Making “Retro” Home Movies

So if you follow me on the fediverse you will know that i recently picked up a nice Panasonic PV-007-K. It is a camcorder from 1997 that uses VHS-C tapes. I grew up playing around with camcorders and wanted to capture some memories with one again. Why? you might ask. Couple reasons. One just because i figured it would be fun to use and show off. And two because ain't no way google or anyone else is going to get there hands on this footage LOL.

So i finally captured some footage today. Let me tell you we are spoiled these days when it comes to image stabilization. It's very hard to get a stable shot with this camera. Luckily i found a way to stabilize it some using FFMPEG. It's a two step process.

First you issue this command

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf vidstabdetect=stepsize=32:shakiness=10:accuracy=10:result=transforms.trf -f null -

You follow that up with

ffmpeg -y -i input.mp4 -vf vidstabtransform=input=transforms.trf:zoom=0:smoothing=10,unsharp=5:5:0.8:3:3:0.4 -vcodec libx264 -tune film -acodec copy -preset slow output.mp4

And that will produce a more stable version of the input. It's not perfect but it's much better. See for yourself.

Source video

Stabilized video

The biggest give away that something is up is the date/time display. Lesson is don't enable that i guess.

I also need to work on my capture method(I'll detail that in another post). The audio does not seem to come out very loud. Or maybe this camera just has a really bad mic. I also suspect that the capture device(or software) i use is negatively affecting the quality greatly. We'll see in time as i mess around.

Until next time. Stay safe!