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Good video tapes for camcorders

Since I bought two new camcorders this year, both mini-DV, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on what tapes produce the best video? Some people say that if you have a Sony camcorder, you should stick with Sony tapes. Does anyone have anything to add to that? Even if I do buy exclusively Sony tapes for my new Sony camcorders, there are so many different Sony mini-DV tapes to choose from. Neither of the camcorders are HD so I'm not looking at HD videotapes, but there are still many options as far as regular mini-DV tapes are concerned. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
I'm not sure there's really a big difference between brands. You can stick with the same brand of tape as is the brand of the camcorder if you want, but I'm not sure that's a huge deal. Some folks may aruge that Panasonic tapes are best (I use Panasonics), and others will say that Sonys or JVCs are best. If there is one thing that you should do, however, is this -- make sure to run a head cleaner through the camcorder each time you change brands of tapes. For this reason, it's best to pick one brand and stick with it. Different brands of tapes use different lubricants (some use a wet lubricant, others use dry, etc), and changing the brand of tape (and thereby possibly changing the lubricant used) may result in the heads "gumping up". Just my experience.
 
If there is one thing that you should do, however, is this -- make sure to run a head cleaner through the camcorder each time you change brands of tapes. For this reason, it's best to pick one brand and stick with it. Different brands of tapes use different lubricants (some use a wet lubricant, others use dry, etc), and changing the brand of tape (and thereby possibly changing the lubricant used) may result in the heads "gumping up". Just my experience.
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Thanks for the recommendation. I used a panasonic tape just the other day in one of my camcorders and there was a point in the video where it looked like the tape had a malfunction. There were horizontal bars across the screen. I'm going to buy a head cleaner for the camcorders and run them through before our chase. I appreciate your response.
 
"Sony tapes are best for Sony cameras" is a myth. Sony tapes are not noticeably better as far as image quality, and in fact I once bought a group of 3 60 minute Sony Hi8 metal evaportated tapes and all three caused my camcorder to jam-one of which cost me video of a wall cloud and spectacular lightning show on June 23, 2004. :angry:
 
Just as a note, head cleaners are slightly abrasive, so you don't want to use them too frequently. This is partly the reason why you should pick a brand and stick with it (so you won't need to clean the heads when brand switching).
 
Apparently different manufacturers use different compounds in their tape formulas for lubrication etc.; switching between tape brands might cause some "gumming up" or other issues due to the interaction of these different formulations. This might all be myth but I've read it now in a few different magazines and forums and the logic seems sound to me.

I personally use Fuji tapes.
 
I use only Panasonic tapes. Never had a problem.
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Panasonic Master tapes use Dry lube and are the finest manufactured that I know of. The sell for like 5$ a piece.

As far as the head cleaners.. As Jeff was saying they are abrasive. Have your heads professionally cleaned.. Of course unless you have a 300$ camcorder.. lol

When professionally cleaned they use swabs and solvents not abrasive tape..
 
If you need cam corder tapes you can buy more for less at COSTCO. All kinds of videotapes have worked . I have heard however that some SONY cams need the sony tapes but I am not sure if that is just garbage talk.
Also it is a good idea that when you have a tape in your cam, forward it some and forward it back to make sure it works ok. I have heard that is a good idea to do and eventhough I don't do it all the time (I use minicassettes and have never had a problem) I think it is a real good idea.

? Let me know
Dr. Eric Flescher
Storm Satori
 
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