Why Skateboarders Still Love the Sony VX1000 Camcorder From 1995

A recent video shared by Red Bull tells the story of the Sony VX1000 and how it became the iconic camera of skateboarding.

The VX1000 was a DV tape camcorder released by Sony in 1995 and despite huge leaps forward in technology, the camera is still in demand by skaters today who want a classic look to their videos.

“Obviously, kids film stuff with other cameras these days..but that hardcore group of skaters, you know they still respect the VX,” says J Strickland, an artist and filmmaker. “There’s a certain look to it that’s just timeless with skateboarding.”

The VX1000 is so highly thought of that t-shirts, jewelry, and all types of merchandise bearing its image have been made and sold to disciples.

The Sony VX1000

Photographer Fred Mortagne suggests that the VX1000’s resolution has the “perfect energy” and that maybe HD cameras are a step too far. While filmmaker Ricki Bedenbaugh calls it “hands down the best camera ever for filming skateboarding.”

Of course, the VX1000 needed the perfect lens attached to it, and for skateboarding that is the Century fisheye.

“If you look back at skateboarding videos the real golden era was the VX100 with the Century fisheye,” says filmmaker Ty Evans. “It just felt like you were in there more, you were in the action, it felt impactful.”

Less Frills and More Thrills

In the above video, various skate filmmakers praise the camera’s design; particularly the handle which seems custom-made for filming close action.

“You can hold it from the top and get low and get the fisheye,” says skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

“That’s what started follow-cam footage…I think that’s the spark of what you see nowadays when you see people filming and following it all started there.”

Another aspect of the camera that skateboarders love is the audio which seemed to emphasize the popping and grinding of skateboard tricks.

“I still to this day use VX audio,” says filmmaker Chris Ray. “I created a VX audio library. All of the snaps, the lands, and the grinds is from a VX.

“So even in edits that I do still to this day, if I shoot it on any other camera I’m still using VX audio in all these videos.”

However, the VX1000 recorded its data on tapes meaning users could easily record over footage or get a glitch on the tape erasing the footage. Perhaps some technological advancements are for the best.

Image credits: Courtesy of Red Bull.