Trying To Make Old Video Footage Great Again

My first digital camera of sorts was a thing called a Trust Spycam 100, which was basically a webcam you could unhook and stick in your pocket to use as a low resolution digital camera and a very basic video camera without sound that could record clips measurable in seconds. As far as I can remember I bought it probably some time around 2001/2002.

I eventually upgraded to something more usable in March 2006 as a 27th Birthday present to myself. The camera in question was a Fujifilm A345, a 4.1 Megapixel jobbie that could also record video with sound, and I picked it after much perusal of the reviews at Steves Digicams camera reviews website, which I used to read a lot more often back in those days.

The video footage it could record had 2 options:

  • 160×120 pixels, which looked crap even back then
  • 320×240 pixels, which was somewhat better

It recorded them to the old FujiFilm xD memory cards, up to a maximum of either 64mb or 128mb, I can’t remember which now.

Back then the playback footage didn’t look too bad on my old 15-inch Compaq 151FS monitor, which was manufactured in November 1995, acquired along with my first second-hand PC in the summer of 1999, and finally retired in Spring/Summer 2017.

In it’s place I now have a slightly newer 20-inch widescreen Samsung 2032 LCD jobbie which was a freebie hand-me-down from one of the customer’s in the family shop. According to the sales blurb page on Amazon UK it first became available in August 2008, but some other pages I’ve seen suggest it first became available in 2007.

While this new monitor makes it easier to see what the heck I’m doing, the 1280×960 screen resolution I have it set up makes it almost impossible to watch the episodes of Star Trek I have on iTunes, they look pretty bad if you try to play them at full screen (640×480 Standard Definition video files), and unless you stand really far back only look any good if played in a window around the size of a picture postcard.

This issue also doesn’t do much for my old digital video footage recorded on my older non-HD camera collection.

Having remembered how good the upscaling looks on my Panasonic EX-99 VCR/DVD/HDR machine, I got wondering if such a thing was possible with old digital home video footage.

After much poking around on a well known popular search engine, I ended up with 2 pieces of software to tinker with to see if it was possible:

After much tinkering to see what was possible, I ended up with the video I’ve plonked at the top of this blog post, which I uploaded back on 12th June 2018, and long forgotten what I did to it while procrastinating over getting round to this blog post amid an assortment of problems over the summer that held the job up.

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Whitby Deltics 2012

Back in the summer of 2012 I managed to capture some footage on my Panasonic camcorder of some Class 55 Deltic activity in the Whitby area.

They’ve always been one of my favourite design of locomotives, ever since I was little.

Anyway, they’ve lived as individual clips on my personal YouTube channel since they were first recorded and uploaded, and the originals long since lost due to a Seagate Hard Drive failing on me 3 years ago.

Having obtained a new hard drive (then a year or two after that ending up needing a new computer), and having blagged a copy of Corel VideoStudio X5 through the Amazon Vine reviews program, back in April of this year I re-downloaded the files from my channel and sticky-taped them together into a single 7-minute video for this website’s YouTube Channel I created before the monetisation changes.

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76079 Video from 2016

On 1st November 2016 I got the site’s official YouTube channel properly underway with the above video of Steam locomotive 76079 running back from Whitby.

I extracted it from a much larger video I shot for my personal YouTube channel, walking along the “Permitted Footpath” along the Esk Valley Line between Ruswarp and Whitby.

I mostly shot that video to kill some time while my broadband connection was acting up and playing silly sods.

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LocomotivesUK Blog Has Arrived

I’ve decided to create a blog part of the LocomotivesUK website to make it easier to post new content, and replace the Classifieds Ads section that wasn’t going that well.

Stay Tuned for more as I develop this thing.

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