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Home /Science / Our Favorite Camcorders and Their Tapes

Our Favorite Camcorders and Their Tapes

By Elaine Elliott

Camcorders were a nifty professional and amateur filmmaker device combining a video camera with videocassette recorders back before videographers had digital options.

Although camcorders are now designed with digital recording, they were originally made using analog tapes for about 20 years.
Sony was the first company to release camcorders in the 1980s. In 1983, they made both a camcorder for professional use and a camcorder for consumers. Sony’s introduction to camcorders spurred dozens of more models and companies to get involved in this popular product.


So what are our favorite camcorders ever created? Below is a list of the very best camcorders from the analog media era. Don’t forget, Southtree can digitize any of these camcorder tapes for you!


Betamovie Camcorders


Betamovie camcorders were a series of Sony camcorders formatted for Betamax tapes. The first model, BMC-100P, was the first consumer camcorder to come out in 1983. As camcorder technology progressed, more models were released such as the GSC-1 (intended for professional use) and EDC-55 (the final and most advanced Betamovie model).


Panasonic PV-L559 Palmcorder


This popular camcorder has great resolution, zoom, and stability – not to mention it’s easy to wear on your palm. The PV-L559 came out in the 1990s and uses VHS-C tapes.


Sony DCR-VX1000 Digital Handyman


The DCR-VX1000 is bigger than the PV-L559 and doesn’t have as high of a resolution. But the camcorder is still popular because of its affordability and convenience of VHS tape use.


Video8 Camcorders


The video8 mini tapes were the first camcorder tapes to come in a smaller size versus a full-size VHS tapes. When Video8 was first released it had a higher quality audio compared to other camcorder tapes.


Digital8 Camcorders


Digital8 camcorders were made using higher resolution Hi8 tapes. These camcorders were popular among amateur filmmakers or television stations that needed lightweight camcorders for portable use.

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