Old Philips camera shuts down by itself

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    • #47925

      Old philips camera shutting down


      I got my hands on a old camera – Philips VKR6853, and I decided to learn how to use it. I have never used it before. And I can not understand what is the problem with it, because it keeps shutting down, when the tape is in. It uses VHS-C tapes, if that makes any difference. So this is what it does:

      1) I enter the tape and turn it on
      2) It makes some sounds, like moving the tape
      3) It shuts down

      This happens both on battery and from AC adapter, so i doubt it is power problem.
      Curious, as I am, I also removed the cassette department cover, to see what is happening, and if I can see the problem. So now the “makes some sounds” means some casters drag the tape around this reader/recorder thingy, pause for quarter a second and return to their original positions, at which point the camera shuts down.

      Does anyone have idea how serious the problem is, and is this something I might be able to fix myself?

    • #197152

      I suppose I could get a smaller used camera with reasonable quality with that price, but there are some features, that are hard to come by on smaller cameras. For example, the possibility to add external mic.

      I was kind of hoping, if anyone know, if this could be a problem of something specific. if not, it will probably cost more, to find out the problem, than the camera is worth.

    • #197153

      Many consumer level cameras have a mini jack for an external microphone (I use a Sony HDR-SR11 which does along with a headphone jack as well plus a number of useful goodies).

      If you decide you want balanced XLR input, you can always get a Beachtek converter later on.

      And Derek is very right – It will cost you $$$$$ just to diagnose the problem, plus it’s still VHS-C (20 minute tapes, analog recording, etc…) You’re much better off getting a $500 newer consumer model.

    • #197154

      Wow! $500 is waaaay over my salary possibilities 🙂
      I mean $50 would be more believable. Anyway, thank you for the advise, I suppose I’ll scrap the camera then.

    • #197155

      Daub –

      I wasn’t saying it would cost you $500 to fix the camera (although it could). What I was saying is IMHO you’d be better served getting a newer camera rather than spending any money fixing a VHS-C unit.

      BTW – I don’t think you’ll find anything worth using for $50.

    • #197156

      Well i could get one of those used 800K-pixel miniDV cameras for something like $50-70. I’ve never actually owned a camera though, so I can’t tell by the numbers of some sensor, if the actual recording quality is good or not. That is why I wanted this Philips camera to work, I know this has been used by TV crew and should have pretty good quality in picture and audio. As a beginner, I’d like a little bit better quality to cover for my inexperience.

    • #197157

      Hi Daub –

      Maybe you should look into one of the inexpensive Flip type that you should be able to find new for under $100 – It will give you some workable footage and might be good enough to start with.

    • #197158

      My recommendation is the classic Canon Optura. It was one of the first Mini-DV camcorders offered in the late 1990s to fill the growing demand for better quality consumer cameras.

      original canon optura

      At it’s most basic, the Optura was an entry-level XL-1, the main difference being the single CCD and a fixed lens system.

      It shoots 30 frames progressive (interlaced is a menu option), is switchable between 4:3 and 16:9, has a mic input, headphone output, S-video output, Firewire in and out, LANC support, remote control,and a load of manual settings that you can scarcely find on a mid level HD camcorder today. It also has a 49mm thread on the front for filters and lens accessories.

      Something really unique is the hot shoe up top that’s made to drive a Canon movie light, or get this; a flash since the camera has a stills capability (albeit not a great one)

      It’s got about a 2 1/4″ LCD and a full color viewfinder, optical image stabilization, and with enough light, produces some stunning footage.

      The best part, although it cost close to $3000 back in the 90s, you can pick up one from Ebay usually in nearly new condition foraround $100. I’ve bought 4 since 2006 (don’t use them much anymore) and the only problem I’ve encountered was the screen going out on one that I dropped. I’ve never paid over $150 and have bought them as low as $75

      If it shot HD I’d still be using one

      Since it sounds like you aren’t fussy about jumping into HD right away, you’d be hard pressed to find a camera with more features out of the box than the old Optura, particularly at the price point. For learning the ins and outs of shooting, lighting, and sound, it’s a rare opportunity to get one of Canon’s best for nearly nothing.

      Rather than this thread turn into a retro “which camera is best”, I’m just tossing out my thoughts and personal experience with the Optura, so take it for what it’s worth, but I think you’d like it as a teaching aid.


    • #197159

      Thanks for the tips 🙂
      I’ll just wait for a month or two, to have a bit more money, and have a liberty of choosing from bigger price range.

    • #197160

      If that old Philips camcorder won’t stay on AT ALL, with or without a tape in the transport mechanism, then it is truly NOT worth fixing. If, however, it remains on without a tape in the transport, you could consider connecting to an external recording system, getting use out of its audio/video system and bypassing the transport, using the exterior AV outputs.

    • #197161

      Thanks for the tip.. Now have an idea what cam to buy that suits my taste.. thanks a lot

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