How Do You Use an Old Video Camera?

Are you looking to use your old video camera but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’ve been holding onto it for nostalgic reasons or maybe you just want to try your hand at filmmaking. Whatever the reason may be, here’s a guide on how to use an old video camera.

Step 1: Check Your Camera

The first thing you need to do is ensure that your camera is in working condition. If it has been sitting in storage for years, there’s a chance that the battery might have corroded or the lens might be dusty. Take a few minutes to inspect your camera and ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Step 2: Familiarize Yourself with Your Camera

Older cameras tend to have more buttons and dials compared to newer models. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the different functions on your camera. Look for buttons that control the focus, zoom, exposure, and white balance.


To adjust the focus, look through the viewfinder and turn the focusing ring until the image appears clear.


Most older cameras will have a zoom ring located near the lens. Twist it clockwise or counterclockwise to zoom in or out.


The exposure controls how much light enters your camera’s sensor. Adjusting it can help improve the brightness of your footage. Look for a dial or button labeled “exposure” or “EV” on your camera.

White Balance:

White balance ensures that colors appear accurate in different lighting conditions. Most cameras will have presets for indoor and outdoor lighting as well as a custom setting where you can set it manually.

Step 3: Load Tapes

Older video cameras use tapes instead of memory cards. Make sure to load a blank tape into your camera before recording. To do this, slide open the tape compartment and insert the tape with the exposed side facing up.

Step 4: Record Your Footage

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your camera and loaded a tape, you’re ready to start recording. To do this, press the record button on your camera. Some cameras might have a red dot or light that indicates that it’s recording.

Step 5: Transfer Your Footage

After you’ve finished recording, you’ll need to transfer your footage onto your computer. Most older cameras will have an RCA or S-Video output that allows you to connect it directly to your TV or computer. Alternatively, you can use a video capture device like the Elgato Video Capture to digitize your footage.


Using an old video camera might seem daunting at first, but with some practice, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Remember to take your time and familiarize yourself with the different functions on your camera before recording. Happy filming!