Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Overheard at the BOSFCPUG meeting

I mentioned last weeks meeting of the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group both in the H.264 article, and the Adobe Mercury article, but there were a couple of other bits of interest that I failed to mention.

DG FastChannel
Craig Seeman of Third Planet Video talked briefly about DG FastChannel as the best way to get dubs to TV stations. It's a fiber channel network, with connections to most stations, and he said that using it costs about the same as FedEx, but there's no tape cost, no danger of a bad dub, and you don't have to take it to the FedEx office. He also said that in some cases it's possible to send out an ad and it's on-air in an hour.

They were using a couple of JVC GY-HM700U cameras to record the meeting, and during the intermission I thought I'd shoot some video of the camera as a test of the QIK Camcorder software I'd just installed on my iPhone. I wasn't really that interested in the cameras per se, but one of the guys running the camera must have thought I was, as he came over to tell me that I'd find much better pictures of the camera online(!) He then proceeded to give me quite a strong pitch for the camera, which was all the more interesting to me as he previously owned a Sony EX1 [and being a bit of a Sony fanboy, the EX1 is the camera I kind of aspire to.]

He said that the color from the JVC was better, the workflow is better, and it sits better on your shoulder. For workflow, the JVC records to SDHC cards and stores the XDCAM files in a QuickTime wrapper, making it possible to open them in Final Cut Pro and other applications without having to do any conversion.

He went on to say that the EX1 had a problem where, if you try and do something before it's finished writing to the memory card, it will corrupt the entire card and you can lose everything you have shot. He also said that while the EX1 is a little cheaper than the JVC, SDHC cards are cheaper than SxS cards, it has CCDs so you don't get rolling shutter or problems with half exposed frames when flashes fire, and the lens is a lot smoother when you start and stop zooming it.

He did say that the EX1 is slightly better in low light, but obviously wasn't missing the camera as he then took out his iPhone and proceeded to show me a recent video he'd shot with the JVC.  I guess he really likes it!

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