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Using old Camcorders for Still Images


William Wright
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Hi all,

 

Just posting this here having previously received some invaluable insight on diffusion filters from the forum before. Please forgive me if this request is inappropriate for general discussion, I will post in a different section if that's more suitable.

 

I am primarily a photographer, but wanted to do an image series based on stills from old (but not necessarily ancient) Camcorder footage.

 

I was looking for possible second hand equiptment options, and came across the Sony Digital 8 cameras, and noticed they have an option for 'stills' - seemingly to take single shot photos as opposed to continuos filmed footage.

 

Being of the digital camera era I have a lot of gaps in knowledge of analogue filming specifics, particularly this sort of technology that seems to be a bridge between the analogue and film eras, so I am curious - do these 'still' images have the sort of analogue softness typical to camcorder filmed footage (examples of I guess what I mean below, although I am sure it would be possible to get slightly better clarity than seen in these), and am I along the right lines looking at Sony d8 cameras etc, or are does this 'still' functionality simply very primitive digital photos like you might have got from a mobile phone a few years back, and is not directly relateable to the continuos filmed look produced of the cameras? The use of tapes etc in these cameras has me very confused!

 

Any help very gratefully received!

 

tumblr_o28tda6jyl1r1rfmmo1_1280.jpg

courregesedge_vogueaug1995a.jpg

 

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Since most of these old camcorders had interlaced-scan sensors, I think even in stills mode, they had to combine two fields to create the still -- if that's so, there shouldn't be much difference between the still and the video, unless maybe if the still was stored on a memory card and perhaps skipped extra degradation into NTSC.

 

Would be easy to shoot a test and compare.

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