When it comes to shooting home movies, you may well have your stars (Well, your family and friends), and your action (Like Adel’s 18th birthday, or Verity’s hen-do) – but how the devil do you shoot them?
Glad you asked! That’s precisely why we thought we’d take a look at the different types of camcorders – from the older models to the fresh and funky ones on the market today – so you know what sort of kit you’re dealing with, and what kind you’ll want to invest in for the future.
The 8mm Craze
8mm had been about, in one form or another, since the 1930s. In 1963, Zapruder’s Zoomatic 8mm captured the assassination of President Kennedy. But the format really took off with Kodak’s 1965 invention, Super8, and it wasn’t too long before handheld movie cameras were everywhere. The main downside to these was the lack of microphones, meaning the soundtrack to your film was just the haunting flicker of the projector. Chances are, if you have old film footage from the 60s and 70s, then it was filmed on 8mm or Super 8.
Ah, the old favourite, the VHS. Shortly after the format hit the mainstream, VHS camcorders came on the market, allowing everyone to film Kirk and Sherri’s wedding – with sound! But these beasts were heavy, so hardly fit for lugging around on your family holiday to Florida. So naturally, the companies adapted, creating S-VHS and Video8, which were smaller – and meant the camcorder could be smaller too.
Maximum Love for Mini-DV
Probably the most successful of all the cassette-based formats was Mini-DV camcorder. Unlike the VHS camcorders of yore, these really were handheld, and because of that, their popularity was widespread. Everyone from documentary filmmakers to your neighbour had one of these to capture great moments.
The Digital Revolution
As we entered into internet age, digital become a serious, if slightly more expensive, recording format. DVD cameras allowed folks to record directly on to disc – although this came at the expensive of picture quality, which was compressed. This was followed by HDD camcorders that converted the film instantly into a digital format; flash drive camcorders followed after – although these are terrifically expensive when compared even with hard drive versions.
These days, the digital revolution continues at a pretty sturdy pace. Now we can film in high definition, but pretty soon 4K will overtake even the traditional HD models. And then there’s the possibility of 3D camcorders going mainstream – the technology is out there, and even certain models available, although they’re more likely to be used by professional filmmakers, rather than capturing Olivia and Grace’s birthday party!
So, how do you shoot yours? If you’ve got older footage, we offer an awesome service that can effortlessly transfer 8mm film to DVD – ensuring that your memories stay with you long after a format has become obsolete. To find out more about our services, all you need to do is contact us on 0800 592 433. We’d love to hear from you.