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Home /DIY / How to Convert 8mm Tapes to Digital

How to Convert 8mm Tapes to Digital

By Dillon Wallace

8mm film has been around for a long time. Almost 100 years long. Introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1932, 8mm film has seen quite the evolution during its lifespan. From the “so easy a kid can use it” invention of Super 8 in the mid 60s and again at the turn of the century with Digital 8 and Hi8 tapes, which you may have copies of in a box lying around in storage. 

In fact, there’s probably some great millennium footage on those tapes that hasn’t seen the light of day in more than 20 years.

So, how do you go about transferring 8mm tapes to your computer so you can relive those glory days of frosted tips, pooka shell necklaces and ?


Let us help you DIY with these easy steps. First things first, you’re going to need a camcorder and a video capture software. Take your pick because there are plenty out there

Video capture software

If you’re using a Mac, the stock QuickTime Player will suffice or you can buy third-party software if you prefer. For Windows, programs like Sony® Vegas Movie Studio+ DVD, Pinnacle® Studio Plus or Ulead VideoStudio®, etc. will work.

Connect the camcorder

If your 8mm or Hi8 camcorder has the standard audio/video input jacks, you can use standard A/V cables for the connection. If not, you may need a mini A/V output jack or S-Video output connector depending on your camcorder make.

Cue the video

After you’ve connected the camcorder to your computer using the appropriate A/V chord, cue the camcorder to the beginning of the video footage. Turn on the computer and start the video capture software. Hit play and let the transferring begin.

That all sounds easy enough, right? Well, it is but not so fast.

Outside of having to locate a functioning 8mm camcorder (assuming your old one still works), you’re going to have to devote some serious time to transferring your videos. One or two may not take too long, but if you start doing the math of each tape being 60, 90 even 120 minutes long, then a handful of tapes can amount to more than a handful of hours … even days. That’s a lot of time to commit to digitizing your own tapes.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with an easier solution.

KODAK Digitizing and our staff of professional digitizers can take your old 8mm tapes (and the rest of your old analog tapes – VHS, VHS-C, MiniDV, etc. – for that matter) off your hands. Just mail them in and our trusted team will safely convert them into shareable digital formats, including DVDs, thumb drives and digital downloads. It’s the best way to revisit the past and preserve all the memories along the way.

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