Advice....Buy Video Capture or New Camcorder


Senior member
Nov 28, 1999

I want to have the ability to put Home Video on CDs, email clips, etc.....

Here's my options:

1) Sell my (very nice) Sony Hi8 Camcorder to my bro for $200 or and buy a Sony Digital8 camcorder for around $500 or

2) Buy a Video Capture Card and software to convert my Hi8 to digital..... I have heard that the PinnacleSystem Card for around $300 is pretty good...

any advice?



Feb 1, 2000
depends how much you care about video quality.

digital camcorders tend to have 700k pixel CCDs while hi8 might have 300k if you are lucky. also get a miinDV. if you must have sony get a sony miniDV like TRV9 or something. getting stuck with some wierd sony proprietary format just isnt good and will cost you a grip anyways.... unless you have a ton of hi8 tapes sitting around that you want to use on the digital 8 camera.

if you are gonna buy a $300 video capture card anyways you might as well get the digital video camera. a lot of midrange and even low end mini DV camera's have analog in and out, anyways. (my $300 sharp miniDV does). so you could even buy a $20 firewire card, hook your old camera's analog video out's to the new camera's analog video in ports, and then the new camera would automatically digitize your old tapes and transmit it through its firewire out connection.


Golden Member
May 18, 2002
Just a couple more points to consider:

The pinnacle capture device has an MPEG2 encoder chip. Which means you get DVD-ready files at about 1.6 GB/hr.

With a DV camcorder your raw DV files are about 15GB / hr. You have to buy another HD dedicated to this whole process. Also, compressing them into MPEG2 in software will take about 4x the time (at best, with p4 2.4, depending on the software).

DV tapes are 1hr-long at most. Costing about $15 ea.

If you like your Sony, you will likely have to spend $800 to get a similar quality DV camcorder with Zeiss optics and all.

Just consider all this before you make the switch.