If you thought home videos from the 80s look crap solely because of the inexplicably horrific fashion sense of the people that appear in them, think again.
Sure, the mullet hair-dos, velour shirts, and acid-washed pants certainly don’t help, but they’re crap (also) because of the technology inside the clunky, unwieldy VHS video cameras that shot them. The technology of the time really wasn’t up to it, producing ugly colors, harsh contrast, and an atmosphere of such cheesiness you could almost smell a milk-based dairy product wafting out of the TV’s speaker.
If you’re too young to know just how abysmal home videos used to look, or old enough to want to put yourself through the potentially harrowing experience of reliving the 80s, you might want to check out the new VHS Camcorder app from LA-based Rarevision.
Currently for iOS only and costing $3.99, VHS Camcorder turns your iDevice into the kind of video camera you’ll be really glad isn’t around anymore, yet the quality is so tragically authentic that it opens up the opportunity for some real fun.
Shooting footage that “looks and sounds like video recordings that have been in storage for 30 years,” the app incorporates all that lovely tape noise, static, and tracking distortion familiar to 80s folk who splashed out no small amount of money on those giant VHS babies that promised so much but delivered little.
Features include the ability to degrade the picture for maximum crappiness by dragging your finger around the display or shaking the device,
The developers have even made sure to include that ugly-looking timestamp seen on so many VHS home videos because no one knew how to turn it off. The good news is you can change this one to any date you like, perfect for when you shoot your 1983 period drama with your buddies.
It also includes a widescreen mode, but for a truly authentic VHS production you should really stick with the suitably grim 4:3 mode.
Once you’re happy with the awfulness of your video, you can pollute all your favorite social media sites with it, tricking your friends into thinking you time-traveled to an era you’re probably glad you missed.