Beware of amatuers
Beware of amateurs on the web offering 8mm conversion. Many utilise used video equipment which can now easily be sourced from Ebay such as an old analogue camcorder which they use as the player when transferring tapes. They connect this to a cheap home PC and make crude recordings onto disc. We find this most annoying as they charge you professional rates and what you are really getting is your tapes played on a domestic quality camcorder with misaligned, worn and dirty video heads. The end results are terrible with poor quality footage from your source material.
All these clients used had video8 or 8 mm tapes transferred.
"It's a pleasure to write and say how happy we was. To be honest it was murder finding a company that did these little cassettes. As you know I sent them into 2 (yes 2) other companies only to find out that they did not do eight video. Anyway we are happy and it was lovely to see the boys young again especially my me and my hair - what we're we thinking in the 80's !"
Wendy York in Birmingham
"Thanks again, it's been 20 years since looking at these and we gave the DVDs away as presents to the family. Probably the cheapest gift we've ever given them but absolutely the Best, don't know how to top it next Christmas"
B. Waitrose in Cardiff
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About Video 8 format Camcorder Tapes
The 8 mm video format was developed by Kodak in 1984, however they withdrew shortly afterwords selling the design to a consortium of other electronics manufacturers. Often it's confused with 8mm film and Super8 film which are the old cine film formats. If you want to transfer 8mm film or Super8 to DVD then visit www.cine-to-dvd-transfer.co.uk
About the same time VHSC camcorders were already on the video market. The disadvantage with 8 mm camcorder format was that VHS was well established and 8 mm video was completely incompatible with the VHS formats. 8 mm was the low end and Hi8 with twice the resolution was the highend. These formats were identical in size and both used 8 mm wide video tape in a very small cassette. The quality of the footage was comparable with that of the VHSC although many camcorder enthusiasts said that 8 mm was superior. The spec didn't prove that but the price did indicate that it was more expensive then it was superior tape format.
The problem of course, was that at this time no one owned an 8 mm video recorder. There was no adapter available that would allow this little cassette to be played or recorded on a VHS system unlike the VHS-C Compact video cassette. Most of the users of the 8 mm format had to connect their camcorders to a TV or VCR to watch their video.
Although the format produced around 240 lines of resolution it was renowned for its high level of drop outs. This was largely due to the built in video tracking adjustments that was critical on the it's video system. A small bump of the camcorder, like knocking the camcorder transportation bag would cause the video transport mechanism of the tape to become out of line, bit by bit over time. However, saying that it was largely popular amongst travellers and holiday makers due to the tapes compact size and lightweight camcorder. The compactness of the cassettes was great for suit cases already filled to the brim.
The 8 mm video cassettes were quite difficult to come by as they were only sold in specialist electronic shops. The cost of the cassette was usually double the price of the VHSC. This was justified by the claim that it had a higher resolution with a similar recording time when compared to VHS-C and that you could fit 2 hours of recorded footage on each video cassette at SP speed. Later versions of it's camcorders had a push button editing system that allowed the user to input fades and dissolves whilst recording. However many of these camcorders received a bad reputation of breaking down frequently.
Because of the identical cassette size playback of Hi8 and Digital8 in the same equipment was sometimes possible, but many problems were encountered during recording. The format was eventually replaced by Digital 8 and Mini DV both of which had the advantage of being digital as opposed to analogue.