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Oct 12, 2000

Ask The Guru


Can you use regular 8mm tapes in Digital 8 camcorders?

Q: I have what I think is a simple question, but I have not been able to find anyone with an answer. I hope the wise Guru can help me.

I have a Sony TRV310 video camera. Therefore, I know it uses Hi8 or Digital 8 tapes. I am also aware that it can playback regular 8 tapes. My question is...can I use regular 8 tapes to tape record and if I can, what are the drawbacks?

See? Easy question right? But I have been to 5 electronics stores and all over the Internet and have not been able to find the answer. Can you help?

Scott W.

A: According to the only references I could find, the Digital 8 camcorders will record on regular and Hi8. Sony recommends using the Hi8. I came across a posting from an owner of a TRV510 that said he used both and couldn't see any difference!

In theory, that should be the case. Digital recording is not dependent upon the qualities of the tape to reproduce accurate images; analog recording places different demands on tape than digital. However, manufacturers might tell you that the better quality Hi8 tapes are less likely to suffer dropouts (and dropouts can effect your image quality.)


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