How to transfer 8mm camcorder digital tapes to a computer

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to transfer 8mm camcorder digital tapes to a computer
Import your 8mm video footage. (8mm image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com)

There are two different kinds of 8mm camcorder formats. The first is the Hi8 analogue video format while the second is the Digital 8 digital format. Both use the same sized tapes, making it easy to move a tape from one device to the other (a Digital 8 tape can be used in a Hi8 video camera but a Hi8 tape is unable to be used in a Digital 8 camera and record in digital). If you have video content currently on one of the 8mm tape formats it is possible to upload the content to your computer.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Video capture card
  • RCA to 3.5mm cable adaptor
  • Hi8/Digital 8 video camera
  • Computer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Install a video capture card onto your computer if you don't yet have such a device on the system. If you don't want to open up the computer to install an internal device, there are external cards available that connect to one of the USB ports on the system. Upload any drivers that are accompanied with the video capture card.

  2. 2

    Insert the Hi8 or Digital 8 tape into its camera, then close the tape deck shut on the camera.

  3. 3

    Plug the 3.5mm end of the RCA to 3.5mm cable into the "Line-Out" port on the camera. Insert the RCA ends of the cable into the "Video In" ports on the computer.

  4. 4

    Open Windows Movie Maker (found on the "Start" menu), then power the video camera on. You must wait for Windows Movie Maker to completely load before turning the camera on (otherwise the software might not detect it).

  5. 5

    Choose "Capture" and select the capture card from the list of devices you are able to capture from. Press "Play" on the video camera then click "Record" in Windows Movie Maker. The program imports the audio and video footage from the connected camera. Once finished click "Stop" to stop the capture process. The recording now appears as a thumbnail on the side of the screen.

  6. 6

    Click-and-drag the thumbnail down to the bottom of the screen in the timeline. Once there select "Start," "Save Movie As" and a save window appears on the screen. Title the video file, choose a location to save the video format and click "OK" to save the video file to your computer.

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