As a video format, VHS is well-known for its simplicity and versatility. Our exclusive buyers guide is your definitive source for full feature and price comparisons of all the VHS, VHS-C and S-VHS camcorder models available.
Since the invention of the video camera a firestorm of technological innovations has swept the consumer electronics world. In the mid-1980s, consumer camcorders became available in the VHS format. Despite the onslaught of new types of cameras and formats, VHS has endured as a popular video-gathering medium for many consumer videographers, placing it among the most long-lived formats in the history of video.
There are several reasons for the longevity of VHS. Primarily, there is the convenience of easy playback. All VHS tapes, including the compact VHS-C, are viewable with a family VCR. Also, VHS continues to be one of the more affordable formats, with tape prices well below the one-dollar-per-hour mark.
Variety in size is also a feature VHS camcorders offer that other consumer models don't. The larger dimensions of full-size VHS allow the videographer to stabilize the shot by resting the camera on the shoulder. If smaller, lighter weight styles are a priority, VHS-C is as compact as 8mm.
Another feature that some VHS models offer that other analog camcorders don't is the ability to perform insert edits. This means they allow the operator to record (dub) music or sound effects over video footage, or vice versa. The only full-size VHS camera with this capability is RCA's CC4371, while four of JVC's VHS-C camcorders, the GR-AX730, GR-AX930, GR-AXM300 and GR-AXM700, have insert-editing capabilities. This feature is handy for people who edit as they shoot, or who are not interested in purchasing an editing deck, but like to have the versatility of a separate sound track.
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