According to a legend that was born in the depths of Sony, the first amateur analog video camera was created in 1980. However, the real consumer war begins in 1985, when Sony releases the videotape of the analog standard Video 8, and JVC introduces the analog format VHS-C – the “compact” version of the analog format VHS.
The consumer gets access to the equipment connecting both the camera and the recorder-recorder in one case. But just recently, video lovers walked with two separate “boxes”: one shot, and the other recorded the image.
The very first video cameras were analog, and the image quality was noticeably worse than what we used to see on the TV screen. The television of England, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in some countries of Western Europe, adopted the PAL color television standard, which forms a television image of 625 horizontal lines.
France has established the SECAM standard (also 625 lines), whereas in the USA and Japan the NTSC standard is used. (525 horizontal lines). Although not all lines are used to form an image — some carry service information — the fact that the Video 8 format and the VHS-C format have a resolution of about 240 lines already says a lot about the quality of the image that analog video cameras provide.
Despite the not very high-quality image, in the late 80s, and the early 90s camcorders became popular. An increasing number of people are buying them, enjoying the opportunity to see themselves and their friends on video.
The sale of video cameras reaches its peak in the early 90s with the introduction of miniature cameras on the market, which has great technical capabilities and more affordable prices.
From Analog to Digital Chronology
1980 – In Japan, Sony releases the first camcorder.
1985 – Sony introduces the analog Video 8 format. JVC releases a video camera that writes on a videotape with its analog VHS-C format, which is a “compact” version of the analog VHS format. 1988 JVC raises the bar for quality with the new Super VHS analog format (S-VHS).
1989 – Strike back – Sony responds to the JVC call with a new, analogous Hi8 format, offering the consumer higher image quality and entering stereo sound.
1995 – The first miniDV digital video camera appears. This is a Sony DCR-VX1000 camera. Although it is much more expensive than analog, due to the higher quality of the image, it is soon adopted by television companies, video production companies, and semi-professional directors.
1996 – JVC and Panasonic put their digital cameras on the market. The JVC GR-DV1 digital video camera is the first example of a handheld video camera because it was so small that it could fit in the palm of your hand.
1997 – The Omen of the Future – DVD-video players, which have already won the Japanese market for a year, appear in the USA. By the end of the year, Hitachi is trying to revolutionize the market by throwing out its MPEG1A digital video camera. This is the first video camera, recording not on a videotape, but the built-in hard disk. In this case, MPEG compression was used. However, the image quality was not impressive, what can not be said about the price. The revolution failed.
1999 – Sony introduces the Digital 8 digital format. These digital camcorders allow the user to record a digital image on analog 8 mm videotapes of Video 8 and HJ8 formats. Backward compatibility meant that the old cameras could play old analog videotapes made on Video 8 and Hi8 format cassettes.
2000 – Hitachi and Sony announce their plans to release new digital video cameras. Hitachi plans to create a DVD-camcorder, and Sony is developing a model of a miniature camcorder that writes to a mini-disc.
2001 – Hitachi DZ-MV100 Digital Video Camera DVD-RAM appears on the market. It costs about $ 2,700. Sony responds with the release of a camcorder of a new digital format microMV. Due to MPEG2 compression, this camcorder works with video cassettes that are smaller than miniDV video cassettes.