8mm tapes may look like dinosaurs in these days of HD video where smartphone video is shot in 4K, or even 8K.
But then technological advancement aside, the romance with the 8mm video format isn’t over yet.
Who Needs 8mm Tapes?
Firstly, although HD video technology is accessible to the man in the street, not everyone is ready for it. There’s the cost factor and also equipment investment to think of.
For one, if you’ve an older PC, you can’t really do much when it comes to editing HD video owing to lack of computing power. So, standard definition video will do for most of us, as long as the videos are watchable. Well, nobody complains about a well-edited standard definition video, anyway.
That said, you may still have a working 8mm camcorder and capture device and may want to go around shooting with yuour trusted old camcorder, for old times’ sake.
But then may you have trouble finding an 8mm tape to use with your camcorder. If that’s the case, then you can peruse this quick buying guide to help you with the tape you want.
Also you may not be from the 8mm video generation, but may have picked up an 8mm camcorder to experiment with it. You may be wondering wjhat 8mm tapes are out there and which you can use with the camcorder.
You may also want to learn about the 8mm tape format if you’ve discovered a collection of 8mm tapes and need to convert these 8mm tapes to digital.
Brief 8mm Tape History
Although the 8mm format was introduced by Kodak in 1984, it was after Sony rolled out its first 8mm video camera (Handycam) in 1985 that the 8mm tape became popular.
Read more about the 8mm tape history.
New 8mm Tapes Still Available
You would be hard pressed to find new 8mm tapes in your neighbourhood electronics store.
No new 8mm tapes are being manufactureed as no 8mm camcorders are rolled out these days. But you can still find brand new tapes over at eBay or Amazon
Prices may be a little steep owing to scarcity. But if you don’t want to miss out on the thrill of shooting on 8mm tape, you wouldn’t mind it.
Although Sony was the leader when it came to 8mm video format, there were other electronics giants who manufactured 8mm tapes though they didn’t produce 8mm cameras.
Video8 8mm Tapes
This was the first 8mm tape format released to the market. The following are the Video 8mm tapes available in the market, at least for now.
FUJI MP P6-120 DS N 8mm Tape
Fuji claims that this is the world’s first 8mm tape with which employs the Double Coating technology.
Maxell P6-120 GX-MP 8mm Tape
This tape was manufactured by Maxell Corporation USA and assembled in Mexico. Maxell provides a lifetime warranty with this tape.
According to Maxell they’re of high quality and extremely durable.
Hi-8 8mm Tapes
TDK P6-120 HS 8mm Hi-8Tape
The tape is manufactured in the USA by TDK Electronics Corp. In LP (Long Play) you can shoot up to 4 hours and in SP (Standard Play) you can shoot up to 2 hours. The 120MP means a 120-minute tape and MP means Metal Particle.
The tape is mentioned as premium. Premium doesn’t mean you can get a higher resolution than the 240 lines of a Video8. The tape may be made of better quality material which would help improve pictire quality a little. A premium tape could also mean that the tape would last longer without damage when stored.
In its packaging, TDK promises lifelike colors and ‘smooth reliable cassette operation’. .
TDK P6-120HPCXL2 8mm Tape
This Hi-8 8mm tape comes with Advanced avifine formulation and powered by High-precision SQ (super quality) mechanism
It’s marked as super-durable which means iit’s suitable for repeated record/erase cycles.
Digital8 8mm Tapes
When it comes to Digital8, 8mm tapes, Sony has no rival. Sony’s Digital8 camcorder has no rival and it can be said that Digital8 format is Sony’s monopoly.
Well, you don’t need to use a Digital8 8mm tape with your Digital8 camera, but users have said that using a Digital8 tape provides a better picture quality than if Video8 or Hi-8 tapes are used.
A Digital8 8mm tape is relatively more expensive than their Video8 and Hi-8 counterparts. A single tape may cost up to USD30. But then if you want to get the most out of of your Digital8 camcorder, you wouldn’t mind splashing the cash for it.
Sony N860P2 Digital8 8mm Tape
With this tape you can record 60 minutes of video in SP mode and (0 minutes in LP mode.
There you have it, a quick overview of the 8mm tapes available for purchase to use with your Video8, Hi-8 and Digital8 camcorders.