A selection of old and vintage video equipment donated for display online and in our studio.
Below is a small sample of our collection of cameras. There were many formats available, the most popular being VHS C, Hi8, DIgital 8 and Mini DV. Since the demise of tape based formats many solid state camcorders became available, most popular being SD card based camcorders recording in either SD or HD fomats.
VHS C Cameras
VHS Compact was a popular format as it allowed the small cassette to be inserted into an adaptor which made it compatible with a standard VHS recorder. Unfortunately we do not have any images of VHS C camcorders. They were slightly larger than the 8mm format as the cassette itself were larger. For more information of the cassette adaptor read this post on our blog.
This format developed from the Video 8 format, the difference being it had a higher bandwidth resulting in a better recording. Hi8 cameras used a similar cassette as video 8 and were generally backward compatible in that they could play Video 8 tapes. Very robust and superior in recording quality to VHS C, these cameras were very popular.
Digital 8 Cameras
Digital 8 was the natural progression from Hi8 and used the same cassettes but recorded in a digital format. Digital 8 cameras were generally backward compatible and could play both Hi8 and Video 8 cassettes. A popular format but did not stick around for too long before Mini DV took it’s hold.
Mini DV Cameras
The Mini DV format was very popular among the domestic and professional markets with variations in the pro market such as DVCAM and HDV using the same cassette but different recording formats. Professional decks such as the Sony HVRM15 could play back all formats.
SD Card Cameras
Panasonic HDC-SD20 HD Camcorder
Panasonic NV-B45 Video Tape Splicing Kit
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VHS Video Cassette Machines
The most popular analogue video format ever. Below is a short video explaining the basic operation of a video cassette recorder.
Video Head Cleaning
This is an example of a video head cleaning cassette. When the video heads on a VCR became clogged a short term and cheap fix was to use one of these. A few drops of a cleaning solution dripped into the orange hole would wet the cleaning tape. After running the cassette in the VCR for a few seconds the heads would be cleaned. The best way to clean video heads is to remove the cover and clean the heads, tape path and other devices in the tape path. If you’re not familiar with the inner workings of a VCR it’s probably best to refer it to an expert.