A Sharp View
Sharp has introduced two new 8mm camcorders, the VL-E660U and the VL-E760U. The VL-E660U boasts a three-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) viewscreen, variable speed zoom, a DIS (digital image stabilizer) for jitter-free recording
and a fader (to fade to and from black). The VL-E760U offers the same features
as the VL-E660U, but with a larger LCD display, digital special effects
and external recording input. Both camcorders offer a 16x optical zoom (through
the lens) and a 40x digital zoom (electronically in the camera).
Suggested retail prices: VL-E760U – $899.99, VL-E660U -$699.99
|Speak the Language|
TenLab’s tr-11SVHS is the first consumer-level stand-alone digital video
standard converter that features S-VHS input/output. A video standard converter
converts video from the NTSC format used in North America to the PAL and
SECAM formats used in the rest of the world. The tr-11SVHS also features
a built-in time-base corrector (TBC) to correct errors in the signal, dedicated
phase (tint) and video gain (brightness) controls.
Suggested retail price: $745
|Small Does it All|
Canon’s new ZR Digital Video (DV) camcorder adopts the look and feel
of "point-and-shoot" style film cameras. The Canon ZR uses a 1/4-inch
CCD image sensor and records on standard Mini DV cassettes. It comes equipped
with a FireWire DV terminal to transmit image data to a computer. Additional
features include two recording modes–movie mode and photo mode, 11x Canon
Optical Zoom Lens, image stabilization, programmed automatic picture exposure
control, 2 1/2-inch LCD screen with 180,000 pixels (picture elements)
Suggested retail price: $1999.00
The Maxell Corporation of America has introduced nine rechargeable camcorder
batteries. Four new lithium ion batteries for 8mm and VHS-C camcorders are
for use in Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Hitachi, Sharp, Canon, and RCA camcorders.
The batteries have running times of up to two and one-half hours. Five new
nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries run up to four hours, twice as long
as standard nickel cadmium batteries and are available for virtually all
VHS-C and 8mm camcorders.
Suggested retail prices: Start at $60
The new VML458 palmcorder from Quasar offers an LCD (liquid crystal
display) monitor, a powerful 23x optical zoom and VCR-size head cylinder.
The 2.6-inch color LCD monitor swivels 270 degrees–you can turn the lens
on yourself and still monitor the image right-side up. The VML458 uses compact
VHS tapes so recordings can be played in any VCR with the included PlayPak
Suggested retail price: $600
|Wireless for Less|
Nady Systems designed the Platinum 802 Series UHF (ultra-high frequency)
wireless microphone system for the user on a budget. This two-channel UHF
system offers the DigitrU Diversity [TM] system (multiple receiver circuits
and antennas for better reception). It has a compact rack-mountable receiver
with dual front-mounted antennas, adjustable line level 1/4-inch phono jack
and fixed mike level XLR outputs. These wireless mikes have a 120dB dynamic
Suggested retail price: starts at $469
Memorex now offers a full line of headphones designed to work with today’s
digital stereo sound equipment, whether it’s for camcorders, personal players
or for high-end home systems. The Sonic Lite line includes four models:
the SL 20 lightweight model; the SL 40 with dynamic sound; the SL 60V featuring
volume control; the SL 90V Samarium Cobalt speakers with superior mono/stereo
sound and volume control; and the SB 100 Sports Bud Stereo Earphones which
are weather resistant.
Suggested retail prices: $3.99 to $12.99
Thanks to 3-D Video you can now make and watch your own 3-D videos right
at home. The Nu-View SS-2002 Starter System includes the SX2000 Camcorder
Adaptor and the Nu-Shades 3-D Viewing System (with two pairs of LCD glasses)
that promises true, stereoscopic 3-D viewing on any standard television.
The system uses a propriety process called Stereo-Optix which allows two
distinct views (left eye and right eye) to enter the single lens of a camcorder
to provide a 3-D image to be recorded. While attached to the camcorder,
the SX2000 allows auto focus, auto exposure, and white balance to operate
Suggested retail price: $549.95
|High Performance 8mm|
Canon expands its 8mm-camcorder line with the introduction of the ES280.
The ES280 includes a 16x optical zoom and 32x digital zoom, image stabilization,
custom keys, and digital special effects. The digital special effects include
negative conversion which, when used with the FP-100 film adapter, can be
used to transfer 35mm film negatives to video.Suggested retail prices: $599
|tripod on the Move|
Gitzo has announced a new lightweight aluminum alloy tripod. The Gitzo 1337
Aluminum Alloy Video tripod features variable-angle legs that eliminate
the need for a mid-level or floor spreader to hold the tripod legs together.
Each leg can be adjusted at either 25-degrees or 55-degrees for low level
shooting or for uneven terrain. Closed-cell rubber grips surround each outer
leg section, and retractable spiked feet are built-in.
Suggested retail prices: $800
|Dim your Lights|
Lowel-Light Manufacturing is offering
a new programmable light dimmer. The Lowel Dimmer LD-10 offers variable
dimming (from 0% to 100%) in 5000 steps and stores four light level settings.
The dimmer also includes a flicker function for special effects. The three
pound, 14 ounce dimmer can be mounted on Lowel’s light stand struts and
can be interlocked together in multiples. Lowel claims a 200-microsecond
rise time prevents lamp filaments from buzzing and increases lamp life.
An optional wireless remote can control up to 10 units.
Suggested retail price: $345