could someone explain to me those camcorder formats?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by the_music_man, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. the_music_man

    the_music_man aka prodj88 =P

    well I was browsing on circuitcity and stuff i saw like Hi8, miniDV, 8mm, digital8, (and of course svhs and stuff) could someone briefly explain each and the benefits...?
  2. Nick M

    Nick M Moderator

    Full-Size VHS:

    --Uses Regular VHS tapes, just like a VHS VCR. The recorded tape can be played in a regular VHS VCR just like any other VHS tape.

    --Video Resolution is 240/250 lines just like VHS VCR
    --Tape Speeds of 2hrs (SP) and 6hrs (EP/SLP) just like VHS VCR (although some units may only have 2hr SP speed available).

    --Due to the size of VHS Tape, these camcorders must be shoulder mounted during shooting.

    --Sound quality is poor, audio is recorded in the same fashion as a non-HIFI VCR.

    --Manufacturers: Primarily Hitachi and RCA (special note: Panasonic has discontinued their line of Full-Size camcorders for the consumer market).

    Compact VHS (also known as VHS-C):

    --Uses a smaller version of VHS tape. Tape must be placed into an adapter (one is provided with each VHS-C camcorder) in order to be played back in a home VCR. The Camcorder can also be connected to a VCR or TV via AV cables and the tapes can then be copied onto a regular VHS Tape if desired.

    --Video resolution is the same as regular VHS VCR, 240-250 lines.

    --Tape speeds are SP(30min) and EP/SLP(90min). Since the tapes are much smaller than a regular VHS tape, the amount of tape available in the cassette is much less, necessitating shorter recording times.

    --With smaller tapes, these camcorders can be much smaller, thus are easily handheld, rather than shoulder mounted.
    --The sound quality is the same as a Full Size VHS camcorder or non-HiFi VCR.

    --Manufacturers include, Panasonic, JVC, RCA, Quasar


    --Uses tape that is smaller than that of VHS or VHS-C. Tape can be played back by connecting the camcorder via A/V cables to a VCR or TV. Tapes can be transfered (copied) to a regular VHS tape.

    Note: An 8mm tape cannot be placed in a regular VHS VCR for playback, there is no 8mm adapter!

    --Video resolution is 250 lines, about the same as VHS or VHS-C (although the color consistency on 8mm is slightly better).

    --Tape speed is typically 2hrs (SP) although Sony supports a 4hr (LP) tape speed in their newer camcorders.

    --Since the tapes are extemely small (about the size of an audio cassette), 8mm camcorders are small units that are easily handheld.

    --Sound quality is very good. Sound is recorded in the same fashion as on a HiFi VCR.

    --Manufacturers include; Canon, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, and Hitachi


    --This format is the same as VHS-C except that the resolution is higher at 400 lines (which is 60% higher than VHS or VHS-C). This necessitates the tape being played back by the camcorder or in a S-VHS VCR (using the supplied adapter). These camcorders can both play and record in standard VHS-C as well. However, a regular VHS-C camcorder cannot play recorded SVHS-C tapes.

    --Manufacturers: primarily JVC

    --This format is the same as 8mm except that the resolution is about 60% higher at 400 lines. Once again, there is no adapter to play these tapes in a regular VCR, however, all HI-8
    camcorders can play and record in the regular 8mm format.

    Regular 8mm camcorders connot play recorded HI8 tapes. --Manufacturers are Canon, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Hitachi.

    --This most recent of camcorder formats takes advantage of existing the HI8 format and pushes it into the Digital realm.

    --Uses either 8mm or HI8 tape. As of now the only way to play the tape back is through the camcorder connected to a VCR or TV or by Digitally playing the tape back by connecting the Camcorder to a computer via its IEEE-1394 (Firewire) port (special hardware and software required, not included with camcorder).

    These camcorders can also play back previously recorded analog 8mm and HI8 tapes using the regular AV connections, but at present cannot convert the analog 8mm and HI8 recording for direct pass through to a computer via the IEEE-1394 port.

    --Video resolution approaches 500 lines, which is 20% higher than HI8 or SVHS-C.

    --Tape speed of one hour is currently available, when using a 2hr length HI8 or 8mm tape.

    --Camcorders are the same physical size of 8mm and HI8 camcorders, thus are easily handheld.

    --Sound quality is excellent. The sound is recorded in either 12bit or 16bit PCM Audio for almost CD quality sound.

    --The Digital8 format also allows for still frame capture.

    --Manufacturers: Currently only Sony.


    --Uses extremely small 6mm MiniDV tapes (similar is size to DAT Audio Tapes). Tapes are played back through the camcorder via AV connectors to a VCR or TV or to a computer, using the IEEE-1394 port (extra hardware and software required).

    --Video resolution is 500 lines, which is 20% better than HI8 or SVHS-C. --There are typically two recording speeds SP and LP, which allow 60min or 90min recording times.

    --Since the tape is so small, camcorders of extremely small size can be manufactured, some are not much larger than a pack of cigarettes.

    --Sound quality is excellent. Audio can be recorded in either the 12bit or 16bit PCM format, which can produce almost CD quality results. In the 12bit mode there is provision for in-camera audio dubbing.

    --The MiniDV format also provides for still frame capture, with some camcorders using Progressive Scan technology for more accuracy in this mode of operation.
  3. the_music_man

    the_music_man aka prodj88 =P

    ok so say if you hooked ur mividv to AV connectors to the TV and then played a movie u recorded, then you could just start to record it to the VHS tape using ur VCR right?
  4. Nick M

    Nick M Moderator

    If your television has inputs on it, and you can get the minidv video on screen, the VCR can record whatever is playing, I've done something similar prior to this with a console.


    Learn how to say thank you.
  5. Glaanieboy

    Glaanieboy Moderator

    The Netherlands
    You forgot one Nick:


    Tapes that are even smaller than Mini-DV, but with an equal quality. Based on Mpeg2 compression, which makes it more usable for a PC (ie: smaller files). The compactness of the files adds a new feature (not on all models): Bluetooth. Just keep your camera in the bag and copy video on the fly!
    Unfortuntely due to a fault on the board, you have to copy the following parts in the address-line in your browser. The link contains information on the 3 models that use the MicroMV standard:
  6. Herkalees

    Herkalees Guest

    I'd like to add: MicroMV isn't supported by many of the popular video editing software titles yet, you cannot pipe it into a non-computer based dvd recorder and finally, if I had to judge it's acceptance rate at my company (Tweeter), I'd say it's going to end up like beta...

    ...but I could be wrong.