Photography Uncategorized video

Driving Down Geary Street in San Francisco in 2001

This is a one megabyte video file of Vamprella and I driving down Geary Street in San Francisco in early 2001. We had survived Y2K. Notice how we are driving past Japan Town.

This is the original file, MPEG Layer 2, MPEG-1-Video format. Quicktime says the frame size is 160×112 at 150 Kbps.

Consumer digital video was really poor back then. No comparison to film. But, you had a movie in an instant and you could take the movie over if you wanted. WP has expanded the image size for this post and consequently the video is grainer than the original.

I think this was filmed with my second digital camera, a Sony that used a 3.5 inch floppy. I think the capacity was only one meg, 954KB, actually. It is kind of amazing that the camera could capture color video and sound for nearly a minute and still come in under 1 meg.

Shaky? Grainy? To be fair, recording images at forty miles an hour is a challenge even for cameras today. Blurring is nearly guaranteed.

The problem revolves around how quickly the camera can write data to the recording medium. You might buy a 256GB memory card for your new camcorder, but if it is a slow speed card then the video will probably shake and shudder. I write about that here (internal link).

Does anyone else have their earliest digital video to share? I assume the first dedicated digital video cams were much better.

This video was most probably shot with my second digital camera, described a little more further on. It appears our first digital camera was a Sony MVC-FD73 Mavica. That was a still camera if memory serves and if the labeling on this stock photo is correct. I say _we_ because Vamprella and I split the cost, $500 from each of us.

This is a picture of Vamprella holding the camera while I look on in 1999. This was a image taken by an event organizer in which we just happened to be photographed. It’s the only photo we have of us with the camera.

On my own I later bought this heavy Sony monster. 2001 or perhaps the year before. A Sony Mavica FD-91. The telephoto and zoom were great. You could take a photo of a soccer player standing a hundred yards away, whereas other photographers had to have huge lenses to carry off the same feat. And for web work the resolution was good enough. Again, floppies.I think this must have been the camera I used for the Geary Street video above.
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By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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