RETRO TECH: CAMCORDER

RETRO TECH: CAMCORDER


Marques:
So, I’ve spent most of my life
in front of the camera…
Welcome to my first video. Yo, what’s up, guys?
It’s Marques Brownlee here… …from MKBHD.…reviewing tech…Recommend this very highly. Back with another
HD video.…and making
YouTube videos…
Marques:
I uploaded 102 videos.…and the camera
that I choose to do this with
has always been
really important with me.
– C200.
– Red Weapon.But if you want to know
where my love for cameras
and making videos
really comes from,
you’ll have to go all the way
back to the beginning
to the very first VHShandheld portable
camera ever.
I’m Marques Brownlee
and I review dope new tech.
But on this show,
I’m rewinding the clock
to discover
the tech of the past
that changed
our lives forever.
This is “Retro Tech:
Camcorder.”
Yo, what’s up, guys?
You know, we do a lot of cool pieces of retro tech
on this show, a lot of which I don’t have
much of a connection to because it was before my time. And even though I didn’t
start making my videos until 25 years
after this camera came out, I still owe a lot
of what I do now to this. The revolutionary JVC GR-C1
came out in 1984 as the world’s first
all-in-one VHS camcorder. So, before this,
video cameras were pretty much
strictly for professionals, but the small form factor
and ease of use made everyone
want to be the director
of their own home movies. All right, let’s go ahead
and take a look at what came in
the original box and try to fire it up. I’m pretty excited for it. And there it is. ( inhales )
They all have this sort
of retro smell. I think it’s just
mostly old leather. Anyway, some paperwork. Wow, the original
purchaser in 1985. $1,717. Wow. Up here, RF converter. Retro battery, for sure. Blank tapes. A large power brick. Red and black.
Nice color scheme. Viewfinder. All right, the actual
camera itself, the JVC GR-C1 in the flesh. Okay, this is serious, but look at all the things we have to put together
to use it. I might have to look
at the instructions. A lot of tech today, we just throw out
the instructions as soon as we get something, but this would not be the case if you got the first ever
portable VHS camera. You’d have to actually
read through them. The viewfinder’s gonna go on
the front right there. Where’s it plug in? User manual says–
there we go. Battery should be
pretty simple. Okay, so it’s
definitely not simple. This is already giving me
Dad camera vibes. Say, “Cheese,” kids.
There you go. What is it with us getting
“STD” on all these– maybe that’s something
about the ’80s, but they just willingly
print “STD” on the side
of electronics here. But I think this is,
uh, “standard” white balance. Power button. Did that just turn on? Oh, my God,
it just turned on. I’ll pop a cassette tape
in there. Might as well. – Eject button.
– ( whirring ) Wow, what a noise that makes. “Then press
the Start/Stop switch,” which is my thumb button. Oh, boy, here we go. Man, I’m unfocused. And it is definitely
recording. Ooh, there’s my zoom. Wow. Oh, hey. This is great. I have literally no idea
if this’ll be in focus, but ready to learn a little more
about this camera? Let’s get it.Okay, so,
for the next few days,
I’m going to take
the JVC Camcorder with me
and learn everything
there is to know
about this iconic
piece of tech.
– Hi, I’m Marques.
– Hi, I’m Jess. Great to meet you, Jess.
So, I’m gonna start by asking you to check
underneath your chair. – Are we– it’s like
“Oprah” right now?
– Yeah. – Oh, my gosh.
– Oh, man. So, we’re time traveling,
is what we’re doing. Marques:
We’re going back. This is beautiful. We’re making movies, dude.
Right now. You’re making a movie,
I’m making a movie. I’m recording you right now. “Doc, Doc!
You made a time machine
out of a DeLorean?” I’ve been waiting
30 years to say that. Marques: Okay, so,
before we get into
the camcorder, I want to take it all the way
back to the beginning. If you wanted to see a movie
in the ’70s and ’80s, you had to actually
go to a movie theater. What was that like? Roberson:
In the early ’70s, if you
wanted to watch a movie,
there was only one place
you could go.
You had to go
to a movie theater. Misty:If someone missed
a theater run of something,
they may very well
may not see the movie everbecause there was
no home video market.
People couldn’t
just buy a movie,
bring it home,
and watch it.
You couldn’t stream anything. Sounds terrible. Shafer:
But then all of the sudden,
