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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.

Formats

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.

Quality

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.

Pricing

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.

Record Time

  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

Notes:

Summary

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.

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