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The Camera That Changed Skateboarding Forever

In 1995, Sony released a camera that would go on to dominate skateboarding videos for the next 15 years, revolutionizing the culture in its wake.

Note: Video contains some swearing and brief sexually suggestive scenes for historical context.

In this video essay from Jenkem Magazine, they examine the history and impact made by the iconic Sony VX1000. Designed to shrink the bulk of news production cameras of the time, the run-and-gun camcorder eventually found its way into several niche filmmaking categories where it not only made things easier due to a smaller size, it facilitated their growth exponentially.

While I didn’t skate, I started riding bmx bikes at the beginning of the 2000s right in the heyday of VX1000 dominance and its importance to both cultures cannot be understated. Though this video focuses on skateboarding, all of the bmx tapes I owned in that era were VX1000 productions as well. There’s a look and quality to these videos that can never be mimicked, though Wooden Camera is giving it a shot with their $299 VX microphone (yes, that’s right: a pricey external microphone that is trying its best to sound like an internal microphone from a 1995 camcorder — because it’s that important).

As I share this, I can’t help but wonder how many readers had never even heard of the Sony VX1000 before. It’s a camera that meant everything in certain groups of filmmaking, yet outside of that I’ve never really heard other people mention it. To that, I wanted to ask if there’s a similar piece of gear in your own genre that is unquestionably iconic and for a period of time was the only thing anybody used or aspired to use? Let us know in the comments.

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3 Comments

Michael Carter's picture

These were good days! There really was an unmistakable quality to the footage. And by film making, I'm sure you're referring to everyone and their mom using this camera to film their own hometown versions of Jackass!

In recent memory I think there's no getting around the Canon 5D line. It was (still is?) an industry standard across many genres of photography and a camera that many aspired to own. If you wanted to be a serious wedding shooter in my area, it was a must if you were to be taken seriously.

Ryan Mense's picture

The first couple of 5Ds are the immediate ones I could think of that fit too

Paolo Bugnone's picture

One of the best videos I've seen featured on Fstoppers!