Will miniDVCAM tapes play in low end miniDV camcorders?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Digitalias, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. Digitalias

    Digitalias Guest


    I shoot with a Sony PD100A and would like to use a regular miniDV
    camcorder such as the DCR-HC30 to playback, rewind and such the DVCAM
    tapes made on my PD100A. Anyone know if this will work? I want to do
    this to cut down wear and tear on my PD100A....and do not want to buy a


    Digitalias, Dec 21, 2004
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  2. Digitalias

    PN Guest

    I used to switch MiniDV tape, record, play, rewind and fast forward with
    Sony Handycam, Sharp ViewCam, Panasonic DS7 and DV+VHS compo deck. There is
    no problem at all even I switch SP and LP mode in the same tape and use
    different brand. You may get blue screen if recorded source is LP and
    capability of display source is SP mode.
    PN, Dec 21, 2004
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  3. Digitalias

    doublexx Guest

    I have 6 of those PD100A camcorders, so I know them pretty well. The
    answer is ... maybe. Lots of SONY units will play DVCAM. It won't
    hurt to try it. I know some Panasonic units playback DVCAM as well.
    That other person that responded doesn't realize that this isn't a
    brand issue--it's a format problem. DVCAM tapes run 50 per cent faster
    than DV.
    doublexx, Dec 23, 2004
  4. Thanks for the reply. I've been communicating with Sony support. They
    will not acknowledge that DVCAM plays in some minidv comcorders. Below
    is my communication with them...interesting

    Customer : Will the DCR-HC20 or DCR-HC30 playback DVCAM tapes made
    on my PD100A?

    Response (Arnold) - 12/21/2004 03:41 AM
    Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry regarding sony Mini DV

    The DCR-HC20 and the DCR-HC30 are Mini DV camcorders and cannot
    playback the DVCAM tapes.

    Customer - 12/21/2004 03:58 PM
    Will the GV-D300 Editing deck play miniDVCAM tapes? I do not see that
    listed in the specs.

    Response (Dylan) - 12/22/2004 12:44 AM
    Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry.

    The DVCAM Tapes are not compatible with the GV-D300 Digital Video
    Cassette Recorder. You can use only the Mini DV cassettes.

    Customer - 12/22/2004 02:03 PM
    Hi there

    My last question "Will the GV-D300 Editing deck play miniDVCAM tapes?"
    was a loaded question to ascertain the accuracy of the first answer
    regarding the use of the DCR-HC20 and/or the DCR-HC30 Mini DV
    camcorders to playback the miniDVCAM tape. There seems to be some
    confusion. I have been using the GV-D300 Digital Video Cassette
    Recorder to PLAY miniDVCAM tapes for the last 4 years! Would you please
    dig a little deeper within the Sony organization to definitively make a
    true finding regarding the use of the DCR-HC20 and/or the DCR-HC30 Mini
    DV camcorders to PLAYBACK the miniDVCAM tape. Also, how do you explain
    me being able to use the GV-D300 Digital Video Cassette Recorder to
    PLAY miniDVCAM tapes for the last 4 years when your answer said it
    would not.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Response (Glenn) - 12/23/2004 01:49 AM
    Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry regarding Sony GV-D300
    Digital Video cassette recorder.

    The recommended tapes to be used with the Sony GV-D300 Digital Video
    cassette recorder are the tapes with DV logo in them. If the tape that
    you use confines to these standards, you may use them with this Digital
    Video cassette recorder.

    We do not have information on the whether the GV-D300 Editing deck will
    playback miniDVCAM tapes. Playing other type of media in these
    recorders are not recommended.

    Please refer to the instruction manual for information regarding the

    The DCR-NC20 and the DCR-HC30 MiniDV camcorders are compatible with
    only MiniDV tapes and Sony recommeds that you use the compatible tapes
    with these camcorders for optimum performance.
    digital_alias, Dec 24, 2004
  5. Typical customer non-service from a gigantic multi-national
    corporation. What exactly were you expecting?

