Beginner’s worst nightmare

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    • #85343

      Hi everyone. I'm Artemis. New in the forum.
      I've bee trying to get an used VHS camera recorder from the 80s, which i got. The wonderful Panasonic Omnimovie VHS Newvycon.
      I just bought from EBAY and it worked wonderful for a few minutes. I tried to filmed me, which i did very succesfully, i put the virgin tape, everything was fine.

      The problem started when i stated trying vhs movies i had – with this camera you can also watch your own vhs films – And they all were fuzzy, which i don't understand. but the biggest problem of all is that the last vhs i tried is now inside the camera and the camera SHUTS DOWN ON ITS OWN. i tried to re-start it and it shuts down again every 5 seconds, with the tape rolling.

      So basically now it's the same thing
      1) I turn on the camera, 
      2) It makes some sounds, like moving the tape, everything is working
      3) It shuts down, after 5 seconds

      I just don't know whato do. I'm desperate. I just got it and i seriously don't know what's wrong with it. Maybe some cool expert here can help me out. I appreciate it.

    • #212080

      check the battery

    • #212111

      Try the battery.  Just out of curiosity, why did you invest in such an old piece of equipment?

    • #212112

      It's very possible that it's the battery – can you try it on mains power? The only other issue could be the drive belt as perished and the take up spool isn't running and the slack tape is what is shutting it down. I'd have to ask the same question as ralph did – why on earth did you buy this – 20 year old camcorders are really not a good investment. Here they go on ebay for around £40 – and usually the batteries are totally shot. Nicads from that era are likely to be incapable of holding more than a few minutes charge = hence why we are wondering of this is the problem?

    • #212113

      I have seen videographers using old VHS cameras to RECORD video for music videos and such where a retro-look is wanted. If that is your application, ok. But don't stick 20-yr-old movies into the camera! The old tape can be shedding and clog the head, or other issues. Use NEW tape for recording. Use a cheap (newer) VHS deck to watch movies if you are so inclined.

    • #212144

      Yeah…..that's what I was thinking.  If you want a retro look, all you have to do is apply some filters or effects in the post production process instead of using an old and quite likey untrustworthy and unpredictable piece of equipment (your VHS camera).  You very well may want to invest (for starters) in some HD video cameras that run along the $500 range (US).  Those sorts of models are typically easy to use but, have several features including dumping to digital cards instead of tape, a high quality lens (but not interchangeable lens), powerful / digital zoom, an audio in plug (probably a stero mini jack that you can convert an XLR, balanced stero line into) for microphone or mixer.  If you're lucky, you may even find a model with a small led light on it to illuminate a subject such as someone that you may be interviewing.  Look around for competitive prices at stores like Best Buy, B and H, Amazon, etc.  If you want to go "big time" you can spend in excess of 8,000.00 (US) for a professional grade camera that will give you so much more than a "prosumer" grade camera.  Don't get me wrong; some prosumer level cameras are more than awesome but, if you need to be able to do things like set everything on your camera manually then you need to be ready to cough up a nice chunk of money.  And that's not including buying additional lenses (of which one lens can cost upwards of $20,000.00 US if you need to go that route).  But, unless you plan on competing with a Hollywood like structure / entity, then start out with Prosumer equipment.  And don't forget to read everything you can about the process of shooting video on this website or though the magazine.  Best wishes to you sir!

    • #212145

      One other option you may want to investigate to Santiago:  using your smart phone video camera for productions.  There are some pretty impressive, quality cameras on phones these days and there are some amazing apps that you can buy (FiLMiC Pro for one…which is absolutely amazing, if you can get around the bugs) through either the android store of the Apple Store.

    • #212198

      If it's not the battery, and you really are set on recording your videos on this camera, then you have only two choices that I can see… 1). Open it on your own carefully, and hopefully you don’t break something — probably a bad idea. Or 2). Bring it to a professional camera repair shop and have them service it. They’ll probably be excited to see such a historical item come through their doors. Worst case scenario it’s all over and you buy something else.


      I definitely agree with everyone here about using a dedicated VCR for playback of your VHS tapes… I am sure you do too. Hindsight is 20/20 right? Best of luck, and be sure to post your finished video online once you get past this bump, and share a link here!

    • #212247

      I'm actually of the mind that beginners should start with old gear and edit them on with a couple of VCRs and maybe a mixer.  Teach 'em some discipline. 

      (mostly kidding – check the battery)

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