An Edit Bay Worth a Mention
I appreciated your article, Computer Editing Furniture (September 2001), but you left out a great editing cart made by Anthro Technology Furniture. This cart is designed with editors in mind. All the shelves are adjustable, and you can add as many as you like. The CPU can sit on a shelf or hang off a leg, out of the way. And the front portion (not attached to the shelves), which holds the keyboard, notes, palm pilot hookup and more, adjusts up and down easily with a lever connected to a cable release. I love my Anthro cart. Even if the project I am working on isn't going so well, my workspace feels so professional at least I look like I know what I am doing.
Before You Buy
I am a teacher of video production at a high school and I have found your magazine to be a valuable resource in all regards. However, your 8mm buyer's guide (September 2001) appears to have some conflicting information.
According to the Sony Web site, neither the CCD-TR818 nor the DCR-TRV130 from Sony have external mike inputs, but your guide claims that they do. I'm glad that I checked the Web before ordering either of these units. As you know, an external mike is needed for improved audio quality, especially when you are shooting in a noisy school or outdoors. Thanks otherwise for a great and unique publication.
Thanks for your letter, Todd. We're glad that you did research before you made a final purchase decision. Regrettably, the product information supplied to us by the manufacturers occasionally contains errors. We do our best to catch and correct these before they make it to print, but apparently this one slipped through. We apologize for the error.
- The Editors
More Details, Please
I have been a subscriber for three years now and have enjoyed your magazine tremendously. However, your recent review of the Pinnacle DV500 Plus left out a few very important pieces of information.
First, your review of the Pinnacle board did not state what type and speed HDD you used for capture. Remember, you're writing for a lot of novices as well as pros. Pinnacle does not even offer support for its DV500 Plus board with anything less than a SCSI drive. That is not usually "under the hood" of most consumer PCs.
Something else I noticed is that you usually do not test editing systems with more than one camera. I certainly realize that it would be impossible to test every make and model, but a disclaimer to the effect of "for a complete list of tested camcorders, visit Pinnacle's Web site" would help many consumers tremendously. Not only would a pre-purchase trip to the manufacturer's Web site show compatibility, but a stopover at its "Consumer Web board" would give shoppers a more realistic overall rating and evaluation of the card by consumers that have bought the product and put it through the hoops at home.
On a final note, I believe you should test a product with more than a handful of clips that are usually less than a minute. I believe that a lot of problems can come with longer and more intense projects. For example, my setup seemed to work fine until about 12 minutes of captured video/audio and then the sync began to wander. I know there are probably a lot of people who work in short formats, but the rest of us are into longer video projects.
Thanks very much for the opportunity to input into your fine magazine and resource.
These are all good tips, Burton. As a rule, the hard drive for video capture should spin at 7,200 rpm or faster. Pinnacle goes further and specifies a minimum of a 4GB video hard disk (SCSI 2/UDMA-IDE).
We stated in our September review of Ulead VideoStudio 5.0 that "it's only got one video track." In fact, a new feature that we missed in our review is its ability to insert video into the title track, essentially using this track as a second video overlay track. We congratulate Ulead on its release of a product that continues to surprise even us!