We know that 8mm camcorders were popular during the analog video heyday.
Video8 was the first 8mm camcorder introduced to the market. It was about the quality of VHS with about 240 horizontal lines.
Then came Hi-8 camcorders which promised a higher video quality with about 400 lines, about the quality of S-video.
Both these camcorders only had analog outputs. Video8 had RCA outputs. Some Hi-8 camcorders came with S-Video outputs as well.
So, if you wanted to digitize video from both these 8mm video formats you would need an analog video to digital converter in the form of a video capture device.
If you’re wondering if there’s an 8mm camcorder with digital converter, there is.
The only 8mm camcorder with digital converter is the Digital8 camcorder.
A Digital8 camcorder offers analog video output and also digital video output.
How Does the Digital Converter in a Digital8 Camcorder Work?
Digital8 camcorders come with a Firewire or IEEE 1394 port. This enables the camcorder to be connected directly to a computer that has a Firewire port.
This means you don’t need a video capture card or device to transfer video from your 8mm camcorder to your computer.
What you need are Firewire ports on both ends and a Firewire cable to connect the two ports.
Once connected, you’ll launch your video editing software and capture DV quality video which you can edit and output to DVD or as a digital file.
If you’re looking for such a Digital8 camcorder and don’t mind installing a Firewire connection in your computer, then you can check out this list of Sony Digital8 camcorder models.
What if I Have a Computer Without a Firewire Port
Time was when a Firewire connection had to be installed internally into your computer system.
For a computer desktop system, the casing would have to be opened up and a Firewire card had to be installed manually.
In the case of a laptop computer, there are some models that come with the connection installed into the motherboard.
If yours doesn’t, you can enable Firewire externally by using a PCMCIA card as shown in the video below.
With this device you make your 8mm camcorder with digital converter work wit your old computer.