there was a push
to bring films into your home. Roberson:
And that gave rise
to VCRs and VHS.
Home video is in,
and it seems like it happened overnight,
this video revolution. Shafer:
People could just watch what
they wanted when they wanted.
It changed the way people
consumed media,
and that was just
super revolutionary. But when JVC
put out their camera,
it changed everything. Announcer:
A video camera and VHS
recorder all in one. The JVC was revolutionary
because it was accessible.People now are part ofthe movie-going
and movie-creating culture.
Reporter:
Video cameras are now small
enough to cradle like violins. Before that JVC came out,
in order to shoot video,it was this
extremely cumbersome,
involved process.
You’d have to be
a professional making a movieor you’d be working
for the news.
I think I can only make
the referenceto that scene in “Commando”when Schwarzenegger
is about to attack the beach
and he’s, like,
putting on all of this gear.It was like that–
battery packs,
and the VCR, and the camera.It was multiple parts,
and it was very hard
for anyone to carry. The JVC allowed people
to take video productionand have it
in their own hands,
then be a director
of their own film.
It was epic. Marques:
The JVC camcorder
turned everyone
into the director
of their own home movie.
So I’ve invited
a special guest
to help me try to make
my first video using the GR-C1.
Casey, welcome back. – Good to be here.
– Thanks for being here. I don’t know
if you know what we’re
looking at right now, but I’m kind of wondering
if this brings back
any memories. That is the nicest way
anyone’s ever called me
an old man before, Marques… – Yeah, no problem.
– …in my entire life. Marques:
Casey Neistat puts the word
“maker” in filmmaker.
Neistat: I said yes to every
opportunity that involved
picking up a camera. Marques:He’s a prolific
YouTube creator…
The majority of my videos
are shot on portable cameras……man of many talents
and a lot of gear,
and the perfect person
to help me put this JVC
camcorder into action.
This doesn’t bring
back memories, – it brings back nightmares.
– Okay. The first videos
I ever edited were using the camcorder
as one deck and a VCR
as the other deck, trying to edit
between machines. That was the last time
I laid eyes on one of these. So, my first camera
I ever bought with my own money
shot to SD cards. It was a little
Sanyo Xacti camera.Shooting with it
was super easy because
I’d just start/stop,
get my clips, import, edit. Am I here because
of my advanced age? Uh, you’re here because
of your experience in the world
of video production. – Appreciate how nice
you were with that.
– Yeah. So, this camcorder
came out in a time where personal video
wasn’t really a thing yet. What we’re gonna try to do
is make a how-to video– dos and don’ts of being
a YouTuber, but 1980s style. – Let’s do it. But, Marques?
– Yeah? You’re dressed
like it’s 2019. We gotta take this
just one level further. – Marques: This is, uh–
– You got it. I’m starting to feel older.( music playing )Are we gonna stand
in front of this? I think we should stand. – Just lift there.
– Standing height. That’s as wide as it gets? We’re gonna have to be
further than I thought. I think it’s recording. Is it blinking?
Check the manual. – It’s both.
– Well, record. – Okay.
– “To start…” “While holding
the record button pressed…” The tape’s not going
around and around. – It isn’t?
– Nope. “Press the Start/Stop switch.” So, I’m gonna hit “Record.” – Oh, it’s spinning.
– And it’s recording. – It’s turning.
– Amazing. Okay. – We found the record button.
– We found the record button. Marques:
That’s– that’s frame. So, you go over this way
a little bit. Do you look like
you’re in the middle? Move over a little bit.
I think– – Does that feel middle?
– Uh… – Oh, yeah.
– Okay, perfect. – Okay.
– Cool, okay. – So, my name is Marques.
– My name’s Casey. Come along with us
on this journey. I feel like that’s how
they talked in, like,
in commercials in the– Yeah, yeah. Cool. – Action!
– Hello. Hello. Hello. Things– hello. Things, uh, to do. – Rolling.
– “Don’t” with editing. Gratuitous transitions. I just can’t
even open this. Oh, yeah.
You need a hammer
to fix this thing. ’80s technology. Hey, guys. MKBSD here. – Neistat: Good?
– Oh, it’s out of focus. Yeah, this screen is
so incredibly low resolution that when I have one eye
in there for so long and I take it out,
I feel kind of cross-eyed. Don’t eat while
