Sony Camcorder Update has three CCDs

Sony Releases DSR-PD170 DVCAM Camcorder

Sony’s Professional Division has released the DSR-PD170, an update of the DSR-PD150. The camcorder uses three 1/3-inch CCDs. Compared to the PD150, the PD170 improves on low-light sensitivity, down to one lux. The viewfinder and viewscreen can operate simultaneously, and Sony has upgraded the viewscreen to a hybrid LCD, which allows viewing in sunlight. Audio features include two XLR inputs with independent level controls and phantom power. Like its consumer-division cousin, the DCR-VX2100, the DSR-PD170 also adds record start/stop and zoom controls to the top handle.

The PD170 is available now for $3,940.

Canopus Offers ProCoder Express

If you’ve been looking for an economical way to encode media, Canopus may have your solution in ProCoder Express. It wraps a subset of ProCoder’s core technology around a wizard-based interface, with built-in settings for DVD, VCD and Web streaming. Supported formats include MPEG-1, MPEG-2, Windows Media, Real and DivX. Users of Canopus Let’s EDIT, Canopus EDIUS Adobe Premiere 6 and Adobe Premiere Pro can output directly from the timeline. Watch folder support is also included.

ProCoder Express runs under Windows 2000 and Windows XP. It is available in a boxed version or as a download for $60.

Apple Offers G5-Optimizing Update for Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro

Apple is offering free updates for Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro via the Mac OS X Software Update utility. The updates, to Final Cut Pro 4.1 and DVD Studio Pro 2.0.2 (and, by extension, Compressor 1.1) are also said to exploit new features of Mac OS X 10.3. Apple claims performance enhancements of up to 55% for Compressor-related tasks on a G5, along with rendering "almost twice as fast" with Final Cut Pro.

DVD Update: Out with the 4X, in with the 8X

Plextor marketed the first 8X drive, the PX-708A. The drive burns DVD+Rs at 8X, DVD+RW and DVD-R discs at 4X and DVD-RW media at 2X. The $299 drive includes buffer-underrun protection. External versions of the drive are available in 12 different colors, and retail for $359.

Lite-On‘s LDW-811S is a multiformat drive, like the Plextor, capable of burning DVD+R discs at 8X, DVD+RW and DVD-R at 4X and DVD-RW at 2X. It doubles as a 40x24x40 CD burner. The $159 drive includes a 2MB buffer and SMART-BURN buffer-underrun protection.

Sony‘s DRU-530A ($270) and DRX-530UL ($350) burn DVD+R discs at 8X, DVD-R and DVD+RW at 4X and DVD-RW discs at 2X. The DRU-530A is an Ultra DMA-33 ATAPI drive, while the DRX-530UL is an external model with both FireWire and USB 2.0 ports. The drives include a 2MB buffer. The retail versions of the drives include Sonic MyDVD disc authoring software.

Pioneer has announced the DVR-A07, which burns both DVD-R and DVD+R discs at 8X. The drive also burns DVD-RW and DVD+RW at 4X. The drive also burns CDs at 24X.

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