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Guide to Digitizing Video 8 Tapes

There are likely to be 8mm camcorder tapes in your home if you recorded any home videos between the ’80s-’90s. These tapes might contain precious moments that are impossible to view unless your camcorder can be turned on and the cord connected to the TV found. It’s not easy.
8mm video has almost become obsolete like many other media formats within a rapidly evolving technology world. This makes it almost impossible to watch the content stored on tapes. These tapes won’t be around forever.

The good news is that you can digitally convert 8mm camcorder tapes to save their content.
Camcorder Tapes 8mm in Diameter

Camcorder tapes of 8mm width are just tapes with a magnetic tape measuring 8mm in width that is contained within a compact cassette.

Why are 8mm tapes so common?
History of 8mm Videos

This is a brief history of 8mm video. It was created by Eastman Kodak back in 1984. Sony’s Handycam was the first camera to use 8mm film technology. This made 8mm video fully available in the home.

8mm video tape, at the time, was very popular because it made video recording easy for amateur and home videographers. 8mm tape became popular quickly because it was easier to transport and use than VHS/Betamax.

There are three versions of 8mm film – Digital8, Video8, and Hi8 – which all have updates that succeeded each other as technology advanced. You have videos on media that are losing their contents slowly, or even quickly, regardless of what format they may be.
Camcorder Tapes 8mm have a life span

These 8mm tapes were great for portability and home video-making, but they weren’t made to last forever.

This is because magnetic tape on compact cassettes loses 10-20% of its signal over time.

These tapes can be stored as carefully as you like to extend their lifespan. However, magnetic 8mm tape will eventually deteriorate to the point that they are no longer viewable.
Conversion of 8mm Camcorder Film Tape to Digital

Converting Video8 to Digital files (or DVDs) is essential in order to preserve them. Digital files are longer lasting and much easier to store.

You have two options to convert media, just like with most specialized service: you can either do it yourself or hire a professional.
Conversions at-Home

DIY tape conversions are an option. There are some advantages and drawbacks to home video tape transfer.

This is a good option, but make sure that you have sufficient camcorders to play the 8mm tapes. Multiple camcorders are needed to play different 8mm format tapes. You will also need an analog-to digital converter. This can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the quality.

You should keep in mind that once the conversion is started, it will take approximately as long as the footage on the tapes. A conversion that takes an hour will take about an hour if there is an hour of footage. If you have hours upon endless footage and stacks 8mm tapes, you can expect to spend an hour converting your tapes digital.

DIY can be a viable option for tech-savvy individuals. When it comes to converting your precious moments, however, it can be a smart move to hire professionals.