Video 8 was launched in the 80’s as a mass market light and portable
alternative to it’s predecessors. Until this point, the portable
market had been dominated by much more cumbersome formats such VHS-C and
Betamax. Video 8 had one major advantage over the full-sized competition.
Thanks to their compact-form factor, Video 8 camcorders were small enough
to hold in the palm of the user's hand. Such a feat was impossible with
Betamax and VHS camcorders.
In terms of video quality, Video8, VHS/VHS-C, and Beta-II offered similar
performance in their "standard play" modes; all were rated at
approximately 240 horizontal lines (depending on speed, quality of tape,
and other factors). In terms of audio, Video8 generally outperformed its
The standard tape length is 90 minutes or 3 hours on long play.