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Which camcorder will record in a 90s quality?


Standard Member

I'm looking for a camcorder that records in a certain quality. To cut the story short, I want to make short films and I want the quality and feel of the images to resemble those of a 1990's film.

Here's two scenes of very famous movies that capture the quality and atmosphere I'm talking about:

Reservoir Dogs

Pulp Fiction

Now I know both movies must have been recorded with expensive, professional cameras. But as I'm a broke student, I'm looking for a cheap alternative that will record in a similar style/atmosphere/quality.

Thanks a lot for reading this, if you have any suggestions please let me know.


Distinguished Member

You will need a modern multi-core (quad) computer to do the Editing, so let's assume that's out of the Video-
And almost any decent camcorder or DSLR will take the films - you adjust the quality in "Post" using filters in the Edit, although you can muck-up (slightly) the quality when shooting..... the really BIG iten is the quality of the acting . . . very difficult to get Budget actors to make it look real.
Audio is another topic . . . and again you can spend a lot on microphones, booms, etc.
In reality, your camcorder needs manual control of focus and exposure; but other than that almost anything will do . . . . such quality will set you back about £500 starting price. If you want to plug-in pro audio microphones ( using XLR's) then look at £1500 . . . this may not be what most student- folks want to hear . . .

If you are "starting-out" and just want this as a hobby, then any camcorder is better than none. But you have to tailor yr films to the gear you can afford, to avoid disaster.

So what's your budget?
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Distinguished Member
As they say "It's all in the Edit"- but these additional softwares are hugely expensive . . . and I'd have thought the films OP cites are hardly in need of extra effects . . . although Posters such aas I will find it difficult to get similar performance out of friends/family who might be prepared to "Do us a favour" -

Much of these films' looks come from really professional clean shots, (where the lighting is balanced), focus is just-so and dialogue cleanly recorded. . . . no plug-in can rescue duff footage, - so I guess we are still left Waiting for OP to give us a Budget for the start in this process . . . the camera.


Active Member
I understand that but as he is trying to avoid the clean digital video look and instead achieve more of filmic look , that is his best option


Well-known Member
Considering the best quality is only 480P on the second film it still looks fairly good,as said any good camcorder or camera could be used and edited to suite in post.


Distinguished Member
chrishull3 - I agree . . . technically he can rubbish the o/p from any modern/decent camcorder (pref one with manual focus as any hint of "hunting" is a sure non-pro giveaway,),
Do you not think OP will have extreme diff. trying to get good Cast, though? (Post#4).

Budget camcorders have enough compression to wreck the HD they usually claim - so it will be interesting to see which way OP goes . . .

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