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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Canada
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    I have a couple old camcorders from the early 90's that I am trying to get functioning:

    Camera #1 is a Ricoh R-87H Hi8 camcorder.
    Camera #2 is a Sony Handycam CCD-TR51 8mm camcorder.

    Camera 1 seems to be functioning fine, besides having vertical lines visible on the display. Pretty sure I just need to clean the head on this one. A cleaning tape doesn't seem to be helping, so I may need to look into another way to clean.

    The main issue is with Camera 2 - everything seems to be working except for the playback. When I am recording, the picture looks all good with no artifacts. When I go to play it back, there is some bad distortion. Very shaky with multiple images. This is using an 8mm tape in an 8mm camera and I have tried it with two different unused tapes. Video of the distortion (iPhone video looking into the camera - I need to get some kind of RCA cable to transfer to my Mac): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TymZrgGKhpI

    I later tried playing back this same 8mm tape with Camera 1 (Hi8 camcorder) and there is no shaking or added artifacts, besides the usual vertical lines. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUT7AvGUxDI It seems that the issue is with Camera 2's playback, as the tape itself and the footage from Camera 2 seems to be all good.

    Any ideas why Camera 2 is playing back with a distorted picture? Any fixes?
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    San Francisco, California
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    Camera 1 looks like a problem with the display device. It does not look like anything related to the video heads.

    Camera 2 has bad playback sync. It could be a mechanical or electronic problem.
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  3. Member
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    Dec 2017
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    Thanks for the info! Very helpful.

    Any recommendations for connecting the RCA to Mac (USB or FireWire/Thunderbolt?) for digitizing the tape video/audio?
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    San Francisco, California
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    Any of the inexpensive USB dongle converters will work about the same. Thunderbolt data rates are not required for legacy video. Usually, you will get a better picture from an s-video output than a composite (RCA) output.
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