn't what you're referring to -- and most people probably already know -- but I'll mention the related problem that MiniDV tapes recorded in LP mode often aren't compatible (won't play properly) with other camcorders and decks. Problem seems more likely if the equipment is different brands.

    This from

    "The consumer-oriented DV uses 10 micron tracks in SP recording mode. Newer camcorders offer an LP mode to increase recording times, but the 6.7 micron tracks make tape interchange problematic on DV machines, and prevents LP tapes from being played in DVCAM or DVCPRO VTRs."

    I mention this because I have received tapes from others I couldn't use, because they were recorded in LP mode and the original camcorder was "not available".

    As far as different brands of tape, I always stick with one brand, and try not to re-use tapes.
  8. WaltCD macrumors member

    May 17, 2009
    MiniDV tapes in different camcorders

    I have the same question. I've been using a MiniDV camcorder for six years. It has finally gone kaput! So, I'm in the market for a new camcorder, but since they don't make my same model anymore, I'm wondering if I get a new one, will it be able to play the tapes from my old one?

    The model I have is the Canon ZR65 MC.
    I'm hoping if I at least get another Canon, they will be compatible.

    All of my tapes were recorded using the standard SP 60 minute mode.

    Thank you for your help,
    Walt D in LV
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Yes, miniDV is miniDV. The standard is the same, it's when you get into things like HDV or DVCAM that things get tricky.

    EDIT: Woohooo. 5,000 posts.
  10. OttawaGuy macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2006
  11. WaltCD macrumors member

    May 17, 2009
    It worked!

    I purchased a Canon ZR960 camcorder to help import the video from my broken Canon ZR65 MC camcorder.

    It worked! The video is crisp and clear, and the sound is super-fantastic!

    The ONLY problem is, the last couple of tapes I've shot over the last few months with the broken camera, are not importable with the new camera. When playing them with the old camera, there is no sound (and further tests show the old camera no longer records sound).

    So, I will try to import the video with the old camera, as pixelated as it might be, and without any sound. It will be better than nothing, but sad nonetheless.

    At least the video was imported from a different camera, and looks spectacular!
    So, I definitely believe you can take tapes from one camcorder to a different one, and since they are the standard definition MiniDV tapes, they work great!

    Walt D in LV
  12. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    The problem that your camcorder won't read tapes is only with JVC. There playheads are a little bit differently placed. So it can occur that some tapes recorded with a JVC camcorder won't play on another camcorder.

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