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Gear Required to Create 1980's Instructional Video Look
Old 30th December 2018
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Gear Required to Create 1980's Instructional Video Look

Hello All,

I apologize if this is not the appropriate forum to post general video related gear purchasing advice; however, I haven't found a forum on the web wherein others have posed a similar question.

I would like to create a video for a project I'm working on that recreates the appearance and vibe of a 1980's Instructional Video - examples:

I have a newer model MacBook with Final Cut Pro, and will be buying either HitFilm 4 Pro, or a subscription to Adobe After Effects for this project. I assume that I at least have the editing part squared away?

Deciding what type of video camera to purchase, however, has left me undecided - this being where I need the most advice.

I am considering the following options - hoping to spend less than $500. I would greatly appreciate everyone's input and/or alternate suggestions:

Option 1: Buy a vintage VHS camcorder on eBay or Craigslist.

Pros of Option 1: Many on eBay/Craigslist are under $100.

Cons of Option 1: I do not know anything about vintage camcorder maintenance, nor is there a facility close to my location that offers repair services. Also, it appears that transferring VHS recordings to a computer for editing requires buying an adaptor, with possible unforeseen issues relating to compatibility.

Option 2: Buy a new consumer grade camcorder.

Pros of Option 2: I know it will work, have a warranty, and be compatible with my computer/software.

Cons of Option 2: May require a lot more work to obtain that true "80's" look?
Old 2 weeks ago
Here's my idea. It's just an opinion, I haven't actually used a VHS the last 15 years.
You'll need a VHS camcorder. S-VHS is too good. It's not as detailed as digital, but not a bad image.
You'll need some converter to record your composite signals streaming. (Elgato cheapest?) I'd grab it straight from the camcorder, if possible.
IMO don't get a modern camcorder. The new consumer grade ones have a very different look. Much more polished and sharpness.

If there's no budget, then maybe soften up the image? Add some noise, mess around with color fringe?
upscaling to some larger size, then downscaling might give you some interesting noise. But IMO avoid looking too "digital".

If someone has a better idea, I'm interested!
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