Author Topic: Need some help capturing footage from old camera  (Read 867 times)

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Need some help capturing footage from old camera
« on: June 29, 2016, 06:46:32 PM »
Long time lurker, 1st time poster, But a few months ago a close friend passed away. For myself, my friends and especially his mother, I've been planning to collect every single clip of my good friend that we ever recorded. Fortunately for me about half of the footage is on MiniDv tapes/my computer, which I should have no problem capturing. The other half of footage, however is on about 20 Hi-8/Digital8 tapes on a camera I no longer have.

This is the camera that I believe we used back around 2003-2006
I know for a fact the camera was a Digital8 but we used Hi-8 and Digital 8 tapes because they were cheaper. For some reason I recall the issue of Hi-8 tapes being compatible with Digital8 and Super8 cameras but Digital8 and Super8 tapes were not compatible with Hi-8 cameras. So first off I just want to make sure before I spend $100-150 on one of these cameras, that I should buy the right one and just avoid Hi-8 cameras all together.

My next concern is whats the best way to capture this stuff. I have a Mac mini with a firewire800 port, I also have a macbook air. If i were to purchase this same camera, I'm pretty sure I would need some type of converter either from firewire to usb or this older firewire to the firewire800. I know there are a few types of different inputs and outputs for these firewire/IEEE 1934 link  and I'm just wondering anyone had any recommendations on how exactly I go about this.

So all in all my questions reiterated are
1. should I just try and stick with the same camera that I believe was used before?
2. Is my memory right on tape compatibility with newer cameras correct, meaning I should avoid Hi-8 cameras
3. After purchasing a camera, should I go for firewire + firewire converter + to firewire800 port, or just look for some type of usb adapter.

Really any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: Need some help capturing footage from old camera
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 07:51:38 AM »
1. stick with same camera or a similar sony digital 8 camera - make sure it has a firewire port
2. avoid hi8 cameras because they usually do not have a firewire port, only digital 8s do (i think)
3. just get a firewire to firewire and don't get a usb since the video quality will be bad

I actually just made an edit using the same camera in the link you posted using a hi8 tape (). This camera already has a firewire port built into it and you can easily capture the footage to a computer with a firewire (older macs usually have firewire, new ones dont). I suggest you find the same camera somewhere online (i got one on craigslist for $45), or a similar sony digital 8 - make sure it has a firewire though, video is shitty quality when capturing via usb.

If you already have a mac mini with a firewire 800 port, you should use that instead of the air (since air probably doesn't have firewire), also make sure you have imovie installed.

Get a firewire cable that is compatible with both your mac and camera. Since your mac mini is firewire 800 port, that means it's a 9 pin. When you get your camera, figure out the firewire port size (it's usually 9 pin on older sony handycams) so you will probably need a 9pin to 9pin cable.