Hi8 camcorders are still needed to play back Hi8 and Video8 tapes and convert them to digital or DVD. Here are some top Hi8 camcorders still available for sale.
The Hi8 format is an improvement over the Video8 format introduced in 1985.
“Hi” is an abbreviation for “high-band” or “high bandwidth.”
- 1 Hi8 Quality Improvement
- 2 Hi8 Tape
- 3 Hi8 Advantage
- 4 Why Buy a Hi8 Camcorder?
- 5 First Hi8 Camcorder
- 6 Other Early Hi8 Camcorder Models
- 7 Hi8 Camcorders are No Longer in Production
- 8 Hi8 Camcorders for Sale at Amazon
- 9 Sony CCDTRV308 Hi8 Camcorder
- 10 Sharp VL-H860U Hi8 Viewcam Camcorder
- 11 Samsung SCL906 Hi8 Camcorder
- 12 References
Hi8 Quality Improvement
Video8, the first 8mm camcorder format, has a luminance carrier of 5 MHz. Hi8 increased it to 7 MHz.
With Hi8, the frequency deviation of Video8 was increased from 1.2MHz to 2.0 MHz.
The improvement in both of these areas gives rise to 400 lines of horizontal resolution over Video8’s 240 lines.
Another improvement to the Hi8 format is the inclusion of S-Video inputs and outputs. S-Video separates the luminance and chrominance of a video signal to provide superior picture quality.
In Video8’s RCA connection, both luminance and chrominance are combined as a single output.
The tape format also changed. Hi8 requires a metal-evaporated (ME) tape or a metal particle (MP) tape for superior video quality.
ME tape technology employs vacuum evaporation technology. It has a high-density, pure metal surface minus a binding element.
Apart from superior video quality, Hi8 camcorders have the ability to play back Video8 or 8mm tapes.
So, if you have a collection of Video8 and Hi8 tapes, you should get a Hi8 camcorder to play both of these formats.
Hi8 camcorders can’t play Digital8 tapes, though.
Why Buy a Hi8 Camcorder?
Most of us can’t imagine buying a Hi8 camcorder to shoot video. Your smartphone can do a better job at that, not to mention DSLRs and HD camcorders.
There are two reasons why folks buy Hi8 camcorders in this HD video age.
The first is to play their collection of Hi8 tapes on their TV sets.
The second is to digitize their collection of Hi8 tapes. In other words, convert their Hi8 tapes to a digital format like MP4 or even convert them to DVD.
So, a Hi8 camcorder comes in handy as a tape player. It’s a cheaper option than buying a Hi8 player or VCR.
First Hi8 Camcorder
The first Hi8 camcorder was the Sony CCD-V99. It was released in May 1989 and had a recommended retail price of $2200.
It was known as the high-bandwidth standard of Sony’s 8mm video format.
Other Early Hi8 Camcorder Models
Sony captured the Hi8 camcorder market in the years to come. However, it was not the sole manufacturer of the format.
Companies such as Ricoh and Canon jumped on the bandwagon as well.
Ricoh R-800H Hi8 camcorder
Ricoh introduced the R-800H Hi8 camcorder.
The highlight of this unit is it employs a 420, 000-pixel, 2/3-inch CCD image sensor.
This makes it possible to deliver over 400 lines of horizontal resolution even with as little as 4 lux illumination.
It was priced at $2199 in May 1989.
Canon A1 Hi8 Camcorder
Canon’s Hi8 camcorder version was called A1.
Canon A1 boasted an f/1.4 10x power zoom lens and a 360,000-pixel, 1/2-inch CCD image sensor.
It promised low-light capability of around 7 lux.
The Hi8 camcorder model also supports a shutter speed of up to 1/2000 of a second.
Canon released three A1 Hi8 camcorder models.
There was the A1 A for the American market and A1 J for the Japanese market. Both were called NTSC A1 models.
The PAL model promised a higher resolution and was called A1Hi. It performed the same functions as the NTSC versions.
It was the first Hi8 camcorder targeted at the European market, particularly France.
Hi8 Camcorders are No Longer in Production
Hi8 camcorders fell out of popularity after the entry of MiniDV and Digital8 camcorders into the market.
Wikipedia reports that the last Hi8 camcorder, Sony CCD-TRV238, was released in 2007.
So, if you’re looking for a Hi8 camcorder, you would have to source for a used unit.
You may not find a Hi8 camcorder in your neighborhood electronics store. However, you may find one if you search online.
That said, here are some Hi8 camcorders for sale online.
Hi8 Camcorders for Sale at Amazon
One of the best places to buy Hi8 camcorders is Amazon. Here are some units you can find over there.
Canon ES8400V Hi8 Camcorder
This camcorder comes with an optical zoom of 22x.
Digtal zoom is up to 700x.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery, it also sports a color LCD monitor.
It comes with an S-Video port, too.
Check out the Canon ES8400V Hi8 Camcorder.
Sony CCDTRV308 Hi8 Camcorder
This Hi-8 camcorder comes with a built-in video light. It would be useful for shooting in low-light conditions.
The LCD screen measures 2.5 inches.
To shoot distant scenes, you’re provided with 20x optical zoom and 460x digital zoom capabilities.
NightShot infrared mode is also supported. This is useful for shooting in the dark.
Check out the Sony CCDTRV308 Hi8 Camcorder.
Sharp VL-H860U Hi8 Viewcam Camcorder
This sharp Hi8 camcorder model comes with a 3-inch LCD screen that can be swivelled.
You can take still shots with it. Zoom capability is at 22x (optical) and 200x (digital).
You can choose from a wide range of exposure and special effects options. Among them are fade, strobe and backlight compensation.
A standout feature is digital image stabilization to prevent shaky shots.
Check out the Sharp VL-H860U Hi8 Viewcam Camcorder and other similar models.
Samsung SCL906 Hi8 Camcorder
Unlike other Hi8 camcorder models, this Samsung camcorder doesn’t support Video8 (8mm) tapes.
This 270,000-pixel CCD camcorder accepts only Hi8 tapes. You can’t play back a Video8 tape or record on it.
It comes with a 2.5-inch rotating LCD screen.
The built-in video light makes it ideal for shooting in low-light conditions.
Optical zoom is up to 22x. Digital zoom can go as far as 880x. Image stabilization is supported as well.
Check out the Samsung SCL906 Hi8 Camcorder and other similar models.
Pick a suitable model among the Hi8 camcorders for sale above and start playing your Hi8 tapes or digitizing them.