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How to play 8mm tapes

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by BLH, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. BLH

    BLH
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    I have about a dozen 90 minute tapes of holidays/xmas/family etc. I made them on Canon E230 about 5 - 12 years ago. Since then the camera broke, repaired, broke again.
    I would like to view these tapes and put them on a modern format, eg. CD/DVD. I know of a couple of professional copy companies, but they charge £20 per tape.
    I have just heard about digital 8 camcorders which play back old 8mm tapes which can then be easily edited on my PC. Words like firewire started to be used which totally confused me.
    I am not a great photographer, I'm the point and click type. I'm not sure whether I should go to a copy company or buy a new camcorder and use that to play and edit/copy. And if so which one for best value -v- features. I would only want to pay £250-350.
    Is there someone out there who would be kind enough to help? :confused:
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well if the best price available for tape conversion is around £20 each and you have about 12 tapes to convert then that will cost £250. You then say you would be willing to spend around £250 for a new camcorder. Well this to me is a no brainer. For much the same cost you can get yourself a brand new shinny camcorder that can continue to be used. If you pay for the conversion then you will still need a camcorder to get them onto the PC if they are put onto DV tapes etc or if direct to DVD you will not be able to edit them without further loss of quality.

    Now the more difficault bit. Many of the new Sony Digital8 camcorders will not play the old analogue tapes, so you need to check the specs closely to make sure the one you buy will.
    The standard digital output from a digital camcorder is 'firewire'. Many modern PC's will have this type of connection onboard, but if not you can add a firewire card to any spare PCI slot on your motherboard for around £10. Once installed the cam just plugs into the port and the PC will see it as soon as it is switched on. You thrn just need some software to capture and edit the video. If running Windows XP then you already have the free but very good Movie Maker (make sure you have the free upgrade to MM2 as part of SP2). If not then there are many cheap packages from Pinnacle, Ulead, Sony etc that will do the job.

    There are a lot of things to learn about editing video on a PC and if this is the route you wish to go then I suggest you do some searchig on this forum as there have been loads of questions asked & answered in the past that should cover most of what you need to know to get started. But if in doubt then feel free to ask and we will do our best to help.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  3. BLH

    BLH
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    Thanks Mark,
    Can you point me in the right direction to research the best digital8 in my price bracket?
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    OK, with a quick look on the Sony web site it looks like they currently only have 3 Digital8 camcorders and only the DCRTRV460E is listed as being able to play back the old analogue tapes.
    I then did a search for this model on www.pricerunner.co.uk and the cheapest price they listed for it was within your budget at £345

    Now with a bit of luck your local Jessops will stock this cam, so take the web site info for the best price you can find, you may find cheaper than me, to any shop and have a play with the cam. If you like it and decide to buy (try an old analogue tape in it first) then give them the details and they should pricematch the internet price, as long as it is a UK site.

    Good luck,
    Mark.
     
  5. BLH

    BLH
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    Mark,
    Sorry for the delay in replying. Thanks very much for the info and the trouble you took to get it. Nice to know theres still good people around.
    All the best, have a good Christmas, Brian
     

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