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and Greater Boston since 1987

Video tape vs. Motion picture 8mm/16mm film

Video tape types must not be confused with motion picture film types.

Video tape
VHS, the kind of tape you used to bring home from a rental store. It is 2 hours long. Was introduced in the eighties.
VHS-C, similar to VHS, but in a smaller cassette. It is 20-30 min. long. The VHS-C cassette must be placed in a special plastic adapter before it can be played in your VCR. Was introduced in the mid-eighties.
8mm and Hi-8. The cassette is very small, and looks a lot like the cassette used in an audio tape recorder. Can't be played in a VHS VCR. Needs a 8mm video camera to play. Was introduced in the mid-eighties.
MiniDV. Used in a digital camera. Looks like an 8mm tape, only smaller. Was introduced in the late nineties.
Digital 8. Looks like an 8mm tape. Used in Sony Digital 8 cameras. Was introduced in the late nineties.

Film
Motion picture film comes in three consumer sizes: 8mm, Super-8mm and 16mm, with or without sound. Motion picture film -- movie film -- has little holes along one edge of the film. No holes? It's video tape. Was it made before 1980? It is film, there was no video at that time. In order for film to be transfered to DVD, it is transfered to video tape first.

 

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