04 Jun 2012

History of the Different Types of Consumer Camcorders

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Video cameras have been in high demand across the world since the development of video. Throughout the past couple decades, there’s been several different models and sizes of cameras and many different formats to choose from. One of the first video cameras available was the Betamax and VHS camcorders. Both of these formats were battling each other for the top consumer spot in the marketplace. Each of them had their own advantages and disadvantages, with Betamax having superior quality, while VHS boasted longer recording times. In the end, VHS came out on top and soon VCR sales exploded across the country as well as camcorders.

Although convenient and easy to use, VHS camcorders were pretty bulky and could be tiresome to use. In response to the demand for a smaller recording device, the VHS-C tape was developed which was a much smaller version of the VHS tape which could be used in a specialized adapter to play in a standard VCR. This smaller form proved to be popular as it allowed for camcorders that could be held in the palm of your hand, without requiring additional equipment to view the tapes. The average recording time of a VHS-C tape was about 30 minutes and was seen as the main drawback of the format.

To counter this problem, Sony introduced the Video8 recording system in 1985. Video8 tapes were seen as beneficial because they had superior recording quality, and had the capability to be recorded up to 2 hours on one tape. The disadvantage consumers found with the Video8 format was that they weren’t compatible with the wildly popular VCRs that people had grown to love. In order to play back any footage, and expensive Video8 player was needed or the camcorder must be plugged in and wired into the television.

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