Tuesday, December 6, 2011

JVC Newvicon Video Camera

The first thing you probably notice about this camera(besides its bigness) is it’s...squareness. This could be some sort of design statement; More likely the engineers at JVC decided this was a convenient shape to build and knocked off to go play pachinko. In the early 80’s, the design of consumer products was more of an afterthought. People bought something because they wanted to use it, not because it had a great design. 

The matte silver tone of the main body against the black lens assembly was as much of a flourish as most products got. Behind the sliding door is a keypad used for titling videos, a professional-quality feature people expected when they were paying 7 or 8 hundred bucks for a camera(in 1980’s money!) 

12 oz bottle for size.

There is no tape deck, nor indeed is there any recording mechanism onboard. This camera was one of the last built that used bulky and power-hungry “picture tubes,” instead of the chip-like CCD sensors used today. Tape recorders at the time were rather unwieldy themselves; incorporating one into a camera was too cumbersome. A cable provides power to the camera and outputs for the video signal. If you wanted to shoot away from a power socket and a vcr, you needed to carry a battery power pack and a portable vcr slung around your shoulder, tethered to the camera.

This provides one explanation for the dearth of videos of cats falling into birdbaths and precocious children mangling pop songs before the late 80’s: you tended to want a Damn Good Reason to record something when getting out the camera meant gearing up like a colonial marine.

1 comment:

  1. This thing is just waiting to become a decepticon. Look at it, it oozes menace and barely restrained malevolence.


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