HD Tape or Premium Tape?


Distinguished Member
After many days trying to make up my mind I have ordered, for delivery tomorrow, a Sony HC3 and now need some tapes. Having checked out this forum I set off to get Sony Premium mini-dv tapes only to find that there are also Sony HD mini-DV tapes at nearly 5 times the cost!!!!!!

Is there 5 times the difference in quality or is this just another way for Sony to take even more of my cash

Or have I no choice but to use the HD tapes?

Sorry to go on a bit but this is my first time with a camcorder and basically I havn't a clue what is best:)

I bet I could be back here on a regular basis:smashin:


Distinguished Member
Im sure better answers will come ( you may read the linked threads below as they go into a lot more detail)

I use the HC1 , have used the FX 1 and so far used Premium tapes with both with good results

I understand that because of the way HDV is compressed to fit onto DV tape, the HD tapes are formulated to minimise drop outs ( amongst many other factors)

As such they are recomended for HDV recording.

However, there is also the advise not to mix tape types ( this is especially true of HD tape)
So If you start with HD tape it may mean reusing them to save cost
Or risk using them for Very impt events and stick with Premium for day to day use.
I would personally not even bother with them

see these previous thread on the same topic



Novice Member
You should be fine with the Premium tapes....

Though "HDV" tapes aren't a total rip-off. Even before HDV, expensive "pro/master" DV tapes existed, aimed at professional use. The higher quality formulation minimised the (already low) chance of any dropouts. For professional use, where this cost is not significant and a dropout would be, they are often used.

With the advent of HDV, Sony (and now others) started "rebadging" some of these tapes, and introducing new ones, targetted at HDV users - for the reason Senu stated, that a dropout with HDV is far more severe (will most likely lose 15 frames, over 1/2 a second).

But still these are rare, and for most consumer use, a good tape like Sony Premium is fine.

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