Friday, April 11, 2008

More on the HDR-TG1

There's an "unboxing" at Tracy and Matt's Blog of the HDR-TG3E (the Europena version of the HDR-TG1. I often find these unboxings pointless, but there were some interesting snippets:

First impressions are that this is an amazingly small and light camcorder. The size and weight isn't achieved at the expense of build quality either as the TG3 looks and feels very solid, probably thanks to the chassis being made from titanium.

[...]I recorded a few sample clips in low-light conditions last night and I'm very impressed how well the TG3 performs. [...] there are no obvious compression artefacts.

As the camera uses no moving parts for recording there's no tape or DVD motor noise on the playback and it also means that recording is silent.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

While you were out

Some interesting bits of video news from the last few days:

Canon has announced updates to it’s XL H1 camcorder

Building on the success of its acclaimed XL H1 High Definition (HD) camcorder, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging technology, has introduced the new shoulder mount XL H1S and XL H1A HD camcorders, which include new advanced features requested by professional users for improved operation and image control.

Canon's new XL H1S and XL H1A camcorders feature an updated Canon 20x HD Video Lens with three independent manual adjustment rings (focus, zoom and iris), as well as enhanced manual focus and zoom control.

Wicked cool looking, and wicked expensive. Expect the XL H1S HD in early June for $8,999, and the XL H1A will be out in mid-July for $5,999.

Firewire news(“I’m not dead yet!”)

I love Firewire; it’s how I connect all my video cameras to my Macs. When it first appeared it was amazing because of one thing: it just worked. Suddenly I could get video into a computer without any problems (unlike the old days of trying to use capture cards!) It was great - it is great - but let’s face it, it never became a household name. Only Macs came standard with Firewire ports (and now even that isn’t true) and USB remains dominant in device connectivity.

Still the 1394 Trade association soldiers on:

The 1394 Trade Association today announced that more than one billion FireWire ports have now shipped since the introduction of the first 1394-equipped products in 1995.

And there are some other developments: Symwave is demonstrating S1600, a 1.6Gbps system that's backwards-compatible with FireWire 800 and 400.

Sony HDR-SR12 Review has a review of the Sony HDR-SR12 camcorder. If you like Sony cams and have been thinking of jumping into hard drive based recording and AVCHD compression (why?!) then this camera might be what you have been waiting for. Certainly it’s rated higher than past efforts.

And while I’m thinking about it, what is up with It seems they are displaying a full-page add every time you go to a new page…it’s really annoying.

Sony HDR-TG1

Sony has also announced what they are calling “the worlds smallest full HD camcorder” (a title it probably will hold for a week…) This camera weighs in at only ten ounces and measures 1.3-inches wide by 4.7-inches tall by 2.5-inches deep and can record 1920 x 1080 HD. Of course, it uses Memory Sticks. $900 in May.

It's in the pistol-grip format loved by Sanyo for their Xacti line. I'm curious to see how Sony's camera performs in terms of sound capture, and how the zoom function works. The video capture mode on still digital cameras keeps getting better and better, but where they usually fall down is in zoom controls and other functions you expect on a regular video camera.

Hmmm....turns out David Pogue at the New York Times doesn't care for it.

HD for Indies

Finally, I’ve enjoyed the HD for Indies blog by Mike Curtis for some time. He’s an indie film maker who has blogged a lot about production issues, software and equipment. It definitely goes in directions he’s interested in (it almost became a Red One promo site this past year) but I’ve enjoyed it and am sad to see that he is devoting less time to the site now that’s he’s decided he needs to make money rather than just blog. Oh well :(

UPDATE: Added link to David Pogue article

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Final Cut Server

Apple has just shipped Final Cut Server, almost a year after they were supposed to ship it.

"Final Cut Server automatically catalogs large collections of assets, allows searching across multiple disks and SAN volumes, and enables viewing, annotation and approval of content from anywhere using a PC or Mac."

There's a bunch of interesting tutorials on Apple's website. Cool that you can add a single Final Cut project file to server and it will automatically upload all source materials. At $999 for 10 users, it makes sense for a work group, but hard to justify for individuals.

Like Final Cut Pro, you need a Mac to run the Server (OS X 10.5+) but there is a Windows client that works with the server (I guess for those creating assets on Windows machines.)