VHS - This format can play in any VHS VCR with an adapter. Its video resolution is 270 (measured in lines), compared to a DVD's 480 lines. Average recording time on a cassette is 30 minutes on SP. Average cost of a cassette is $3.50. Price range for camcorder: $225-$500
VHS-C - This model is essentially a compact version of VHS. Because of its smaller size, it uses smaller tapes that allow only 30 minutes of footage per tape. Both VHS and VHS-C tapes are inexpensive and easy to find, and will play in any VCR
Super VHS-C - a model offered only by JVC, it is an upgrade of the VHS-C model. It offers 400 lines of resolution and better audio than VHS. You may use regular VHS tapes in these models, but you won't enjoy the better quality. Average recording time is 40 minutes at SP with tapes costing $6.50. Price range for camcorder: $225-$500
8mm - A nearly extinct analog model that offers similar quality as VHS, between 240 and 270 lines of resolution. Advantages include a smaller tape with longer recording time, but these tapes can only be played back by hooking the camcorder into your TV.
Hi8 - An upgrade from the 8mm model that offers sharper pictures-400 lines of resolution- and longer recording time. This model is small, lightweight, and offers the best image quality of the analog models. Average recording time is 120 minutes, with tapes costing $6.50. You'll need to use Hi8 tape and have a TV with an S-video input to view your footage. Price range for camcorder: $200-$400