recording your videos. ( whirring, clicking ) Hold on.
This thing’s freaking out. It just shut off. Oh, ( bleep ).
It’s the end of the tape. How many gigs is this? Gigs! Just stopped recording. This is a high
quality production. Thank you for watching
the dos and don’ts of being
a YouTuber in 1985. Okay, cut.
That was great. All right, so I feel
like I’ve learned a lot
just shooting with it. My biggest takeaway
is that I’m glad we’re a YouTuber
in 2019 and not 1984. Yeah, shooting and editing
with this sort of media would’ve probably been,
like, a hurdle for me. Another big takeaway for me
from today’s shoot is that you look great
in a tie, Marques. – Oh, thank you. Thanks.
– Yeah. Well, I guess the plan now
is to put together
all the footage. – Good luck.
– I can’t wait. Marques:
Okay, so, we’ll show you
the finished video
at the end of this episode,
but in the meantime,
I’m going to learn much moreabout what made
the JVC camcorder
such a massive success
when it was first released.
Roberson:
The one thing you have to know
about media from the ’80s
is that most shows and movies
were just giant commercials. It was product placement. – Want some breakfast?
– Yeah. – What do you want, Wheaties?
– Yeah. – Einstein, hey.
And in “Back To The Future,”we see Marty
pull out his camera
and Doc Brown going,
“This technology is amazing.” A portable television studio. They did something
really, really clever.We’re putting this camera
next to a time travel machine,
so we’re already equating it
with future technology. It was one of the best
product placements of all time. Schafer:Everybody wanted
to know what that was,
and everybody
wanted to have one. Man:
Camcorders, they’re called, and they’re
the hottest new item to hit the consumer
electronic market since the VCR. Home video became a craze.Everybody wanted to record
their own home videos.
Roberson:
I recall, certainly,
in the ’80s,
being at a Bar Mitzvah and someone putting
a camera in my face. People are now archiving
and filming everything.What would
be normally mundane
now becomes really important.So, oh, yeah,
it’s a birthday party,
but now, you know,
we’re gonna film it.
Oh, yeah,
it’s a trip to the beach,
but now we’re gonna film it.And along comes a showcalled “America’s
Funniest Home Videos.”
Schafer:
It was hosted by Bob Saget.
It was the number one show
in the country. Roberson:
So, “America’s Funniest
Home Videos”
started to get user-generated
content and said,
“Hey, your home video
is important to us,
so now go send it in.”The sooner you get
your tapes in, the more chances you have
to get on our show to win the $10,000
weekly prize. Schafer:
Anybody could be on TV.
All you have to do is film
yourself doing something funnyand you had a shot to be
on “America’s Funniest
Home Videos.”
You could be
America’s funniest
home video at the time.
Saget:
Gorilla suit wedding proposal! ( cheers, applause ) “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was YouTube before
the YouTube. Goldstein:
And when this camcorder
first came out,
it was really
this naive time.
You get all of these
new different types of entertainment and content
that aren’t justtraditional movies
or television shows.
You get the rise
of fitness videosand at-home workouts.People can do Jane Fonda’s
tapes in their living room.
Before there was Tinder,
there was dating videos.How are you
gonna meet people?
You make a VHS tape
of yourself.
I’m Maurice.
I’m an executive by day and a wild man by night. That’s what dating was like. Anybody could take their ideas
and make them real.It’s like when people
go on YouTube
and they watch YouTube videos
and they’re like,
“I can do this, too,”because they see
other people doing it
and there’s a community
there to receive it.
Marques:
I want to see for myself
how the camcorder
influenced
the home video market,
so I’m at
the Found Footage Club
in Brooklyn, New York,where they’ve collected
over 10,000
of the most obscure
VHS tapes.
This is “Dope or Nope.” First one we’re gonna show you
is “Rent-A-Friend.” If you were
a lonely person in 1987, this guy, Sam, he would be
your virtual friend. Before live chat
and the Internet, this was his idea
of an interactive concept. – This guy’s a pioneer.
– And we would like you to play along
with “Rent-A-Friend.” Oh, I would love to. – Hi.
– Hi. I’m Sam, and, um,
I want to be your friend. – How’s that sound?
– That sounds great. – Hot diggity dog.
– All right. – What’s your name?
– Marques. – Yeah.
