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Thread: HD Tapes?

  1. #1

    Default HD Tapes?

    Hi Guys,

    Can anyone tell me how much of a real difference they think there is between normall Sony MiniDV tapes and the Sony HD Minidv tapes?

    Either my monitors are on the blink or I'm not seeing enough of a difference to justify continually shelling out 10 a time for the HD ones...

    Just for reference, I'm using Sony FX1's and editing on CS3...

  2. #2
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    I'm not familiar with the Sony FX1 but is it a high definition camcorder? If it is then it might be worth shooting special projects on the more expensive tapes but if it is only a standard definition camcorder then I would stick to using normal tapes costing a lot less than 10. As you say yourself, you can see no difference in using the more expensive tapes.

  3. #3

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    Yes, the FX1 is high def. The problem is that I'm not seeing the promised difference in quality. If anyone has any other thoughts, I'm all ears...

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    You won't notice any difference until you connect the camcorder up to a hi def tv.

  5. #5

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    I am playing it back through a Panasonic 42" HD plasma screen and I edit in full HD. I have also tried burning the finished films to Blu-Ray to try them out that way but I'm still not seeing a huge difference.

    This all came about as I have always used the HD tapes in the camera. Recently I ran out so had to use a standard Sony tape. I was expecting a massive loss in quality, but it was really hard to tell a difference. i just wondered if anyone else had noticed this?

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    There is no scientific basis to this but here goes:

    DV records a series of 1s and 0s (i.e data) to tape. If you lose a 'bit' of your data, this will manifest in dropped frames. If you drop one fram in DV, all is not lost (it may look a bit odd, butr most won't notice). If you drop a frame in HDV, you lose a bunch of frames (one frame in reliant on the next for a period of time). So I assume that the higher quality tapes are less likely to drop frames, i.e. are better quality.

    You won't see an imporvement in visual quality. Only the lens etc will do this. The tapes just records a stream of data.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for that, it was along my line of thinking, but I've read reviews of the tapes and people have gone on about the massive difference in colour reproduction and clarity. I didn't notice this at all apart from the reds were very marginally brighter.

    The reason i have stuck with the HD tapes for so long is, and I quote from the Sony blurb, "90% fewer errors due to 40% increase in carrier-to-noise ratio* & 50% fewer dropouts* They also mention enhanced picture clarity with superior image quality, but I'm not convinced now.

    I think I'll stick with them to be honest, it's worth the extra to avoid the problems of a frame drop out in the middle of someone's wedding ceremony!

    I'm still intregued to hear if anyone thinks the picture really is better though...

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    I could be wrong, but I can't see how using a different tape will improve the quality of your data! It's either there or it isn't. It's a bit like saying "My book is better than yours as it was written on a better PC". Erm, yer. Please, someone prove me wrong, but I should imagine this is marketing blurb and should read: "enhanced picture quality due to fewer drop outs".

  9. #9

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    Im with Marc on this one !

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    As befits my byline....

    It's a con - a tape ia a tape is a tape is a tape - I hardly ever buy a tape any more as my more feckelss / paranoid friends only use thiers a few times - then I take them out of thier trembling worried little hands.

    I love the quote about better pic on better tapes - lies I say. (unless it was analogue beta or similar)

    Imho you need to get a minimum of an fx1 to really get more from hdv, and even then improvements are program dependant.

    Cameras cost and great performance is never going to be cheap - ponder this - the WA lens I want for my big JVC is 11,000....

    Thinkinjg about it - I might start marketing HDV lens cleaners, or HDV f wire leads - and charge the earth!
    Last edited by Mark W; 02-05-2008 at 10:36 AM.

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