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Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!

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Daniel LipienOld Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:37:09 am

Hi,

I've come across an old Betacam, BVP-3 (with the recorder attached - unknown model), along with a Fujinon 14X lens and hard metal case (photos below). It doesn't include a battery or power supply and is being sold "as is". Can't be tested. It's $60.

Is this a gamble worth taking or could it turn out to be a money pit? What would you do, if you were out to get one of those Betacams, on a tight budget and basically just want to start out pro without spending too much?

Thanks for any advice that you can give. ~Daniel







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Bob ZelinRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:41:36 am

Today, a Canon D7 for $1800 is more "pro" than this antique camera.
Old standard def analog gear is worthless today.

Bob Zelin



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Daniel LipienRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 7:30:17 am

Hi Bob,
So you don't think it's worth 60 bucks? I was looking for a more balanced opinion, perhaps judging the said camera on its own merit.. I dunno, seems something which cost many thousands of dollars in its day (plus its respectable specs) & price of $60 now would at least get some attention. Was looking for some advice specifically on this. I just don't have thousands to burn.
Thanks,
Daniel


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Gary HazenRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:45:08 pm

[Daniel Lipien] "something which cost many thousands of dollars in its day"

That camera was worth many thousands in it's day. The problem is that it's day is long gone. What's left is a housing that is full of leaking capacitors, rotting rubber belts, dried up lubricants and a worn out head. Bob's point is that it would be foolish to repair such a camera. It would cost thousands and you would end up with a camera that produced below average standard definition video. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a brand new camera that will create beautiful high definition video without the added expense of tape.

I have a 500 Mhz IBM computer that I paid a couple of thousand for in it's day. Today it's worthless. That Sony BVP-3 is worthless.


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Gary HazenRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 3:54:09 pm

The Fuji glass may have some minor value ($200), if you can find a buyer. It's hard to say since it can't be tested. The gears or servo motor may be worn out.


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Rafael AmadorRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 16, 2011 at 8:28:21 pm

Has a nice box.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Richard CrowleyRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:31:09 am

It looks like it is in rough shape. The capacitors are probably leaking. Who knows how much time (if any?) the heads have? As soon as it breaks (maybe even before you get it home) you will have to find somebody that still works on it, and THEY will have to scrounge old, used parts to repair it with. No honest and conscientious repair operation would even look at it, because it will cost more for them just to evaluate what is wrong with it than it is even worth.

It is analog Standard Definition in a digital HD world. Even if it produced phenomenal SD pictures (which it doesn't by modern standards) what would you DO with SD video???

As soon as the remaining tape supplies (if any?) have dried up, it will be very expensive to find tape for it. Then, once you have a recorded Betacam tape, where are you going to play it back on when 99% of the planet's Betacam tape decks have died? There will probably always be one or two places that keep old tape format machines running and provide dubbing services for archives, but that will be very expensive and inconvenient.

There are probably a dozen more equally compelling reasons to run away from this. It would be a money pit even if they paid you $60. It seems unfortunate considering its cost and performance back in its day, but that is progress for you.


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Daniel LipienRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 17, 2011 at 1:14:38 am

Truly, THANK YOU ALL very much for the most eye opening, helpful replies. I realize now that it would likely be pretty stupid to proceed. Thanks again everyone for the "reality check"!


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Michael ShugrueRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:15:23 pm

Find a Prop house and see what you can get.


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Sam ColeRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:51:42 am

We recently hired 3 Sony BVP 330 camera's as props for the Movie "Mao's Last Dancer". We got $1000 per week for each camera and they didn't even turn them on!

We have a Sony BVP 7 with an SP recorder back that until recently was decorating our reception area. We cased it to make way for a pot plant.

Sam Cole
On line Mastering Facility
FCP, Avid, Adobe
Sydney, Australia


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Scott SheriffRe: Old Betacam .... Need some advice please!
by on Mar 29, 2012 at 6:45:00 pm

I stumbled across this old post, and just had to add my two cents worth.
I realize the OP was asking about the worth of this camera for day to day use. And I agree that even if it were free, it wouldn't be worth trying to use it to shoot video in a digital age.
But...
The BVP-3 with the attached BVV-1 record deck is not just some old Betacam. It is THE Betacam. The camera that started it all.
The BVP-3 should be on the list of other gear that changed the TV world, and should have a place of honor, and not be dismissed as old junk.
Until the BVP-3 and the single tube BVP-1 (not really considered a broadcast quality camera) came along in the summer of '82, if you wanted portability in a broadcast format you either shot on 16mm, or had your camera tethered to a separate 3/4, or 1" machine. This camera is as significant as the RCA TK76, and since it was made in much fewer numbers than later Betacam models, anytime you can get one it might be worth having as a collectable.





Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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