Personal Trial of the Video Helmet

A Word From Sima

The review of the Sima Products ColorWriter
Plus (Model SCW-2) in your July issue had a number of positive things to
say about our newest titler. Thank you. However, the negative comments were
inaccurate and misleading. The reviewer’s main point – "for the price
of a ColorWriter, there are better products available"- is plainly
untrue. There are no other combined color titler and editors on the market
even close to the $200 price of the SCW-2. The review was done from the
point of view of a professional videographer. This is like reviewing a Honda
Accord by comparing it to a Mercedes and then saying no one should buy an
Accord. Not all of us have the budget (and long learning time) to invest
in professional equipment.

We believe Videomaker magazine has a broad spectrum of readers –
from beginner to professional, and any product should be reviewed in terms
of what it is designed to do and who the user will be. The SCW-2 is a simple-to-use
product with features like composite and S-video, 20 character sizes and
a built-in video fader (which were never mentioned in the article!). With
a minimal time investment, it lets video hobbyists put titles on their home
videos. It does this very well.

Dave Hochendoner

Director of Product Development

Sima Products Corporation

Rules Are Made to Be Broken

You have a great magazine in Videomaker. I’d be lost without
the help that you’ve given me in selecting equipment and helping me to understand
how different components work. Your information about new products and technologies
introduced to the public is invaluable. If I may, I’d like to add my two
cents worth of criticism however. In my opinion there are too many repetitive
articles about basic rules for making videos.

The late Duke Ellington said, "if it sounds good, it is good"
and that could well be translated to video too "if it looks good, it
is good". Elementary rules are fine but the true test of a video is,
does it tell a story effectively? As in every creative process and medium,
the best and most outstanding practitioners are those who break the rules
by finding new ways to communicate effectively. Keep those issues coming.

George P. Miller

Columbia, MD

Thanks for your letter, George. True, we at Videomaker are dedicated
to teaching the fundamentals of making video. The rules we offer outline
those fundamentals. However, we also encourage our readers to push the envelope
of creativity in their video efforts. The basic rules we offer are a road
map for understanding the production process. Please, never let the "rules"
get in the way of innovation, but before you can break the rules, you have
to know what they are.

– The Editors

If the Helmet Fits...

I enjoyed the article about the video helmet (Look! Up in the Sky: It’s
Video Man!
April 1998). I tried the same thing for skiing some years
ago. I used a bicycle helmet and a Sony Hi8 camcorder, but did not have
sense enough to cut the top off the helmet, which would have made mounting
the camera easier. I got some great shots chasing the kids through the woods
and a friend through the slalom gates. I also turned the helmet around and
wore it backwards and got some interesting frontal shots of my subjects
chasing me. I found the rig to be top heavy though, so I tried mounting
the camcorder on one side of the helmet and the battery on the other. The
helmet I had was too big for my head, so this did not work. It did make
the controls easier to reach however.

My next step was to buy a small digital camera and try the side mount again.
I now have a police riot helmet with a face shield. I have painted an aiming
circle on the shield so I can follow my subject while keeping my hands free.

Louis S. Moore, MD

Naples FL

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FAX: 530-891-8443


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The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.

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