– Yeah. It’s– yeah. You know, I see that. Here are a couple things
about me. Um, my nose is rather famous. – Why is your nose–
That looks painful.
– Ooh. Ooh. – Would you like
to bite my nose?
– You know, it’s fine. Forget I ever did that.
I’m sorry. Yeah, I’ll try. What do you think?
Do you have enough information? Is this guy dope or nope? Uh, wow.
That was one of those
train wrecks you can’t look away from. You know what it kind of
reminds me of is those super early
vlog channels. Does that make it dope? Nah, not– not really. “Rent-A-Friend”? Nope. We have nothing
but train wrecks for you
today, by the way. All right,
let’s go to the next one. Okay. This whole wall here
and that whole wall there, that’s all exercise videos. That’s one of the most
common videos that we find. – Okay.
– This one’s vintage ’80s. – “Body Flex.”
– “Body Flex II.” Greer Childers
had some unusual methods
of exercise. – We’ll just pop it in.
( music playing )All right, do you want to
go along with her? – Oh, what is she–
– ( all inhale ) ( rasping exhale ) What is she do–
is she just breathing? ( inhaling, rasping exhale ) ( rasping exhale ) She’s so small in the shot. – Side stretch.
– That’s the same side. – Okay.
– Get coordinated here. ( rasping exhale ) – Same side.
– Oh, same side. – Oh, same side.
– Marques: This elevator music is really selling me
right now.( music fades )You know, as an athlete, I didn’t really
have enough room to do all the exercises and things she was doing here. Uh, as a non-athlete,
I just found it funny. It was hilarious.
You know what?
I don’t hate this. If you’re gonna
separate yourself from
the however many thousand other exercise tapes there are,
you gotta have something, and she’s got that something. – This is dope.
– You chose wisely. All right, we are set
for the next. The Rejuvenique
facial toning system. – Okay, that’s Linda Evans.
– So, it came with the product, and we actually have
the product here. Um, it’s a bit–
it’s frightening.
It’s horrifying. It has all these probes
on the back that you put a little bit
of the gel on each
one of these probes, and then you put it
on your face so it’ll
conduct the electricity. This the how-to video
about how to use the Rejuvenique Ultimate
Facial Toning System. Narrator:
Your Rejuvenique system requires very little assembly. Marques: Yeah, no,
I’m terrified already. There she is just relaxing while her face
is electrocuted. – Oh! Oh, God.
– Oh, my God. – That’s like
a John Carpenter, like–
– Oh, my God. But I’ll just say,
our skin looks terrific, so… I highly recommend
you try it. – Very convincing, guys.
– Uh-huh. It won’t kill you. – ( muttering )
– Okay? What’s the movie,
“Friday The 13th”? Yeah, Jason. You hit start
when you’re ready to go. Electricity’s not
really my thing, but… – Do it.
– Crank it. – ( buzzing )
– Oh! Oh! Oh! – I heard that one.
– Now it’s kicking in. Oh, my God.
That really shocked me. It feels like
I just stuck my finger
in an electric outlet. – ( groans )
– Yeah, it’s going around. Mm. Unh-uh. Unh-uh. Narrator:
As the system advances from one facial area
to the next, you may need to increase
or decrease the level
of pulsation. Oh! ( laughs ) This is easily accomplished by rotating the control knob in the appropriate direction. Let’s see the results.
Let’s see how you look. You look good.
You look good. Do I look like Linda Evans? – Uh, you’re getting there.
– Huh. What’d you think about
the how-to video? Effective? The tape was dope. The product? I can’t say
I’d recommend it, but at least you know
how to use it. It’s better than a manual. Good job, tape.
You’re dope. Marques:
The JVC camcorder
inspired a generation
of content creators,
and electronics companies
all wanted in on the action.
Soon the market
would be flooded
with smaller and sleeker
camcorder models.
Robison:
The JVC camcorder
was a huge hit,
and that just made
other companies that much more eager
to try and seeif they could make
something better.
Misty:
Sony was making one.
Panasonic was making one.They were all just
hoping to get
their corner
of this marketplace.
Things became lighter,
easier to use, smaller.
And then digital came about. Man: Now, this is the wave
of the future right here. Reporter: All the whiz-bang
production techniques that Hollywood studios use at a fraction of the cost. The camcorder
reached a plateau where there was just
no making it any better while it was still
for VHS tapes. Marques:
