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I heard that the professionals use the regular size DV format which is much bigger than the MiniDV cartridge but the signal format is the same.

Can someone point out the difference between MiniDV and Digital-8 other than the physical differences of the tape cartridge? I am curious if the digital video signal format is identical also for Digital-8.

The Physical size would better be described in millimeters or inches than in comparison with an unnamed "answering machine" tape.