It seems that retro-looking music videos and even short clips on Instagram have been all the rage lately. Sure, you can add a filter to make them look as if they were taken with a VHS camcorder, but as Caleb Pike puts it: “we ALL know it’s not really the same thing.” If you want the real deal, you can still shoot with a 1980s camcorder in 2020. In this video, Caleb will show you how to do it. He will even show you how to pimp it to add a few modern features while keeping the vintage feel in the footage itself.
Caleb uses a 1987 Panasonic VHS camera which was the first camcorder he’s ever used. You can buy plenty of used VHS cameras on eBay for $40 or more, but Caleb recommends that you aim for those made between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. There are also four different types of cassettes that they use: VHS, VHS-C, Hi8, and MiniDV.
As for the tapes, I believe most of us have some old VHS cassettes lying around the house. Just make sure that they don’t have irreplaceable footage like your first birthday or the original Star Wars trilogy. Alternatively, you can also look for VHS tapes on eBay, just to be sure.
Caleb even managed to add his Rode VideoMic NTG to the 33-year-old camera, as well as a Rode Wireless GO system and even an external monitor. The sound from the modern mike was too loud for the old camera, but Caleb managed to solve it with an attenuator cable.
With some cables and adapters, it’s possible to use an old VHS camera and add a few modern accessories to it while keeping that vintage look we all know and love. So, if you’re around my age or older, this will give you some nostalgia and make you dust off that old VHS camera and use it again. And for younger generations, this may be something new to play with. All in all, it could be a fun experiment to try.
I used to shoot with my dad’s old Panasonic VHS camcorder (I can’ remember the model). I think it’s as old as me, and I’m nearly 32. I still have it at mom’s place, and I think I also have the VHS tapes showing me as I imitate celebrities. :) I also filmed my brother’s recital when he was in the 4th grade, all the teachers felt awkward around me and the camcorder that was almost as big as I was, lol.
Have you used these VHS camcorders when they were the only option? Or perhaps you used them more recently for fun? Feel free to share your favorite moments and memories with us.
[Using Old VHS Cameras in 2020 | DSLR Video Shooter]