Recording digitally with an analog camcorder

I recently came into possession of a mid-eighties Newvicon analog camcorder. It has RCA outputs for the video and audio (mono), and I'd like to record the output from this camcorder as digital.

The idea I had initially was to use something like a Flip video camera (in order to keep it portable), but then I realized that the Flip doesn't have an RCA input... in fact, nothing I know of has an RCA input, unless I wanted to plug it into a computer or a DVD recorder, which negates the simplicity of it recording to a video file that can be dragged and dropped onto my desktop.

The reason for wanting to salvage this camcorder and use it instead of just using the Flip is because the video quality is incredibly "eighties" - the color is slightly askew, and the sensitivity to light means that moving the camera suddenly causes ghosting, which, to me, is desirable for the look i'm going for. Personally, I find it fun and interesting to use old things like this instead of the new stuff. The only drawback is the simplicity (or lack thereof) in being able to post things immediately in this digital YouTube age.

I'd like to keep it portable. I'd like to keep it simple. Any ideas on a camcorder, or even a "digital go between" that would record onto an SD card or USB drive? Does anything like this exist? If not, I'd like something like an SD card go between, as I have a 32 GB SDHC that would work great for this kind of project.

This is the same model camera - the video outputs are located on a proprietary PSU, which isn't a problem for me to carry around, or have plugged into an extension cord.

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Ephemerol91 year ago


I am non tech, please explain very simply!

What connecting cables/parts do I need to record from video onto a blan krewriteable DVD on an old Sanyo video/dvd combo that there are no manuals for.Sanyo doesnt have any info on any of their customer/help websites or phonelines as it is discontinued. I dont have computer and cant use those things. Are instructions available on how to make the videos record to dvd? thanks

lemonie6 years ago

You really want a mid-eighties VCR....

Difficult, very difficult perhaps. You'd need to pull a digital camera apart and connect the CCD from the old camera to it, in simple-ish terms.
Unless you can find a small PC with an analogue TV card (doubtful)

LinkTGF (author)  lemonie6 years ago
So, nothing exists that you can just plug an RCA input into and it records digital files? Shame.

I mean, I'm thinking of this, analogous to a pocket voice recorder. If that's possible, this COULD be possible.

Would there be a way to connect it to the digital camera without really pulling too much apart. I mean, taking apart the digital camera might not be too much of a stretch, or too much of an expense (since Flip is being discontinued, I'm sure I can find one cheap), but I'd like to keep the old analog camera intact and use the RCA output for the video signal, so that I'm not destroying it.
lemonie LinkTGF6 years ago

There are RF to PC interfaces, as composite-video interfaces, but they plug into computers - the camera is obsolete, and unsupported these days.
Audio doesn't have the bit-rate for starters.
How about just swapping the lens?

LinkTGF (author)  lemonie6 years ago
If i remember correctly, the older camera had HI-FI audio capabilities with either a directional or omni-directional microphone attachment.

Failing that, I could always just use the audio recorder on the newer camera and only input the video from the older camera.

Honestly, I think that's the way I would have done it anyway. Me and the guy who gave it to me were even considering recording both sources separately, much like nagra reels and film, but that would be too much work. I personally like the idea of Frankensteining the video from one source and the audio from another
lemonie LinkTGF6 years ago

That sounds right, audio is in real terms a separate track on analogue machines, yes best wishes for it.

yokozuna6 years ago
What you're looking for is called a portable DVR. There are a few models that have RCA inputs, but most record from firewire. Almost all of them dump out via 6-pin firewire.
gmoon6 years ago
There certainly are video capture cards (and USB devices) that can handle analog cameras.
LinkTGF (author)  gmoon6 years ago
For less than 10 bucks I can get an RCA-to-USB attachment, so that's definitely something to tinker with... the idea of making a ghetto field recorder is making me antsy now!
I have one very similar to that - It shows up as a "video input device" just like a webcam. Plug into a laptop and use the video capture software of your choice.
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