If you happened to record any home videos during the ’80s or ’90s, it’s highly likely that you possess a collection of old camcorder tapes that are now gathering dust. These tapes contain years’ worth of precious memories, such as birthdays, family vacations, and weddings, but unfortunately, they cannot be easily viewed in today’s digital era. Not to mention they will degrade and can completely erase.


Fortunately, there is a way to relive these priceless family moments. By converting your camcorder tapes to digital format, you can safeguard these memories for future generations while also sharing and enjoying them with your loved ones.


Without a functioning camcorder and the appropriate cables to connect it to your television, attempting to view these memories becomes quite challenging. Even if you possess the necessary equipment, there is a risk of damaging these old videotapes by playing them in an outdated camcorder.


Over time, camcorder tapes become brittle and deteriorate, making them prone to tearing after years of being left untouched. This is yet another reason why it is crucial to preserve these aging video tapes before it’s too late!

Why convert to digital?

When Sony introduced the Handycam video camera in 1985, 8mm camcorder tapes gained immense popularity among consumers. The convenience of holding a video camera in the palm of your hand made it easier to capture videos both indoors and outdoors. Although recording on these new 8mm tapes was more convenient than using VHS or Betacam, these tape formats were not designed to stand the test of time.


Limited Lifespan

8mm camcorder tapes have a limited lifespan. Even if they have been stored under optimal conditions, such as a cool and dry environment, these tapes naturally degrade over time. This degradation leads to issues like video signal loss, shedding, and tape wear. Delaying the conversion of your camcorder tapes to digital format poses the risk of rendering your tapes unplayable, which means you may lose the family memories stored on them.


Scarce Availability of Working Camcorder Equipment

 Just like camcorder tapes, camcorders themselves degrade over time. Moreover, the last camcorders supporting the Hi8 and Digital8 video formats were discontinued in 2007. While you may still find old camcorders being sold second-hand, a significant portion of them may only be suitable for parts and not in working condition.


Versatility of Digital Files

The primary drawback of having a substantial collection of old camcorder tapes is that they can only be viewed on an old camcorder. If you don’t have one, or the one you possess is no longer functional, obtaining a working camcorder can be challenging. This hurdle disappears when you convert your tapes to digital formats like MP4 video.


Digital video files offer remarkable versatility, allowing you to view and share your old 8mm camcorder tapes effortlessly. You can save and watch digital files on all your modern digital devices, such as phones, tablets, computers, and smart televisions at home.


Converting camcorder tapes to digital also grants you the option to edit your home movies on your computer if you desire. Alternatively, you can conveniently carry them with you on a USB thumb drive while on the go. Essentially, the entire process ensures that your memories are future-proofed, preserving them for years to come.

Options for converting camera tapes to digital

When it comes to preserving the memories stored on your aging camcorder tapes, the next step is to determine the method you will employ: the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach or entrusting the project to a professional video transfer service like Quick Digitals.

DIY method

If you’re someone who is tech-savvy, converting old camcorder tapes to DVDs and/or digital files at home can be a viable option. If you already possess the necessary equipment, cables, and patience, the overall process should be relatively smooth. However, there are a few factors to consider:



If you don’t already own the required equipment (such as a camcorder, cables, video capture software, analog-to-digital video converter, etc.), you’ll need to bear some initial setup costs before you can begin converting your old camcorder tapes. Depending on the equipment you choose to purchase, these costs can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find the most crucial piece of equipment: a working old camcorder.



While converting a few tapes can be a simple weekend project, dealing with a larger collection of old camcorder tapes will consume a significant amount of time that you may not be willing to sacrifice. 8mm camcorder tapes can hold up to approximately 2 hours of footage each. Since the conversion process must be done in real-time, converting just one tape can take as long as the footage recorded on it. As a result, attempting to convert a large number of 8mm tapes to digital format yourself could easily consume days or even weeks of your time.



There are also risks involved in attempting to digitize camcorder tapes on your own. Over time, 8mm tapes deteriorate and become brittle, especially when they haven’t been viewed for years. Trying to play such an aging tape in an old camcorder can easily damage the tape itself. If the damage is severe enough, there’s a real possibility of permanently losing the memories stored on your tapes.


Considering these factors, it’s important to weigh the cost, time commitment, and risks involved before deciding whether to undertake the DIY approach or opt for a professional video transfer service.

Professional video transfer services

Hiring a professional video transfer service like Quick Digitals to convert your camcorder tapes to digital is the most safe-proof, efficient option. Leaving the complicated work to trained professionals is also a smart choice. 


Not all transfer companies are the same

Some outsource their tapes, some don’t convert in-house, some just don’t have the proper experience and equipment. We at Quick Digitals have perfected the video tape transfer method to give you the best possible result. 


We only do conversions

Unlike other companies we only offer and specialize in video transfers. We don’t do wedding photography, video editing, camera repairs or anything aside from video digitization. 



Since every tape is converted by us in our location we get orders processed quickly. No tapes are sent to other tape transfer companies. You can even call us and talk to our highly trained technicians, which may not be true for other big-box transfer services.


Regardless of the path you select, it is crucial to take prompt action. Your tapes won’t endure indefinitely, and the availability of equipment required to preserve them is scarce. By converting your camcorder tapes to DVDs and digital files, you guarantee the preservation of your family’s memories, allowing future generations to cherish and view.

Have video tapes you'd like to digitize?