Which Is The Best mini DV Tape ?



Which Is The Best mini DV Tape ?

I use mainly Panasonic DVC Linear Plus and I am very happy with it.

Can somebody with a lot of experience tell us which is the best mini DV tape, which will give us visible better picture ( and less wearing the video heads,...)?

Thank you very much.


Well, there used to be a problem with mixing different brands on the same cam. Something to do with different adhesives I seem to remember. Gave bad head wear. But now this is all standardised. The tapes you're using are as good as any. You could try SUPER linear plus, but I don't think (personally) that the extra cost is worth it.


Well I bought a pack of the 'Super Linear Plus' and I couldn't tell the difference, except the price of course. However, I'm no expert and would love someone to provide a factual answer to this question.

To me, it seems that one DV tape is fairly much the same as the next, as the information is digital, so as long as it can store the info on the tape, a better tape quality is useless. The 'Super Linear Plus' tapes claim 'four times more density' than normal tapes. Well, so what. Unless the camera is suddenly going to start storing more information on the tape, ie using less compression, it's going to make no difference at all.

Do any cameras detect the tape type and increase the bit rate for higher quality tapes?

Kind Regards,
Shane Cook.


The view here in the United States seems to be quite different: Mixing different brand of DV tapes is a no-no (this is repeated often in newsgroups, forums, etc.)! The prevailing view, as taken off of a major newsgroup:

"Is there any significant differences between different brands of miniDV
>tapes, such as $4.67 TDK tapes and $6.50 Premium Sony tapes (neither has
> a memory chip)?

Probably not, in the short run...
There is no info I know of that compares tapes for long-term
storage, though. There is a possible problem with tape-brand
switching, after using one type for a while (there have been
enough horror stories related to discourage one from doing
this...). Complicating that is the fact that only a few
makers produce all the brands of Mini-DV tape, so you don't
know when you are using the same tape, or not... As for
prices, the Sony PR is available for under $5/tape from
various sellers, including www.taperesources.com. The
more expensive EX claims a slightly higher s/n ratio, but
this is only relevant for dropout rate and storage
characteristics, not immediate picture/sound quality...

David Ruether
[email protected]
Hey, check out www.visitithaca.com too...!"

I would love to have one or two major mini-dv camcorder manufacturers take a public stand on this issue!



I have to admit David, that although it's now supposed to be 'OK' to mix different brands of tape in the same cam, I stick to the same brand - Panasonic. To be honest, I don't see any good reason for mixing tapes if the brand you're using gives good results.

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