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Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by crazyfortech, Mar 10, 2006.
What kinds of DV tape are the best to use?
(I have a canon elura 50)
I think they are all similar. I use Sony DVC premium in my XL-1 with no complaints.
I like Panasonic Master quality (MQ) tapes. Super high quality picture, though i think it's got bad re-record guality. They're pro-level, so they're a little steep... maybe $6 per tape. But it's what i use, and what i recommend.
From what I understand manufactures put fancy names on tapes so they can charge a premium. Kinda like CD-R "Audio" for pristine sound quality. ITS A CD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! DV is DV is DV! No matter how many extra "magic" coatings they put on there its ALWAYS going to record 720x534 lines of resolution! I use "premium" tapes because its all my bulk supplier has and I buy over 200 tapes at a time. As long as the tape doesn't look like someone made it in their backyard than it'll be fine. DO NOT believe the marketing spiel on the packaging! </rant>
720x534? I dont remember that resolution to be used somewhere... Maybe you are referring to PAL res.? If so, then it's 720x576 pix.
Oh by the way, HD cams also record to miniDV tapes, so the res can be 1440x1080
kingsly may not have got the resolution right, but his point is perfectly valid: tape brand has nothing to do with picture quality per se. what might happen with bad tapes is that you get drop outs (lost frames).
another thing to watch for is not to change brand all the time. it might not be an issue any more, but a couple of years ago manufacturers uses different chemicals on their tape and the 'cocktail' from some brands can harm your camcorder.
i always used sony premium tapes during the last years, almost never got a drop out. they are cheap now, too (€ 3 in europe). for important footage do not use the first & last few seconds, use a new tape, don't record LP (!) and you should be fine.
For HD on miniDV it might be wise to use a higher quality tape, because unlike dv it records a group of pictures (GOP) where only the first one is a key frame with all the information - so if you lose this single frame you lose the whole GOP.
I feel like an idiot.
Correction: Around 540 lines of resolution.
As mentioned because it is digital the brand of tape you use won't effect the MiniDV signal (in NTSC land it's always gonna be 720*480 4:1:1). And as mentioned cheaper tapes most likely use a cheaper emulsion which will most likely lead to more frequent drop outs, head clogs, and a shorter storage life before the tape starts to disintegrate.
So even if it's just personal use I would at least buy some "medium" grade tapes. They may cost a dollar or two more, but in 6 or 7 years when you go back to look at the footage for your kid's first b-day and it has drop outs all over the place are you gonna go, "Man, saving that buck 7 years ago was so worth it."
Same thing w/optical media. People who get the 100 DVD spindles for a buck are probably aren't gonna be happy campers 4 or 5 years down the line when those discs start failing. Will they all fail? Of course not. But down the line would you rather have an extra $2 in your pocket or the confidence knowing that the only copy of your home movies stored on quality media?
A good and bad thing about digital media is that it's either there or it's not. For example, DVD's don't "wear out" over time like VHS tapes do, but a DVD w/a solid scratch on it is trash where as a VHS tape will pretty much always keep playing (no matter how bad the video signal is).
It will keep playing, untill tape becomes screwd-up and gets out of the cassette
That is true for what you see on your television screen, but the Mini-DV format is able to record more horizontal lines than the NTSC standard. I have noticed that the very bottom of projects get cut off when I view it on my TV, though it is there on my computer display.
the tape records 720x480, but your tv overscans the picture meaning the outer ~5% gets cut off. iirc.
NTSC standard is 525 vertical lines although not all of them contain picture information. Like homerjward said, what you are seeing is called "over scan."
I use FugiFilm DV tapes and they have worked excellent for editing and television broadcast. You should be fine with most brands.
Either for CDs, DVDs or DV-tapes, I never buy cheap brands, although it's true some higher-priced, well-known brands can sometimes be pretty bad.
I usually use Sony Premium-whatever, or TDK's, but I never re-write on them, which limits the damage anyway. It's for home use, so the budget involved is not that bad
For all digital content, quality of the content is fixed by the format, but the lifetime is fixed by the physical part of the media. CD's and DVD's are supposed to last around 20 years, which is due to the type of plastic used, and the process to "burn" them home, producing local heating peaks. The transparent layer will turn less transparent, etc... Regarding the DV tapes, it's the same problem, although not for heat but for demagnetization, so the storage place is important.
Which is why the "magical coatings" can help sometimes.
My problem nowadays is how long I can hope to keep data stored safely ? 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years ?
Yep I only shoot fuji
If I am in a pinch at school and get a fuji tape I will go with Maxell.
I stay away from sonys because their tapes have some sort of sticky stuff on it that causes lots of buildup on playheads over time. Our school wont even allow you to put sony tapes in the equipment.
it's NOT a special brand that harms the playheads, it's the mix of some brands. I've been recording about 80 sony tapes on my sony home-camcorder without cleaning/service and about 2-300 on a canon xl1 with only one service in the last 3 years, no problems.
using fuji or maxell is fine too i think, just stay with one brand.
Correct. Some brands use a dry lubricant on their tape while others use a wet lubricant and if you mix wet w/dry it gums up the heads. The problem is less pronounced now that 7 or 8 years ago though as, I assume, manufactures have changed their lubes so they are less likely to gum up if mixed.