How many MiniDV tapes do you take?

I'm trying ot get myself more prepared for a 9 day storm chasing trip coming up in May. Since many of you do this often, I was curious how many MiniDV tapes I should bring. I'm going to have two MiniDV cameras.

Also, is it safe to use LP (90 min) instead of SP (60 min)?
 
I really suggest you video in SP, avoiding LP, if you want the highest quality. There's a reason why you can fit more LP footage on the tape, and it ain't good if you're looking for quality and the least dropouts...

I think the number of tapes used depends a LOT on the season. In 2002, I used maybe 2 tapes... Last year, I averaged about a tape per event, with some less (April 22nd, for example) and others more (e.g. May 22nd and May 29th). Whatever you do, stay with one brand -- do not change brands without cleaning the head. The different lubricants can coulds problems for the heads...
 
Jeff gives some good guidelines there. Last year, I started out using a video (for the first time) late in the year. So I was using about 1 tape per event or less. Your actual video time will most likely be less than the actual time you are out on a storm. I figure about 20 minutes of real video per two hours of storm time.

The one exception I had to this guide was Wellington Kansas. I started videoing the event while I was in South Haven and continued to video right up until I ran out of tape. After culling it down, I ended up with about 25 minutes of video on the single event.

He's right on target about choosing one brand for your tapes. We use Maxell at the station, so that's pretty much what I go with. I was out of pocket and bought some Sony and the difference was noticable. I'm not saying that Sony is bad, just the difference was there on the final editing.

I would suggest taking one tape per day. You can always pick up more on the road if you need them.
 
Last year on July 1st we had major storms including 2 supercells I had only one tape in my videocam and the tape ended right in the middle of the action :evil: I can tell you that we lost a good amount of time just for looking for an open store that sells camera tapes (it was late evening).

Since then, I always bring a minimum of one extra tape... Anyway, you'll eventually end-up using more tape, so go to Club Price (Costco) or Wal Mart and by a 4 pack of tapes and put them in your camera bag.
 
I usually have stocks of them with me on any particular trip, but that's mainly cause I'm running at least 2 video cameras and shooting many "behind-the-scenes" stuff. Normally, I find myself going with at least 1 full tape for storm footage, so I would say bring 2 per chase day per camera.
 
Tapes are small. Tapes are cheap. So there's really no reason not to take along at least several on every chase. Now around here, I have never even used a whole tape filming storms in day's time, as they usually move too fast to keep up with long. But if I was chasing in the Plains, I think I'd take along at least 3-4 tapes per chase. It's gonna be rare to shoot 3-4 hours of video on any day, but I'd always prefer to have more tapes than needed. If you do that, you'll never run out.

-George
 
The same applies for digital users with memory cards, these take up even less room.
Best go for 256 or 512MB cards not larger because if the card goes down you woukd loose the lot . 4off compact flash cards still only take up the space of a floppy disk. Also makes it easier working on smaller segments when editing or downloading to a PC.
 
If you wanna save money and be sure that you have enough tapes you should definately buy your tapes off of the net. A lot of people would rather just go down to the local Best Buy or Walmart and get stocked up but you will be paying a lot more. I did a little price camparison on the site where I always buy my MiniDV tapes from and Best Buy to see what the price difference would be.

Here is Best Buy's Price-
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id...06&type=product

and here is ecost.com's price-
http://www.ecost.com/ecost/shop/detail.asp?DPNo=965136

hmmm....3 for $19 or 10 for a little over $25 when you include shipping and handling. If everyone knew how much Best Buy is ripping people off they would go out of business.

Also to answer your question. You can never have too many Mini DV tapes. Buy more than you think you'll need because you'll end up using them sometime even if its not during your chase trip.

Darin
 
Originally posted by Darin Brunin
If you wanna save money and be sure that you have enough tapes you should definately buy your tapes off of the net. A lot of people would rather just go down to the local Best Buy or Walmart and get stocked up but you will be paying a lot more. I did a little price camparison on the site where I always buy my MiniDV tapes from and Best Buy to see what the price difference would be.

Here is Best Buy's Price-
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id...06&type=product

and here is ecost.com's price-
http://www.ecost.com/ecost/shop/detail.asp?DPNo=965136

hmmm....3 for $19 or 10 for a little over $25 when you include shipping and handling. If everyone knew how much Best Buy is ripping people off they would go out of business.

Also to answer your question. You can never have too many Mini DV tapes. Buy more than you think you'll need because you'll end up using them sometime even if its not during your chase trip.

Darin

Make sure it's the same quality tape when comparing. In otherwords don't go by the picture in the website to base your decision by.
 
Thanks everyone for the information. I currently have 13 tapes, all the same brand (sony). I also enjoy some behind the scenes stuff, so I may go ahead and get a few more. (Maybe someday I'll make an extended DVD with "NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE" like all the movies!)

As far as Best Buy goes, I only go there to see the products, then go home and order online. I got most of my tapes from http://www.tapeandmedia.com They seemed to have some pretty good prices.
 
Back
Top