Quantcast Capturing workflow Hi8/8mm via FireWire? - digitalFAQ Forum
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02-08-2018, 05:00 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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I'm working with family/friends and possibly others to transfer old home movies/videos to digital. I've seen extensive discussion of how to do this with VHS here, and I'm working on putting together the equipment to do that. However, some of the source material I have received is on 8mm and Mini-DV tape cartridges.

Currently, what I have for the 8mm/Hi8 is a Sony Video Walkman GV-D800 with S-Video and FireWire outputs. I'm currently using the FireWire port to capture directly to my PC. Is this the best solution, or would I get better results by going through the S-Video output and a TBC? Or, does it depend on the source material and should I be prepared to go both ways? If through FireWire, what capture software would be recommended? (Preferably open source or modest cost.)

The Mini-DV is currently being handled by another Sony Video Walkman, a GV-D1000. My understanding is that I'm unlikely to do better than to use the FireWire output, but if someone has additional input?
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02-09-2018, 02:38 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I'm not a fan of non-cameras for Video8/Hi8. Experience.

The Firewire output is compressing you to DV 4:1:1, so you're losing color quality and detail. It's no difference from any other DV method, be it Canpous ADVC or whatnot. DV is just not very good compared to 4:2:2 options with other capture methods. Though the only option if using Mac, being a DV centric platform/OS.

MiniDV is already DV, so no loss. Capturing over Firewire is great, and even over s-video via analog is fine if the material was shot on consumer camcorders (as the optics didn't resolve the full 720x480 anyway).

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02-09-2018, 07:12 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I'm not a fan of non-cameras for Video8/Hi8. Experience.
Ouch. That puts me in the hurt locker, as the only 8mm camera our family ever owned was a run-of-the-mill Sharp Viewcam (VL-E39). Composite mono output only. The Sony GV-D800 seems to put out a good clear picture over FireWire, but I have no way to professionally evaluate it.

I'll probably have to stick with the Sony in the near term, but what should I keep my eyes open for in the way of 8mm gear?
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02-09-2018, 10:49 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehbowen View Post
Ouch. That puts me in the hurt locker, as the only 8mm camera our family ever owned was a run-of-the-mill Sharp Viewcam (VL-E39). Composite mono output only. The Sony GV-D800 seems to put out a good clear picture over FireWire, but I have no way to professionally evaluate it.
I'll probably have to stick with the Sony in the near term, but what should I keep my eyes open for in the way of 8mm gear?
Well, let's look at it another way.

DV, Video8, Hi8, Digital8, and VHS-C are tiny fragile craptastic formats.
- DV is ridiculously thin
- VHS-C was engineered by imbeciles
- Sony's Video8/Hi8/D8 are all essentially the same things, and aside from 90s sticky stock tape (NJRoadfan had a good rant thread on it recently), it probably was the best of the tiny tapes.

The issue is that non-cameras like to eat the tapes. VHS-C sucks so much that even cameras like to eat it.
- VHS-C is known to behave only in the AG-1980 and some SRs, only in the C-P7U type holders.
- DV does best in cameras.
- The 8's also do best in cameras.

If you think your players works, then use it. BUT ...
BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT !!!! ...
only do it when monitoring the capture. Don't even leave the room to take a #2! The worst thing that will happen is that you leave the room for a while, mere minutes even, to come back to a player that has ejected the tape guts inside the deck. VHS can be left unattended (but monitored every 5-10 minutes), even DV/8 in cameras. But never DV/8 in a non-camera, or VHS-C in non-1980.

There are some specific cameras to look for. I forget the models of mine offhand (from EOL gen 2005-ish, both were like-new, PAL and NTSC models). And then there's a thread here showing suggested models. When the time comes, I can help you acquire one.

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8mm tape, firewire, hi8 tapes, workflow

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