The Fisher Price PXL-2000 camera that records to audio cassette

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by PaulKTF, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I always thought this was cool. It's the Fisher Price PXL-2000 camera. It can record video and audio to standard 90 minute audio cassette tapes.

    And yes, the video quality was pretty terrible but it was a lot cheaper than a real video camera.

     
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  2. drasil

    drasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I have a PXL2000. it was given to me by my video professor in school when I mentioned to her that I always wanted one. (it was nonfunctional at the time.)

    there's an entire cult of video artists who love this camera. problems abound with it--it was never very well-made to begin with, and now, 29 years later, almost none of them still function for a whole host of reasons. I think of the PXL as 'the optigan of video cameras' because of the similar legacies the two products share, right down to the quality of their construction.

    there's a guy out of kansas who does amazing work restoring pixelvisions. he can fix all the usual issues and modify the cameras for sending video out to a deck of your choice in addition to the internal cassette. I think he also sells the modded versions on the 'bay in besides working on them on demand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  3. Lebowski

    Lebowski Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastern MA
    Ah yes. When I was in art school a couple of students had these. They became something of a cult item due to rarity, though there was/is something charming about the footage it produced. Could be quite lovely in the right hands.
     
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  4. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    The Optigan:

     
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  5. I remember Siskel and Ebert shooting shorts on this camera for an episode.
     
  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Pixelvision was horrible, horrible video...

     
  7. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    I had one which was fun to play with due to the cool images its low tech produced. When they became all hip I gave it away to an artiste as I had long since stopped doing anything with it.
     
  8. I recall a few music videos by indie-level acts in the '80s/early '90s - particularly metal bands, oddly enough - that seem to have been shot on the Pixelvision. That washed-out graininess does have a certain charm and effect.
     
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  9. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Specialist In Yngwie & Ambient Worship

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Here's an old Larvae video from 1998 that my bandmate shot...it alternates between nice Super 8 and not so nice Fisher Price-O-Vision.

     
  10. guppy270

    guppy270 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown, NY
    I had totally forgotten about this, but I desperately wanted one when they came out~!
     
  11. drasil

    drasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    I'm discovering the more you use this word to describe something, the more awesome I'll think it is.
     
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  12. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Considering the technology and how cheaply they had to make it, I'm actually surprised the picture looks as good as it does. I would have had an absolute blast with this thing when I was a kid!
     
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  13. Dude111

    Dude111 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Wow thank you for posting this!!!

    I have always wondered if anyone had ever tried experimenting,trying to record video on cassette tape!!


    Awesome!!
     
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  14. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I there are situations where ugly, degraded footage can be useful. But Pixelvision ain't the way to do it in 2016.
     
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  15. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I don't know... It outputs a certain type of degraded footage that's kind of unique... and as a bonus, you don't have to do any fancy video editing to get it to look like that! :)
     
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  16. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Standard-def, 4x3, and it's a format that's 30 years old... I'm gonna pass. There's a thousand ways to degrade footage in amazing ways if you really need to, and you can control the amount of degradation to the Nth degree.

     
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  17. Gaslight

    Gaslight Cave dwelller

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Analog is always better.
     
  18. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I would say that is generally wrong when it comes to film & TV post-production. There's nothing I ever did in analogue that I wouldn't like to redo today in digital... provided it's very high-res and has greater dynamic range and better color. There are a lot of factors that don't directly encompass both sound and picture.

    I would agree that motion picture film (a sort of analogue) is a better capture medium. But once it's on film, I think doing everything else digitally is a much, much better way to go.
     
  19. trusso

    trusso Active Member

    This camera isn't even fit for kids. What was so great about using audio cassettes? Vhs-c and 8mm were the same size so there was no advantage to use it unless you were a kid. I have been producing videos for 25 years and would never have s use for such lo fi grainy garbage.
     
  20. Gaslight

    Gaslight Cave dwelller

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    I guess you don't normally read my music posts. :)
     
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  21. Hey, there are - well, there's been at least one - wahoos here who have said in all seriousness that VHS is better than DVD "because it's analog". o_O
     
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  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    What section are we in again?
     
  23. Meli

    Meli New Member

    I always associate the Pixelvision camera with Sadie Benning. Her movie, "It Wasn't Love", was accepted to the 1993 Whitney Biennial when she was 19 years old. At the time (and maybe still) she was the youngest person ever to be included in the Whitney Biennial.

    Here's a (not very good) clip:
    http://www.vdb.org/titles/it-wasnt-love
     
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  24. drasil

    drasil Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    she still is, the previous holder of that title having been Basquiat (22 in 1983).

    Sadie is definitely the individual most closely associated with professional use of the pixelvision. no matter the subject, if you use it in fine art, her name will come up.
     
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  25. Cami

    Cami New Member

    Location:
    miami
    Howww do you upload the PXL 2000 footage to a computtterrr thoough?????? :yikes:
     

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