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Joel Mark Hamilton Ramsbottom

Video Tape Camera Cinematography

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I wanted to throw out a question to the right crowd. Is there an appropriate video tape cassette camera that could capture a resonable and somewhat  cinamatic image as an alternative solution to a say super 16 camera (to fit a budget).

Is this genuine footage perhaps that could be filmed by something like the Panasonic M10 VHS camcorder? Please give us your thoughts/expertise.

Many thanks!

 

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Posted (edited)

If you read the youtue description it says it was shot with a broadcast quality camera, probably a Sony HDC 500 3 ccd sensor camera, which if you can find one used would be over $10,000. It's not the video tape it's the camera. The colors are gorgeous and very film like. You could try to get close with color grading on any current video camera or dslr.

Edited by Bob Speziale

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Posted (edited)

Depends on your budget and what you plan to shoot. If you are a beginner I'd say go for a used Lumix FZ80 bridge camera for about $200. It shoots in 4K in auto mode, has a 20mm wide angle to 1440mm telephoto lens, has silent auto tracking that autofocuses the lens at whatever it is pointed at in 1 to 3 seconds, has decent sound although for the best sound you should use a stand alone recorder and sync the audio track to the camera audio in the editor. Bear in mind that editing (sound and picture) is as important as shooting, especially in regard to color grading your video. I use Premiere Pro and Audition by Adobe as you can edit sound and picture together on the Premiere Pro video timeline. I'd also get used to shooting video on a tripod to get a level frame without any camera shake.

Edited by Bob Speziale

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Don't confuse VHS with D-VHS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-VHS

Mini DV took over on the camera side, so HDV would be the equivalent for HD on camcorders. JVC made some 720p HDV cameras, there are 1080i cameras made by other manufacturers such as Sony and Canon.  These have been replaced by later cameras, but you can still find them on ebay.

 

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Posted (edited)

I have a Sony DCR-TRV103 Handicam with a CCD sensor that records to small Hi8 8mm digital tape casettes. I got it new around 2000. Plenty are for sale used for less than $200. But you need a firewire port on your computer or laptop to connect it to your computer.  It records in Hi8 resolution, basically s-vhs, which is  lower resolution  than VGA, which is 640x480. But I can assure you it's not as good as a modern camera. Tape is a digital medium. It doesn't matter if it's tape, a cd or a memory card. Tape makes no difference to the output.

Edited by Bob Speziale

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Well first thing, that video was not made in 1993. D-VHS wasn't even developed until 1995 and wasn't shown until 1997. 

It was probably shot with one of the analog HDVS HDC-500 camera connected to HDV-10 videocassette recorder nearby. I'm not sure they ever made a portable recorder for the format however. 

D-VHS is a digital format that literally records ones and zero's onto video tape, so it shares nothing with analog video formats, outside of the VHS cassette standard. The tape inside the cassette was S-VHS evaporated oxide tape, which is very robust and can deal with the narrow tracks of the higher quality format. 

No VHS camcorders can look like this. Even then, this doesn't look very cinematic anyway. It looks like mid 90's broadcast that's wide screen and sharper. 

 

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I think what you consider a "Cinematic look" is just good camera work. You may say, yes it looks very good but it looks digital or analog (not shot on film). What I see on those shots is a Betacam camera or DigiBeta camera operated by someone who knows what he/she what he/she's doing.
 

What I see is a 29.76 of 30fps analog video, with not a lot of dynamic range, but still great shots. If you are trying to recreate that you may try using a small sensor camera, shoot at 29.76 or NTSC, and use good camera techniques, that's all it is. Take good shots with good framing, and lighting and it should look like that.

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