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New Digital 8mm camcorder purchace advice (1 Viewer)

Greg_L_C

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My 7yo 8mm sony camcorder crapped out on me and I don't think it will be cost effective to try to get it repaired, besides its a good excuse to get a new toy. I was in BB today and took a quick look at some of the new Digital Hi8mm recorders. I have a few questions.

1)Will I Still be able to play back my old 8mm tapes with the new recorders? And record on them also?

2)What is the real advantages to these recorders?

3)Most of the ones I looked at had firewire connectors. What will I need on my computer to transfer video to my PC?

Any recomendations, My buget will be about $500

Thanks

Greg
 

Kevin P

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1) Most Digital 8 camcorders will play back analog 8mm and Hi8 tapes. Check the specs/manual to make sure. If you record however, it'll be in Digital 8.

2) Better picture quality and the ability to transfer video digitally into a PC via a Firewire connection are the main advantages, over an analog unit.

3) A Firewire card (IEEE 1394), cable and software. They are pretty cheap nowadays--I got one a year ago for under $100 if I recall correctly.

Personally I like MiniDV camcorders better (more compact), but if you have 8mm tapes you want to be able to play back or reuse, that's the one advantage of Digital 8 over MiniDV.

KJP
 

Dan Joy

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Greg, Sony makes 2 digital camcorders that play existing 8 and digital 8. I was in the same boat, had alot of old 8 tapes. I have the TVR-240(I think, don't have it with me). Much improved over 6 year old Sony I had. I got it at Ultimate Electronics for 550.00. For family purposes, it works great and has firewire capability.
 

Thomas Newton

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Thomas Newton
2)What is the real advantages to these recorders?

Compared to MiniDV camcorders, Digital8 camcorders offer backwards compatibility with 8mm and Hi8 tapes. Blank 8mm/Hi8 tapes are cheaper than MiniDV ones -- and more widely available in places like supermarkets.

Compared to MiniDV camcorders, Digital8 camcorders also might be cheaper to service. Someone claimed in another thread that third parties know how to service 8mm transports, and that MiniDV repairs require a factory service trip.

Both MiniDV and Digital8 support computer editing; the difference is in the physical tape cartridge, not in what's stored on the tape, or what the computer sees.

That said, Digital8 camcorders have some drawbacks, relating to the non-standard digital tape format, and the larger size of the cartridge. The camcorders are larger and heavier than MiniDV ones, and you've got a choice of all of one vendor.
 

Greg_L_C

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Thomas

I don't really understand what this means.

Avoid any digital camcorder, regardless of vendor or format, that can't record from an analog video input. It's sad to say, but a number of such camcorders exist.
Also what's a good program for editing video to a format that can be written to a CD and grabbing still images for printing

Thanks for the advice!

Greg
 

Thomas Newton

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Greg,

If you are going to be working with (S)VHS source tapes, such as home videos that relatives might send you, you need a digital camcorder that can record analog input or do passthrough conversion.

In the event that you bought a MiniDV camcorder, you'd want the ability to record from analog input, so that you could borrow a working Hi8/8mm camcorder and make MiniDV copies of your Hi8/8mm tapes.

There's no good reason why a camcorder should lack such a basic function ("record from line inputs, like a VCR"). It's just that many of them do (and did even in the analog days), so you can't assume that it's there.
 

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