MiniDV tape tips

The Dangers of Long Play.

If you switch your camera to long play mode, you can squeeze and extra half and hour of footage onto a MiniDV tape. Big deal! The price you pay for this Mono sound and dropped frames. It’s much better to use another tape and maintain the quality of your filming.

Keep Your Head Clean.

During normal camera use (both playing and recording) a conventional MiniDV tape will deposit a layer of ferric oxide, which clings to the tape heads and forms a barrier between the tape and the head. Over time this layer can build up, reducing recording quality until you can no longer record footage at all. Fortunately MiniDV Cleaning Cassettes are available. Ideally, these should be used once a month.

Write Protect.

Once you’ve inadvertently recorded over a precious moment you were planning to keep for ever, you’ll truly understand what this feature is for. MiniDV tapes have a sliding write protect switch. Once you’ve finished filming slide the switch to protect your recording.

Shoot, Rewind, Record.

After watching the footage you’ve just filmed, rewind a few seconds into the previous footage. If you leave blank areas on the tape, this can result in the capture process failing on some capture system. The blank areas also cause the on tape counter to reset itself making it impossible to locate footage using time code. Therefore every time you film as scene, record some slack footage at the end that you can rewind into and record over.

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