Digital8 (1999 – 2007)

The Digital8  (D8) was a digital camcorder format introduced by Sony in 1999.

It  quickly found favour with existing owners of Sony Video8 and Hi-8 camcorders.

Digital8 Camcorder with 8mm and Hi-8 Playback

Can a Digital 8 camcorder play Hi-8 tapes?

Yes, a Digital 8 camcorder can not only play Hi-8 tapes but also Video8 tapes.  Sony manufactured Digital8 camcorders to be backward compatible with its previous camcorder formats – Hi-8 and Video8.

Both the Video8 and Hi-8 tapes  could be used to record DV quality video ta Digital8  video camera.

That doesn’t mean that a 60 -minute Hi-8 tape would get you the same amount of time when video is recorded in the Digital8 format.

As the drum in the D8 spins faster you would only get 40 minutrs of video as the video data is stored in the DV codec.

The  last   camcorder was produced by Sony in 2007.

A decade on, Digital8 camcorders are still sold and bought, online, especially over eBay. It’s sought after by those who wish to digitize their Video8 and Hi-8 tapes

Do you have a tapes shot in a Sony Video8 or  Hi-8 camcorder? You could easily convert them to a digital format via a Digital8 camcorder  for easy editing in a computer .

Digital8 Camcorder Models that Can’t Play Back Video8 and Hi-8 Tapes

If you’re shopping for a Digital8 camcorder to convert your 8mm tapes to DVD or a digital video file, be reminded that the following Digital8 camcorder models can only play back Digital8 tapes and not 8mm (Video8) or Hi-8 tapes:

Can You Record in the Video8 or Hi-8 format with a Digital8 Camcorder?

No, you can’t. Although Digital8 camcorders can play back Video8 and Hi-6 tapes, it can only record in the Digital8 format.

Digital8 Cassette Tape

Digital8 tapes are available in two forms – metal particle or metal evaporated.

The Digital8 format allows a recording time of up to 135 minutes on a D-90 tape. However, this extra-thin and long tape is not commonly available and is costly.

Tape length used per second is 28mm.

Digital8 Camcorder as a Video Capture Bridge

The Digital8  camcorder acts as a sort of a video capture card which transform analog signal into a digital one before sending it to a computer.

This is made possible through a Firewire port in the camcorder.   A  Firewire port is akso called an IEEE 1394 port.

All D8 video cameras come with a Firewire port built in. However, in order to transfer the digital video signal from the camcorder to your computer, you r computer or laptop must have a Firewire port built in.