A Complete Guide to Digitise Video 8 / Hi 8

18 October 2023 by
Daisy Wong

Do you have cherished memories stored on Video 8 or Hi 8 tapes? Digitising these tapes is an ideal solution to preserve those cherished moments. In this comprehensive guide, Capture will walk you through the step-by-step process of digitising your tapes, providing information on the necessary equipment, and sharing valuable tips to ensure perfect digitalisation. 

Reasons to digitise Video 8 / Hi 8

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Digitise your Video 8 / Hi 8 tapes to preserve, share, and enhance your precious memories. Here are the reasons why:

  • Film degradation: Analogue tapes degrade over time, resulting in a loss of image quality and potential damage.
  • Obsolete equipment: Video 8 / Hi 8 camcorders and tape players are no longer in production. By digitising them, you ensure continued access to your videos without relying on outdated technology.
  • Easy sharing: Enjoy your digitised videos on various digital devices and easily share them with friends and family. You can also showcase your memories on social media platforms.
  • Editing capabilities: Digital format allows easy video editing and enhancement. You can trim unwanted footage, add effects, improve audio quality, and create a polished final product for sharing.

What do you need to digitise Video 8 / Hi 8?

To begin the digitisation process, you will need to gather the following equipment:

1. Computer & Video Capturing Software

While it's likely that you already have a computer, it's important to ensure that it possesses enough storage space and processing power to handle video editing software and store your digitised videos. 

Additionally, you will need video editing software to capture video from the Video 8 / Hi 8 tape. You can use free iMovie software on Mac or Microsoft Movie Maker on Windows.

2. Video 8 / Hi-8 Camcorder / Tape Player 

To set up the analogue conversion, you will require a Hi-8 camcorder, a Digital 8 camcorder, or a tape player to play your tapes. As these devices are no longer in production, you may need to search for a second-hand unit online. However, it is essential to ensure the device is in good working condition before purchasing.

3. Video Capture Device

A video capture device connects your camcorder to your computer, allowing you to transfer the analogue footage into a digital format. Remember to check if the capture device is compatible with your computer and operating system.

Video capture devices come in two types: internal video capture cards and external video capture cards. For convenience, it is recommended to opt for an external video capture card. It works in plug-and-play mode, eliminating the need to open your computer casing and install the card. This way, you can use the capture card on any computer effortlessly.

4. RCA cable or S-Video cable 

Depending on the outputs of your camcorder and capture device, you may need either an RCA cable or an S-Video cable to establish the connection between them.

Digital 8 camcorders and tape players are usually equipped with Firewire or IEEE1394 ports, facilitating direct video transfer from any 8mm tape to a computer. You may want to explore this option if your computer has a Firewire port.

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Steps to digitise Video 8 / Hi 8

Step 1: Insert the tape

Select the Video 8 or Hi 8 tape you want to digitise and load it into the camcorder or tape player.

Step 2: Connect the camcorder

Using the appropriate cable (RCA or S-Video), connect the camcorder's output to the input of the video capture device. This process establishes a reliable connection for transferring the analogue footage to your computer.

Step 3: Launch video editing software

Open the video editing software on your computer. Make sure to check and adjust the capture settings to match the input source and your desired outcome.

Step 4: Play the tape and start capture

Import the new footage into the video editing software and begin playing the tape on the camcorder. Simultaneously, initiate the capture process on your computer through the video editing software. This synchronisation allows for real-time transfer of the analogue footage to your computer.

Step 5: Edit the footage & save

Once the capture process is complete, you can edit the digitised footage using the video editing software. Editing includes adding music, trimming unwanted sections, adjusting brightness and colour, and applying transitions or effects to enhance the overall quality.

Finally, save the edited video in a digital format of your choice, and make sure to create a backup to preserve your precious memories.

The best way to digitise Video 8 / Hi 8

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Finding the above steps complicated? You can simplify the process by opting for a professional digital service like Capture.

Capture specialises in digitising Video 8 / Hi 8 tapes, ensuring high-quality results and saving time and effort. Simply drop off your Video 8 / Hi 8 tapes to Capture, and we will handle the entire conversion process for you. Your digitised videos will be conveniently delivered directly to your Google Photo Album. Click here to learn more about Capture’s services.

Tips for digitising Video 8 / Hi 8


Here are some valuable tips to enhance your Video 8 / Hi 8 digitisation process:

  • Ensure the quality: Use high-quality equipment for the conversion process. Properly clean and handle the original 8mm film to minimise dust and damage. Pay attention to brightness, contrast, and sharpness during editing to achieve the best possible results.
  • Storage and backup: Establish a reliable backup system to preserve your digitised videos. Consider using external hard drives or cloud storage services. Use multiple storage methods and regularly update your backups to safeguard your video.

*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.

Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.

Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album, slide digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.

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