Friday, October 28, 2011

Boston SuperMeet Report IV

There were about two dozen exhibitors at this years Boston SuperMeet, ranging from AJA and Blackmagic, through to Promise and JVC. There was a tricked out Sony NEX-FS100 at the Talamas Broadcast table, and Canon had a bunch of cameras; but no EOS-1D  X (I gather the twenty prototypes are in New York.)

EditShare was there with their servers and Lightwave editing application. They weren't talking about the shipping date for the Mac version, but it's supposed to be next month. EditShare was doing an event in New York the same night and I asked the guys at the booth if they drew the short straw - they laughed...sort of.

There was quite a bit to see, but here are the things that caught my eye:

DataVideo TP-200 iPad Teleprompter
I've been thinking seriously about buying one of these prompters, so it was cool to actually see the Datavideo TP-200 [$575] in person. I have seen another iPad based prompter in use, but this one is a little cheaper and I wanted to see how it compared.

It seems fairly basic, but not cheap and flimsy. Don't forget that if you are so inclined, you could build your own; just buy a piece of 60/40 glass and use a cardboard box! The TP-200 is certainly a step above; the metal base for mounting the camera and prompter on a tripod makes for much simpler and reliable set-up! Best of all, I could read the text quite comfortably from ten or more feet away, so the iPad is a viable choice. I think the iPad will work nicely as a prompter.

They were running the dv Prompter software. As a nice bonus, the prompter comes with a wired remote that works with that application.

Fast Forward Video SideKick
As intrigued by solid state recorders as I am, I can't say that seeing the SideKick [$1,999] in person made me want to get one. At almost $2,000 it's twice the price of the Ninja [$995], and the same price as the AJA KeyPro Mini [$1,995]. Compared to the KeyPro Mini, it does have a screen for preview/playback, but it's low resolution. It also uses SSD, while the KeyPro Mini uses CompactFlash cards, but I can see pros and cons to both methods of storage.

Personally, if I could afford that kind of money I'd get the KeyPro Mini (since it does ProRes) but in reality I'd get the Ninja because it's more affordable. Or the Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle [$327.75] Maybe I'm missing some other advantage that the SideKick has over the competition.

Apogee Mic
Apogee audio was showing their audio gear, including the One [$249], a pocket-sized USB microphone and audio interface input (samples up to 48kHz), and the Duet 2 [$595], which is a two input, four output audio interface which samples up to 24-bit/192kHz. While the One was being pitched as something that could be used for field recording (with your Mac!) I really liked the look of the Duet 2. It's just a nicely designed thing with brushed metal sides and simple, stylish graphics; and it only has one knob! I'm sure it sounds good too...but it's not for field recording.

The guy was a little shy about the device that I thought was the coolest little thing at the show; the Mic. This is a small USB mic that works with the iPad. He demoed it working with GarageBand. It has a level control built in to it, and will also work with other computers. It should be available by the end of the year.

The price is probably going to be about $250, so too expensive for me to splash out and get, but this could be useful for those doing lots of sound who want a portable mic solution. It is limited to 44.1kHz.
Apogee Electronics: Mic
Duet 2

Contour ShuttlePRO
This was the first time I'd actually got to play with the ShuttlePRO [$79]. This is one of those things you see and think you don't need, and then you spend a couple of minutes with it and you want it desperately!

I have a keyboard with a built-in jog wheel, but that's attached to my old Mac Pro, and I do most of my editing these days on the MacBook Pro. The ShuttlePRO seems like the perfect thing to drag around with your MacBook. You can set up the buttons based on the application(s) you're working with, and while it might not replace more sophisticated external boxes and dedicated keyboards, it's got enough extra buttons that it can really speed things up.

They have a smaller version, the ShuttleXpress, but it doesn't have nearly as many extra buttons as the larger PRO. I think you want to have the larger version unless space is really at a premium.

Contour Design: Contour ShuttlePRO

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