From Mini to MICRO
You knew it had to happen. Videotape has just gotten smaller. Sony's latest camcorders, the DCR-IP5 and DCR-IP7BT, make use of MICRO MV, a new MPEG-2 data-compression technology format.
Sony said that the MICRO MV-format cams, designed so people can carry them around more easily, deliver image and sound quality that equals Mini DV, but in a smaller package. Not only are the units tiny (the IP5 measures 4.1 inches high, 1.9 inches wide and 3.2 inches deep), but they use MICRO MV cassettes, which are 70 percent smaller than Mini DV media. The new cams, Sony said, each have a 680,000-pixel CCD, and a 10x optical zoom lens. In addition, the IP7BT is equipped with a Bluetooth adapter, allowing for wireless data exchange, and a Memory Stick slot for removable media.
Released last fall in Europe and Japan, Sony expects an early February release date for the IP5 (MSRP $1,300) and the IP7BT (MSRP $1,700).
DVD+RW Drives Spring up at COMDEX
Hewlett-Packard, Philips and Sony each showed off DVD+RW computer drives at COMDEX 2001 in Las Vegas. These combination drives, which also write CD-R and CD-RW discs, all list for under $700, and are now out on the market. Each DVD+RW drive comes bundled with Sonic Solutions' MyDVD DVD-authoring software.
Philips demonstrated its DVDRW208 drive, HP exhibited the dvd100i and Sony displayed its new DRU110A/C1 drive at the expo.
Ricoh also offers a DVD+RW combination drive, the MP5120A. Interestingly, a Philips representative told Videomaker that while Ricoh currently manufactures Philips' DVDRW208 drive, Philips plans to soon produce its own. Reportedly, Ricoh is also the OEM for HP's dvd100i.
HP also announced the Pavilion 9995 PC. The $1,999 system, which features the dvd100i, is said to boast a P4 2GHz processor, 512MB RAM and an 80GB hard drive.
muvee autoProducer Showcased at COMDEX
Billed as "the world's only smart automatic video editing software," muvee autoProducer got a lot of looks at COMDEX.
Targeted at the casual video production market, muvee autoProducer is designed to quickly analyze a video for shot boundaries, poor quality material, object motion, face detection and camera motion. This analysis, the company said, is used to quickly make automatic edit decisions regarding appropriate selection of footage, cutting points, transitions and special effects.
muvee autoProducer boasts 24 editing styles, onto which you can select included music or add your own.
muvee autoProducer is available for download at $59.95 at www.muvee.com. A simplified version, muvee autoProducer Lite, has four editing style choices and is now available for free download.
VOB Shows InstantCD/DVD 6 at COMDEX
InstantCD/DVD 6, a high-end recording application from Germany-based VOB Information Systems was among the video-friendly software solutions shown at COMDEX. A practical combination of applications that would usually require two or three different software packages, InstantCD/DVD 6 allows users to burn audio CDs, CD-ROM, videoCD and DVD-video.
InstantCD/DVD 6 features include MPEG-1 compression, support for direct video capture from an installed video card and a "de-noise" tool to clean up audio tracks. And, using VOB's InstantBackup, which features compression and encryption, users can back up large files to CD and DVD drives.
InstantCD/DVD 6 has a suggested retail price of $79.99.