8mm Hi8 Camera and Camcorder Tapes
The 8mm video format refers to the Video8, Hi8 and Digital8 audio and video systems, which were very common in the 1980s and 1990s, before the introduction of more modern discs and cards. Older versions of the camcorder tapes typically work on more recent technology equipped to handle the physical tapes themselves via backwards compatibility. There are many 8mm Hi8 camera and camcorder tapes available, so you can continue to use your old camcorder without the worry of running out of tapes.
Choosing a tape
Though similar in appearance, there are a few different types of 8mm tape. It is most important to decide whether you are after Video8, Hi8 or Digital8 varieties and whether you are using it on a very old device or a new device designed to shoot in 8mm. Video8 is the oldest type, followed by Hi8 and then Digital8 which, as the name suggests, can also handle digital recording. Hi8 are the most common varieties for purchase due to their use in cameras and camcorders .
8mm tapes can be damaged by direct sunlight, moisture, heat or dust. They should be kept out of the way of these menaces and it is said that storing them vertically is best for their health as well. This way, your tapes will remain in good condition for many years to come.
That said, they do have a life expectancy. Fifteen to twenty years is their usual lifetime before they start experiencing problems. This is the same with all storage technology, including the most modern SSD drives or secure digital cards. When degradation does occur, it can usually be repaired by a professional.
Cleaning your tapes helps ensure optimum picture or sound quality and is easily done. You can purchase special 8mm cassette head cleaners, which make sure there is no dirt, dust or minor damage on the tape so that it is easily read. This can be done at home to reduce the need for specialist attention, which can be expensive.