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Old April 15th, 2003, 10:37 PM   #1
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Dubbing a tape to a different format

I recently shot a 'mockumentary' for my friend's movie, and we used a Digital8 camera with a Hi8 tape. He took the tape back with him to edit and realized he couldn't read the tape, because his deck only reads 8mm tapes. He's going to mail the tape back to me (he lives in Alberta, I live in BC) so I can dub it to an 8mm tape.

My question is: I'll be dubbing this new tape from a Digital8 camera to a Hi8 Camera on to an 8mm tape. When that's all said and done and the footage is on the 8mm, will it be the correct format? Obviously the first time around, the Digital8 cam recorded a digital signal on to the tape so it wasn't readable by Hi8 cameras or his 8mm deck. Will the same thing happen when I record to an 8mm tape on a Hi8 camera?

I hope I made myself clear :)
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #2
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I think I know an answer to your question. Well you would need to change the digital signal to an analog format which you can then tape to 8mm. You can't simply dub the digital signal to a 8mm tape and expect the 8mm deck to play it. So with all that said, my suggestion is to either use two cams Digital8 and a Hi8/8mm preferrably the latter since it will insure compatibility with his 8mm deck. Then connect cameras using the RCA or Svideo cables and record the footage in analog form. Or you can dump the Digital8 to an NLE, print it to tape using a converter box.

To answer your next question, if you are recording on 8mm format using hi8 tapes it should play just fine on his 8mm deck. But if you are recrding Hi8 signal on a Hi8 tape then it would not be compatible with the 8mm deck. The technology is backwards compatible, not upwards to summarize.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 01:36 PM   #3
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How important is quality? You're going to lose a lot of quality going from Digital 8 to 8mm.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:49 PM   #4
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You can dub from your Digital 8 to a High 8 OK with no problem. It will be fine. Use the S-video cable for best quality. There will be a bit of dropoff in quality, but it will still be pretty good. The dub will look a bit softer than your original.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 11:01 PM   #5
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Alex, is your friend using 8mm or HI-8mm? If you're going to 8mm you will lose a lot of quality, even more if your friend edits linear (tape to tape). Is he editing linear or non-linear?
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Old April 16th, 2003, 11:24 PM   #6
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He's editing non-linear, but I guess he either doesn't have firewire or doesn't have a Digital8 camera back there.

I think quality is fairly important, especially if it's going to take a big hit. I just e-mailed him and suggested I just dub it to a VHS master.

Is there a way to record an 8mm signal on a Hi8 camera?
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Old April 16th, 2003, 11:32 PM   #7
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Okay, good. My friend just gave me the green light to dub this tape to a VHS master and send it back to him.. that will save a lot of headaches involving the number 8 and its many prefixes ;)

Thanks for the advice though guys!
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Old April 17th, 2003, 08:35 AM   #8
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The VHS will be less quality than Hi8.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 06:29 PM   #9
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I know it will never be as high-quality as a Hi8 dub but I think it's easier this way, since there's no way I can go wrong with VHS.
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