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transferring video from hi8 camcorder

5213 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2013 7:30 PM by jfb1946 RSS
Justincrews Calculating status...
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Feb 11, 2013 8:18 AM

I have an Sony Hi8 Cancorder that I need to get video off of it.  Is there sofware that will allow me to transfer the video from the hi-8 video to an format that I can then use in final cut pro?

MacBook Pro, iOS 5.0.1
  • Dtinen Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
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    Feb 11, 2013 9:09 AM (in response to Justincrews)

    Since Hi8 is an analog format, you have a hardware problem, not a software problem.  Perhaps some later-model Hi-8 camcorders had a Firewire (I think Sony called it iLink) output...I assume yours doesn't. 


    When I had a similar situation, the easiest (e.g., cheapest) thing to do was to use a DV camcorder as a translator, importing into video editing software.  My Canon DV had a menu setting that turned its AV outputs into AV inputs.  Take the video and audio outputs from the Hi8 and plug them into the DV, then the FW out of the DV connects to your Mac.  If I recall, there was a little bit of hassle getting the Import function to work without a DV tape in the Canon, but somehow it worked. 


    Otherwise, there are various boxes/cards that can convert analog AV to a digital format that you could buy, or send the tapes to a transfer house that has a high-end converter. 

  • David Fahnestock1 Calculating status...
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    Feb 11, 2013 9:54 AM (in response to Justincrews)

    I just hooked up my old Sony DCR-TRV120 NTSC hi-8 digital camcorder to my iMac using Sony's FireWire (i.LINK) cable. Loaded video to an old version of iMovie, shared it to QT7 and transfered file to FCPX.

    Even if your Sony is analog, I would think you should be able to do the same.


  • jfb1946 Calculating status...
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    Feb 11, 2013 7:30 PM (in response to Justincrews)

    Dtinen is essentially correct.  Your Hi-8 camcorder is analog and you will need an analog-to-didgital converter to get your video into the computer.  As Dtinen indicates, having a tape-based digital camcorder is one way to do the conversion.  However, tape-based digital camcorders are hard to find these days.  The good news is that there are a few relatively inexpensive converters available.  Here are two:



    This device will connect the analog outputs on your Hi-8 camcorder and create an mpeg file in your computer using a USB input.  I have no interest in Elgado and this device can be purchased in a number of outlets.

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    This device will connect the analog outputs on your Hi-8 camcorder and create a DV stream which can be captured by iMovie using the firewire port on your computer.  I have no interest in Newegg and the Canopus can be purchased in a number of online outlets,


    Over the years I have successfully converted many hours of analog video using a variety of devices like these, including the digital camcorder approach.  I would encourage you to keep your expectations at a reasonable level.  Depending on the condition and age of the analog content, the conversion may produce less than optimum quality.  Also, there is no timecode on analog video so your capture will be continuous from start to finish.  I had the best results capturing the entire tape and using the editing software to create discrete clips for further storage and editing.


    Good luck.


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