Camcorders and growing up in the 1990's - who had one in their family?


Standard Member
As a child growing up during the 1990's who as a child used a camcorder or their parents owned one, share your memoires, family holidays, outings, school events etc. I so loved tuning into you've been framed and people definitely staged these "accidents" just so they could send in their tapes. Always remember the late Jeremy Beadle.

I so wanted one as child, bit young at 9 years old in 1994 but was fascinated with home video and often got to use one under "strict supervision" of course.

I don't think the dad of the boy I played out with of the same age was going to let his £699+ (approx. £1400 ish today) JVC out of his sight, had plenty gear too, 2 tripods, at least 6 batteries and more VHS-C tapes then one could imagine (probably all in landfill by now). The bag he kept it all in was huge.

The camcorder itself will probably be sitting in an e-waste dump in Ghana most likely by now. The lad (his name if I recall was Gary), we often used to pretend to be in a tv series, usual kids stuff, playing cops and robbers etc, firing our toy cap guns, bike chases on BMX's and his dad would be all there filming us and his older brother by about 5 years would be director. I think he shot about 10 episodes of us filling up the entire 45min VHS-C tapes.

18 months later the family moved away and the new family who moved into their former house weren't as easy going, the parents were very strict with their son and daughter, although roughly same age group, playing out with their wasn't allowed.

This family were camcorder owners as well and with an extremely high end model, it was an 8mm format. It was set up one day on its tripod on the communal grass area and the husband/father was filming his daughter practising her skipping routine with a rope. I then got a brief moment to have a look at it and soon got told off "that's for grownups only, it costs lots and lots of pennies".

I remember my mum reading the weekend news paper one day and on the back was a full page advert, from only £599.99! (36 month credit available, subject to status) limited special time offer includes 50% off the optional accessory kit, which consisted of 2 VHS-C tapes, VHS adaptor, an additional battery and carry bag. A tripod was also available with a third off if you purchased the accessory pack along with the camcorder. My mum said, "I know you want one".



Novice Member
Late 80s's earning some money my mate bought a car - a Probe' seem to recall hummm and almost killed us both when the steering jammed turning off a motorway..seem to recal many times with my mate when we almost bought the farm ....i digress...he bought a car, i bought a Panasonic VHS-C and loads and loads of bulky tapes ( which i still have and are slightly moldy ), edited via Record button on my VCRS and a £30 piece of kit letting me add 2 tracks of music.

I thought i made the right decision, afterall, i now have precious memory of both my grans/grandads and we made a silly movies - not bad actually - which were shown to relatives up North etc

On the success of my directoral efforts i purchased a Panny S-VHS -C camcorder - these tapes also are now slightly moudly.

From there onto mini dv and obviously SD's ( currently owning a panny HC-VXF1..and hate it ).

So my mate went onto bigger things and more cars. I still can't drive. But, i have tapes of my grans which no-one wants to see as most relatives are dead etc etc and few to pass on - some pretty grainy images .

I REALLY thought that by now..there would be some programme which boosts the quality of Video footage...allowing me to re-edit my 'classics' isnt really is there.

So, did i waste my time..purchasing a Panny S-vhs- C 1991 for almost £2000 ( how much is that now!!! ) ..i didnt think i did..but..y'know...i think i really cares..a few photos / no-one wants to watch badly shot footage even though it captures their voices from distant past. Few new generations want to look back.

One day i plan to get them from the loft, re-edit including the mountain of SD cards i now have of my son..but i do feel it all being a waste of time, even 'studying' media etc...and the art of Orson Wells, Solent Green and the like..seriously...all a load of guff isnt it!

Memories huh!


Novice Member
I bought a S-VHS-C Panasonic MS50 in December 1989.

It cost a small fortune (£1399.00) but was also a fantastic purchase. My only regret was not having a camcorder earlier - previously I had used a silent super 8 film camera. Ah, many long lost relatives from my childhood had passed on before I recorded them speaking (still image photos are silent).

Apart from family videos I wanted this because I am transport enthusiast and took it to many places filming trains, trams, buses, etc. One of my first overseas trips was Berlin (April 1990) where I filmed things that were soon to become history - the wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the ghost stations and more.

I have only just finished (summer 2021) copying the last dozen video tapes to computer format - a relative lent me a Panasonic video / DVD combo which also plays S-VHS tapes. I have a video deck that plays S-VHS but it cannot play things recorded in LP mode. I have no idea why. Anyway, footage dating from the late 1990s - various North American cities.

Its a shame that my MS50 camcorder no longer works, as the much longer tape path to the video heads on full size machines means that about 10 seconds of footage at each end of the S-VHS-C cassettes is inaccessible.

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