Digital 8 tapes

bw wrote on 4/28/2004, 5:17 PM
Suppose this is really a camera forum topic but you guys are so helpful will try here.
I am having trouble getting digital or hi-8 tapes at short notice ie local shop when I realise its the grandkids birthday TODAY!!
Is there any reason not to use ordinary 8mm tapes in the digital cam.?
I have done and do not get any dropouts etc, after all digital is digital, but wonder if extra head wear might occur with normal tapes. thanks, Brian.


surf_nerd wrote on 4/28/2004, 6:02 PM
I've been using regular 8mm tapes in my Sony Digital-8 cameras for a few years. As long as they're quality (hi-grade) tapes, just flip the blank tape over, and punch-out the middle hole in the group of 3 holes on the bottom of the right-hand side of the tape (the side with the empty reel when tape is rewound). I find that a regular ballpoint pen works fine for punching-out this hole. Try to get the tiny piece of plastic that covers this hole to fall out (instead of going inside the compartment). Insert the tape in your Digital-8 camera and it will now record in D8 mode (instead of analog mode without this hole punched-out).
jester700 wrote on 4/28/2004, 8:27 PM
On my D8 cams standard video 8 tapes work without modification. It won't let you use the long play mode, though (which I never do anyway).

I never had problems with any 8mm tapes - standard, Hi8, D8, or 8mm computer backup.
Caruso wrote on 4/29/2004, 3:03 AM

Where'd you come by that info to punch out a "hole"? I, too, tend to use whatever 8mm tape I have laying around. I'm not certain what distinction is made by manufacturers, but, in my mind, digital info remains so, whether recorded on analog 8mm or something with the digital moniker applied to it.

I never read anywhere that you had to punch out a hole to make the tape DV computable. Where did you get that, and of what functional benifit is it?

farss wrote on 4/29/2004, 6:12 AM
I've never heard of that either. And one of the BIG pluses of D8 is it uses metal particle rather than metal evaporated tapes which last much better. Combine that with a wider track and you have a much better format than MiniDV. Just why it never became more popular is a mystery to me. The larger physical size of the tape is a plus to me, if nothing else it stops them from making the camera so small as to be useless.
jboy wrote on 4/29/2004, 11:53 AM
Think that punching a hole thing came from the method of converting vhs tapes to s-vhs, by burning a hole into the cassette case with a hot nail to trigger s-vhs recording and playback. It worked great, as apparently all major tape brands manufacturing technology is good enough to support s-vhs on their standard vhs tapes. Don't know how it got applied to 8mm though.
fmc wrote on 4/29/2004, 12:18 PM
Jboy is correct!!

Creating the additional hole is for HI8 only and the way it will be played back - i.e. sensing hole.

Jerry Bryant
Chienworks wrote on 4/29/2004, 1:38 PM
farss, it's the SONY format curse. SONY is great at coming up with wonderful media formats that ... for some reason ... never catch on. Then some other company will look at SONY's format, create something slightly different, and then that will sell. It's happened many times throughout their history.
RBartlett wrote on 4/29/2004, 2:42 PM
I believe that Sony made D8 as a bridging format.

1. The mechanisms were already R&D'd to the point of being paid up.
2. The videographer would at the time of inception have found it easier to find additional media from any store. miniDV being like APS-HiDef was, ie difficult to buy at the beach store or the supermarket.
3. The format wasn't inferior to the next step on, ie miniDV
4. The longer term compatibility wasn't an issue as this was only the consumer end of the business. Not too many 3CCD Digital 8 cameras, more is the pity.
5. Sony and Hitachi took the format as a serious option. microMV was the flop format, not D8.
6. Sony developed LP and the two types of DV walkman units for the format.
7. NLEs would then be directly able to acquire Hi8 and 8mm archives without additional hardware. A USP for for the development to enjoy.

For as long as the cameras are available (and hopefully there will be 3CCD models even though I'm sure HDV 720 or 1080i will never hit the Hi8 tape), there is little bad to speak of this tape format.

Hard disc and solid state will eventually make the whole tape format thing somewhat historical. DLT and the AIT variants will be the only offline video format on "old fashioned serial tape". IMHO
riredale wrote on 4/29/2004, 10:26 PM
Two things bug me about the format. My buddy's D8 Sony (I forget the model number) is enormous compared to my little miniDV camera, and for some reason it takes FOREVER to rewind a tape.
farss wrote on 4/29/2004, 10:53 PM
I count both of those a pluses actually. The larger size of the camera maybe a matter of prefernce but fast rewinds are not good for tape. The fast rewind can mean bits of tape sticking out of the pancake making edge damage much more likely. I guess if you are aware of this issue then you can play your MiniDV tapes to the end withour rewinding them before archiving.
I have the same issue with most VHS machines, on some you can here the spindles judder during rewind.
Caruso wrote on 4/30/2004, 3:11 AM
I don't recall too many enormous D8 units - they are larger than MiniDV cams, to be sure, but I wouldn't call them enormous. I'm not sure how well I would like a cam that got much smaller than my trusty old TRV-103.

My old CCD-V220 was really big - you rested it on your shoulder during recording - but I could hand-hold for hours without fatigue. My little TRV103 can't be operated that way - and simply holding it to my eye for long periods of time is nearly impossible for me - a yet smaller cam would be more of the same, I imagine.

As for rewiding, when I'm in a hurry or have more than one tape to rewinde, I stidk them in one of my older analog 8mm machines that do rewinde faster.

riredale wrote on 4/30/2004, 9:24 AM
Okay; I guess "enormous" is a very relative thing. My new toy, a VX2000, is enormous compared to my little TRV8.

Still, the slow-rewind thing rubs me the wrong way. As an aside, I bought a cheapo Mitsubishi VCR for my editing station here a couple of years ago. The first time it rewound a VHS tape I nearly jumped out of my chair. Sounded like a jet engine starting up. I was impressed that it got the job done in a matter of seconds, without harming the tape.