Reviews:
Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX850 By David Hague Good things come in small packages could be the best way to describe the new Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX850 Micro Four Thirds (MFT) 4K camera. The size of an everyday compact and weighing a tiny 267g (sans lens), nonetheless this $800 (RRP) little beast is a powerhouse of a camera in both its stills format and as a capable (with ergonomic limitations) video camera. ...Read More »
Kensington's Blackbelt By Ko Maruyama The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a machine somewhere in between a laptop and a mobile tablet. It is able to keep up with all of the software that you'd run on your Windows 8 machine, but more portable than a laptop. One problem with the ability to drag the SurfacePro around is the potential to dropping it. Kensington's BlackBelt protects the SurfacePro while still allowing all of the port function to be accessible. ...Read More »
Forget Using Smartphone Cams! By David Hague Lately, users have shied away from using lower priced camcorders in favor of shooting video with their smartphones and this is a bit sad in my opinion. The quality of footage from a phone can never replicate that of even the least expensive of genuine camcorders due to a number of factors, not the least being the lens. The physical design is also a factor; camcorders are built the way they are for a reason, primarily the ergonomics with everything at your fingertips. And of course, the camcorder is always the right way up, shooting proper 16:9 high definition footage (PROPER high def) in landscape mode and not portrait as smartphones do. So which are the best low cost camcorders on the market? With a budget of $500, we wondered just what you could get... ...Read More »
The JVC GC-PX100 Camcorder By David Hague Every once in a while, a piece of equipment comes out from a vendor that grabs you by the throat and gives you a shake as it yells, "Look at me!". The new JVC GC-PX100 is such a beast. In terms of camcorders, the GC-PX100 is quite different; the shape is different, access to controls is different and even some functionality is different. ...Read More »
The Panasonic HC-V520M Camcorder By David Hague If you are into sports video, you know that it almost a given that you need a decent zoom to get the action (and it goes without saying, a tripod as well). In still photography terms, my experiences in motor sport suggest a 200mm is the minimum and probably a 400mm the optimal. Of course you need to allow factors such as low light and depth of field to get the best of them. Panasonic has obviously realized this in terms of the video world and released the HC-V520M, a single CMOS hi-def camcorder that will sit easily in the palm of your hand, but sports a genuine 50x optical zoom and an "intelligent" 80x ...Read More »
The Canon HF G25 Camcorder By David Hague And still they keep coming. Today we received a new Canon HF G25 for testing, and true to recent form for most of the latest camcorder releases, the features and functions are truly staggering. This camera is designed to be fully automatic or as manual as you like. Things such as Auto Gain can be adjusted as can focus preset and a manual focus assist. Zebra patterning is there as are white balance presets for daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten and by colour temperature. ...Read More »
The Sony PMW-200 Camcorder By David Hague The power of a motor vehicle is usually measured in kilowatts (although still more easily identified by most in the "old currency" of brake horse power). Sadly this is not always an accurate measure of grunt as other factors should also be brought into the equation such as power-to-weight ratios and so on. Similarly, most non-professionals (and advertising blurb and salespeople) tend to measure how good a camcorder is by its zoom factor, number of megapixels or even its internal storage capacity. While all of these are a small part in the total power factor they are by no means anywhere near the be-all and end-all. ...Read More »
Motion Composer By Ko Maruyama MotionComposer is a new way to create and deliver HTML5 or Flash animation. Designed by French company Aquafadas, the software is available in both Mac and PC versions to allow anyone the ability to start animating right away. Although Adobe Flash animations have recently been the subject of scrutiny, there are many advantages to using HTML5. With MotionComposer, you can easily make your content much more engaging. ...Read More »
Corel VideoStudio Pro X5 By David Hague While it is still fair to say that Corel has struggled in the video editing market, I suspect the latest carnation of VideoStudio Pro X5 will change all that. And oddly enough, I say this not because of any improvement over its standard video editing approach as this retains the 3 step approach that many programs of this type use - Capture, Edit, Share. No, not at all. This version has some truly ground breaking features. ...Read More »