    Those responses were cut-n-paste right out of the corporate
    doublespeak handbook. Anyone who has dealt with a large
    corporation could have predicted almost word-for-word
    what they said.

    Other anecdotal evidence indicates that except for the very
    earliest generation, virtually all Sony DV equipment will
    also read DVCAM cassettes.

    Note, however, that DV equipment and DVCAM equipment
    come from different divisions of Sony. Their management
    and design centers may not even be in the same country.
    And if you were the management of the DVCAM part of Sony,
    would you admit that the cheaper consumer stuff would play
    DVCAM, thereby possibly jeapordizing part of your customer
    Richard Crowley, Dec 24, 2004
  6. Digitalias

    Andys cam Guest

    Thanks for the reply. I've been communicating with Sony
    Don't ya just love it!!
    Andys cam, Dec 24, 2004
  7. Digitalias

    Five Guest

    Most equipment will play miniDVCAM tapes as long as it
    is RECORDED in DV mode. The tape is basically the
    same, with the exception of Sony's tape being
    marginally thicker with DVCAM, and the markings will
    be shorter due to the speed made for faster moving
    DVCAM transports.

    As for the a DVCAM recording, most of the newer Sony
    decks will playback a tape recorded in DVCAM. provided
    it fits in the deck/cam. A non-DVCAM deck or camera
    will not record in DVCAM.

    So in otherwords, most Sony decks/cams will playback
    DVCAM recordings, only DVCAM products can record in
    DVCAM. If you didn't know, "mini" is the smaller
    tapes. Standard DV or standard DVCAM is the larger
    tapes. Some confuse DVCAM to mean that is it always
    the larger tape. "Mini"dvcam is the smaller tape
    marked in time for the dvcam speed recording.
    Regular DVCAM is the larger tape marked for time of
    DVCAM recording. DVCAM is associated to the tape
    speed moving faster than standard DV, it can be mini,
    or standard size.

    Sony does not care if you know that the consumer gear
    may playback DVCAM recordings, in fact, they find that
    an advantage to purchasing sony low end instead of
    someone elses low end DV product.
    They get you to buy DVCAM when you want to RECORD in
    DVCAM or think that less dropouts will benifit you.
    They keep you buying sony over panasonics DVCPRO line
    due to the ability to edit DVCAM with the same gear
    needed to edit standard DV.

    They do not mind PLAYBACK of DVCAM recordings because
    it in no way threatens their higher end product line.
    If you want to playback a DVCAM recording, it had to
    be recorded on DVCAM gear, so somewhere along the
    line, DVCAM gear had to have been purchased. If you
    think you "got-over" on Sony finding out your consumer
    gear plays DVCAM recordings, Sony is also lauging,
    because they know if you think that, you can not
    afford DVCAM anyway ;-0
    Five, Dec 24, 2004
  8. Digitalias

    nappy-iou Guest

    nappy-iou, Dec 24, 2004
  9. Digitalias

    Five Guest

    Five, Dec 25, 2004
  10. Digitalias

    nappy-iou Guest

    The DSR decks we have here will only record DVCAM.
    nappy-iou, Dec 27, 2004
  11. nope
    R. Michael Walker, Jan 16, 2005
  12. "Digitalias" wrote ...
    Disagree. Many (most?) DV camcorders/VCRs (particularly
    Sony models) WILL playback (but not record) DVCAM.
    Richard Crowley, Jan 16, 2005
  13. R. Michael Walker, Jan 17, 2005
  14. Either they have actually removed DVCAM playback
    functionality (I wouldn't put it past them, to prevent the
    consumer division from cratering the pro business) or
    else you are relying on notoriously skimpy product info.
    Sony is extremely stingy with real, comprehensive
    product info. I own lots of Sony audio and video stuff
    and their cut sheets are written like a telegram from a
    stingy rich uncle.
    Richard Crowley, Jan 17, 2005
  15. Digitalias

    Kevin Guest

    A couple of things here guys: (I am a dealer and know the line pretty well,
    not to say I don't make mistakes too!)

