Digital8 vs MiniDV

What's the difference between the two? Does MiniDV have better quality than Digital8?

I'm shopping around to replace my vid cam after the Chasing incident last year. :cool:
 
At this point I would not even consider Digital8, as it is already nearly end-of-life as far as a product line.

-John
 
The one perk to Digital 8 is cheapness! I've shot and continue to use Digital 8 as my main source of video capturing and with it becoming a memory, its cheap to get your hands on. Seeing as I'm not doing anything professionally, it works very well for me! Especially cause it is cheap! But other than that, not much perk to it.
 
If you do decide to go Digital8, see if you can pick up a lightly used Sony TRV520 on Ebay. I have put a few of those through hell and back and they held up WAY long than they should and shoot a pretty darn good picture!
 
I own a Panasonic PVGS250 minidv cam and I like it. The colours come out nice on the videos and it's crisper images... I find that Digital8 is more grainy looking, especially in low light. Digital8 is on the way out, although I've heard good things about the Sony TRV cams.

Either are good buys, it just depends on your limit how much you want to spend, plus I have no idea where you could find a Sony Digital8 TRV cam except on Ebay.....
 
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I own a Panasonic PVGS250 minidv cam and I like it. The colours come out nice on the videos and it's crisper images... I find that Digital8 is more grainy looking, especially in low light. Digital8 is on the way out, although I've heard good things about the Sony TRV cams.

Either are good buys, it just depends on your limit how much you want to spend, plus I have no idea where you could find a Sony Digital8 TRV cam except on Ebay.....

Laura, regarding the Panasonic....my partner had one and we compared the both on a shot lit only be headlights. The difference in the grain from the Panasonic and the Sony camera was unreal. Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty of grain on the Sony, but the Panasonic (at least the camera we had) was almost unusable. Just a note from a real world comparison we did.
 
I think the better way to shop for a camera for chasing is to look at its features and specs, IE, things like low light capabilities, the ability to lock focus at infinity, ease of changing tapes (some models load from the bottom, a problem with tripod use), ease of ingesting video into a computer, and so on.

Tape format is not that important. Apparently Digital 8 records at the same bitrate as MiniDV and would be acceptable for chasing. Digital 8, however, is rapidy heading toward obsolescence, and it will be harder to find things like new tapes for it down the road. You'll also find that the selection of cameras in the Digital 8 format are small compared to those in MiniDV. If it was me, I would go MiniDV.
 
I have a Sony DCR-HC90 miniDV camcorder and love it. It's large 1/3 inch ccd is very good against unwanted grain in your video during low light conditions. Sony has replaced that model and now has the Sony DCR-HC96 which sells for around $600. Actually, I am a little surprised that more chasers do not own either a Sony DCR-HC90 or a Sony DCR-HC96. So, depending on how much money you have and are looking for miniDV format, I suggest the Sony DCR-HC96.
 
Actually, I am a little surprised that more chasers do not own either a Sony DCR-HC90 or a Sony DCR-HC96. So, depending on how much money you have and are looking for miniDV format, I suggest the Sony DCR-HC96.

I own a DCR-HC96 and have had very good results. The only bad part is the need for a dock to connect firewire/analog cables.

-John
 
I also own the sony HC-90 along with my older trv-900 and vx-2000. The reason I like the HC-90 is I was able to locate a sports pack so the camcorder will be great in hurricanes. This camcorder has an image quality that looks real close to the clarity of the trv-900 and vx-2000. I highly recommend this camera for those who don't have the bucks for the 3-chip models.
 
I'm in the market for a new camcorder, and was looking for a Digital8 because my current camcorder is Hi8 which uses the same tapes. However I found I could not find one at ANY store. If I was to have a Mini DV camcorder, it would have to be one that has a VCR mode with analog input so that I can copy my Hi8 tapes through it to the computer. However, I could not find any with THAT feature either. Which models have this?
 
This info was taken form B&H's homepage on the Sony DCR-HC96:

Input/Output Connectors

Line In Recording Yes - Digital & Analog with Pass Through

I know that the DCR-HC90 has this feature as well. So, both the DCR-HC90 and the DCR-HC96 have the analog pass through to convert old hi-8 video from analog camcorders to digital. I don't if the low end panasonic 3 chip miniDV camcorders that some chasers use have that feature. Maybe someone who has one of the Panasonic 3 chippers can comment if thier camcorder has it.
 
