Is new always better than old? I have 100 hours of Hi8 footage I want to capture through the Canopus AVDC300, and I'm not sure whether I should trust my old tapes to the worn out heads of the 1998 Sony Hi8 camera they were recorded on, or whether to try a $300 brand new Sony Digital8 camera for S-Video output into the AVDC300 for noise removal.
(I would avoid using the built-in analog to digital conversion of the Digital8 camcorder because I want the quality and noise removal of the AVDC300.)
I can think of these issues:
1.) Would the newer camcorder, designed for the bottom-of-the-line consumer market ($200-$300), have higher quality outputs than my older but mid-range ($900) Hi8 camcorder from 1998?
2.) Would the newer camcorder, despite its virgin heads and tape path, play back my tapes with inferior tracking (or other analog factor) compared to the camcorder they were originally recorded with? Is it better to try to clean the heads?
Thank you for any advice you may have on the subject.
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Clean the heads, if it doesn't work, buy the Digital8. Then sell the AVDC300, transfer as DV over Firewire and do the noise removal afterwards. The AVDC300 noise reduction may be good, but is doing it on the fly so is limited. Doing it properly later may take longer but it will be able to make an even better job.
It is always better to play back on the machine a tape was originally recorded on and you'll probably find that the output quality will be better. Remember, you'll be comparing the quality from a low end, cheap current camcorder with a higher end, far more expensive, older one.
Originally Posted by ErikL7
An older upper range Hi8 camcorder will play to analog out better than the Digital8 camcorders that I've seen. Digital 8 is great for IEEE-1394 DV out but the analog output quality is low. Input analog was adequate in my tests. Mind you my reference for Hi8 playback was an upper range CCD-V5000 (had internal TBC/DNR).
Also many Digital8 lack picture in shuttle and non 1x speed modes. Digital8 camcorders don't play the Hi8 PCM audio (play linear tracks only) although the GV-400/800 decks will.
I think you are better off getting a used quality Hi8 camcorder for this project if your current one is really worn out. Tracking will usually be better on the camcorder that recorded the tape.
I personally feel you're probably going to get a better result with the older Hi8. It is specifically designed to play Hi8 tapes instead of merely being able to play them. (In a similar note, the PS2 is backward compatible with Playstation 1 games but I've heard PS1 games look worse on a PS2.) Besides a $900 video camera from 1998 should be all around much better in most cases than a $300 video camera from 2007, regardless of formats.
The digital 8 format is dying anyways, a new D8 camera today will not be as good as the format was, they're made much more cheaply. You probably already know this but a new vcr will not play back vhs tapes as good as an older one because they're now made really cheap.
What Hi8 camera model do you have. The ones that came out in 1998 were pretty good for the most part. Maybe if you knew someone with a digital 8 camera, you could ask to borrow theirs and do a side by side comparison.
I help friends transfering their hi-8 video to DVD. Most of the older hi-8 camcorder captured clearer, brighter, and higher contrast video than the new camcorder ( they are nearly only low end models only now a day).
Bit late with my 2 cents on this. My story is similar to the OP. However, I found that noise was not the issue I thought it would be. Basically, your Hi8 video seems worse than it really is if your only "view" is on a computer monitor. I spent a lot of time getting wrapped around the axle regarding what I perceived to be a poor "picture" on my PC. If I hooked my camera to my TV, the video was nice!
What I learned is that a generic computer monitor is not a TV. When I started to use a TV as an external monitor with vegas I found that my video was actually pretty decent. Of course, there is the garbage in - garbage out element. Video recorded in low light is going to be a bit noisy and you can't really compensate for rapid camera movement. I found that in most cases trying to correct noise made my video too soft, even with the gentlest of corrections.
Generally speaking, I've been pretty happy with the quality of video I've captured from my 1998 vintage sony Hi-8 camera via canopus ADVC300. Even video shot outside at night has turned out decent. In most cases, the only corrections I've needed to make have been color and levels.
The AVDC300 noise reduction may be good, but is doing it on the fly so is limited.