My relatives have old Sony 8 tapes taken years ago. I want to transfer them to my computer.
My question is: Do I need ONLY a Sony camcorder to play them back or can I play them back on a JVC, Panasonic, Canon etc.
I am planning on buying a used Camcorder with S-Video out and maybe Firewire out as well. If I do not have to limit myself to Sony, then I can buy one more easily (more available).
I will use a Canopus ADVC 300.
I have looked at the specs of some Sony models eg: DCR-TRV-17E, DCR-TRV-18E Sony has a good range but only a few on Ebay.
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Thread: Video8 and Hi8 and Camcorders
Video8/Hi8 tapes should play back on another brand of Video8/Hi8 player.
If the tapes are Hi8, then these are not (or usually) backwards compatible with Video8 players.
Video8 will playback on Hi8 machines.
If the tapes happen to have be recorded in LP mode, the playback machine must also support this.
Apart from what camcorder to get, you may well run into some other issues that need to be addressed.
First, depending on how and where they were stored, these tapes could be shedding oxide & dust as you start to play them: it's likely that within the 1st minute, they will clog the camcorder heads & you get nothing on playback but noise. The trick is to FF and REW the tapes completely first 2 or 3x or more before playing them. This hopefully redistributes spool tension and loose bits fall off. A separate stand-alone rewinder is ideal for the purpose but these may now be more difficult to get than any tiara that mitzi del bra once wore so you will use the camcorder just the same.
Then, an often fatal problem is if the tapes were recorded LP. LP-recorded tapes will only ever play back accurately in the very same camcorder that recorded them, and not soon after. Playing them in any other camcorder, even if the same exact brand & model, is hit & miss, much more miss. I suggest, if possible, if the tapes are LP, to test them with the potential camcorder to be bought first.What you don't know won't hurt you.
Until it hurts you. Then you know.
Buy a Sony Digital8 camcorder. These will play back Video8 and Hi8 tapes but output as DV over Firewire. Obviously the same advice regarding the state of the tapes will still apply but they are a good all round camcorder for transferring older tapes.
Thanks for all your help. It is much appreciated.