Sony DXC bits do modern duty.
1080p from an 80's relic
Findsomethingandburnit.com 2004-2020. Doc J.Vicious & Murph-O-Minion enterprises. Godfrey, ON.
Content may be used on the condition that the original author be clearly credited.
Last updated Jan 4, 2020
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Soul mating.
The remains of the old Sony DXC-M3A Studio
camera had been following me around for
decades since I acquired it in late 1999, trading
some bit of now long disremembered kit at a flea
market in Stoufville, ON. where I once sold mobile
phone cigarette lighter adaptors repaired from
manufacturer's dumpster salvage.

These still the days when automotive "power
points" were stuffed with cigarette lighters, and
the mobile adaptors themselves cost upwards of a
hundred dollars retail; the Chinese still a few
years away from dollar store clones. Not a bad
$500 per day gig as I recall. Who needed grade
5?

Fast forward sixteen years: Terrestrial television
had become defunct several years before, and
VTRs had completely vanished by the time that
the camera had died in 2015.

Although I loathed to part her out knowing that
there was little or nothing of use besides a novel
colour splitting prism worth keeping - even this of
little practical use, there was also no point in
trying to repair the unit having been already
outpaced performance wise by the average
teenager's cell phone.

However, there is more to performance than hand
held megapixels, millennial grasshopper.

The shortfall of the old Sony was of course it's
electronics. 525 lines of analog horribly obsolete
horizontal video resolution was of little use a
decade and a half into the 21st century, but the
professional quality motorized lens head may
certainly still be.

Likewise Two-point-two
JigaWatt! web cam CCD
image sensors are in my opinion somewhat of a
waste mounted behind shitty plastic fixed focus
optics.

So to phrase the million dollar question utilizing a
theme fittingly from a retro television
confectionery advertisement: "What if I placed my  
peanut butter in your chocolate?"

It would certainly seem reasonable to presume
that the old professional studio lens head mated
to a modern image sensor might in fact make for a
very useful and presumably high quality video
camera indeed.

The camera with which I will hopefully be able to
film my upcoming Youtube bench series should
this experiment be successful.
Unfortunately I hadn't the foresight to photograph the
complete camera before stripping and discarding the
body.

The motorized zoom lens assembly was connected to
the body via a bayonet ring mount and a single power
connector, both salvaged for the project at hand. No
other camera parts will be used.

This gives rise to the possibility that should this
experiment be a success, obsolete 35mm SLR camera
mounts with their associated specialty lenses may as
well find new life in the digital age.

A cast aluminium Hammond hobby chassis was chosen
for rigidity to preserve the image sensor position and
focal plane once the relative position is determined and
secured.

The hole in the chassis was drilled with a Princess Auto
step bit and is identical in size to the original camera
aperture.
The guts from this $50 Apexcam branded Go-Pro clone
were a total bust.

Of course you get what you pay for, but I had at least
expected useful sound recording.

(Incidentally this camera advertised a lapel mic - none of
which were included, and no connection available.)

There was no improvement after replacing the camera's
original surface mount miniature microphone with an
electret from an answering machine, and there appears
to be no (reasonable) way to adjust the input level. The
mic has no obvious preamp or passives and the
connections points piss off deep into the multi layered
board.

With nothing to lose really, I will attempt to replace the
mic with a 3mm audio jack pigtail and determine if an
external preamp may make the camera useful at all.