Quantcast How do current consumer camcorders stack up against ones from the 90s and 80s? - digitalFAQ Forum
Go Back    Forum > Digital Video > Videography: Cameras, TVs and Players

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
02-27-2014, 09:42 AM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 585
Thanked 70 Times in 64 Posts
I recently purchased a Panasonic X920 in frustration of all the issues that digitzing VHS brought, however, watching the new HD footage and comparing to the captured VHS footage, I can see the difference between SD and HD, but there is a less than authentic feeling when comparing the new to the old.

I haven't come to a conclusion whether or not analog or digital is better. There seem to be many pros for both, although digital seems to be much more accessible to the average person. Analog seems to capture colors better, and I imagine probably does better in the dark and doesn't suffer from compression issues, yet the faults of analog recording such as signal instability are always present.

Sony is realeasing a $2k 4k camera in two weeks. Is it massively better than my Panasonic VHS-c camcorder from the 90s? May sound dumb to some, but I think its definitely worth some thought.
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
02-27-2014, 09:50 AM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,760
Thanked 2,147 Times in 1,848 Posts
80s-90s VHS was lousy, but had a certain look about it not found on modern cameras. It's hard to describe.

Detail is better -- but how "better" depends on the lens and sensor size. Colors are generally better, because it doesn't suffer from color bleed, chroma noise, and the color-under method of VHS/S-VHS. Yes, the darks can actually be inferior to VHS -- again, it depends on the sensor. Same for artifacts (compression). Digital media can be unstable too; it just looks difference (colored blocks).

A camera is only as good as its lens (and sensor for digital). A $2k 4K camera honestly sounds so-so. A quality lens alone usually run $1-2k.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #3  
02-27-2014, 12:25 PM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 585
Thanked 70 Times in 64 Posts
I guess every camera will have its own quirks...while some cameras still use tape, it sounds like all video work is digital in some respect, makes a lot of sense for editing.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
02-27-2014, 09:57 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,134
Thanked 350 Times in 287 Posts
Here is a very rough comparison of an 80s camcorder vs. something semi-modern. Both are shot with the same lighting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aW0cBV2_p4
A Sears branded "lo lux" Hitachi VM-3100 camcorder. This uses a first generation solid state MOS image sensor and was the most popular consumer camcorder sold in 1987-88. It broke the $1000 price barrier and was sold under the RCA, Realistic (Radio Shack), LXI Series (Sears), etc. brands. Looking on YouTube, a crap ton of home movies were filmed on these.

This camcorder line is even famous, it appears on the TV show "The Goldbergs".



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxtyTEFr6Xc
A Canon HV20 HDV camcorder from 2007. Note the difference in light levels. Hard to believe, isn't it?
Reply With Quote
The following users thank NJRoadfan for this useful post: lordsmurf (02-27-2014), premiumcapture (02-27-2014)
  #5  
02-27-2014, 10:33 PM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 585
Thanked 70 Times in 64 Posts
Pretty ridiculous, thanks for the sample!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
02-27-2014, 11:24 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,760
Thanked 2,147 Times in 1,848 Posts
As always, neat videos NJRoadfan!

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #7  
02-28-2014, 07:30 AM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 585
Thanked 70 Times in 64 Posts
LOL - and I was trying to compare it with my new cam:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDe5tHbnr3c
Comparison speaks for itself. It was actually on sale for $700 this week, which I think is a steal.

It brings me to another question - are new HD camcorders better than old production SD cameras? More pixels, better picture?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
02-28-2014, 07:34 AM
kpmedia's Avatar
kpmedia kpmedia is offline
Site Staff | Web Hosting, Photo
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,314
Thanked 370 Times in 339 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by premiumcapture View Post
are new HD camcorders better than old production SD cameras? More pixels, better picture?
Not necessarily. More pixels doesn't automatically mean a better picture -- it just means more pixels. The cameras lens, sensor, etc, must be considered as well. A professional SD camera (Canon GL2, for example) can only be beat by a really good HD camera. The GL2 still fetches anywhere from $500 beat-up to $2k+ new.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Please Like Us on Facebook | Follow Us on Twitter

- Need a good web host? Ask me for help! Get the shared, VPS, semi-dedicated, cloud, or reseller you need.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
02-28-2014, 07:41 AM
premiumcapture premiumcapture is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 585
Thanked 70 Times in 64 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Not necessarily. More pixels doesn't automatically mean a better picture -- it just means more pixels. The cameras lens, sensor, etc, must be considered as well. A professional SD camera (Canon GL2, for example) can only be beat by a really good HD camera. The GL2 still fetches anywhere from $500 beat-up to $2k+ new.
With 4k coming out, SD vs. HD vs. UHD is very subjective in terms of quality. I recently went to Best Buy and checked out a 4k TV. The TV looked great, the 60p framerate made it look real, and it was clear, but there's still something to be said for good SD.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
03-05-2014, 10:12 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 1,428
Thanked 324 Times in 282 Posts
At the same price point, current camcorders produce better images and are more noise free, with no generation loss when making copies to give others.

Analog, as in VHS, S-VHD, 8mm, Hi-8, Beta, took a dive with the first analog copy. The consumer formats were also resolution limited, especially the color portion of the image. And they do not hold-up well on the large, high resolution displays common these days. But the were a reasonable match to 27" dtube type TVs of their era.

One issue with any camcorder is what sort of image the mfgr wanted to provide. I've used a Pana TM700, and found the image colors to be oversaturated, and somewhat over processed lacking "texture" compared to other camcorders. The factors of lens, sensor, and internal digital signal processing are key. (The most important factors of course are the skill of the shooter, editor, and story teller.)

Analog video basically ended with VHS/S-VHS/8mm/Hi8. The later consumer tape formats including MiniDV and the short lived Digital8 were digitally encoded information recorded on tape, not analog. The only losses were due to drop-outs.

Is 4K worth it? At least for home use, not yet. Ask again in a couple years. Consider how many still use DVDs - and how small the differnce is between a good DVD in a good upscaling player and Blu-ray for most home viewers.

The technology wins if you are just looking at the image, but not if you are following the story being told.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is most lifelike (sharpness, skin tones) brand/model of HD camcorders? mileslehmann Videography: Cameras, TVs and Players 10 09-13-2012 10:16 AM
Consumer JVC VCRs: Muffled Linear EP Audio? How to fix? Belmont Capture, Record, Transfer 5 08-06-2012 02:45 PM
Panasonic AG-1980 vs. consumer deck...strange... vtak4 Capture, Record, Transfer 23 04-26-2011 08:38 AM
Best archival method for raw footage from tapeless camcorders? NJRoadfan Videography: Cameras, TVs and Players 11 12-30-2010 08:41 AM
Models of consumer Sharp VCRs suggested? admin Capture, Record, Transfer 0 11-18-2009 08:51 PM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:13 AM