Critiquing in Contests Would Be Appreciated

We Want Feedback

I had to take the time to write and tell you how glad I am that I subscribed to your wonderful magazine. Put simply, every issue of Videomaker is a gold mine of information for anyone interested in video production. Not only does your publication cover a myriad of topics, your articles are concise and easy to understand. Keep up the good work!

Now that Ive heaped on the praise, I would like to offer a suggestion regarding your annual Videomaker/Panasonic contest. In keeping with the educational philosophy of your magazine (specifically inspiring people to make video), I believe some type of feedback system would be very useful to those of us who enter our projects. Even a simple 1-10 scaled rating sheet on technical aspects such as lighting, sound, etc., would be welcome. Short written critiques from your experts would be even better. I realize this would take some extra time and effort on your part, but it would be a valuable service that would be greatly appreciated by those of us who truly wish to improve in our craft. Maybe this is something to consider for next year?

Jeff Kirkendall

Latham, NY

Thanks for the kind words about Videomaker. We would love to be able to write reviews of each video submitted to the Videomaker/Panasonic contest, but with the large number of submissions, this would be too huge an undertaking for our staff. As you can imagine publishing the magazine, holding expos and producing videos consumes all of our time. We do, however, have tape critiques at each of our workshops held in Chico, CA. Come spend a weekend with us and well see what we can do.

The Editors

Stuck on S-VHS

I thoroughly enjoy Videomaker. I especially liked your recent buyers guide on digital camcorders for Y2K. However, I was turned off about going digital when I found out how expensive the tapes are. I think I will stick with my S-VHS equipment. Digital video seems to be all they say it is, but the related accessories needed to make 100 percent digital videos are far too expensive for my budget.

Bob Hornsby



The good news is that we expect to see the prices of digital video equipment and accessories continue to drop. If the price of DV tape is your biggest concern, consider Sonys Digital8 format. You can get all the benefits of digital recording, while using less expensive Hi8 tapes.

The Editors

Seeing is Truly Believing.

First let me thank you for your wonderful magazine, it more than pays for itself every month. I would like to share my experience on the value of using a digital master, and dubbing down to standard VHS for copies. I was told by more than one individual, that since my eventual copy would always be VHS, there would be no difference in picture quality if I went from my digital camcorder to S-VHS, before dubbing down to standard VHS, versus going straight from my digital camcorder to standard VHS. Let me tell you, the DV to VHS copy blew the DV to S-VHS to VHS copy away. An excellent reminder that generation loss is the true enemy. 500 lines straight to 250 is far superior than going from 500 to 400 to 250. Seeing really is believing!

Howard Steiger

Reno, NV

And The Winner Is…?

Question: what happened to the 1999 Videomaker/Panasonic contest? I entered a short video called MARY months back, and I am wondering if the winners were chosen, and when they will be announced. Id appreciate a reply. Thanks, and keep up the good work! I love your magazine, and your Web site is pretty cool too!

James Greenberg


Thanks for the letter, James. Glad you asked about the contest. Were sure you arent the only one whos waiting to see the results. The winners of the Videomaker/Panasonic contest are in this issue on page 103. You can visit our Web site ( to see short clips of the winning videos.

The Editors

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Mike Wilhelm
Mike is the Editor-in-Chief of Videomaker and Creator Handbook