digitizing Hi8 footage

I have old tornado footage in Hi8 that I would like to eventually transfer to DVD. Is it better to transfer to Mini DV format using the S-video input on my Sony TRV 900 (and then capture using Firewire) or to directly transfer the footage into a computer using an analog capture card and S-video input?

When I transfer the footage from Hi8 to miniDV (S Video input on TRV-900), the video becomes darker and grainier.

Bill Hark
If you have access to a digital 8 camera, it will play the 8mm and Hi8 tapes, output is on the firewire in realtime. I've used mine many times this way to capture old tapes.
I use a Winfast TV2000 XP TV tuner to capture analog data from the video camera. It's probably not the best setup, but it works pretty good for me. The TV tuner card isn't very expensive, around $40-50.
A digital 8 camera that supports analog 8 will work fine. My Sony DV camera also plays old 8mm tapes, so I've been able to capture them to my computer via firewire with no problems. :)
I have burnt all my old Hi 8 stuff to DVD. As yet I do not have a digital video so I used a capture card. The card was the ATI Theatre chip included with my ATI 9600 XT Video Card. I believe these are cheap in the USA.

After some intial hassles with connections -as there are no instructions, I was sucessful at capturing MPEG files.

Assembling and encoding to DVD was another challenge. I found the best combination was ULEAD DVD Factory to capture, but then to move across to TMPGenc for editing, menu and encoding.

I believe Adobe Premiere and Encore are excellent, but have learning curves well beyond the other products.

The final product is better than most folks expect for Hi8 converted to DVD.

I must add this is all PAL here in Australia, so NTSC results may fare different.