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What were some of the best VHS camcorders? Does it matter?

computerdude92

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I just saw a vintage pc video from LGR on Youtube and found out it was shot with a VHS-C camera. I think making old school tech videos in VHS quality really sets the "theme" and makes you feel like you're really back in time. I want to film my future tech videos with VHS tapes. I could even look the part by dressing in 90's fashion! ;) It would be so cool! Anyway, what would be a great camcorder to find on Ebay that gives out very good quality video with replacement batteries readily available for purchase? I still miss the time when I found an old black maybe Panasonic camcorder at my folks place around 10 years ago. Mom told me to throw it out cause it was so dated.. I could’ve taken it for myself, but ahem, that is the past. Can't do anything about it. So yeah, I can't wait to hear what you guys think and then I can get this show on the road!
 

Trixter

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I think making old school tech videos in VHS quality really sets the "theme" and makes you feel like you're really back in time. I want to film my future tech videos with VHS tapes.

This is essentially what youtuber Weird Paul does.

VHS-C was very unweildy; if you can "deal" with a slightly better picture (!) then any Hi-8 camera will produce similar results.
 

salamontagne

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Believe it or not, some (most) of the very high-end camcorders found use (with adapters) in actual TV studios. They would have a camera control unit mounted on a rack inside the booth. I've worked on shows at a public access station that uses this setup - worked out quite well.

OFC, they were HEAVY units. Almost as heavy as the first-gen backpack style "portable" recorders. Even though nearly every studio (including the public access ones) have converted to HD by now, you might find one that would be willing to let a setup go for a token "Donation".
 

KC9UDX

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I've got a full size Samsung that I bought new in the mid 90s. You can see it in some of my YouTube videos. Avoid models like this. The quality is marginal, the features are lacking, and there's no way to turn off the blasted on-screen indicators. It was a serious disappointment the day I bought it, and I've no idea why I kept it.

What you really want is one of those separate cameras with the recorder in the big bag...

Seriously though there were some really nice VHS-C units made in the early 90s.
 

Bungo Pony

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I always found VHS-C to be terrible. Most of the camcorders record in EP and there are almost always tracking issues. You're better off going full VHS, Hi-8, or even Betacam. A word of warning: most of these old camcorders will need the belts replaced in them.

I have a couple of old full VHS camcorders and they work fine (I think one is an RCA and the other is a Hitachi)
 

KC9UDX

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The ones that only record in EP are troublesome. Hi-8 units in my experience were as good as the best VHS-C ones. Betacams were better.
 

IndirectX9

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San Antonio Texas, United States of America
The Panasonic AG-Series camcorders are pretty good quality, since I have the AG-186 (1994) and AG-188 (1999). I recommend caution when purchasing VHS camcorders from the early 1990s as most of them had barrel capacitors that really like to leak over the years, and that same issue killed a sharp Slim-cam I bought.:mad:
 

vwestlife

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central NJ
You need a video camera with a tube image sensor (not CCD or MOS) for the real vintage 1980s look:


Extra bonus points when the camera has a non-Y2K-ready date display. :)
 

KC9UDX

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I can do that almost anywhere in the house. I have to take my wife's LCD TV off the top of my 26" Trinitron console first though.
 
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