Archive for Thursday, March 6, 2008

Camcorders, So Much Change

March 6, 2008

Since 1982 we have seen many changes in portable magnetic tape camcorders.

A former neighbor had some valuable family videos on 8 mm magnetic tapes that they could no longer watch. They asked me if I could transfer these tapes to a VCR machine. My 8 mm video camera would no longer work so I had to borrow one to do the transferring.

I knew of this camera because we had been on vacations together and we had similar cameras. All models have different features. He thought too, that his no longer worked, but I found after reading his instructions (which I very rarely do), we could view and transfer the pictures.

I am sure many of us have a lot of old video tapes that we can no longer look at. It is important to save these when you can.

My first recorder was a Beta System which I still think made the best color pictures. The camera was huge and very heavy to carry around. And you also had to carry the recording system along with that.

There was a power struggle between Beta and VHS Companies that distributed these and when we realized the way to go would be to the VHS we transferred all our vacation pictures to this system.

My next camera was a Panasonic that had better features and a little bit lighter. We took many vacation pictures that we can still enjoy.

Later we got a smaller compact unit that was a Canon with no extra recording pack to carry around. What a great difference.

Later I bought a JVC camcorder that used a small VHS tape that needed to be played on a cassette adaptor that would work on any VHS system. Now we are into the digital era that produces even smaller units that are easy to put into your shirt pocket.

In 1963 you could get a video camera system set up in your home for $30,000. It was put out by Ampex and it weighed 100 pounds. In 1982, my first Beta cost about $1200 which was a lot of money.

It is amazing how fast the technology has changed. We laugh now about how things are obsolete as soon as you walk out the store.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.