Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Getting antique video cameras working – Part 2

So here's part 2 of getting antique video cameras working. In part 1 I discussed powering up the Hitachi VK-C600 camera, in this post I'll discuss the Sony HVC-4000p. 

So here's another vintage video camera the Sony HVC-4000P from 1981. This is a very nice camera and looks and feels well built. It uses a "trinicon" camera tube for an image sensor. It has an external b/w viewfinder that bolts on top, a mono microphone and a motorized zoom lens with manual focus control. Quite a common camera, there's usually one or two on ebay from time to time.

The camera has a meter and half long cable with the proprietary connection at the end. I cut off the connector and exposed the wires in the cable:

Here are the pinouts to the camera cable's wires:

Sony HVC-4000P Cable Pinout

Red: +12v Power supply
Black: GND

Grey Coax
Pink: Video output from camera
Screen: GND

Black Coax
White: Video input to view finder when in VTR mode
Screen: GND

White mini coax*
White: Audio out from camera Mic (Channel 1/Camera onboard MIC)
Screen: GND 

Brown mini coax*
Brown: Audio out from camera Mic (Channel 2 external)
Screen: GND

There are also four other wires that are used for video recorder controls but I have yet to figure these out:


*This one is also used as to monitor the sound from the video recorder while in VTR review mode. I've yet to verify this. 

Here's the camera up and running connected to a TV monitor:

The CRT viewfinder:

I added proper connectors to the camera cable, so I can connect the camera video and audio to a video recorder or computer capture card. (The audio plug is just a temporary one) The power connector is a tamiya connector, its a standard that I use for power connectors on most of my projects. I also cable-tied the unused wires. 

I'm thinking of recording some test videos from the vintage cameras that I have and uploading them to youtube. Stay tuned!


  1. Hello Sam, I appreciated a lot this vintage cameras model. I'm a owner of a working HVC 2000 after a lot of work, mainly with the UV IR filter at the begining of the CRT Tube. Even the smallest dot in it make a black spot in hig luminity and with a close Iris. Now I'm trying to bost the Yellow colos because it is more green and in my manual I don't have any kind of adjustment, only the schematics of the several PCB's. By any chance have some of this procedures? Thanks in advance!

  2. Hello, I'm not really sure what could be causing this though it could be so issues with the decoding circuitry or a worn out tube. I don't own this model.

  3. This is a great resource. Can you explain how you determined the pinout of the VRT connectors?

  4. I used a multimeter to figure what wires are ground. Then power, video and audio can be determined because they use mini coax for signals and thicker wires for power.

  5. Hi, do you still happen to have the connector that came with the camera?

  6. Hi! Thanks for posting.

    What does the "reverse" button at the back do ?

  7. What did you do with the power connection ?