What makes a camcorder analog?
Analog refers to the way the camcorder records your video onto a tape, as well as the resolution of that video.
Analog Camcorder Formats
VHS and VHS-C
VHS and VHS-C camcorders record on a VHS tape at around 230 lines of resolution. The resolution of a VHS camcorder is almost half of what you would get from a digital camcorder. The advantage of using a VHS camcorder is that after you record your video you can immediately play it back in any VCR. VHS-C camcorders are the same as regular camcorders except VHS-C camcorders use compact VHS tapes. VHS-C tapes are usually only thirty minutes long and can be placed in a VCR adapter and played back in a VCR immediately after recording.
Super VHS and Super VHS-C
Super VHS tapes are the same size as traditional VHS tapes, the difference between the two formats lies in the camcorders resolution. A Super VHS camcorder records nearly 380 lines of resolution. You can not play back Super VHS tapes in your traditional VCR. You can purchase a Super VHS VCR however for tape playback or connect your camera to the VCR through cables for playback.
8mm camcorders record at around the same quality as a standard VHS camcorder at 230 lines of resolution. 8mm camcorders have a better sound quality than traditional VHS camcorders and are much smaller than full size VHS and in most cases VHS-C camcorders. 8mm tapes can get record times of up to 2 hours. In order to play back 8mm tapes you have to connect your camcorder to your television or VCR through cables.
Hi8 camcorders look just like regular 8mm camcorders except they record 400 lines of resolution rather than the little over 200 you get from traditional 8mm. Like 8mm camcorders you can find Hi8 tapes with record times around 2 hours in extended play. Hi8 camcorders will also have to be connected to your television through cables for video playback.