SOME USES OF A VIDEO CASSETTE RECORDER IN THE CONSERVATION LABORATORY
Alexander Katlan, Barbara Appelbaum, & Paul Himmelstein
THE VIDEO RECORDER we use is a Quasar VP5435wQ VCR. The camera is a Panasonic WV-3230/8AF with auto-focus, zoom and macro lens. The video tape records in color, although the playback through the camera monitor is black-and-white. The final color rendering is not perfect by any means; it would be possible to improve this by re-balancing the color more frequently during use, and by increasing the light levels. Our VCR contains a rechargeable battery pack, and can record six hours of tape without an outside power source, so that surveys can be done outdoors, or in other areas without the need of plugging into an electric outlet. No special lights or lenses were used; the equipment was used in exactly the same way as it would be by a home hobbyist. Most such recorders have similar features, like “freeze-frame” capability, date and time that can be recorded on the image, automatic focus, a zoom lens, etc. We would not necessarily recommend our equipment over any other, although we are completely satisfied with it. New equipment, smaller and lighter, comes out every year, and ease of use is a primary consideration.
The infrared equipment used was a Dage MTI 65 MK2 video camera, with a Schott infrared filter #RG850 with a 50 mm. Canon macro lens. The infrared tube was made by Hamamatsu, model no. N214-01, and the monitor was an Audiotronics model, with 800 lines horizontal resolution. A quick trip to an electronics store provided the necessary adapters for the hook-up. The VCR is hooked up directly to the output of the Vidicon system, and the image appears on the monitor as usual. When the VCR is activated, the image that appears on the screen is recorded on video tape as well.