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Nineties camcorder


Nineties video camcorder

I bought a video camera back in the nineties, not unlike the photo shown here, from Dixons, an electrical retail store in England, with my second ever monthly wage I think. You’d attach a battery to the back of the camera, insert a small blank cassette, turn it on and look down the viewfinder through a miniature magnifying glass to a tiny screen which gave you a small black and white thumbnail image of your subject. Happy days.


Now in order to get ‘seamless’ cuts between scenes, for me at least without an editing suite, it was all about the record button. Pressing it once started the recording as you’d expect but pressing it again effectively just paused the recording. You could then change position, move your subject and once happy with everything press the record button again, this time ‘unpausing’ the recording in order to make the smoothest of cuts in the final playback, which wouldn’t be acceptable by today’s standard, but not bad for back then. Doing it this way, for the hobbyist, in essence you edited as you went along.


This method obviously had its drawbacks meaning that you’d have to press the stop button instead when changing location for example, the downside being that this rolled the tape back a few seconds so if you weren’t careful, you would record over the ending of the last scene when restarting! Not good. Once completed, I could hook up my camera to the TV to enjoy my handy-work before connecting to a VHS recorder and transferring to a larger cassette for posterity. Simple times.


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