MiniDV tape is cheap! LP mode will kill you.

If you’re shooting a wedding or event and don’t want to run out of MiniDV tape during the event, do not use LP mode on your camcorder!  Just don’t do it. The compression is pretty substantial for LP mode and your footage will have many undesirable video artifacts, especially if you plan to use video effects with this footage.

And if it’s about saving money, fuggettaboutit. MiniDV tapestock is the cheapest item on the production budget, weighing in at a whole $2.95 each.

Okay, so how do you record a 90 minute wedding without LP mode and only using 60 minutes worth of tape?

Here’s what you do. Before the wedding, have one tape in the camera and a second tape unwrapped and sitting on the box under the tripod.  At the exact moment where the wedding guests are falling asleep as the pastor goes on and on about the joy of the marriage, quickly eject tape #1 and insert #2.  And yes, you are going to lose about 30 seconds of the ceremony, but I don’t think the people watching the tape are going to be too bothered. In fact, I think they would thank you.

Make sure the bride and groom know in advance that 30 seconds of the wedding will not be recorded… either that… or they can have inferior video quality. Believe me, the want the best!