I have been taking photos for more than 50 years. Twenty-four years ago, I stopped using a 35mm camera and instead, started taking still photos with a camcorder. Here is how that happened:
I was thinking about buying a video camera and went into a drugstore that sold them. The clerk allowed me to pick one up and play around with it. I immediately liked its cylindrical shape. I found it very easy to hold with its strap that went around my hand, but what really sold me was the camcorders range.
It automatically focused on something a couple of inches (7 cm) away, and it also allowed me to zoom in on things, very far away. I always had to change lens on my 35 mm camera to do that. The camcorder did it all, without having to lug around a lot of heavy lenses. Even though it was built to take video, it also allowed me to take really sharpe photos and after I bought it, that is mostly what I used it for. Just about all of the photos you see on my blog have been taken with a Sony camcorder.
I have gone through several camcorders in those 20 years. The first one used a tape to record a video or photo. When it’s tape mechanism started giving me trouble, I got a camcorder that put the video or still on a memory card instead of a tape and that worked a lot better. I damaged another camcorder when it fell into the Fraser River when a canoe I was in tipped over.
This winter I noticed that my camcorder was no longer able to give me a good photo in the bright light, like a scene with a lot of snow. It couldn’t adjust and the photos always were faded and I was unable to tweak or correct the photos using my computer.
I decided to buy myself a new camcorder and when I got to the same big drugstore, I couldn’t find any camcorders. When I asked the clerk, I was told they don’t sell them anymore. “Yikes,” I thought, what am I going to do?”
None of the other stores I checked, had any camcorders either. When I went online to Amazon, there were some camcorders, but they were the same model as my old one. It seems that camcorders were no longer a thing. I guess everyone just uses their phones for videos these days and while you can buy bigger and fancier video cameras, there seems to no longer be a market for camcorders.
I ended up buying the same camcorder as the one that was malfunctioning, at least I am familiar with it, and I hope it will last me.
Below is an example of the faded photos from my malfunctioning camcorder that could no longer adjust to bright lighting conditions.
You can see my paintings at: davidmarchant2.ca