I'm in the market for a new camcorder, and was looking for a Digital8 because my current camcorder is Hi8 which uses the same tapes. However I found I could not find one at ANY store. If I was to have a Mini DV camcorder, it would have to be one that has a VCR mode with analog input so that I can copy my Hi8 tapes through it to the computer. However, I could not find any with THAT feature either. Which models have this?

I can confirm that the DCR-HC96 can do pass-through and A to D conversion, I've done it.

-John
 
Andy,

Going back to D8; if you go to ebay, you can still find a few Sony TRV350s lying around. All of those have Hi8 playback with them. Something to consider.

Good luck!

I'm in the market for a new camcorder, and was looking for a Digital8 because my current camcorder is Hi8 which uses the same tapes. However I found I could not find one at ANY store. If I was to have a Mini DV camcorder, it would have to be one that has a VCR mode with analog input so that I can copy my Hi8 tapes through it to the computer. However, I could not find any with THAT feature either. Which models have this?
 
I just got the Panasonic PV-GS500. The firewire on my old Sony went, but had 3 months left on the Best Buy warranty. So, they did a junkout exchange and replaced it with a new camera. I was going to have to make up about $600 after getting a new warranty, but they screwed up on shipping the camera in from another store. I was told it would take 3 days, and it was 2 weeks. So, they replaced it for free....I just had to pay $150 for the new service plan.

I'm looking forward to taking it chasing this spring. I recorded the big fireworks display in downtown Tulsa that kicked off Oklahoma's Centennial celebrations. I also recorded some video two days after the ice storm as I drove to work. I haven't viewed the videos yet, so I haven't evaulated them. I'm really interested in seeing the fireworks video to test the low light performance. If I ever get around to the videos, I'll post them so others can get an idea of the performance.

It doesn't have analog-to-digital passthrough, but it has the three main features I wanted: manual focus ring, top-loading tape, and 3 CCDs. I really lucked out. Best Buy only offers 3-4 camcorders now that use miniDV, or any tape for that matter. They are all transitioning to DVD or hard drives.

Oh yeah, another perk....I was able to pick up the highest capacity battery at NewEgg for ~$30.
 
I just got the Panasonic PV-GS500. The firewire on my old Sony went, but had 3 months left on the Best Buy warranty. So, they did a junkout exchange and replaced it with a new camera. I was going to have to make up about $600 after getting a new warranty, but they screwed up on shipping the camera in from another store. I was told it would take 3 days, and it was 2 weeks. So, they replaced it for free....I just had to pay $150 for the new service plan.

I'm looking forward to taking it chasing this spring. I recorded the big fireworks display in downtown Tulsa that kicked off Oklahoma's Centennial celebrations. I also recorded some video two days after the ice storm as I drove to work. I haven't viewed the videos yet, so I haven't evaulated them. I'm really interested in seeing the fireworks video to test the low light performance. If I ever get around to the videos, I'll post them so others can get an idea of the performance.

It doesn't have analog-to-digital passthrough, but it has the three main features I wanted: manual focus ring, top-loading tape, and 3 CCDs. I really lucked out. Best Buy only offers 3-4 camcorders now that use miniDV, or any tape for that matter. They are all transitioning to DVD or hard drives.

Oh yeah, another perk....I was able to pick up the highest capacity battery at NewEgg for ~$30.
I have been noticing that trend at a lot of stores these days as well. Call me old fashioned....but I like to have hard copy master tapes to store away so I can be confident that I'll always have my video on backup.

To be a bit more on-topic, Mini-DV is absolutely the only real way to go in terms of long-term use because of the fact that Digital8 is disappearing everywhere. Like others have said here, you definitely can't go wrong with an older Digital8 model but your search for tapes might be a bit tougher than just waltzing into your local wal-mart/best buy, etc. and picking up a few MiniDV tapes in the future.
 
They shouldn't be too hard to find right now, but as the Digital8 continues to fade I'm sure they will get fewer and fewer as time goes on. If someone was looking for a 3 year investment into a camcorder (or longer) I'd advise go Mini-DV for many reasons not limited to that. On the flip-side going anything but digi in regards to camcorders is asking for trouble as you lose that ability to edit video "on the fly" on a computer, etc.
 
Yeah, I certainly wouldn't recommend anything LESS than a digital8 with firewire capability just for that reason. They are too cheap now not to go with at least that. I noticed walmart was also not only still selling VHS-C tapes, but even VHS-C camcorders!! I didn't even know they were still producing those!

Least year sometime my local little Walmart clearanced out a bunch of MiniDV tapes and I bought up the entire lot. I have enough to last at least 2 years of heavy taping!
 
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