SONY Betamovie BMC-200
Introduced in 1983, the Sony Betamovie was the world's first camcorder - a video cassette recorder and video camera combined. Before this unit was introduced, people carried separate camera and recorder units.
Numerous technical advances made the Betamovie possible. The Betamovie has only a single video head - all other VHS and Beta VCRs have at least two. The single head is mounted on a cylinder half the normal diameter (making the unit smaller) and spins twice as fast. This head can only record; similar to the earliest portapacks but unlike modern camcorders, you couldn't play back your recording in the camera itself. To see what you've taped, you needed to put the tape in your home Betamax player.
The viewfinder is a simple 'through-the-lens' type, not electronic. There is no 'Video Out' jack, so you can't output the video signal directly to another monitoring device. Because the picture is transferred from the pickup tube to the tape without being converted into composite video, less electronic circuitry is used. Chroma and Luminance video information aren't combined as a composite video. Color and luminance information are treated separately and this resulted in superior picture quality. Without the extra video processing circuitry, the camera became smaller and lighter and the picture quality of the recording was better.
The Omega tape wrap system takes up a lot less space than a conventional Betamax deck. Omega wrap reduces the size of the video head drum by employing a second set of video heads which are used to record alternate frames of picture information. This was later to be adopted in
camcorders of other formats.
The original PAL Betamovie (model BMC-100) was black and silver with a rainbow-coloured carrying strap. The BMC200 was an improved version of the BMC100. It featured digital auto focusing. The unit weighed under 2.5kg and was able to record onto all Betamax tapes giving it a maximum recording time of 3 hours and 35 minutes with an L-830 cassette.The final model in the Betamovie range was the BMC-500 which used a CCD sensor instead of a picture tube. It also included a Liquid Crystal Display tape counter and battery-backed clock. The time and date could be superimposed on the picture as it was being recorded. Like the previous two models, the BMC-500 has no playback facility.
Specifications BMC 200
Video recording system: Rotary four-head helical scanning
Video Signal: CCIR standards, PAL colour
Audio frequency response: 50Hz to 10,000Hz
Audio S/N: Better than 40dB
Inputs and outputs
Audio input: From built in Microphone or 3.5mm Jack, unbalanced
Power: DC power socket
Earphone: 3.5mm Jack
Remote Pause: 3.5mm Jack
Tape transport: Tape speed 18.73 mm/sec.
Maximum recording time:
2 hours 10 min. (with Sony L-500 cassette)
3 hours 15 min. (with L-750)
Pickup Tube: 1/2" SMF Trinicon
Minimum Illumination: 28 Lux
Lens: 6X Power Zoom with macro focusing.
Power requirements: 9.6 V DC from NP-11 battery or external DC supply
Dimensions: Approx. 125 x 220 x 357 mm (w/h/d) including projecting parts and controls
Weight: Approx. 2.5 kg ( without battery )
Superior Picture Quality
The unit is powered by a compact NP-11 battery ( weighing 12Oz )located in the carrying handle.
The BMC100 has a F1.2 Lens with 6X powered zoom, a built in condenser microphone, Automatic White Balance and a pivitol optical viewfinder which incorporated 4 LED indicators.