were one-piece camcorders that recorded on standard Beta tapes....the only drawback
was, the BetaMovies didn't play back, they only recorded! This
limitation, plus the fact that the BetaMovies only offered optical
through-the-lens viewfinders, kept sales sluggish and after about 3 or 4
years, the BetaMovie line died. All 5 of the major Beta makers offered
these, and as the years go on they are getting more and more
BMC-110K 1983....$1500 MSP
The FIRST BetaMovie, the
BMC-110. Two detailed side views are below.
A side shot of the
The other side of the
BMC-220K 1985....$1700 MSP
The BMC-220K had a
6:1 zoom and required 35 lux!
The BMC-220 was essentially the same
as the 110, but added auto-focus. Here it is, secured in its carrying
Here is the 220, laid
out with its
The BMC550K offered a 6:1 zoom and
needed 25 lux!
BMC-660K 1986.....$1500 MSP
First Betamovie to record in
SuperBeta! Still a 6:1 zoom with 25 lux required! Also used a CCD
chip instead of a tube, giving no "lag".
||A front shot of the
||Side shot of the lens.|
||Shot showing the display.|
The ultimate (and final) version of the
Betamovie line, the 1000K recorded in SuperBeta I High-Band (like the SL-HF750
and SL-HF1000 home units), and needed only 15 lux. Still maintained
auto-focus and the 6:1 zoom. Also had a sensitivity switch, a mulit-data LCD
display, and auto white balance.
THE GCS-1 SUPERBETA MOVIE
This was an industrial camcorder, released in
1985 along with the GCS-50 SuperBeta deck.
Shot of the display on the
Same display, while starting
Our tip of the hat to
Sean Meskill for these photos!
TRIVIA....Courtesy of Alan Segal, M.D.
Powering Sony BetaMovie Camcorders
All Sony BetaMovie Cameras—the BMC 100/110, 200/220, 500/550, 600/660, 1000, and the GCS-1—were designed to use the same rechargeable NP-11 battery pack (Ni-Cd 9.6 volts, 1000 milliamp-hours). However, NP-11 battery packs are no longer available, so providing long lasting portable power for any Sony BetaMovie Camera (BMC) is a considerable problem. Most BMC owners have a Sony AC-M110 Adapter and Battery Charger, and plugging the AC-M110 into an AC outlet can power a BMC, but this is not a portable solution. It is still possible to use the AC-M110 to recharge any still-functional NP-11 battery, but these are few and far between. Furthermore, even a fully charged NP-11 provides only a relatively short duration of power (less than an hour) because the BMC draws a lot of current (average 800 mA, with transients approaching 2000 mA). Currently, no battery producer makes a compatible replacement for the NP-11, so the purpose of this tip is to briefly outline some alternative solutions.
1. Rebuilt NP-11 battery packs: This option requires the old battery, because it must be rebuilt in the same case. Packs rebuilt with either
nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) or nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) cells can be recharged with your Sony AC-M110 charger!
2. Battery Bank: This place (www.batterybank.com) will do an NP-11 rebuild for $43, including shipping.
3. Ni-Cd Lady: Grace (at www.nicdlady.com) can rebuild the NP-11 with 2150 mAh Ni-MH cells (more than twice the power of the original Ni-Cd cells) for $42 plus shipping.
Build your own: If you desire, you can buy eight 2150 mAH Ni-MH cells (about $4.25 each) and build it yourself. This saves a small amount of money (mostly shipping, but you have to “crack” the cases open too. You can use a vise to fracture the case along the longer edge, and then work a flat blade screwdriver around the perimeter.
3. RC battery packs (9.6V, 1800 mAH): This is a nice option because these Ni-MH power packs are made by several battery makers for RC hobbyists. They offer nearly double the power of the original NP-11. They are about $15, although I found a two pack (including a charger) for $25. The only problem with these packs is that they are a bit too large to fit in the battery compartment of the BMC. One effective workaround is to make a short adapter cable from the standard Tamiya connector to the battery pack, with a female “M” connector (Available at Radio Shack) on the other end to attach to the BMC power jack. Then simply use a piece of Velcro to attach the battery pack to a convenient part of the
4. Car Adapter: Originally, Sony made the DCC-2600 car adapter that plugged into the 12V “lighter” socket of the car and delivered 9.6V to the BMC. These are hard to find now, but a good replacement is available from Radio Shack for $30 (#273-1818). This multi-voltage 2500 mA adapter can be set to 10V, which is the same as the open circuit voltage of the Sony AC-M110. This is great for the car, and plays a key part in the next power option.
Battery Belt: This option, which involves a choice of power from 7,000-14,000 mAh (sealed lead acid battery), provides the longest usage. There are a number of vendors that make or sell battery belts or vests. One example is Omicron, whose products are available at camera/video suppliers (www.helixcamera.com). For example, the Omicron 7000
mAH pack (OM 1265) weighs about 4 pounds, attaches to your belt, and costs less than $50. The 12V output is available through a “lighter” socket, so the battery pack can be directly attached to the BMC via the Radio Shack adapter (#273-1818) discussed above.
Overall, the last option is the most readily available and economical solution to our problem. An Omicron (OM 1265) sealed lead acid battery combined with the Radio Shack adapter gives the most “bang for your buck” because you get 7000
mAH of portable, rechargeable power for under $80—less than the cost to rebuild two NP-11 battery packs.
THE EDC-55 ED-BETA CAM
This was a professional cam that required the
ED-Beta metal tapes, and could be detached from the body. Also had video
and audio insert editing. At $7700, the price was astronomical!! This unit DID
play back in the cam!
counters provided by Andale.