Technically, the Canon HDV Digital Master tapes are better in that they are made from finer grade tapestock with the least propensity for dropouts. I personally often use the Panny Master DV tapes when shooting HDV and have not had any problems with dropouts. I would consider the Panny Master DV tapes as a minimum acceptable standard for recording HDV - however I have also had success using Sony Excellence tapes too... but I have since switched to using primarily the Panny Masters... If it's a mission critical recording that you need to make, use at least the Panny Master tapes. You'll have no problems if you use the higher grade HDV Digital Master tapes from Canon or Sony... Remember to clean the heads of your camcorder with a dry head cleaning tape when switching brands of tape - things can get a little sticky when mixing different oxides together.