So even though the retro look
of the JVC camcorder
might seem outdated,
it’s clear to me
that our content-obsessed
generation now
owes a lot
to this piece of tech.
What’s the legacy
of this JVC camera? Goldstein:
Everybody whose phone
has a camera on it
is a beneficiary
of the JVC camcorder.And you can absolutely
see the legacy of that
in today’s YouTube stars
shooting thingsfrom their own lives
in real time
with very little technology
and equipment. Schafer:
And we live in a time
with infinite amount
of user-generated content.But if you think about it,the very first visual
user-generated content
that was massively accessible,it exists because
of the VHS camcorder. Misty:
People wanted to see
real-life stuff.
Without this camera,
there would be no YouTube. – You’d be out of a job.
– Yeah, that’s exactly right. Roberson:
So, the legacy
of the JVC camcorder
is a reminder
that we have the ability to decide for ourselves
what are important stories.The JVC camcorder allowed
people to justify,
“Yes, my life is important.
My stories are important.” – …the big
2,000 subscriber mark.
– Thanks for watching. “And my desire
to share it with people is equally as important.” Talk to you guys
on the next one. What’s up, guys?
Thank you for watching. I learned a lot about this OG
JVC camcorder, and I gotta say,
I have a lot more respect now for people who truly
mastered this thing. And it wasn’t easy, but we have actually
edited the video that Casey and I made
earlier in the video.Enjoy the final video,“The Dos And Don’ts Of Being
A YouTuber In 1985.” – Yeah.
– Is it rolling? Okay, so, hi.
So, my name’s Marques. My name’s Casey. Welcome
on our exciting journey to VHS YouTube success. Yeah. Let’s start.( music playing )Do! Very important
to hold the camera steady. It makes it much easier
for the viewer to see what you are filming. Very important– don’t shake the
camera. ( laughing )
Cheese balls. Don’t, with editing. No need for gratuitous
transitions. Transitions
can be distracting. Transitions can be
very distracting, and they don’t really
help the story along. A big do of editing is something called
“continuity,” and that means one shot
should match the next shot. Be sure to pay close attention
to things like clothing. – Don’t… eat…
– This is good. …while recording
your videos. Um… Do focus on the shoot
at hand. Pay attention to the camera
and not your lunch. Thank you for watching
“The Dos And Don’ts Of Being A YouTuber In 1985.” And we hope you enjoyed
watching this as much as we enjoyed
making this. Feel free to write a comment
on a piece of paper, then put that in an envelope,
then put a stamp on that, bring that to your
nearest post office. P.O. Box– we’ll just
put it on the screen. And in three to five days,
we’ll get that comment. – Thanks. Yeah. Bye.
– We’ll see you next time. So, I hope this
YouTube tips episode has been pretty helpful
for you guys who are looking forward
to investing in a camcorder to shoot hardware reviews
on YouTube, and I will talk to you guys
in the next video. Thanks for watching. Peace. And instead of
1,000 subscribers, maybe I want 1.3 million
subscribers. I don’t know.

100 thoughts on “RETRO TECH: CAMCORDER

  1. best thing about this series is gonna be the appreciation for all the tech that everyone takes for granted today

  2. I think YouTube Decided to make Retro Tech a YouTube Original when YouTube's Algorithm Kept on Recommending Marques OG Videos. And must have got inspiration from that.

  3. лучшие места Тосканы, не ожидал увидеть здесь кусочек русского контента

  4. Wow didn't know Marques had a beautiful smile! That raised eye brows and face he makes look so good on him. And yeah, MKBSD. 😂

  5. the color correction /filter in this video is pretty annoying.
    (just because red wasnt red in this video, for a moment I thought my display is broken)

    you should keep it how it naturally looks.

  6. This is amazing. I am a big Retro Fan and I want to give you a big Thanks from Bangladesh,Asia. Thanks MKBHD.

  7. as someone who grew up in the 80's its funny to watch guys trying to reimagine what it was like and how much of it they get wrong – and it's not just you but also movies, netflix shows etc. The tech was old school to be sure just like what's cutting edge today will be ancient in the 2030's but life was not much different overall. This was cute to watch though as my dad owned one of those

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