Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lights, Camera, Bargain!

Last week was an expensive one. Expenses include a few extra bus journeys, some take-away, a stack of 2000AD back issues and a bunch of Christmas cards sent back to the motherland, not to mention the first month's rent that had to be paid to my housing agency a month before I move in. I worked a few hours less than usual last week as well, leaving me with less money than I had hoped. Having a job can be quite expensive it would seem.

Regardless, last Sunday saw me going to another Dutch flea market. With entrance at only €1 a piece, and with it being a flea market I've had success with in the past, I decided I had nothing better to do and could do with the fresh air.

Unfortunately, game-wise at least, the flea market was as dry as a bone, bar a lady selling a N64:

"Are there any games with the N64?" My girlfriend asked using her Dutch super-powers.

"There are but we left them at home." The lady replied.

Oh nee Mevrouw Nederlandse, oh nee...

My girlfriend did find some success in the form of some very nice additions to her rapidly expanding Pokémon card collection; with a previous example of such a find found on her mainly cross-stitch related blog.

I, on the other hand, made a surprising purchase, taking a chance on a set of items I simply couldn't say no to. For a mere €7.50, I managed to nab an old Philips camcorder with external microphone and external, battery powered VCR player/recorder along with what may be an editing machine. It seemed like a good deal at the time, what with the camera being boxed as well as having what seemed to be all of the cables. Once I got home, however, I found that the battery pack that came with it did not fit in the VCR recorder at all, and with no other visible AC ports on the recorder or camera, I now have no idea how to use the blasted thing. The editor has a mains plug hard-wired into it, and the device does power on, how it just makes a faint hissing sound, with no of the buttons seeming to do anything. The recorder cannot be powered by the editing device either, even when plugged directly into via a proprietary adaptor.

It's somewhat of a mystery to me at this moment in time as to how I will go about getting this thing up and running as I would really like to get back into video recording. I have a hand-held JVC Hi-8 recording camcorder, but I got it as a replacement for a far superior JVC camcorder I got when I was about 18; said camera ceasing to function within warranty and being replaced due to it no longer being in production. I used to use my camcorder a lot when my parents had a firewire sporting, Windows XP running machine. Once I left for university with just a laptop, however, my ability to get my footage off my Hi-8 tapes resulted in me abandoning "video" as a hobby.

I apologise for the poor quality of these photos.

From the look of the camera, it seems like it would give a really warm, analogue effect on footage recorded with it. I can't determine when it was made, and it has no manual, but I think it's from around the 70s. It also looks like it's a non-consumer product and may have been used sometime in the past by a budding news camera-man. I really look forward to using the camcorder and have sent a well written -mail to the Philips support team and have all my fingers crossed that it'll end up going to someone who remember what my new toy actually is and where I can buy spare parts for it. For the time being I'll just have to use my imagination...



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