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The three Panasonic MS5 cameras were donated to the station via a member working for a company who were throwing them away as too old to be of any use. There are however significantly lighter than the F10s (despite having a SVHS tape transport onboard), and much less noisy in low light levels.
After a while they became the main studio rig cameras in Autumn 2004, as well being used on outside broadcasts. The facility to record to tape has only rarely been used, however for Roses they have been hooked up with 12V external batteries and loaded with SVHS tapes to go and chase round sports pitches following the action. They have also been used occasionely for drama and music productions when students request that the station films them - apart from the longer running time compared to DV tapes, the temptation to remove the VHS from the camera and hand straight to the student in question after the performance (thereby not having the run the damn thing off afterwards) was too strong to resist!
Their heritage as basically consumer video cameras upgraded with SVHS support has lead to some annoying reliability issues, mainly with the connections on the back of the cameras needed to connect them to studio umbilical cables. These are fitted with phono connectors for video output and a unique 3-pin connector for 12V power (and originally charging an internal battery). Both of these proved to be quite fragile, as well as the power connectors being unobtainable.