How Much Was a Video Camera in 1960?

Have you ever wondered how much a video camera cost back in 1960? It’s fascinating to look back at how technology has progressed over the years. In this article, we’ll be diving into the past and exploring the prices of video cameras from that era.

The History of Video Cameras

Before we dive into the prices, let’s take a quick look at the history of video cameras. Video cameras have been around since the early 1900s but they were large and heavy, making them difficult to use. It wasn’t until the 1960s that portable video cameras became available for public use.

The First Portable Video Camera

The first portable video camera was introduced in 1960 by Sony. The Portapak, as it was called, revolutionized the industry by allowing people to film on-the-go. It was a game-changer for journalists and filmmakers alike who could now capture footage outside of a studio or newsroom.

How Much Did it Cost?

Now, let’s get to the question at hand: how much did it cost? The Portapak was not cheap by any means.

In fact, it cost around $1,500 USD in 1960. Adjusted for inflation, that would be equivalent to roughly $12,800 USD today!

Other Video Cameras of the Time

Of course, Sony wasn’t the only company producing video cameras in the 1960s. Other companies such as RCA and Ampex also had their own models available for purchase.


The RCA TR-22 was one such camera that was released in 1961. It had a price tag of $1,700 USD which would be equivalent to roughly $14,500 USD today! Despite being more expensive than Sony’s Portapak, the TR-22 was highly sought after due to its high-quality image and sound recording capabilities.

Ampex VR-1500

The Ampex VR-1500 was another popular video camera of the time. It was released in 1967 and had a price tag of $5,750 USD which would be equivalent to roughly $44,000 USD today! This camera was primarily used for broadcasting and professional filmmaking.


In conclusion, video cameras in the 1960s were not cheap by any means. The first portable video camera, Sony’s Portapak, cost around $1,500 USD in 1960 which is equivalent to roughly $12,800 USD today.

Other models such as RCA’s TR-22 and Ampex’s VR-1500 were even more expensive but were highly sought after for their high-quality recording capabilities. It’s amazing to see how far technology has come since then and how much more accessible video cameras have become for everyday use.