HDV -- do you need to use HD tapes?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Talked to a sales guy about the HDR-HC9. He THOUGHT I needed to use hi-def miniDV tapes not the standard variety for HD recording, but not 100% sure. Do I?
  2. CST macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yeah, you use miniDV tapes for that camera to shoot HDV. Usually that's what you shoot HDV on.
  3. DCstewieG macrumors member


    Jun 30, 2008
    Regular ones work fine with my Canon HV20. If you're really worried, pick some up and try for yourself.
  4. Spizzo macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2004
    Pacific NW
    No need for High Def. Tapes. You'll be fine with regular miniDV tapes. Just pick one brand, and stick with that brand for the life of your camera. Personally, I like the Sony Premium.
  5. ppc_michael Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Any MiniDV is fine. HDV tapes are sort of a marketing thing. They have "better" lubrication and other things which are supposed to lower dropout rates, but I've rarely had trouble using standard MiniDV.
  6. kingkezz macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2006
    Exactly. Standard minidv is fine. I'm a professional videographer and we don't use Sony's HDV tapes. We use probably 350+ tapes per year. Never had an issue with the basic sony miniDV tapes. The difference in cost is roughly AUD$15 per tape too.
  7. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Cool. That's what I thought. Got to love miniDV cost over SD cards!
  8. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    can i offer an alternative perspective?

    we do use HDV tapes - the Sony Digital Master tape. When you're shooting professionally and you only get one go at the shot we can't afford to take the risk of dropouts. The DigiMaster tapes do advertise a lower dropout rate and we find that to be true.

    You can't skimp on tape - it's the only thing you've got. I don't understand it when people spend thousands on a camera and then buy bargain bin £2 tape. It's like buying a Ferrari and filling it with used chip fat.

    That said, for personal use where i'm not looking for perfection i'd be OK with reusing tapes or using DV tapes to shoot HDV.
  9. kingkezz macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2006
  10. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Probably best to stick to 60-minute tapes and avoid the 80-minuters (the tape is thinner and therefore more prone to drop-out) whichever way you decide to go.

    Because HDV is a compressed format, bear in mind that a single drop-out will affect more that one frame. But until there are side-by-side comparisons of drop-out rates for standard MiniDV and HDV tape, it's all a bit of a guessing-game, and paying the premium still doesn't guarantee you won't get drop-outs.

  11. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    this is true - a drop in DV equal one dropped frame - in HDV it's 15 frames; ~1/2 a second. If you can afford to loose 1/2 a second then go with DV tape if you can't afford the drops then for goodness sake spend a few extra bucks and lower your chances of drops.
  12. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    I used 7 tapes on my HV20 and it worked fine, BUT, I had one big issue & I was never able to test if it was because I wasn't using HDV tapes. Every time I captured in FCP or iMovie 08, it would constantly break timecode & drop frames, even without any scene changes. That was by far the most annoying thing on my HV20.
    In order to capture complete video files, I had to use iMove 06, then import the file into FCP. Even when I did that, I had to constantly re sync the audio. Not fun. But again, I'm not sure if it was because I used normal Mini DV tapes instead of the HDV tapes.
  13. CST macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Fluidedge is kind of right here. You can get dropouts using miniDV but I've never seen it. Also, using the same tape manufacturer for the lubrication is kind of a myth. That used to be the case, not any more. Don't worry about that.
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As long as you buy a quality brand of tape and keep your camera clean (even expensive tape will drop out if your camera heads get fouled) there is very little cost benefit buying the more expensive "HDV" tape, IMO. Professionally I've gone through thousands of hours of HDV shot mainly on Sony MiniDV tape (some of the tapes were shot in Caribbean and FedEx'ed back to Los Angeles) and I've only run into a small handful of errors and most of those were most likely due to dirty camera heads, IMO. BetaSP is a proven, reliable format but a few years ago the company I worked for at the time received a bad batch of BetaSP tapes from Sony and almost a dozen tapes were already shot before we realized we had bad tapes. Even if you buy the best there's still a chance you are going to get shafted by lady luck.

  15. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Looks like its a debate.

    Is there much difference between SD and HD dropping out on miniDV tapes? I've shot 20 or so hours SD on whatever miniDV tapes Costco happen to be carrying (usually a Fuji or Sony 5pk) and never had an issue.... but I've never shot with HDV.
  16. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    The big unanswered question is whether there's a significant difference in the probability of dropouts between miniDV and HDV tape. I have yet to see believable and meaningful statistics for dropouts on different kind of tape stock to quantify the difference.

    But it is an undisputed fact that a dropout, if it does occur, has a worse impact when using the HDV codec than when working with DV. I've been using the Sony HDV tapes exclusively, mostly for piece of mind, and because the tapes are such a small fraction of the total cost of what I do, it doesn't really hurt me (read: my customers) to pay the few extra Dollars per tape. At least, if one day I do get a dropout, I will know that I've done everything I can to prevent it.

    - Martin
  17. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    exactly - when shooting pro the client pays for the luxury of HDV tapes!
  18. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    HV30 = standard / HC9 = high octane

    I'm agreeing with your chip fat perspective -- I shoot 30 minutes on a new HV30 using a standard FujiFilm tape. All was fine. I did the same with a new Sony HC9. Not all was fine:

    Major dropouts occurred with the Fuji standard tape -- had a dozen or so in only 15 minutes! It was the first tape the camera saw. The video was mostly unusable had it not just test footage.

    2nd tape was a reused standard TDK (only other tape I could find) and it dropped out 2 times in 20 minutes or so. That was the first tape since using the Fuji (I'd like to think it was somehow scraping the Fuji "film" off!)

    3rd tape was a DVinfo.net recommended Sony HD tape. Recorded 63 minutes w/ NO dropouts (recorded next to a speaker and played back listing). Then reused (just for testing), started from the beginning, recorded 15 minutes walking around outside. NO dropouts.

    You can read more about my saga here
    but from my 2 days of testing, I won't stray from Sony tapes. I may have been fine with SD premium Sony's but would rather pay a little more to be safe!

Share This Page