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MiniDV tapes - must use same brand? need help

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by borntheroman, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. borntheroman

    borntheroman
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    I read on this forum that it hurts your camcorder to use different brands of MiniDV tape - some are "wet" and some "dry." I have never heard this before I want to make sure I get it right with my next camcorder. Here is my situation:

    My old camcorder broke (JVC GR-DVL9000U) - to get it fixed will cost as much as a new, better one. So I am getting ready to buy a Sony DCR-PC105. Quality is good, size is great, and I can deal with the zoom button many have problems with.

    But... I have old tapes; sony, TDK, and Maxell that I taped in my old camcorder (maybe that had something to do with my breakdown?). There is stuff on them that I never got to download to my PC.

    So what should I do? How do I get those tapes onto my PC without hurting my new camera? would head cleaning tapes help? or are the three brands I mentioned above all the same type (i.e. wet/dry) and therefore compatible?

    One thought was to buy a used MiniDV on Ebay that has questionable quality for real cheap... just use it to get the tapes onto my hard drive. I'm not aware of any device that just plays MiniDV's.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
     
  2. torrent

    torrent
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    While I do subscribe to the fact that you should always stick with the same brand of MiniDV tape, I do sometimes feel the whole thing gets blown a little out of proportion by some people. Personally, I doubt very much whether running a small number of different tapes (4 or 5) through the camcorder is really going to cause the heads to clog.

    However, if I was in your position I would first of all sort out only the tapes which absolutely contain footage I want to keep. Then I would transfer the contents of those tapes to the PC. After you have done this I would use a head cleaning tape and then settle on a brand of MiniDV.

    Remember that head cleaners themselves are mildly corrosive and so you don't want to be using them too often and always run them in strict accordance with the instructions!
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I agree 100% with torrent
    Stick to the same make of tape whenever possible, but the odd 1 or 2 run through the camcorder will not do any harm. And the point about head cleaning is very important. DV heads are very fragile and should not be cleaned too often.
    Don't panic about the use of the camcorder, just use common sense and take whatever precautions you can to protect your investment and it should last you a good few years.

    Mark.
     

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