This is a Sony AVC-3200CE B&W vidicon studio camera from the very early 70s. These cameras offered nice crisp B&W pictures and were ideal for semi-professional productions. These cameras are usually hooked up to an EIAJ standard 1/2" reel-reel VTR. This camera I got from one of my techie friends in 2002, it was working brilliantly when I first used it. However I was really dumb and curious at the time and I set the camera's aperture setting to wide open on a bright sunny afternoon, then I pointed the camera directly at the sun to see how it would look as I had no problems pointing a mid 80s colour camcorder to the sun, and what happened, the sun burnt the shit out of the vidicon tube leaving a permanent black trail in the tube. This was a real shame as it was a good camera and had a great picture. Well I learned a hard lesson that I will never forget. Anyhow I've since gotten a bunch of vidicon tubes from my friend Richard who runs the http://www.labguysworld.com/ site illustrating his big VTR/camera collection, I got my techie friend to put the tube in though it was not without troubles. After the tube was put in we couldn't get it focused nicely and sadly putting the camera to the test, it produces a blury picture with a lot of sunspots, so the tube wasn't very good but I appreciate him sending me a spare anyhow. I have the burning of the tube video recorded on one of my VHS tapes somewhere, once I find it I will upload it to YouTube to illustrate the sunburn, I already sent Richard a low quality video capture of the sunburn which he has already put to YouTube and it can be seen below.
Below are some video caps of the camera in action including the devastating sunburn and also a video clip of the sunburn.
Lastly here is a fun experiment I attempted which is to produce a colour video still from this B&W camera which turned out very successful! What I did was point the camera to a bunch of colourful items, placed a 2 layers of red cellophane in front of the camera to get the red channel video still, did the same with green and blue cellophane so I had 3 B&W video still channels. What happens is when you place a colour filter in front of the camera, the primary colour of any of the objects will be illuminated through the filter and the other primary colours will be darkened, when the object is a combination of 2 or more primary colours eg a yellow object being of red and green, on the red filter the red component will be illuminated and on the green filter the green will be illuminated, and of course there's the colour strength which say a bright blue object will come up high luminance through the blue filter and if the object is a very light blue the it will come up as a lower luminance through the filter. Anyhow using the cellophane filters I got each colour channel as a B&W video stills, captured them on PC, saved each still as a bitmap greyscale, and in Corel Photopaint I combined each channel which gave me a very nice and accurate colour picture, so this is the image you would expect from a 3 vidicon tube colour camera.
Newsflash!!! I've revived this colour experiment again with great success and have taken a lot more colour stills and have made a page illustrating this experiment which can be viewed here.
Colour picture resulting from the above red, green and blue channels combined together in Corel Photopaint
The other day when I was playing around with my video camera collection I decided to have a shot at fixing the focus on this camera. So I took the panels off and looking at the circuitry on one side I notice a section was labeled "focus" and there was an adjustment pot nearby, I guessed it was for the focusing so I adjusted it and it indeed was the focus adjustment and I adjusted it till I got a nice sharp picture. Now my AVC-3200CE produces sharp images once again. I also looked at the tube's surface and notice it had spots on it which explained the spotty picture, I got a soft shirt rag and rubbed the surface and managed to get a lot of the spots off and this got rid of a lot of the spots out of the picture. So I've been cheering this camera is now giving pretty good quality pictures!!!
I have since made several videos from this camera for YouTube and I have embedded them to the bottom of this page.
Filming of the front yard of my house in 2002
Filming of the front yard of my house in 2002 with a pseudo 50s image orthicon effect I added using Corel Photopaint
Filming of the backyard
Remote filming of Seven Mile Beach
Remote filming from Mt Pleasant, Kiama (Part 1)
Remote filming from Mt Pleasant, Kiama (Part 2)
Remote filming of the ocean view from Hill 60, Port Kembla (Part 1)
Remote filming of the view of the Illawarra up the top of O'Briens Rd, Figtree
Sony AVC-3200CE camera test
Remote filming of the ocean view from Hill 60, Port Kembla (Part 2)
Remote filming of the view of the Illawarra up the top of O'Briens Rd, Figtree (Part 1)
Remote filming of the view of the Illawarra up the top of O'Briens Rd, Figtree (Part 2)
Remote filming of the view of the Illawarra up the top of O'Briens Rd, Figtree (Part 3)