MiniDV vs Digital8
MiniDV and Digital8 (D8) are video tape formats for the consumer and semi-pro market. This page describes the differences between the two.
These two formats are very similar in features and both provide good-quality recordings.
MiniDV is recorded on a proprietary format tape, D8 can be recorded on either 8mm or Hi8 tape. D8 camcorders also allow you to play back tapes recorded in 8mm or Hi8 mode.
MiniDV tapes are smaller, so MiniDV camcorders tend to be smaller and lighter than D8.
At the time of writing, Digital8 is not as well supported as MiniDV. MiniDV looks likely to be the more popular format for the future.
There is no significant difference in quality between the two formats. The features and quality of individual cameras are more important to the end product.
In general Digital8 is the cheaper format, both for cameras and tapes. As always your best bet is to research prices yourself. You could start by going to our video store and using the Amazon.com form to search for camcorders and digital video tapes.
|MiniDV||Digital8 - 8mm Tape||Digital8 - Hi8 Tape|
|SP Mode||30, 60, 80 minutes||60 minutes on a 120-minute tape||60 minutes on a 120-minute tape|
|LP Mode||45, 90, 120 minutes||N/A||90 minutes on a 120-minute tape|
- MiniDV does not lose picture quality in LP mode, but may lose other features such as audio dubbing.
- Digital8 LP mode will only work on Hi8 tapes.
- Tapes may not play back as well if played in a camcorder other than the one they were recorded on, especially in LP mode.
Digital8 is probably a cheaper option, and ideal if you want to keep using or playing back 8mm or Hi8 tapes.
MiniDV is probably a better option if your priorities include camera features and future-proofing.