Archive for September, 2007


Wither Widescreen? 16:9 is not wide enough!

Take a look at the most beautiful films-
the ones that win best picture, best cinematographer, etc…
how many of them were shot 4:3 or 16:9?
None of them.

Blade Runner: The Final Cut is supposed to open this coming October 5th in NY and LA. It is a remastered film print, not digital projection. But ask yourself, if all the HD camcorders are 16:9, will this mean the end of truly w-i-d-e-s-c-r-e-e-n movies?
The beauty of Cinemascope’s 2.55 or 2.35 to 1 ratio really helps draw us into a film.


Try to imagine Gaff’s spinner flying through the futuristic dystopia that Ridley Scott created if we only had square movies… Continue reading ‘Wither Widescreen? 16:9 is not wide enough!’


Use P2 (i.e. PC cards) on your ExpressCard-based laptop.

Addonics has released their ExpressCard Cardbus Adapter


This ExpressCard CardBus adapter is one of the few ways to add back the CardBus slot that is missing in new laptop computers. It is designed to allow the use of PC cards through the use of an adaptor that plugs into the ExpressCard slot and has a small PC Card “slot” that hangs on the outside of the user’s laptop. Addonics specifically states that it “can now accept CardBus Wireless broadband card, LAN card, Panasonic P2™ Card, CardBus eSATA adapter, video capture card and many other types of CardBus adapters.

Continue reading ‘Use P2 (i.e. PC cards) on your ExpressCard-based laptop.’


Panny’s new AJ-HPX3000 P2 versus RED-1.


Panasonic announced the nearly $50,000 AJ-HPX3000 to a fanfare of applause from P2 fans who laud the new camcorder’s 2/3 image sensors, 10-bit processing, full 1080i recording capability and two improvements to the basic P2 workflow- lots of slots and AVC-Intra recording for higher quality and longer record time on the cramped P2 cards.

The question is, why?

Continue reading ‘Panny’s new AJ-HPX3000 P2 versus RED-1.’


Please use “Over-Under” when wrapping cables.

Setting up for a job today, I opened up some wrapped mic cable, fifty-foot lengths of wrapped mic cable, and as I played out the cable, I realized that whomever the (insert pent-up, anger filled, derogatory term here) was who wrapped this cable up- they did not use “over-under” to wrap the cable but made dozens of loops, all in the same direction, which I now had to waste time to fix.

This follows a job just a week ago where I worked with a very tech-savvy kid who just graduated from a University. He was wrapping some cable and I watched him just loop, loop, loop his way through the cable.

I asked him what the heck he was doing.
I’m wrapping cable the right way, he postulated… Continue reading ‘Please use “Over-Under” when wrapping cables.’


Sony’s SxS advantages. Are they real?

sxshor.pngSony wants to promote the speed advantages ExpressCard Flash Media (ECFM for short) are reputed to have over PC cards. In Sony’s SxS brochure, bullet point numero uno is “Faster Transfer Speed.” The chart that accompanies this promotion states 800 Mpbs (sic) versus 640 Mbps for PCMCIA (PC) cards.This would mostly have to do with the ExpressCard standard being a serial solution as opposed to a parallel solution. Does this sound familiar?

The latest laptop and dsktop computers are primarily outfitted with SATA or Serial ATA hard drives. These replace older ATA or Parallel ATA drives that we “used” to use not so long ago. By all accounts, the SATA interface is smaller, cheaper and considerably faster than we were achieving with the third generation of ATA, even with those wide, ungainly 80-conductor cables.

But does Sony’s SxS, and by that account, ExpressCard live up to the hype? Continue reading ‘Sony’s SxS advantages. Are they real?’


Sony’s XDCAM-EX & HD1000u & more!


YES, there it is. Sony’s XDCAM-EX in full motion-picture regalia- yours truly at the helm.
I just got back from Sony’s XDCAM-EX event at Sony Pictures Studio in New York City, Manhattan to be precise, and let me tell you, it was worth the drive into the city- something I try to avoid if at all possible.

At the event there were dozens of press from around the world. We were treated to Sony Pictures’ plush screening room, complete with surround sound and 4k digital cinema projection for the introduction of the EX as well as Sony’s new overarching marketing strategy under the new HDNA (HD in their DNA) branding.

After the polished show, which included a Spanish language section for the international press, I had some significant hands-on with both the XDCAM-EX, now the PMW-EX1 camcorder. Lots of photos. Sony also had the HVR-HD1000u camcorder there so I took the opportunity to pour all over that camcorder and take lots of photos.

Here’s a quick, late night report… Continue reading ‘Sony’s XDCAM-EX & HD1000u & more!’


JVC’s webcast camcorder? Almost!

jvc_gr-da20.pngJVC recently showed (in Italy) a spiffy little camcorder, the GR-DA20, but hasn’t announced any US release dates or prices that I could find. This little Mini DV wonder sports what appears to be a 2.5″ LCD on the back that slides up or down to assist viewing from above or below the camcorder. Quite an innovation for a camcorder since the “sliding” screens have heretofore been pretty much been limited to cell phones (and the video cameras in cell phones, well, suck.)

Clearly a consumer camcorder- with just a few buttons and a joystick to control your navigation through what I am sure are a myriad of menus on this MiniDV maestro, this means that you won’t be adjusting focus and iris on the fly while leaving your audio with manual gain and on-screen metering. Ha. Don’t even think about it.

But the 36x optical lens, and the sheer design of this camcorder actually does take a few design cues from professional “box” camcorders. There’s no screen that swings out to the side. No, it all maintains a singular, purposeful design. There’s no wondering how one opens the screen. You point it at the subject and there’s your screen looking at you.

So what makes this almost a webcast camcorder? Continue reading ‘JVC’s webcast camcorder? Almost!’