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Jessops video transfer advice please

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Paul_R, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Sorry, I know this isn't specifically 'on-topic' but even if someone could point me to a more relevant forum for further advice etc, I would be grateful.

    I have about 25 hours of video tape that I want to transfer to DVD / PC etc. The format is 8mm / video 8 and I still have the camera, Sony CCD-F500E video 8 Handycam, but it doesn't work anymore. The tapes date back to 1995.

    A while ago I enquired at Jessops if they could transfer the video for me and I think they quoted something like £20 for every hour of video which would work out quite expensive. Having said that, most of the footage is of my two daughters growing up so I can't really put a price on that :)

    However, I believe its fairly straight forward to transfer video to PC so I'm wondering if I should attempt this myself although I would need to obtain an 8mm camera to do it. I have had a look on the web and there are companies offering this service but I don't really want to be sending my tapes through the post.

    Would there be any great difference between me transferring the video (as long as I could work out how to do it!) as apposed to using a company such as Jessops i.e. would it be of superior quality or something?

    I know there are a few members on this forum who dabble in AV etc so any advice would be most welcome or, as I say, pointing me to a more relevant forum would be just as welcome.

  2. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    I think you'll need a firewire card (or something like that)

    Apart form that I'm not too sure.

    I've done encoding from BetaMAX and VHS in the past (read: many years ago) but the video unit was built into the computer system.
  3. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    See if you can find something like the Sony Video 8 Player , maybe eBay? Then transfer the video to your PC via Firewire. You will need plenty of disk space. AVI files take up about 4gb for 18mins of video. Better to buy a dedicated disk for it then reformat it between each project so that fragmentation is kept to minimum. Video needs fast disks but all modern high capacity disks should be suitable but I wouldn't use a USB or Firewire connected one.

    After that you will need some Video editing software. I use Premiere but Premiere Elements should be OK or even Windows own Video software will work.

    All you need then is software to burn the DVDs. There's plenty of that about. Nero, Roxio etc.

    Let us know how you get on.
  4. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi Fen

    Thanks for your reply. I do have a firewire card installed on my PC so that shouldn't be a problem.
  5. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    You clearly need some form of working tape mechanism, and you might be lucky enough to find a reduced price but new 8mm / Video 8 camera at Comet (or Jessops?). (Upto last Xmas I think my local Comet in Milton Keynes had a small collection.) But check whether it has Firewire out or other useful output before buying it.

    Last autumn, I came across an independent cine to DVD agency and he was charging £60/hour of finished DVD. Struck me as a fair price when all the breakages in the old cine film have to be dealt with!
  6. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member


    I don't think there are any 8mm/video 8 camcorders with a Firewire (called i.Link by Sony) connection, as this is normally used for digital video.

    However, there are some Sony Digital-8 camcorders that have a Firewire socket, and can play back analogue 8mm/Hi-8 tapes (the DCR-TRV480 seems to be the only current model to play back standard 8mm/Hi-8 tapes).
    This might be worth considering if you're in the market for a new camcorder anyway; or try to find a secondhand one (NB: not all Digital-8 camcorders can play back 8mm/Hi-8, so I'd check first!). (Digital-8 records digitally on 8mm type tapes.)

    Hope this helps,
  7. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi Norman

    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. I have had a look on the web with regard to the Sony-GV-D200E but it seems to have been discontinued but, as you say, ebay may be the way to go. Mind you, I think they retailed for around £500 new!

    Can you just clarify someghing please, Norman?

    You say: 'Then transfer the video to your PC <u>via Firewire</u> .'

    but then say:

    Video needs fast disks but all modern high capacity disks should be suitable but I wouldn't use a <u>USB or Firewire connected one</u> .

    Are you talking about an internal disc as opposed to an external one? Sorry if I'm missing the obvious :D
  8. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi Malcolm and Alex

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. Your advice was much appreciated. I am watching a couple of used cameras on ebay but the only worry I have about buying them is if they end up chewing up some of my tapes. That's what is wrong with the camera I have at the moment plus it fails to eject the tape occasionally! Buying a new one could be a possibility but as mentioned, I would have to make sure it had Firewire out etc before buying it. I will have to have a look at what is available. I might even ask Jessops for a discount for doing all 25 hours worth :D
  9. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    The transfer to your PC should be by firewire. Try to find a video 8 player or camcorder (should be cheap now) with firewire out socket. The disk that you transfer the video to should be a SATA, PATA, IDE or SCSII connected disk, not USB or firewire as these connections may not deliver the required speed for capture without dropped frames.