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 for the Videographer By Jeremiah Hall I have never used the previous versions of Lightroom, since most of my time was taken up with Avid, After Effects and Final Cut Pro. When I needed to do something with stills, I used Photoshop. When I got the chance to try Lightroom 4, I jumped at the chance, but I was more interested in the video capabilities than I was in the photographic features and tools. Lightroom 4 will not be replacing Premiere or Photoshop, it's not designed for heavy photo or video editing. You can't cut your movie masterpiece with it. But if you're a DSLR shooter, I can see it becoming a very useful tool in your arsenal. ...Read More »
Matrox Thunderbolt Adapter By Heath McKnight Matrox recently released their Thunderbolt adapter, which can be purchased at their site, or added to your order of one of their devices, like the MXO2 boxes. This is a significant little box, because you can use a MXO2 device with a Mac that doesn't have a PCI Express card slot or ExpressCard/34 slot by connecting the adapter to your Mac and the MXO2 box. I'll also talk briefly about Matrox's new software update allowing their devices to offer broadcast monitoring with the latest update of Final Cut Pro X. ...Read More »
The Flip Slide pocket camcorder By John Virata The Flip Slide is Flip Video's latest high definition pocket camcorder targeted at those who like the simplicity and ease of use of a pocket camcorder combined with HD quality video capabilities. The Slide is about the same size as the Flip Ultra HD but sports a new slide feature that makes it a bit different. The screen slides at a 10 o clock angle for viewing your videos, and the screen itself is touch capable, enabling you to slide your fingers across the screen to get to the video you want to watch. ...Read More »
Dazzle Video Creator Plus HD By John Virata The Dazzle Video Creator Plus HD bridges the digital divide, enabling you to capture video from your digital camcorders via the analog composite or RCA outputs on your camera, as well as serve as an effective bridge that can digitize those VHS and 8mm video tapes captured during the last 25 years. And when it captures that footage, it sends it back into the computer as a digital file for editing via Pinnacle Studio HD v. 14. ...Read More »
Adobe Premiere Elements 8 By John Virata Adobe Premiere Elements version 8 has some added new features to an already full featured consumer level video editing application. It competes with other similar NLE's on the market, but remains, like most of its competition, a Windows only application. ...Read More »
Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection HD and Class on Demand Complete Training for Pinnacle Studio 14 By John Virata Pinnacle Studio 14 is a very mature video editing system targeted mostly at home users and video editing enthusiasts, but certainly not limited at these groups. Any application that continues into double digit versions has to be a good app with a lot of functionality, and Studio 14 is one of those application's that has its own ecosystem of support with books, online sites, and video tutorials. ...Read More »
Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate Collection HD and Class on Demand Complete Training for Pinnacle Studio 14 By John Virata Pinnacle Studio 14 is a very mature video editing system targeted mostly at home users and video editing enthusiasts, but certainly not limited at these groups. Any application that continues into double digit versions has to be a good app with a lot of functionality, and Studio 14 is one of those application's that has its own ecosystem of support with books, online sites, and video tutorials. ...Read More »
Flip minoHD 120 camcorder By John Virata The Pure Digital Flip Video camera is the most popular camcorder on the market, so much so that Apple's Steve Jobs had it up on stage when he introduced an iPod nano that captures video. The Flip though has gone through several generations and keeps getting better, and with higher quality video capabilities. ...Read More »
Production Assistant for Sony Vegas Pro: From a Final Cut Pro User's Perspective By Heath McKnight Sony Creative Software introduced Production Assistant for Vegas Pro as a way to streamline post-production, and I have to say, it's a terrific plug-in, created along with VASST. As a Final Cut Pro editor, I take a different look at the software, and I also discuss Vegas Pro version 9. ...Read More »
Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac By John Virata When was the last time you turned on your VHS player? That long ago? Well join the club. As old VHS, 8mm, and other analog video tape join the Betamax, the question that remains is how do you archive all those tapes for future viewing? For Windows users, solutions such as Honestech's VHS to DVD 3.0 Deluxe have been around for a while. Mac users have also had some solutions, but not to the extent that Windows users have. ...Read More »
Flip Video UltraHD with Flip Channels By John Virata When I first reviewed the Pure Digital Flip camera back in 2007, I liked the camera for its ease of use, video quality, and portability. The video camera pretty much set the video camera world on its ears, with more than 2 million cameras sold since being introduced several years ago--so much so that Cisco Systems snatched up the company. The latest version of the camera, The Flip UltraHD coupled with the latest version of FlipShare, keeps the solution a compelling one. ...Read More »
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