New Affordable Canon Hi8 with RCTC

Canons ES4000 is currently one of the least expensive ways for videographers to enjoy the benefits of RC Time Code in a Hi8 camcorder. And its 22x optical zoom lens is the most powerful optical zoom available on a consumer camcorder today. Add optical image stabilization, Advanced Flexizone autoexposure/autofocus and a built-in infrared editor, and the ES4000 provides advanced features at a price even weekend videographers can afford. (212) 527-8976.

Suggested retail price: $1199.

DV Palmcorders Hit the Street

Two new DV camcorders from Panasonic, the low-cost PV-DV700 and the LCD-equipped PV-DV710, are the companys first models to feature the IEEE 1394 FireWire digital interface. With the FireWire, these camcorders can connect to one another, to digital VCRs or to FireWire-equipped desktop computers for over 10 generations of perfect digital dubbing. Despite these high-tech capabilities, the PV-DV700 and PV-DV710 are Palmcorders at heart, offering both advanced features and point-and-shoot simplicity in a familiar, compact style. (201) 348-9090.

Suggested retail price: PV-DV700, $2000; PV-DV710, $2500

PhotoDV Captures Live Video

Radius Inc. recently announced the first shipments of PhotoDV, their Macintosh-based still-image capture system for DV camcorders and VCRs equipped with the FireWire digital interface. The system includes a hardware FireWire interface, a plug-in software package for Adobe Photoshop and MicroFrontiers ColorIt stand-alone photo retouching software. Available as a software add-on to PhotoDV is MotoDV, a program that enables motion-video capture from the same FireWire card that comes with the still-image product. (408) 541-6100.

Suggested retail price: PhotoDV, $499; MotoDV, $99

Multimedia Archivist

Ever find yourself wishing there was a better way to keep tabs on all of those still images, video clips and other multimedia files you use on your computer? One solution available is Vision Technologys Archivist software, which simplifies the process of capturing, manipulating and archiving digital photos, documents and video clips. More than just a fancy set of file drawers, Archivist provides a full multimedia working environment that actually allows you to output a finished multimedia presentation to a printer, videotape or the World Wide Web. (415) 299-9101.

Suggested retail price: $79

Compact Distribution

Kramer Electronics introduces their VM-3 series of compact distribution amplifiers, which are small enough to fit into a camera bag yet powerful enough (60MHz bandwidth, 70dB signal-to-noise ratio) for studio use. For field use, the amplifiers can run on a 9V battery. Individual models include the VM-3V (composite), VM-3S (Y/C), VM-3C (Y/C with composite output) and VM-33V (which incorporates glitch-free, vertical-interval switching between three genlocked sources). (888) 303-5600.

Suggested retail price: $140+

Sony 17-inch Multimedia Display

A new 17-inch Sony Multiscan monitor, model CPD-220VS, combines graphic picture-enhancement (GPE) technology with high-quality, dynamic 3D sound. Compatible with either PC or Macintosh computers, the CPD-220VS is ideal for viewing graphics presentations, video games or digital-video playback. Other features include a 0.25mm aperture grille, anti-reflective coating, user-adjustable color temperature presets and a maximum PC resolution of 1280×1024 at 60Hz. (800) 222-7669.

Suggested retail price: $899

AV Master Hybrid Editing System

COMO, Inc.s new AV Master Hybrid Editing System combines Fasts AV Master MJPEG audio/video digitizer with COMOs ControlX hardware-control interface and an optional jog/shuttle controller. With the system, video editors can take advantage of both nonlinear and tape-based editing capabilities through the PC interface. Bundled software includes CrystalGraphics Flying Fonts lite and Uleads MediaStudio VE 2.5 nonlinear-editing software. A pro version throws in a VITC generator and additional machine-control options. (606) 647-1077.

Suggested retail price: $1295; Pro version, $1695

Portable Background Screen for Quick Composites

The FlexDrop is PhotoFlexs portable, collapsible, 5-by-7-foot background screen made for convenient blue-screen work in remote locations or tight spaces. Similar to many folding reflectors or backdrops, the FlexDrops metal frame collapses easily with a flick of the wrist into a 28-inch round carrying case for space conservation and portability. The FlexDrop is available in five different colors (blue, green, gray, black or white). (800) 486-2674.

Suggested retail price: $150

Two Lights in One

Cool-Lux Lighting has announced the availability of their versatile Combo-Light, a lightweight tungsten fixture thats quickly adaptable for photo, film or video lighting. The Combo-Light is a small, portable floodlight that accepts conventional quartz lamps ranging from 300w to 1000w. Easily attached to the top of any 5/8-inch light stand, and available with a wide variety of attachments, the Combo-Light is ideal for location use, where light weight and portability are prime factors. (805) 482-4820.

Suggested retail price: $250+

Composite to Y/C Made Easy

Unfortunately, converting a composite video signal to Y/C (S-video) is not as easy as it seems. Instead of just plugging in an adaptor, you need to make sure that the combined luminance (black-and-white, or Y) and chrominance (color, or C) of the composite signal is separated cleanly to avoid serious degradation of the picture. Fortunately, Tributaries offers their Tribute C2S Convertor for just this purpose. By taking the composite video signal through a series of passive filters, the Tribute C2S Convertor achieves the frequency separation between Y and C information that defines the Y/C signal. (800) 521-1596.

Suggested retail price: $100

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