Capturing/Digitising Hi8 and Digital8 tapes

Wairangi's picture
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 09/08/2017 - 1:07pm

I have hundreds of Sony Digital8 tapes and a fair number of Sony Hi8 Tapes. After a catastrophic disaster to my HDDs all my digitised versions of the material on these tapes were lost. So I now need to re-digitise the whole lot as quickly as possible as time has degraded the image and sound quality. The camera I recorded the interview material contained on these tapes and used to digitise them, the Sony DCR-TRV330, is now starting to die. After looking for a replacement option, I found the Sony GV-D200 which looks like it could help my workflow due to not having to turn the camera upside down each time I have to change the tape plus it would fit well on my desk next to all the other essential editing pherphials. So with all that said my question is:
Will a completely refurbished Sony GV-D200 enable me to digitise my Hi8 and Digital8 tapes using the latest version of Adobe Premiere Pro? I also have Final Cut Pro 6 which being an older version of editing software could be an option but I prefer using Premiere Pro.
Will I be able to preview what I am digitising and control the device within either of these editing programs? Will it digitise the tapes at a higher quality than using the now 17 year old Sony DCR-TRV330 camera? I use a Sony HVR-M15U to digitise my miniHDV tapes using Premiere Pro and I can control the deck and preview what I'm digitising. Plus, it does a far superior job as far as capturing the quality of video and audio as opposed to using the camera I used to record the material I am now digitising. Will the Sony GV-D200 give me that same ability when digitising Hi8 and Digital8 tapes?
I'm using the Sony HVR-M15U on a Mac Mini with a 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 4Gb of RAM and for a Mac with such low Specs it does as good a job as my late 2015 iMac. Will the Sony GV-D200 work as well on this Mac mini as the Sony HVR-M15U?
Any advice, answers or comments would be very much appreciated.


Wairangi's picture
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 09/08/2017 - 1:07pm

I've found Adobe Premiere Pro to be great when digitising/capturing because unlike FCP, it doesn't stop when drop frames are detected. I recorded oral histories and when capturing the footage using FCP it will stop if it detects a dropped frame and by the time it starts the capturing process again it's broken the continuity of what the interviewees are saying. Premiere Pro does not do that which is why I'm hoping someone with a lot more knowledge than I can help me with some advice about using a Digital8 recorder/player due to the success I've had with using the Sony HVR-M15U when digitising miniHDV tapes.


Trevor's picture
Last seen: 1 week 4 hours ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 6:33pm

I use PPRO, and it'll work fine.

One thing to remember with D8 and Mini-DV is that you are dealing with DV video, and when you transfer over FireWire, you are doing a digital copy, so you are not losing or adding any quality. And Pro does open a capture window that allows you to see what you are digitizing.

Some D8 camcorders, not all, will also playback and digitize the analog Video8 and Hi8 tapes. over FireWire. But watch out, LP recordings may not playback, even on another camera of the same model that you originally shot the V8, Hi8 or D8 video on.



paulears's picture
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

In all honesty, just plug them up and try, because as people have said - it should work, but old video 8 stuff can be temperamental when machines are poorly aligned. The trouble is that as a format, it was very solid when you recorded, played back and edited as a single system, but it was far less good when other people gave you tapes or you swapped cameras. Alignment to a standard was much more hit and miss - and many of the main dealers used home produced test tapes to do the re-alignment after head swaps - which meant all their machines were working to their standard, and that might be different to somebody else! My latest computer and old cameras still connect and work - some tapes are fine, others far less so!