Red Light, Green Light
In the September issue’s “Pause” column, Matt York fantasizes about a simple, elegant video editor with
three buttons (red, green and yellow). The user would simply view the original footage and use these
buttons to decide whether to keep or skip each video segment. The device could automatically record the
segments marked as “green,” leaving the “red” ones behind. As an option, your fantasy editor would
include a set-top indicator accessory that would allow others in the room to see whether the present
segment has been marked as in or out.
This editorial is proof that great minds think alike, because your fantasy editor is available today. Your
description matches our $199 Thumbs Up video editor almost perfectly. Instead of red and green buttons,
our unit is makred with a “thumbs-up” and “thumbs-down.” Instead of a set-top accessory with red and
green LEDs, Thumbs Up uses an on-screen thumb to indicate which scenes are in and which are out. When
the user presses the EDIT button, Thumbs Up automatically records the scenes marked with “thumbs up”
on a new tape.
As you say, “once some company offers this type of editor, camcorder owners will derive much more
value, utility and fulfillment from their investment, keeping only those images they like.” I couldn’t have
said it better!
Marketing Director, Videonics
I’m feeling pretty disappointed right now. I’ve been waiting for a couple of months for the SEG buyer’s
guide (September 1995). I even told friends that asked me about SEGs to wait for it.
Then the issue arrived and the buyer’s guide turned out to be an overgrown sidebar composed of 10 bits
of information on 2 dozen products. Calling this a buyer’s guide is like referring to a Yugo as a family car.
Seriously, would you actually spend your own money based on the paltry data in this table?
Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m just one of those unhappy people that live to write
discouraging letters to the editor, let me say that I received useful information in the TBC article and
enjoyed the instructions for making cobwebs in the F/X article.
Thank you for your comments. Regarding the paucity of data and the scarcity of SEG models
covered in the guide, we should point something out: the main reason there isn’t a large number of
features and products listed is simply because there isn’t a wide range of products and features available
in the consumer and prosumer SEG market.
Traditionally, the SEG guide has run with the TBC feature; in the future, we will offer a separate feature article to go with the SEG guide.
I want to let you know how delighted I was with the September issue of Videomaker. Video
production is a rich blend of technology, technique and talent, and your September issue had solid articles
in all three areas.
I especially liked Jim Stinson’s article “People.” But while Jim had much good advice in dealing with
people, in my view he never really touched on the upside of working with all these folks. When it “clicks,”
when the actors, the camera people, the sound, the lighting and special effects teams all work well together,
the results are wonderful.
Keep up the good work. I’m already waiting for next month’s issue.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thanks for the Info
I wanted to express my thanks for the technical articles that have appeared in Videomaker. Even
the Q& A answers are informative, such as the one that appeared in June 1995 about format, lines of
resolution and bandwidth. I also enjoy reading Steven Muratore’s “Pause” column for a refreshing
The high quality of the articles separates Videomaker from many other special interest
magazines. These articles are very informative and educational; they don’t just tell you to buy a product
because it has all the latest buzzword features, or because “everybody is going to it.” I have especially
enjoyed articles on the video and television signals, sound, lighting and low-budget videomaking.
Open to a few suggestions? Here they are:
- For the few VCRs that have the option, discuss when to use manual or automatic volume controls.
- In camcorder reviews, some checking of autofocus operation. When shopping for a camcorder, I noticed a significant difference between different models’ ability to rapidly change focus. Those that used “Fuzzy
Logic” autofocus should be commended for their truth in advertising.
- Low light performance of camcorders (apart from the lux ratings, which don’t seem to correlate with
- Tips for difficult lighting situations, especially for those who have a mix of incandescent, fluorescent
and studio lights.
- More on format descriptions: S-VHS signals vs. VHS, how do you define a line of resolution, etc.
- Any tips or leads on ways to get different VCR and camcorder brands to talk to each other when doing
Thanks again for the excellent magazine.
Notes from our Reader Response Cards
Your magazine should occasionally include freebie samples, the way many music mags do.
Bronx, New York
Videomaker is an excellent, helpful publication.
Richmond Hill, Ontario, CN
Good mag, but too many articles deal with experienced amateurs or professionals. I’d like to see more items for beginners like myself.
I’d like to see more articles on how to begin a career in TV/Video production.
Your “Camera Work” articles are always very helpful. Thank you, and keep up the good work.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I would like to see more Product Probe tests on high-end camcorders (JVC Pro, Sony, Ikegami, etc.).
Kearny, New Jersey
More on Betamax camcorders, please.
Kenvil, New Jersey
I would like to see a comprehensive editing issue (i.e. buzzwords, equipment, how-to, etc.). I’d also like to see a regular special effects column.
You may now send letters to the editor through the Internet to firstname.lastname@example.org.