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Can anyone help identify which '80s VHS camera was used to film this?


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#1 Alex Marin

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 05:36 PM

Hello everyone! Can anyone help me to recognise which type/brand of 80s VHS camera was used to film this? The only clue is of course the way the clock/date are displayed on screen. Thanks in advance. Alex Marin alexjoy4ever@yahoo.com

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#2 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 08:01 PM

I couldn't find much other then its a Romanian Television station TVR (Televiziunea Română) and they broadcast in 4:3 and 16:9 (576i, SDTV) but nothing about camera brand or model. 


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#3 Alex Marin

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 02:11 AM

First of all thanks for your prompt answer. I know that it's from Romanian station TV, in fact that is the archive logo where the footage came from. The main issue here is how the cam displayed the date/clock on screen and how the characters look like, in order to identify it. It is strange a little bit due to the fact that it displays first the date and then the clock. Thanks anyway, and wait other oppinions. Maybe we can solve the mistery. Alex


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#4 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:29 AM

Would it be easier to call the TV station and ask what cameras they were using in December 1989? Assuming that this was a staff cameraman, that might help you narrow your search. I'd start by calling around and finding names of people shooting for them during the revolution. Then you could reach out to them, too. 


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#5 Alex Marin

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:44 AM

Hello there and thanks a lot for your suggestion. The issue here is that all people who film at the Revolution back in '89, were amateurs, and the cameras were their personal possession. The Romanian TV station at the time used just betacams and only with a few ocassions. The rest of the amateurs filmed using a Panasonic NV-M5 and N7 cameras, and one WVP-A1E. This is the only unidentified camera. It is very important because this camera was the only one used to film during the bloody night, when the first people died under the bullets in the University Square at the burning barricade in Bucharest, and the owners are not to be found and the original full footage is missing since 1994 from the TVR archives. This image was taken from the 2nd day and as well is a short 2 minutes film... Hope that someone who had this type of cam back then, will know the answer. It is an atypical way to display the date over the clock, at least as much as I've seen. Thanks again!


Edited by Alex Marin, 09 March 2015 - 08:46 AM.

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#6 Kemalettin Sert

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:27 AM

every vhs camera had almost same look.it would be miracle to identify camera model from this image :)


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#7 Alex Marin

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:47 AM

Thanks for your reply post dear Kamalettin. However, I must contradict you with arguments, giving you just 2 examples which came right now in hand along with the snapshots attached, to prove you that: In the first snapshot we have a Panasonic WVP-A1E from 1985-1986 which clearly has a different way to display the clock/data, and in the 2nd snapshot we have the famous Panasonic NV-M5 from 1986 which was mostly used to film the Revolution. As you may see, their way to display the clock/data info is clear different. So my oppinion is that someone who had this camera and used it back then in the '80s, will know for sure what type and brand it is. At least I hope so. Thanks a lot, and yes, the quest is still on and thank you guys for your help provided so far.

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Edited by Alex Marin, 09 March 2015 - 09:48 AM.

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#8 Keith Walters

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 03:14 AM

It's not necessarily VHS, there were also Betamax camcorders in the 1980s  (not to be confused with Betacam, although a lot of people do). Also the Sony 8mm Handycam format came out in 1985, so it could just as easily have been one of those. VHS, Betamax and Video-8 have different head switching points (that twitching horizontal you see at  the bottom of the screen) so an expert could possibly work out what format was used from that, depending on how much processing was done to the images in the TV studio,

 

The style of the  Time and Date characters is not really going to tell you much, since there was considerable variation of this, even with different models made by the same manufacturer.

 

Maybe if you tried a search for  80s  home movies on YouTube you might get lucky and spot somebody's video that has the same Timestamp layout, and then ask them what camera they were using.  


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#9 Alex Marin

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 04:16 AM

Dear Keith, thanks for your post! Interesting point of view, but I will not think so far, that it could've been a Betamax. I know what that is, and at the time in Romania no one used that format in home camcorders simply because Beta format VCR's from Sony or Sanyo weren't common at all, and rather I would say didn't exist at all in our homes. We used exclusive VHS format. It may be possible to be a VHS-C or a Video8, you are right, but not a Betamax. You see, there is an interesting story related to the VCRs and the camcorders in my country back in the sad dark '80s. Due to the rarity in nature of these devices, because they were practically forbidden by the communist regime, they got an irealistic value at the time on the black market, being the only market you could find them on. I'll give you an example. If a decent VCR was sold at the time in the Western Europe for around $500-1000, the same VCR smuggled  by pilots usually, was sold illegally in Romania for 10 or 20 times its real value. It was expensive like a brand new car, and a camcorder like a 3 rooms apartment. This is true. I lived those time there in that country. On the other hand, to reply to your last line, I looked on youtube for months trying to identify the camcorder's model and the close I got was a JVC VHS-C one, but the clock/date characters are not quite the same. Here in our case the figure 1 is made like a vertical line and not like a real 1. In the JVC's case it looked exactly like a 1. It looks rather from the beginning of the '80s. So the quest is still on. Thanks a lot guys, and I hope you enjoy my comments from the sad '80s in Romania as something you didn't know about! It was ridiculous but we lived like that. Thanks a lot! Still wait that someone to solve the 1st photo's enigma. Alex


Edited by Alex Marin, 10 March 2015 - 04:18 AM.

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#10 Alex Marin

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 05:38 AM

Well guys just wanted to share this here, the miracle happened and I found out which camcorder brand and model was used to tape the footage issued in the topic's opening. Kiddin', it wasn't a miracle, it were almost 2 months of hardly investigations, of contacting specialists, passionate repair guys, collectors, etc., because I knew for sure that a camera can be indentified after its timestamp, the way it displays the date/time on screen, regardless how discuraged I was by some pretended "specialists". So to be brief, it was only a camera who could've had this timestamp at the time when this footage was recorded back in December 1989. It was the 1987 VHS-C JVC GR-45E as it was sold in Europe for PAL system, or GR-25/35U as it was sold in the US for the NTSC system. In my case it was the PAL one. I even bought the camera myself and now I'm expecting to fix it, having some power and some head drum misalignment issues. So guys, it's possible to identify a camcorder after its timestamp! I'll attach a few photos in order with the GE-45E (03), GR-25U (02) & 35U (01) the US models. The 4th picture it's a test made by me with the damaged camera to see the timestamp. Sorry for the poor quality recording... All the best! Alex

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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 05:53 AM

That's a tracking error, you could probably adjust that out if you had the workshop manual for the camera!

 

Nice find.

 

P


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#12 Alex Marin

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 05:58 AM

Thanks for your reply. Service manual is already bought and it's on the way. However, I know that this is a small issue, but I will leave it in the hands of a specialist who will have an osciloscop as well. I send it anyway for the capacitors job, so this will be a bonus ;) Thanks again. Greetings from Spain!


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