What Video Camera Was Used in the 70s?

The 1970s was a decade of significant technological advancements, including in the world of video cameras. The video camera used in the 70s was quite different from the ones we use today. Let’s take a closer look at the technology behind these cameras.

Early Video Cameras

In the early 1970s, video cameras were large and bulky, and they had to be connected to a VTR (Video Tape Recorder) to record and playback content. These early cameras were only capable of recording in black and white. The image quality was not very high, but it was still a significant step forward for video technology.

The Sony Portapak

One of the most popular video cameras used in the 70s was the Sony Portapak. The Portapak was a portable video camera that could record both audio and video onto an open-reel tape recorder. The camera itself weighed around 20 pounds, making it relatively easy to carry around.

Fun Fact: The first use of the Sony Portapak in news broadcasting occurred in March 1971 when CBS News used it to capture footage from a San Francisco anti-Vietnam War demonstration.

The Panasonic Omnipro

Another popular camera of the time was Panasonic’s Omnipro. This camera could record both black and white and color footage onto an open-reel tape recorder. It featured automatic exposure control, which made it easier for users to capture properly exposed images.

  • The Omnipro weighed around 13 pounds
  • It had interchangeable lenses
  • It could shoot up to 60 minutes on one reel of tape


In conclusion, while modern video cameras are much more advanced than those used in the 70s, it’s important to recognize the significant advancements that were made during this decade. Cameras like the Sony Portapak and the Panasonic Omnipro paved the way for modern video technology, and they will always hold a special place in the history of video production.