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A brief history of the camcorder

According to a legend born in the bowels of Sony, the first amateur analog video camera was created in 1980. However, the real consumer war begins in 1985, when Sony launches a video film of the analog standard Video 8, and the JVC introduces the VHS-C analog format – the “compact” version of the VHS analog format. The consumer gets access to the equipment connecting in one case both the camera and the recorder-recorder. But more recently, video lovers walked with two separate “boxes”: one shot, and the other recorded the image. So there was a camcorder (camera & recorder).

The very first camcorders were analog, and the image quality was noticeably worse than what we used to see on the TV screen. In television in England, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in some countries of Western Europe, the PAL color television standard is adopted, which forms a television image of 625 horizontal lines. In France, the SECAM standard (also 625 lines) was established, while in the USA and Japan the NTSC standard (525 horizontal lines) is used. Although not all lines are used to form the image — some simply carry service information — the fact that the Video 8 format and the VHS-C format have a resolution of about 240 lines already says a lot about the quality of the image that analog video cameras give.

Despite the not very high-quality image, in the late 80s and early 90s, camcorders are gaining popularity. A growing number of people are buying them, rejoicing at the opportunity to see themselves and their friends on the video. The sale of video cameras reached its peak in the early 90s with the advent of miniature cameras on the market that have great technical capabilities and more affordable prices. Popular TV programs (such as the world-famous English program “They Filmed You” and the American program “Best Home Video”), showing amateur videos, also made their contribution.
From analog to digital. Chronology

1980 – In Japan, Sony launches the first camcorder camcorder.

1985 – Sony introduces the analog format Video 8. The JVC launches a camcorder that writes to a video cassette with its own analog VHS-C format, which is a “compact” version of the VHS analog format. 1988 JVC raises the bar with the new Super VHS (S-VHS) analogue format.

1989 – Retaliation – Sony answers the JVC challenge with the new analogue Hi8 format, offering consumers better picture quality and introducing stereo sound.

1995 – The first miniDV digital video camera appears. This is a Sony DCR-VX1000 camera. Although it is much more expensive than analogue, due to higher image quality it will soon be adopted by television companies, video production companies and semi-professional directors.

1996 – JVC and Panasonic launch their digital video cameras on the market. The JVC GR-DV1 digital video camera is the first example of a “handheld” video camera, because it really was so small that it could fit in the palm of your hand.

1997 – The Sign of the Future – DVD video players, which have been conquering the Japanese market for a year, also appear in the United States. By the end of the year, Hitachi is trying to revolutionize the market by discarding its MPEG1A digital camcorder. This is the first camcorder that records not on a video cassette, but on a built-in hard drive. In this case, compression in MPEG format was used. However, the image quality was not impressive, which cannot be said about the price. The revolution failed.

1999 – Sony introduces the Digital 8 digital format. These digital video cameras allow the user to record digital images on analog 8 mm video cassettes of the Video 8 and HJ8 formats. Backward compatibility meant that in the new cameras it was possible to play old analog video recordings made on cassettes of the Video 8 and Hi8 format.

2000 – Hitachi and Sony announce their plans to launch new digital camcorders. Hitachi plans to create a DVD camcorder, while Sony is developing a model of a miniature camcorder that writes to a mini-disc.

2001 – Hitachi DZ-MV100 Digital Video Camera DVD-RAM appears on the market. It costs about $ 2,700. Sony responds with the release of a new microMV digital video camera. Thanks to compression in MPEG2 format, this camcorder works with video cassettes that are smaller in size than miniDV video cassettes.

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