Top 10 Secrets for Fair-to-Middlin' Hi-8!
(An update to "Ten Rules for Great Hi8" in the October 1997 issue.)
- Remove lens cap.
- Don't use VHS tape in your Handycam.
- Don't stick cassettes in editing decks that have a history of eating
- Do not microwave the tape.
- Charge your battery.
- Don't connect the camcorder to your VCR with limp linguini.
- Avoid camcorders made by Fisher-Price.
- Flash bulbs don't help.
- Do not store tapes in the patio Smokey-Joe.
- Demand more useful advice from camcorder manuals.
The Message Rules
I enjoyed your piece on "The Videomaker Panel: Linear Editing" (December 1997). As the creative director for an advertising agency, I generally edit in a nonlinear environment when I am producing a visually intense commercial and want to sample a variety of editorial possibilities. It's work in progress. I also believe that a nonlinear edit has the potential to make the end product much stronger. And when that product is played over and over, particularly on TV, editorial decisions are critical. Whether you work in the linear or nonlinear domain, it's still boils down to your message. And it had better be good.
Professional vs. Prosumer Nonlinear
I'd like to know what the difference is between so-called "professional" nonlinear editing systems, like Media 100 or Avid Media Composer, and "prosumer" systems like DPS Perception, DraCo Casablanca and Fast AV Master. Aside from the huge difference in price, function and quality, they seem to be the same. Systems at both the professional and prosumer price point compress video to make use of available hard drive space; both can be potentially configured with FireWire input; both include effects and titling software.
Pompano Beach, Florida
You said it yourself, Mike: the key to the greater expense of systems like the Avid or the Media 100 is output quality. This is why they're commonly used in broadcast applications, where top-notch video quality is a must. Functionally, they're very similar, which is a good thing for those of us who want the convenience and power of nonlinear editing at a more reasonable price.
Analog Video Input
I cannot come up with an explanation for the lack of Y/C and composite analog video and audio inputs on DV camcorders. Back in the late '80s when Hi8 and S-VHS consumer camcorders arrived, both had these inputs, despite being formats you could use for dubbing rental tapes. There are a million reasons why users would like to have analog inputs. For example, I've worked with physicians who do endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures and they are currently using Hi8 camcorders to get the best footage. Other equipment like scanning electron microscopes and surveillance CCTV could also take advantage of the practical nature of the DV format.
Carlos M. Arenas
In the September 1997 "Benchmarks" column, Joe McCleskey reviewed an AKG shotgun microphone. I have had a great deal of difficulty trying to find a source who would sell me this product.
AKG Acoustics may be reached at: 1449 Donelson Pike, Nashville TN 37217; 615-360-0499; www.akg-acoustics.com. We apologize for your inconvenience.
On page 87 of the December 1997 issue, we refer readers to "Clean Up Your Video Act" in the August issue of Videomaker. The article actually appears in the August 1996 issue.