Canon Flips Out

The latest offering of 8mm camcorders from Canon includes the companys first entry into the LCD-viewscreen category, the ES20V. With its three-inch color LCD viewscreen, users can shoot from a wide range of positions while watching the image on the screen, or instantly play back their recordings with sound without connecting to a television. For additional flexibility, the ES20V also includes a traditional black-and-white viewfinder. Other features include 16:1 optical zoom, 32:1 digital zoom, image stabilization, titler, hi-fi stereo audio and six digital special effects. (800) 828-4040.

Suggested retail price: $899


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The Python Squeeze

The new Python from Videonics Inc. is an external device that connects in seconds to your computers parallel port and "grabs and squeezes" full-motion MPEG-1 video and still images. Avoiding the complexity and expense of internal video capture boards, the Python brings the entry-level complexity of digital video down to earth along with the price. Usable with any standard software that accepts MPEG video or JPEG still images, the Python comes bundled with Astound, a multimedia presentation software package, and Kais Power Goo. Also included in the Python interface is a way to add streaming MPEG video to your web page with the push of a button. A video e-mail button automatically attaches your MPEGs or JPEGs to an e-mail message. (800) 338-3348.

Suggested retail price: $349

Sharps Newest Digital ViewCam

The new VL-DX10 from Sharp combines the capabilities of a digital ViewCam and a digital still camera into a single, compact unit. With 2MB built-in flash memory, the VL-DX10 can record up to 12 high-resolution still images in Fine mode, 24 in Standard and 48 in Economy. The camcorder side of the VL-DX10 records DV-quality video in either SP or LP (long play) mode, a 25x digital (10x optical) zoom, 16-bit 48kHz digital stereo audio and a tape index playback function that displays a thumbnail chart to indicate tape contents for quick review. (800) BE-SHARP.

Suggested retail price: $3399

Powerful CG

Alpha CG, a sophisticated 32-bit title graphics generator for Windows, gives desktop videographers access to 24-bit color graphics and titles with better than 1 nanosecond effective resolution. Incorporating an 8-bit alpha channel for 256-level transparency blending and anti-aliasing, 32-bit background composition with up to 99 objects per page, interactive on-screen "click and drag" controls and unlimited combinations of TrueType fonts, colors and text attributes, Alpha CG delivers real character generator power. The program is available as an add-on for users of Pinnacles Alladin and Genie, In:Syncs Speed Razor, DPSs Perception Video Recorder and Fasts Video Machine (also available as a stand-alone Windows application). (510) 638-0800.

Suggested retail price: $399-$799

Clamp it to Your Head

With the Look Ma 2 camcorder helmet bracket, you can videotape while you ride a motorcycle, roller blade, ski, etc. Ross Productions Look Ma 2 mounts easily with no alterations to your helmet or camcorder. The camera mounts at eye-level to allow you to shoot what you see. The bracket is made of aerospace aluminum, so its light and sturdy. Just set your camcorder to wide-angle, engage the image stabilization and hit the open highway. (888) 276-2104.

Suggested retail price: $59

Point-and-click Digital Video

Ephyx Technologies V-Active is an innovative authoring platform that uses object tracking technology to enable interactive hyperlinking of video content for multimedia and Internet applications. V-Active employs a proprietary object-tracking technology to identify moving objects in digital video files and assign clickable hotlinks to other types of media. V-Active integrates easily with other multimedia authoring environments, including Director, ActiveX and Netscapes plug-in architecture. (415) 439-8390.

Suggested retail price: $695

Personal Printshop from Sima

To make it easy for home computer enthusiasts to create personalized greeting cards, calendars, posters and screen savers with their camcorders, Sima offers the Personal Printshop, which includes the Sima Video Capture frame grabber and a selection of still-image manipulation software. The Sima Video Capture plugs easily into your computers parallel port; bundled software includes a selection of standard templates for greeting cards, name cards, calendars, etc. as well as PhotoMorph2 software for creating interesting effects. (412) 828-3700.

Suggested retail price: $180

SuperDeck Upgrade

Panasonic Broadcast and Digital Systems Company has announced upgrades to its SuperDeck line of professional-level S-VHS editing VCRs, adding built-in digital time base correction to the AG-DS555 Hi-Fi Editing Recorder and the AG-DS545 Hi-Fi Editing Player. Featuring a built-in LTC/VITC time code generator/reader, Y/C digital noise reduction and digital logical comb filter, these decks target the education and corporate video markets. (800) 524-0864.

Suggested retail price: AG-DS555 Recorder, $4000; AG-DS545 Player, $3325.

Photoflex Silverdome

The XL (extra-large) Silverdome from Photoflex is a softbox specially designed for use with constant light sources. The latest–and largest–in the Silverdome line, the XL Silverdome measures 54 inches by 72 inches, and provides high-quality bright yet diffused light from sources up to 4000 watts. Four heat vents, one on each side of the dome, provide maximum air flow for heat resistance, and the front diffusion face is removable for easy dismantling. (800) 486-2674.

Suggested retail price: $268

Version 5 of Martin Hashs 3D Animator Debuts

Hash, Inc. is proud to announce the premiere of version 5 of Martin Hashs 3D Animation software package. With reusable animation libraries, gobs of materials, intuitive manipulators and dozens of other easy-to-use features, Martin Hashs 3D Animation provides an easy tool for those who wish to make the plunge into 3D animation, but dont want to spend a fortune–or a lot of time on the learning curve. (360) 750-0042.

Suggested retail price: $199

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