    I had a look on eBay for the Sony player without success. Your best bet might be a S/H video 8 camcorder or you may even find one new/clearance as pretty much everything now is either MiniDV or solid state. Have you had someone take a look at your camcorder with a view to repair. Might be worth it.
  10. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    I'm still not convinced you can find an analogue video player or camcorder with Firewire!

    Unless you use a Digital-8 camcorder, then you would probably need to transfer video using an S-Video or composite video in socket. If your PC/graphics card doesn't already have the facility, then look at something like the Dazzel DVD Recorder or Pinnacle Studio 500 USB - £40 & £90 at Jessops.

    As Norman says, it's wise to transfer video to an internal hard drive, as external ones - even Firewire - may not keep up with the data transfer rate, resulting in dropped frames.
  11. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clarifying that, :)
  12. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Well, I popped into an independant printing/photography shop in Middlesbrough to enquire about transfering 8mm to DVD etc. Very helpful staff I must say.

    They quoted me £15 per tape reducing to £10 per tape if you have five or more transferred. I have roughly 25 hours on 15 tapes which would work out at £150 for the lot. The guy said I would struggle to find anywhere cheaper (they are based next door but one to Jessops!) which seems to be true as Jessops and another local camera shop want around £20 - £25 per tape and some of the online companies charge that per hour!

    I am seriously considering going down this route as I don't think its a bad price all things considered. I might pop in their tomorrow with the first two tapes. I don't really want to hand over all the tapes in one go just in case I never see them again!
  13. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    That sounds a good price and will certainly be cheaper than buying the extra kit needed to do it yourself, especially if it's a 'one off' and you won't be needing to do it again.

    I would add, though, that what you will get is a straight transfer with no 'post production'. You will get all the 'duff takes', mistakes and superfluous footage. You won't get titles, overlays, re-ordering of scenes, scene transitions etc. or any compensation for errors in exposure etc. You can do all or most of that with a package like Premiere Elements.

    Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
  14. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi Norman

    Yes, that is what I was thinking and as you say, it will only be a one-off.

    Ok on just being a straight transfer. I had done a little searching about on the net and some of the prices quoted for 'extras' were way above what I could afford! I think I will be happy just to have them transferred to DVD for now. As you say, I can have a play about with the video using something like Premiere Elements. It will be a new area of learning for me though as I have had little experience with adding titles, overlays, re-ordering of scenes (whatever that is!), scene transitions etc.

    I think I will be giving the guy in the shop the go ahead tomorrow and I'm quite looking forward to viewing the video again after all these years. I just hope the video tape is ok!

    Thanks, and I will :)
  15. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    All 8mm tapes taken into the shop today. I asked the guy if he wanted paying up front. He replied 'No you're ok. I have your tapes don't I?' :D
  16. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    you could get a video cassette adapter so you can put your tapes into a standard video player, connect this to a dvd recorder (panasonic £160 from Argos) and transfer it that way. This will be a lot cheaper than £500 going into Jessops pocket and if you have a suitably equipped pc you can make extra copies for family and friends
  17. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    Interesting idea, although I've never heard of an adaptor for 8mm - only VHS-C (the 'compact' VHS tapes). The adaptor would have to be able to read 8mm format tapes, AND convert them to VHS.

    Something like this would make sense (probably why no-one's produced one!), but I doubt if it exists ... though I may be wrong. :rolleyes:
  18. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    My thoughts too. As you say, I also believe there is only an adapter for vhs-c otherwise it would be a good option!
  19. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    VHS-C to VHS adapters work because the tape is the same width (3/4") in both types of cassette. The only difference being the length of tape. You'll never get a VHS VCR to play 8mm tapes.
  20. Paul_R

    Paul_R Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Well I thought I would post a quick update.

    I handed over 18 tapes in all to the local printing / photography store and have just got them back. I am very pleased with them although it did take them 8 weeks to transfer them!

    I have only had a quick flick through the DVD's (there is approx 26 hours) but seeing footage of my two daughters from 15 years ago was really special. You think you can recall, from memory, the events from all those years ago but when you actually watch recordings from that time it shows just how much you 'don't' remember, if you know what I mean! At least that's how it is for me but I do struggle to rememebr what I did last week never mind 15 years ago :D

    Because I have two grand children aged 3 and 1, this has really made me consider purchasing another video camera, or at least getting my present faulty one looked at. Mind you, the video camera I have at the moment, a Sony DCR-PC8E, is quite a good camera and cost about £800 aprox three (I think) years ago but you can pick up decent video cameras for about £250 these days so I don't know if it would be worthwhile paying for it to be repaired! I suppose I could go for the latest high definition cameras but these cost about £1000!

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