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Old Mar 10, 2009, 11:49 PM   #1
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Once upon a time, there were analog camcorders...the newest and greatest...forget the vhs tapes, switch to 8mm! Anyway, I did (years ago), when my 23 year-old son was an infant.I'd like to transfer all those tapes to digital, except that the RCA Pro850 camcorder doesn't work. I've been on eBay, see lots of Sony 8mm camcorders, and was wondering if all 8mm cams are the same. I'm not referring to hi8 cameras, which this was not.

If I then am able to procure a working 8mm camcorder, then how best to convert to digital cd or dvd or whatever else is the next technological advance?

Please help, before the tapes disintegrate or my son joins AARP!!!:?
:?
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 12:51 AM   #2
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If you're going to buy a second hand 8mm videocam, then choose a Sony digital 8 camera videocam, depending on the model.

If you put an ANALOG 8mm or Hi8 tape into it, it will AUTOMATICALLY convert it to digital on the DVI / iLink output of the camera. You can then capture in on a firewire/IEEE1394 input to a computer, or on a DVD recorder that has an iLink input.


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Old Mar 17, 2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your info on the analog-digital conversion!! Is it really that simple,:? to just play the 8mm tapes through the digital8 camcorder, hooked up to the computer w/ whatever link you mentioned? And do you recommend any specific model camcorder?
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 12:58 AM   #4
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I don't know if you ever caught my reply to your answer to my question, but THANKS! I've since learned that not all Sony digital8 camcorders are "backward compatable", and some only accept hi8 tapes (which I don't have). Can you recommend any specific models? Thanks again.

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Old Mar 25, 2009, 4:48 AM   #5
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I'm in exactly the same position as you, aleyedig, with 123 family Video8 tapes taken over the lifetime of my now 17-year old son, on 3 successive Sony camcorders, the last two of which are still fully operational. They're all backed up on VHS (losing lots of the quality), but of course all the tapes, VHS and Video8, must be gradually deteriorating. The VHS copies are edited somewhat, with all garbage removed. I used either a primitive editing desk which could control the camcorder player, or just by pausing, starting , and stopping both machines.

The death throes of VHS concentrated my mind on digitising the lot, just like you, but little progresswas made. My camcorders fell out of use as I got heavily into digital still photography, and less inclined to carry a big, heavy so-called 'Handycam'. To embrace future digitisation, I purchased a cheap Daewoo combined VHS and DVD recorder, with a good range of inputs, including 'Firewire' and the facility for tape to disk copying in either direction. I could also transcribe from Hi8 via the camcorder's analogue outputs direct to DVD, or to VHS tape.

Then, last Easter, my brother asked me to film his wedding, especially the high-class music, at very short notice, because the bride's nonagenarian father was too ill to attend.So I resurrected the camcorder, with enormous trepidation (couldn't remembermy lost skills!), but some considerable success. Once I'd written a master DVD from my Hi8 tapes, via the analog link, I could easily run off identical DVD copies for all the family using a computer's DVD writer. Apparently both the wedding DVDs and the VHS tape are still regular viewing after nearly a year.

Thus inspired, I then moved on and bought a ludicrously cheap Samsung DVC camcorder with a Firewire output, and I now use that to write direct to DVD, with judicious editing by means of pause/record. I have used both the Hi8 and DVC machines interchangeably on the same musical recitals, and I'm delighted to find little perceptible difference in image or sound quality.

Of course, this means I've now to moved to yet a third successive nearly-extinct tape format, but that'll do while the future of the camcorder market (card or HD) sorts itself out. After all, digital mini-cassettes were what professionals used for computer system backups until only a few years ago. It has the advantage that you keep your original material direct from the camera, (like a negative) as a backup, for as long as the tape lasts, and you aren't completely dependent on your home computer system. In our case that system isn't big or powerful enough to keep and store a family history archive, at about 4GB per hour of 'HQ' recording.

So much the simplest solution is to write via analogue Video8 output straight from a cheap Video8/Hi8 camcorder to a DVD recorder.I don't know whether that would be cheaperthan dnas' combined digital/analogue 8mm player, but I'd expect 'digital8' and its machines to die out before DVC machines. I nearly bought a second-hand Digital8 camcorder at one stage, but was dissuaded by its apparently imminent demise, and the compatibility problem.

So good luck with your transcription, and I hope you get on with it more quickly than I've done! I've got 6 years (23-17) in hand to catch up with your tape-age situation, though.
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 8:19 PM   #6
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aleyedig wrote:
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I don't know if you ever caught my reply to your answer to my question, but THANKS! I've since learned that not all Sony digital8 camcorders are "backward compatable", and some only accept hi8 tapes (which I don't have). Can you recommend any specific models? Thanks again.

aleyedig
Sorry it took a while to get back to this!!!

I'll have a look at the model I have. I used to have an old 8mm regular video camera (one of those Sharp Handycams). The Sony Digital 8 I have converts the Sharp 8mm(and also Hi8 tapes to digital, and I connect it directly to a stand alone DVD recorder with a digital input on the front.(or to computer via a firewire/IEEE1394 card)


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Old Mar 27, 2009, 7:16 PM   #7
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My Sony digital video8 camera is a DCR-TRV530.

It was bought in 2001.
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 9:41 AM   #8
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Please can somebody help me?
I have an old analog Sony Handycam CCD-TRV108E which I bought to film the kids when they were younger.
Later, I bought a JVC digital camcorder GR-D390EK.
I have several Hi8 tapes I would like to ultimately put onto disc via my pc but even reading through your detailed instructions, i'm still none the wiser.
I have an array of leads/wires/connections but don't know what any of them are called. Could someone be kind enough to tell me exactly what I need to do please?
I don't know what most of my wires and leads are called, so pics would be handy - or is that asking too much? :? Thanks for any help.
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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cammadam wrote:
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........analog Sony Handycam CCD-TRV108E ...........I have an array of leads/wires/connections...
Among them there's probably an 'AV lead' with three 'phono plugs' on each end(Centre fat pin and a shiny metal ring round the outside, which fits over a shiny metal stub on the socket). The plugs may well be coloured yellow, white and red. Any three individual leads with that type of plug on each end will do, regardless of colour.

These three leads carry left audio, right audio, and composite video. The camcorder may well have three phono sockets under a cover somewhere. Many DVD recorders and VHS recorders will have a matching set of three sockets, usually labelled 'AV'. Just connect them, and away you go! You'll probably get away with only one audio lead, if necessary - my first camcorder had only one microphone, so monaural sound.

You may well have 'S-Video' leads as well, but I've never used those.

Connecting direct to a computer will work for the soundtrack, but not generally for video. The analog sound signalcan be digitised 'on the fly' by Windows Sound Recorderfor, example. But the video signal will need a device to digitise it (A/D converter), as built in to the aforesaid DVD recorders, and to the plug-in boxes designed for PCs to perform the same function.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 1, 2009, 6:12 PM   #10
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cammadam wrote:
Quote:
Please can somebody help me?
I have an old analog Sony Handycam CCD-TRV108E which I bought to film the kids when they were younger.
Later, I bought a JVC digital camcorder GR-D390EK.
I have several Hi8 tapes I would like to ultimately put onto disc via my pc but even reading through your detailed instructions, i'm still none the wiser.
I have an array of leads/wires/connections but don't know what any of them are called. Could someone be kind enough to tell me exactly what I need to do please?
I don't know what most of my wires and leads are called, so pics would be handy - or is that asking too much? :? Thanks for any help.
If you buy a video cature card (quie cheap these days), you canput them on your PC.

Just make sure the capture card has the yellow connector (video), and sound (left, right - red, white)
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