What camcorder should I get for Digital8, Hi8 and Video8 Conversion?

modernmoments

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 15, 2012
126
50
I'm looking to get a camcorder where I can move digital8, video8 and hi8 tapes to computer - both audio and video to an editing program like FCP X or Premiere. I need a camcorder that can do this, regardless of the manufacturer the original tape was recorded on.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

cgbier

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2011
933
2
You won't find them new anymore, but check ebay for the Sony TRV 480. It was the last of the crop IIRC.
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
ick....do not use a camcorder.

you don't know how much it's been used, how bad the heads are on it, how many hours have been run through, how well it's been taken care of it etc....

if you're doing this as a business, judging by your username, you need to get a Sony GDV200. stable, well made. get a cleaning cassette and clean it after x amount of hours.

This is meant to sound like a lecture, but it may come out that way, but people will be entrusting their family memories so you'll want to use something you can trust.

Good luck
Keebler :)
 

cgbier

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2011
933
2
On the other hand, the deck was a bit more expensive than the cams, so it was mostly used commercially. You can bet that it has a lot of hours on the clock.

In general, I'm not disagreeing with you though. Cam for shooting, deck for capture.
 

initialsBB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2010
688
2
Cam for shooting, deck for capture.
Honestly in both cases the heads will be used a great deal, but you're right there is more chance that the camcorder spent most of it's time in a drawer, whereas the deck (if my past experience as a video tech assistant serves me justice) will have spent a great deal of time in service.

The OP definitely needs to check the camcorder out before, test it with a junk tape first and give the heads a good thorough clean with either a cleaning tape or a lint free Qtip and some non abrasive solution (rubbing alcohol). Look out for both the read and write heads which will be little nubs on the rotating metal heads, as well as all the rubber bumpers that guide the tape reel. More often than not it's actually the rubber bumpers that are really the culprits.
 
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WRP

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2011
510
2
Boston
It's hi8 people! It's going to look like crap anyway so I would actually try and make it look crappier not spend a ton of money on a deck and head cleaner.
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,944
191
Canada
It's hi8 people! It's going to look like crap anyway so I would actually try and make it look crappier not spend a ton of money on a deck and head cleaner.
it's not about how it's going to look - more like how ensuring the tape mechanisms aren't crappy enough to wreck a client's tape.
 

modernmoments

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 15, 2012
126
50
Thank you all for the replies. I'm going to have the camcorder professionally cleaned before doing any transfers. I want to get a deck, but need to get some revenue first. I'll be doing my due diligence before taking anyone's stuff and converting it. I'm doing this as a side business and many people told me that the camcorder and deck comparisons are fairly negligible.

I'll post my findings when I receive the camcorder and do more work with it.
 

mcpix

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2005
289
69
As some one who does these transfers a lot, you'll find that the TRV 480 works fine with a few qualifications. First although it will play all 3 types of tapes, it is a lot pickier with the playback of Hi8 and Video 8 tapes (the manual even says this). That's why I have both a Hi 8mm and a digital 8mm camcorder.

The other problem you may run into, is that like many DV camcorders, the heads seem to clog fairly easily. You'll want to go on eBay and pick up an 8mm head cleaning cassette before you start.

Finally, Sony actually packed a lot of features into their camcorders (including TBC on most Hi8 units), and I haven't found any differences between using a deck and a higher end camcorder.

Good Luck on your efforts!
 

cgbier

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2011
933
2
Basically, a deck is nothing else than a camera without lens and sensor, but some extra buttons. You shouldn't see any difference in image quality.
 
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