    #1 MiniDV and DVCAM tapes are usable in all mini and standard sized DV
    recorders. You won't hear Sony say this, but it's the same tape physically
    and Will work either way. I have done it many times. Not a question.
    -Sony put a different track pitch spec on their DVCAM units and runs it
    at 1.33 times the speed of standard (small = minidv, standard=large dv <tape
    shell description only, tape is the same thing inside)

    ** so, a 60 minute minidv tape in a dvcam camcorder will net 40 minutes
    of video in the dvcam mode. You can change the dvcam recorders (some of
    them, i.e. DSR11, DSR20, 25, and 45 I believe only, and then the dsrpd100,
    150, and 170 all to record a standard dv signal on eihter dvcam tape or std.
    dv tape. you have to know all your variables. It's like saying a hotrod
    can run on high octane best, but it may only make 80% of it's capable
    horsepower on low octane fuel. The faster tape speed nets higher quality
    video~!! The different track pitch offers a more robust signal to be used
    throughout editing and post production.

    Anyone Remember M6 VHS??? Ran wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy fast and looked super clean.
    Didn't catch on. Betamax?? One of sony's best ever formats.. it had 3
    different speeds too, the fastest one or lowest time of recorded video,
    coincidentally was the highest quality. VHS...??? ever record SLP or EP
    modes and wonder why it looks like crap? cramming too much info in too
    little of space of magnetic media. The theory here is the less you cram on
    the tape, the higher quality it will be to view.
    Please call me to discuss this further, as it's a long subject which is best
    talked about vs. written, (my typing is slow)..

    Kevin 913-831-6700 S&S Video Distributors, Inc. Kansas City...
    Kevin, Mar 1, 2005
  16. Digitalias

    maurice Guest

    Just one slight correction there. The DSR 20 will record on either tape but
    only at DVCAM speed PAL only. Now the DSR 11, which came out later and was
    cheaper, can record both DV versions in Pal and NTSC. A case of less is
    Maurice Fleisher <>
    High Wycombe. UK

    maurice, Mar 1, 2005
  17. Digitalias

    David McCall Guest

    Just a couple more things.

    So many of us have gotten grossly wrong information from salesmen, that
    saying you are a dealer may or may not help your argument.

    The video quality of consumer DV, DV-Cam, and even the low speed
    consumer format all contain the same 1s and 0s at the same data rate.
    If everything is up to spec, there should be no difference in quality of the
    video (picture quality). The main difference is that the higher tape speed
    doesn't have to squeeze as much data onto each inch of tape, and is
    thus slightly less susceptible to dropouts. DV has excellent error
    so you might not even notice if there were minor dropouts in any of the
    DV formats. Video with more dropouts would be of lesser quality than
    video without dropouts, so there is some merit to the thought that the
    higher speed = higher quality, but it doesn't come up much here. Assuming
    that your equipment and tape is working correctly the DATA should be just
    the same across the formats.

    Somehow I missed M6. I do remember M2 from Panasonic. It used a VHS
    form-factor cassette, but at a much higher tape speed. The recording quality
    was up there with standard Betacam (not SP) but the hardware (at least the
    first round) was unreliable junk. Analog is different than DV in that tape
    directly affects what you see on the screen. With digital formats, as long
    the numbers get recorded correctly, there is no difference. You do have a
    better shot at reliably getting the right numbers at the higher speed, but
    isn't the same issue as with analog.

    I have a consumer DV camera (TRV-900) and I digitize DV-Cam with it
    several times a month. I can't speak for other consumer devices.

    David McCall, Mar 1, 2005
  18. Digitalias

    Tim Mitchell Guest

    I have tried some Canon models, the GL1/2 (XM1/2 in Pal land) will
    definitely not read DVCAM.
    Tim Mitchell, Mar 2, 2005
  19. That seems consistent with the concept that the Sony products
    are more likely to be able to read DVCAM than other brands.
    Richard Crowley, Mar 2, 2005
  20. Digitalias

    adid Guest

    Sony camcorders do play DVCAM, I'm using DCR TRV40.
    adid, Mar 3, 2005
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