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Old September 19th, 2002, 04:03 AM   #1
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Pro Digital8??

On another group, someone dropped the statement that "Pro Digital8" is coming soon. No further details given. Is this just hot air? I find no mention of this anywhere else on the Web.
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Old September 19th, 2002, 08:26 AM   #2
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I've heard a rumor also about a possible upgrade to Digital 8. But it really won't challenge the mini DV market. Digital 8 exists really as a means for 8mm and HI 8mm shooters to become digital and maintain compatability with their old analog formats. I don't know of too many shooters who choose Digital 8 over mini DV if they don't already own 8mm.

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Old September 20th, 2002, 12:19 AM   #3
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Difference

Is there an advantage to either one besides mini DV being just smaller? What I mean is, is there any quality difference between the two tape formats? Is one better to tape on then the other?
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Old September 20th, 2002, 08:26 AM   #4
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No Difference In Quality.

There is no difference in quality. I wonder what would be the advantage of Pro D8 over other DV formats other than the low cost of the cassettes.
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Old September 20th, 2002, 01:36 PM   #5
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They may attempt to up the resolution. It would not be too hard for the format to handle an additional 100 lines or so of horizontal resolution. But i think it exists today as a way for 8mm and HI-8mm users to become digital and also playback their old analog tapes. Until the advent of miniDV, 8mm and HI-8mm had the largest share of the camcorder market (around 40%). There are a lot of those old cameras out there and what do the users do when the camera dies? Sony hopes they go buy a digital 8.

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Old September 20th, 2002, 05:42 PM   #6
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I would disagree that there is no diffeence in quality. My XL! and VX2000 both have noticably superior pictures as opposed to my digital 8. They may all be digital, but they are not all created equal, nor do they produce equal products!
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Old September 20th, 2002, 06:00 PM   #7
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I don't know if it's the format or the fact the cameras you use are 3 chip cameras. I doubt Sony even makes a 3 chip Digital 8mm. Any body know of one? However, single chip Digital 8mm looks like most consumer mini DV to me. I've never run it through a scope to really spec. it out though.

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Old September 20th, 2002, 06:51 PM   #8
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I've run a direct Y/C output from my Sony Pro ED-P10F camera into a Digital8 recorder and the results were extra good. This camera has two 2/3-inch CCDs and a 77mm Fujinon lens. I'm sure that if a Digital8 VTR were fitted with a good 3-CCD camera, then it would give playback quality comparable to the DV camcorders that have the same level of performance in their camera sections.

One factor to consider when recording from an outside analog input on a camcorder: Often the processer quality on the line-inputs of a camcorder won't be equal to the
one that receives a direct, internal input from its own camera section.

How do you suppose Digital8 or DV could be given an added 100 lines of resolution, as you suggested? Would it be done in the way they boosted U-Matic SP to have 25% more resolution than the standard version? They tagged on a separate section of the luminance carrier, that was higher in frequency and supplemented the standard frequency.
This extra section was ignored by standard VTRs, so the SP tapes could be played on standard equipment, at the lower resolution. Or, would Digital8 and DV have to be completely redesigned and re-issued with VTRs and recordings that had no backward compatiblity with the standard versions? I would think that any upgrade in the formats would have to be backwardly compatible, to have any chance of being successful in the markerplace.
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Old September 20th, 2002, 07:14 PM   #9
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DV is a seperate animal. Nothing is going to change with that format and I hope I didn't imply that. Digital 8mm is a Sony only format and they can do what they want. Backward compatability is a must, because that is the only reason that format exists. Umatic SP and the other analog formats were much harder to upgrade. Digital can be tweaked by upgrading components and improving the compression and the data rate. The tape is robust enough to handle it, too. Because of the digital nature backwards compatability would be a possible. But the real question is, is the there enough of a market to warrant the R & D? I just don't see it unless they make it 16:9. But even then mini DV is so entrenched that Sony would be foolish to attempt it in my opinion.

