Great Idea for a Camcorder - Plays Older 8mm and Hi8 Tapes
19 March 2009
Summary: When I got this camcorder, the technology just started going to the miniDV's. At the same time, I have several 8mm and Hi8 home movies that were taken with an analog camcorder. This was an easy solution to digitize the old school tech so I can edit them and burn them to DVDs. I use a Macmini or Macbook to edit the movies. For new movies, it does not matter if you use the Hi8 or 8mm tapes.
Summary: Some of the reviews here may give the impression that the Sony TRV-480 is not capable of easy capture to a computer for burning to a DVD. This is not correct. Although the documentation is admittedly a bit confusing, the Digital-8 actually works exactly like a miniDV camcorder - the only difference is the size of the tape (thus giving a somewhat larger camera). If you don't already have it, you should definitely plan to add a firewire card to your computer.
Summary: I bought this model to replace the old sony Hi8 that sustained some damage on a recent trip so I wouldn't have to switch formats. I do like it but found several drawbacks. 1) tapes load from the bottom. Really a pain when filming from a tripod, which I do more than I realized. 2) The date and time are either always on or always off and you have to navigate several screens to make it appear/disappear. And this can only be done from the touch screen.
Summary: This is my third Sony digital 8 camcorder (yeah, I know...dropped one and the other fell into the river while filming kayaking). I keep coming back because: 1) I love the format: digital 8 tapes that are compatible with regular 8mm tapes. You have most all advantages of digital, and I can play/review all the years of tape I recorded on standard 8mm. (For example: camera records timeline on the tape so the correct date/time will always be associated with each scene.