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80 minute DV tapes

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Brock Fisher
80 minute DV tapes
on Mar 3, 2008 at 2:47:21 am

Hi, I am renting 3 DVX100a's to video a series of ballet performances in April. The first act is 71 minutes and the second act is 55 minutes. I purchased a bunch of 80 minute Panasonic DV tapes for the first act so that I don't have to switch tapes during the first act.

I rented a DVX100a this weekend and the manual says expressly to not use 80 minute DV tapes.

Any idea why? I shot 82 minutes of video using one of these tapes this weekend and captured it in Final Cut with out problems.

I can't blow these performances. Any insights are most welcome.

Thank you in advance.

Brock Fisher
San Diego

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Noah Kadner
Re: 80 minute DV tapes
on Mar 4, 2008 at 2:26:25 am

80 minute tapes are much more prone to dropouts than 63 minute ones- highly not recommended. I've shot a bunch of concerts with DVX100s. It's actually not that tricky to cover if you plan it right with the 63 minute tapes. Here's what you do:

Stagger the 3 cameras record times by a few minutes.

Start A camera about 5 minutes before the show starts.
Start B camera about 3 minutes before the show starts.
Start C camera about 1 minute before the show starts.

You should be running a-Camera, assuming you plan to operate. When you get within ten minutes of a roll-out look for a natural break in the action. Very quickly stop and switch tapes, making sure the other 2 cameras have a working shot.

When you have reloaded the camera and settled into recording a good shot, signal B-camera to reload. And then do the same for C.

You can only show a single camera at a time in your final edit and no one will ever know that one camera was off for 30 seconds or so while you're showing footage from one of the other cameras. Trust me I got 3 hour concerts this way easy.

The trick is setting up so you can communicate with the other two operators and they understand the gameplan. Hopefully you can all have each other in sight at all times. If not, rent a set of headset radio walkie talkies and have very discreet verbal signals planned out before hand. You'll get the hang of it...


My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the HD Survival Guide!

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Steve Wargo
Re: 80 minute DV tapes
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:59:06 am

Not only do we use the 83 minute tapes but we put the camera in LP mode and run them over two hours. We have never had a problem.

Your results may vary.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

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