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Old September 21st, 2002, 01:20 PM   #10
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That's what I really meant. That there is a differencce in the quality based upon the camera section. I just didn't want someone unfamiliar with the differences thinking that they could buy the cheapest dv camera and get the same quality as a 3 chip camcorder!
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Old September 21st, 2002, 01:42 PM   #11
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The only reason why the XL1 is better than the Sony on D8 is the performance of the cams. I too am unaware of any 3 chipper using D8 format.

I would find it a little hard to believe that Sony would drop big bucks into a new D8 offering that would also compete against the PD150/VX2K line. Certainly porting over these two cams onto D8 might be interesting especially if you tweaked up the D8 performance, you know, a poor man's DVCAM.

Still it is a Sony owned format. One wonders what the rest of the media world would think if it had to acquire yet another expensive machine for the new format?

Another thing to look at is how much the price of miniDV tapes have fallen. True, they are not as cheap as D8s, but they are much more reasonable, available, and _smaller_.

The camera prices are getting competitive too. Just the other day at CompUSA I saw a miniDV cam for just under $500. That's getting much closer to the D8 pricing.
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Old September 24th, 2002, 07:20 PM   #12
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Sony as far as I know maintains it's a consumer product, as is dv. DVCAM and DVCPRO are the pro versions of the same data but with locked audio. It's all DV25, so until we up the ante across the board, there's not gonna be a pro d8.

They went miniDV with the prosumer stuff.

But know this: the D8 format (other than no locked audio) sits between dvCam and dvcPRO as far as formats go. Fast tape speed and wide track pitch.

I never use the tape section of my xl1S. I firewire it to D8, live, loving every minute of it! I've graduated past using an older d8 camcorder to a d8 walkman and let me tell you that screen, while imperfect, has saved me many times. It's $800 with an add-on battery from NY.

$3 maxell MP straight 8 tapes which do the trick of $22 dvcPRO tapes.

Hmm why no real quality cams in d8 or pro d8 (yet)? $$$ in new crap!
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Old September 24th, 2002, 08:05 PM   #13
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JoPhoto, that's really interesting that you firewire to D8. Why do you do that may I ask? Is it for the more robust nature of Digital 8? The reason I ask is that when I have an old Sony D8 camera that has had maybe 12 hours use total and when I get my new Canon camera I'm assuming I'll be able to dv control and output straight to that D8 cam. Just wondering how worth it it actually is? I'll have to check the coverage of the viewfinder on the SOny compared to the Xm2 I'm hoping to get. Maybe it's bigger and so better to use that as a little monitor or something. Hmm.
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Old September 25th, 2002, 01:40 PM   #14
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Off the cuff, I must say I started in D8 and learned about the format which made sense. Just too bad that Sony doesn't make any 3-chippers in it.

I use it first for my belief that the format is nearly as robust as dvcpro, second for the overall cost and head wear savings on the xl1S and I've learned that the walkman's screen gives a more accurate guess as to proper exposure and whether the "push AF" is focused correctly. You need to tweak the LCD to approximate a real monitor and understand it's limitations. It doesn't hurt that this is all on tripods, etc. Then if I'm needing to go mobile, the tape drive in the cam isn't much different than a very lightly used cam.

I am a fan of technology on the cheap. The MKTG depts said we can make more money with a smaller tape and new gereration of stuff. Ala, miniDV, D8, dvcpro, dvcam all DV25 and all having small differences with great cost differences.

The fact that I've gone hundreds of hours without cleaning heads (or should I say the tell-tale signs that I need to) on D8 is a good sign. I did literally see my first dropout in one heck of a long time. I tend to think it may have been a tape flaw, but no banding, ever! I'm going to give it a go, just for maintainance sake, as I figure cleaning is needed every 60-100 hours to clean some residue.
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Old September 25th, 2002, 05:05 PM   #15
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What tapes do you use? When I was using Hi8, and also to a lesser extent with D8, I get dropouts unless I use the more expensive tapes. If you're using standard Hi8 tapes, then you have me interested in getting a D8 vtr!
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