May 9, 2018 at 2:53PM


Current uses for older NTSC hi-end equipment?

I've noticed that, on the used market, prices for older high-end semi-pro and pro Hi8 and MiniDV camcorders remain relatively high. Items like 3 CCD NTSC camcorders from Sony and Canon with interchangeable lenses that are still working can go for $500-$1000.

In this world of hi-def and 4K video at relatively inexpensive prices, are there still pro or semi-pro filmmakers or video producers still using standard def NTSC in projects? If so, what for?

I'm wondering because I do look out for tape decks to work with some older footage I and others have and was wondering if I need to snatch these types of cameras and maintain them if the opportunity arises.


Older decks still have value due to the glut of media that still needs to be transferred to digital. We're in the process right now of transferring 1000s of tapes from Beta, DVCAM, Hi-8, 3/4, you name it. Sending it all out to a service actually. All the old cameras though are useless. There's just no logical reason to record to tape now or ever have to go back. An iphone or any basic HD camcorder you can buy at Walmart is better than any of our $30k Sony ENG rigs we used pre-2000s.

May 14, 2018 at 12:16PM

Motion Designer/Predator

I still have a pair of Canon XL2 camcorders. They're still perfectly good, and even look fine up-rezzed to 720p. Global shutter, three CCDs, 4:1:1 colour subsampling, etc. give DV a look that's different from today's camcorders, so it might be interesting for the appropriate project. (As Josh R. alluded to above, people have shot movies on their phones.) But there's no denying it's obsolete technology.

May 14, 2018 at 10:35PM

Minor Mogul

We had a Canon XL1 and boy were we excited at the time. Horribly front heavy for the shoulder though. Too bad Hi-8 was such a terribly delicate format. Big mistake ever bothering with it.


May 15, 2018 at 8:40AM

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