Digital Video Articles, Tutorials, Guides & Q & A

History, Video Basics, Video Camera, video formats

Video8 Wiki: Video8 vs Hi8: What’s the Difference?

Is Video8 same as 8mm video

Updated 20.4.2021

This Video8 wiki seeks to provide comprehensive information on Video8, a camcorder video format.

Video8 (1985 – 2000s)

Sony introduced the Video8 format in 1985. Video8 was the first 8mm tape format introduced by Sony. It was later to be followed with the Hi8 and Digital8 formats.

Prior to Sony introducing the Video8 format, there was already an 8mm video format introduced by Kodak.

The first 8mm video camera recorder was the KodaVision 2000 introduced in 1984.

With its release, home video went from film to electronic for the first time.

Kodak, however, failed to maintain its position as a pioneer in 8mm video, losing out to Sony.

Sony introduced the Video8 format and it was called Handycam. The name Handycam was later used for Hi8 and Digital8 camcorders, too.

The word Handycam was used to differentiate it from Sony’s existing line of Betamax video cameras.

Handycam (Handy camera) emphasized the portable nature of the Video8 camera as it fitted into the palm. It also referred to the ‘handy’ nature of the miniature 8mm tape that the camera or camcorder uses.

Video8 used the same technology as the 12mm Betamax format though. As such it was popularly called the ‘mini’ Betamax.

8mm tape Video8

Video8 was positioned to rival the VHS-C format developed by JVC.

Video8 has a resolution of 240 lines, about that of VHS.

The main drawback of Video8 is that it generally can’t be played back over a VHS player with an adapter.

However, there were VHS-8mm Combo VCRs that allowed 8mm video to be transferred to VHS for viewing on VHS VCRs.

VHS-C, on the other hand, could be played back with a VHS-C to VHS adapter.

Is Video8 the Same as 8mm?

Video8 can be said to be the same as 8mm.

8mm here refers to the width of the tape.

Video8 has a tape width of 8mm.

Video8 is not the only tape with a width of 8mm. Hi-8 and Digital8 have the same width.

However, in differentiating between Hi-8 and Digital8, Video8 is often called 8mm.

Check out the video below to learn the difference between Video8 and Hi8.

How Can I Play My Video8 Tapes?

You can play your Video8 tapes through your Video8, Hi8, or Digital8 camcorder/VCR or tape deck.

There are no adapters to play your Video8 tapes on a VHS VCR as it’s available for VHS-C tapes.

Free Video Workshop