A Brand New Toy

Yesterday, while in a moment of mental clarity, I decided to purchase a video camera.

Now, I have a few video cameras. The first, a Sony, is broken. I should put that one on eBay. I’ve had enormously good luck selling broken electronics on eBay. There’s always some tinkerer who can use spare parts.

Actually, the Sony wasn’t my first video camera, but it was my first Sony. After my son was born in 1987, my husband plunked down a couple of thousand dollars for a ginormous Panasonic VHS camera. That one bit the dust right after my daughter was born. The Sony was nice in that it didn’t weigh as much as a suckling pig.

Soon after the first Sony broke, I purchased another. This was because the estimate to fix the first one far exceeded the cost of a new one. (This is known as the “new” Murphy’s law. Whatever you purchased that is mechanical in nature is easier and more cheaply replaced by something new.) This camera has been a steadfast workhorse for the last ten years or so.

You might ask, why does a family need so much video? I’m really the kind of person who sees very little value in recording the day to day misadventures of my life. You won’t see this woman doing birthday parties. I can barely capture those moments on still film. However, both my children are musicians. Both are quite good. One is a third year college student at a music conservatory. Over the years, I have amassed an all encompassing library of video from the first piano recital at age 7 all the way up to present day.

Today, my daughter has a recital. For a year and a half, I’ve considered upgrading to something more easily digital. Converting Sony tape to anything else was always an exercise in confusion. First, you have to locate the cords and doo-dads that originally came with the camera. After all of these years, those things have intermingled with other cords with no names, which belong to appliances which may or may not still be in existence.

A year and a half ago, we hosted a German exchange student who was studying piano. When I went to tape and then put her performance on DVD, I realized that my equipment was sadly lacking. I’ve been looking around since then, investigating the options and the ease that I need to have in an electronic toy. I may know how to use a computer, but I’m not a digital goddess. I’m the kind who feels fortunate to be able to set the coffee maker.

My other impetus for buying a new camera is that I’ve recently been making silly videos with my Sony still digital camera. (I’m so dense, I didn’t realize until recently that the camera even had that capability!) Once I discovered this, I went crazy.

My brand new toy is another Sony video camera. It’s digital, and records right to little DVDs. The little DVDs can be immediately copied into the computer. I like this idea. If you saw the mishmash of tapes, both VHS and Sony, which occupy my entertainment center, you would know why I would feel swamped. Two recitals or more per year times fourteen years is a lot of performances.

Tomorrow, all of the tapes will go to a local place that transfers tape to DVD. Then I will watch all two hundred hours of it (slowly, and deliberately), and label it all accordingly for posterity.


4 Responses

  1. One of my cousins went through zillions of hours of old film and transfered a little summary to tape. I couldn’t deal with watching all the hours but the little clips (especially of Mommy when she was healthy and young are … well … you know).

  2. I don’t have this problem. In a way I’m glad I don’t. In a different way I wish I did.

    Be sure to make at least one extra copy of the transferred video. Never trust technology.

  3. This is true, Scout, and the other Murphy’s law. If technology could screw you, it no doubt will.

  4. We have lots of camera equipment around here too, because of Mr. Rizzuto. I don’t use any of it very often though.

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