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BuyingTips - 8mm CamCorder

What is 8MM Camcorder?

8MM Camcorder is small and lightweight in format. The tape is only 8 millimeters wide, and the cassette shell is about the same size as a VHS-C cassette. Unlike VHS-C, however, 8MM tapes cannot be played back in VHS VCRs. To watch an 8MM tape, you either have to use an 8MM videotape deck, hookthe camcorder directly to a TV or use an optical link accessory.

Most people who own 8MM camcorders connect them directly through their TVs. A standard 8MM cassette can record from two hours (at the best picture setting) to four hours (regular mode) on a single cassette. The standard 8mm tape is a Metal Particle (MP) tape.

If you've owned an 8mm analog camcorder in the past, you can upgrade to digital quality and stillhave the ability to play all your old recordings back! The drawback to Digital 8mm is that the camcorder is bulkier and heavier than MiniDV camcorders and potential recording tape length is shorter.

The 8mm camcorder manufacturers also produce a higher resolution version called Hi8. Like Super VHS-C, it produces about 400 lines of resolution. A Hi8 camcorder should be matched with the Hi8 Metal Evaporated (ME) tape to provide the highest picture quality. To play back a Hi8 tape, you need to use a Hi8 videotape deck, or connect the Hi8 camcorder directly to a TV.

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