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IEBA Review: Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder

February 11, 2011 1 comment

When it comes to camcorders, most everything is moving to flash media.

There are, however, an incredible amount of HDV and other tape-based HD camcorders out there, still working hard and producing great images. How do you get these camcorders up to speed with the new flash-media workflow? With an external recorder.

Thus far, the need for external devices to record HD footage has primarily been served by Focus Enhancements’ FireStore line. However, there has been growth in the segment recently and Datavideo has entered the fray with a unique design and price point under $500. Does the Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder give the more expensive recorders a run for their money? Let’s find out. Read more…

vDSLRs are not smaller & lighter, nor cheaper.

January 17, 2011 19 comments

When I started in the video biz, I had a 3-chip Sony M7 cabled to a separate VO8800 3/4 SP deck with 20-minute tapes and two batteries. It produced very pretty images. Today I carry a phone that shoots HD. My phone is smaller and lighter than the camcorders I started with.

But I am so very tired of vDSLR (HDSLR, EVIL, whatever) fanatics touting that one of the greatest features of the format is that they are so “run & gun” so “small & light” and yet offer so much capability. You mean like full HD output on a big screen, built in stereo audio, XLR inputs, audio metering, waveform, headphone outputs, multiple HD video outputs, on-shoulder balance, easy to toggle and adjust manual settings for focus, zoom, iris, shutter, gain and white balance while shooting? Able to shoot for hours at a time for live events? You know, those features, aside from “it looks pretty” that professionals need all the time?

Well, it turns out that the smaller & lighter vDSLRs can indeed offer many of those features, by throwing away the notion of smaller & lighter. So I wish people would stop touting it as a “you get smaller & lighter AND you get real pro camcorder features.” Read more…

Canon XF300 on the way for review. Questions? Tests? [UPDATE] It’s here.

July 27, 2010 3 comments

Canon says that the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder is on it’s way to me for test & review. This camera features 50Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:2 recording to Compact Flash (CF) Cards. This high data rate should push aside all issue with compression, even though it does use the older MPEG-2 codec as opposed to the newer MPEG-4 / H.264 / AVCHD codec that a lot of newer camcorders and cameras use. The advantage to MPEG-2 is that, with a lot less compression, today’s even faster computer should handle it with ease, as opposed to the much more difficult time today’s systems have with AVCHD footage. Read more…

Preview: NEXTO DI’s NVS2500 portable media storage.

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

picture-8.png The big buzz surrounding the NVS2500 is all about three features built into this diminutive, battery operated media storage device:

  • the fast SxS transfer to internal hard drive
  • the ability to play back professional codecs like XDCAM EX
  • the eSATA slot for fast transfer to a computer

I’ve performed some preliminary tests and have some numbers to report. Read more…

Flash Media and the Demise of the Deck

August 15, 2009 Leave a comment

pan32gbsdhc.gifEven though professional and prosumer camcorder prices haven’t substantially changed over the years, the quality of the footage, and the features you have at your fingertips, have increased dramatically since the era of plumbicon tubes and 3/4″ tape. One the most revolutionary changes is the most recent one: the arrival of compact flash storage in mainstream HD video acquisition. Read more…

Apple, Video Pros & the future.

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s pretty clear that Apple dropping “computer” from their name was not just to use less ink. They’ve been behind the curve with the hardware for many years. Case in point: after PCs have had a SD card slot for many years, Apple finally decides to integrate this functionality into their laptops (but not desktops.)

mbp15v2.jpg

But, in so doing, they ditch the ExpressCard slot from the 15″ MacBook “Pro” and specifically make the SD card slot not compatible with I/O devices so it can’t be used to expand the computer. wtf?

So now, the 17″ MacBook Pro is the only expandable laptop from Apple- for a starting price of $2500.
If I’m going to spend that much, I’ll buy a Lenovo 17″ (starting at $1,900) that offers me the capability of a quad-core chip, dual internal LCD displays, integrated Wacom tablet, Pantone color calibration of the displays, fingerprint reader for mobile security, internal Blu-ray, integrated cellular broadband, and more.

There were times, back when Apple didn’t have today’s market share, that they produced computers that were affordable, and wildly expandable. They strong to be what the other guys weren’t. They thought differently. That gave us the G3, the G4 towers. It gave us the G3 series PowerBooks with dual media bays, in addition to the PC card slot. That emphasis on providing users with innovative solutions ahead of the pack is gone. Read more…

AJA io -or- PMW-EX30 dilemma.

May 8, 2009 3 comments

Do I buy:aja.gif

  A 17″ laptop ($3,000), eSATA ExpressCard adaptor ($100),
external hard drives ($400), and an AJA ioHD ($2,800) to record
a live switch 1920x1080i60 SDI feed to ProRes 422…ex30.gif

or

A Sony PMW-EX30 XDCAM EX deck ($4,000) to record
a 30 Mbps 1920x1080i60 VBR stream to flash media?

Read more…

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