This is topic Did video camera deteriorate over the years? in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=8;t=002174

Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on May 28, 2012, 04:36 PM:
I cannot see any good with previous video camera I had.

I always see that the new comer is better (in terms of picture quality). But then after several years and a new product comes, this camera will also look worse.

So is this because the new camera bring better quality, or the camera deteriorate after some years, so it does not perform as good as the first time?

Any comment....?

(making me to think that investing in movie camera is better)
Posted by John Davis (Member # 1184) on May 28, 2012, 05:09 PM:
I think, especially in the digital era, video cameras footage will not significantly deteriorate (unless it becomes totally unviewable due to tape or file damage).
The disappointing older footage will be most likely due to the modern high def formats raising our expectations
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on May 28, 2012, 05:22 PM:
Thanks John,

But I am talking about the camera not the footage.

ps: but digital footage can also deteriorate especially those burn onto cheap disc. I have many discs that cannot be read after several years stored.
Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on May 28, 2012, 11:33 PM:
Winbert, concerning your lost media disc files, this site has a LOT of good information about all discs & quality.

I have heard cross-breeding mini-DV tapes & recorders can ruin them over time. For instance, Panasonic is supposed to have a special coating on their tapes that other manufacturers do if you use a different media it will damage the recording head. I would "guess" the same would or could be true with other brands. Also, re-using the mini-DV tapes is not recommended as quality issues can arise. YES, that makes it an expensive format [Mad]

I have a JVC mini-DV camcorder that is around 8 to 10 years old I would guess, and it still takes great video that I would put up against my Olympus PEN videos any day.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 29, 2012, 12:47 PM:
The footage I took in the early 90's with my palmcorder VHSC is already taking a terrible beating, and I haven't even watched it all that much. It's not aging well at all.

.... now, the super 8 footage I shot in the late 80's (in cinemascope no less) is still just as vibrant and colorful as ever!
Posted by Ken Finch (Member # 2768) on May 29, 2012, 02:04 PM:
Hi, I will add my "pennysworth" on this topic. My first videocamera was a Sony video 8. I used Sony and TDK tapes and they have not deteriorated. I never re recorded onto them but edited them onto VHS. Being analogue the edited picture quality was not as good as the original until I learned a few tricks at the video club and used a Panasonic WAVE5 editing deck whhich converts the incoming signal to digital, processes it then reconverts it to analogue for the output to the recorder. It was the camera that deteriorated not the tapes. All the capacitors dried up, had the thing repaired but it gradually developed other faults. It had lasted about 10 years. I rplaced it with a JVC palmcorder using mini DV which lasted 5 years and was replaced by my current Sony DCR-HC35E which also uses mini DV. I have not noticed any deterioration of the tapes and they are obviously of better image quality than sony 8 or Hi 8. Ken Finch.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on May 29, 2012, 02:30 PM:
Hi Ken,

I do agree that it is the camera's problem due to electronic components are used.

I believe the digital camera has some kind a color sensor that can deteriorate which resulting poor color, not to mention all ICs and chips.
Posted by Ken Finch (Member # 2768) on May 29, 2012, 04:04 PM:
Hi, I feel I should add further comments to my last post which I did not have time to mention earlier. When my Sony 8 camera packed up on me, it left me without any means of playing back the tapes. Fortunately I was able to buy a Sony 8 video recorder from Bob Maynard at an Ealing Film collectors convention. I am now concerned as to how I can play back the mini DV tapes if my current camera packs up. I still have a lot to edit and put onto DVDs. I was told that the mini DV would be the "standard" and record the edited movie back onto miniDV and keep this as the "master" for future copies of whatever format replaces DVDs. Now I notice there are no new camcorders using miniDV, other than expensive semi professional ones. The domestic ones either have hard drives or memory cards. I realise that the more often you use either analogue or digital tapes, the image can deteriorate as can the playback heads just as the magnetic stripe films and projectors do, althogh not as noticeable with sound compared with video images. Ken Finch.
Posted by Bryan Chernick (Member # 1998) on May 29, 2012, 04:42 PM:
Winbert, I was wondering about the sensor deteriorating on digital cameras as well. I just got a new Olympus E-M5 Micro 4/3 camera and noticed that the color is much better than my old digital point and shoot. Pictures from my old camera look washed out and dull compared to the new one. I realize that most of that is from an improved sensor and better software in the camera but does the sensor deteriorate over time? I started thinking about this recently because I wanted to try to do a time-lapse of the recent solar eclipse with my new camera. I was wondering if pointing it at the sun that long would damage the sensor. Unfortunately it was cloudy here in Seattle (what a surprise, clouds in Seattle) so I missed it. Micro 4/3 cameras don't have a mirror like a DSLR so light is hitting the sensor all the time, like a point and shoot. I assume that would create a lot of heat on the sensor where a camera with a shutter or mirror in the way would eliminate that. I have done time-lapse shots of the sunset with my iPhone camera and it still seems to work fine.

Visit for free equipment manual downloads. Copyright 2003-2019 Film-Tech Cinema Systems LLC

Powered by Infopop Corporation