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Long Play Mode > Long Play Mode - Pg. 283

This kind of logging is enormously useful even for the amateur. It can save you lots of time when you sit down to transfer the footage from camcorder to Mac, because you don't have to sit there watching the entire hour of tape. You already know that the frst 15 minutes were fantastic, followed by 15 minutes of lousy stuff that you can fast-forward past, and so on. Notes on DV Tapes Long Play Mode Most DV camcorders let you squeeze 90 minutes of video onto each 60-minute cas- sette by using Long Play (LP) mode, in which the tape travels more slowly through the camcorder electronics. On a DV camcorder, LP mode doesn't bear the same stigma of lousy picture quality that it does on VHS equipment. In fact, there's absolutely no difference in quality between LP and Standard Play mode on a DV camcorder. The data is stored as a stream of numbers; the computer doesn't care how fast they're slipping through the camcorder innards. You should, however, be aware of several LP side effects: · You lose the ability to dub in a second soundtrack after having recorded some video. That's not much of a sacrifce, however, since you can do the same thing and more in iMovie. · In theory, LP mode also increases the chance of getting dropouts. Most people re- port no such occurrence, but it's more likely to occur when recording at LP speed. Experiment with your camcorder before recording some once-in-a-lifetime event in LP mode. · Avoid recording LP and standard-speed footage on the same cassette. Camcorder makers warn that doing so is a recipe for scrambled footage. · Use LP-recorded tapes only in the camcorder that recorded them. Swapping LP tapes among different camcorder models--or even different units in the same camcorder line--invites dropouts and other video noise, because the playback heads in each camcorder are aligned differently. LP recordings use a much nar- rower stripe of tape to record video information (6.7 microns wide, instead of 10 microns wide in Standard Play mode), so even minor differences in the position of the heads in different camcorders can result in LP playback problems. Clearly, LP recording is something of a black art. For the smoothest sailing in your DV career, avoid it except when getting 90 minutes in a single pass is crucial to your project. Tip: If you have a Sony Digital8 camcorder, another option is open to you: Buy 180-minute Hi-8 tapes, such as Sony E6-180HME cassettes. You won't fnd them at your local drugstore, that's for sure, but www. bhphotovideo.com, for example, carries them. These tapes let you ft 90 minutes of high-quality footage on a single cassette, without the downsides of LP mode. (They're a good way to return fnished iMovies that are over an hour long back to tape, too.) chapter11:backtothecamcorder 283