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Two New Panasonic Palms

Panasonic has released two new, fully-equipped Palmcorder Mini DV cams for under $1,000. The PV-DV701 (MSRP $999) and PV-DV351 (MSRP $899) offer Panasonic’s Dual Digital Electronic Image Stabilization to compensate for camcorder movement and a MagicPix Images feature to allow for low-light recording. Both include 10x optical zoom lenses, 680,000-pixel CCDs and built-in PhotoShot digital still-camera functions. In addition, their three-way PC link allows desktop connection via IEEE 1394, PHOTOVU LINK and CARD LINK. Both cams also come bundled with photo-editing software. In addition, the PIP (picture-in-picture) feature lets users insert a small still shot over the video that is being recorded.

According to Panasonic, the main difference between the two camcorders is the size of the LCD screen. The PV-DV351 offers a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, while the PV-DV701 comes equipped with a 3.5-inch LCD.

Multi-Cam Editing Made Easy

United Media Inc. promises that Multicam, its new editing product, will allow video editors to easily sync, preview, cut and edit a multi-cam shoot. Multicam runs on Matrox RT2500, RT2000 and DigiSuite hardware and works in conjunction with Adobe Premiere. It lets users work with up to four different camera sources, edit video and audio between them and bring them into complete synchronization, the company said. After editing with Multicam the project is exported directly to Premiere’s timeline.

Other Multicam features, according to United Media, include two-, three- or four-camera editing modes; visual clip markers and timecode display syncing tools, as well as direct timeline trimming tools to fine-tune a multi-cam cut.

Multicam is available at a $499 suggested retail price.

Peer to Peer Watch:

Streaming media distributor Blue Falcon Networks recently announced a deal with MeasureCast to coactively offer peer-to-peer streaming media delivery solutions. New capabilities would allow Blue Falcon customers third-party audience measurement. A Blue Falcon spokeswoman said the move illustrates "further validation of the growing market acceptance of peer-to-peer streaming delivery."


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New Shotgun from Azden

Hoping to expand the success of its SGM-2X shotgun microphone, the Azden Corp. has introduced the SGM-1X, a shorter version designed for today’s smaller digital camcorders.

The SGM-1X, four inches shorter than its big brother, is a single-barrel, hyper-directional, super-cardioid "wired" shotgun mike. Its heavy-duty shockmount is ready for attachment to a camcorder’s accessory shoe or mike stand.

Notable SGM-1X features include a wide frequency-response range (80 to 18,000Hz, according to Azden), balanced low-impedance XLR output and included windscreen. In addition, its shockmount keeps camcorder motor noise away from the mike.

Available now, the SGM-1X has a suggested retail price of $200.

Sony Goes Bluetooth Overseas

Sony’s two new recently-unveiled Mini DV camcorders boast wireless Internet connectivity. Using Bluetooth technology, the DCR-PC120 and MICROMV-based DCR-IP7 allow consumers to connect their camcorders directly to the Internet without requiring a PC. The Bluetooth protocol, Sony said, will allow on-the-go users to shoot video and digital stills, and then send them as e-mail attachments within seconds. Videographers would establish Internet connections via Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

The camcorders were released in Japan and Europe in early fall. Although a date has not yet been established, a U.S. announcement is planned, said a Sony spokeswoman.

MICROMV is a new Sony format that fundamentally incorporates the MPEG-2 compression standard in its operation. Sony has also introduced MICROMV cassettes ($12.45 U.S.) – much smaller in size and with more resident memory than standard Mini DV cassettes, the company said.

In addition to i.LINK (IEEE 1394) connectivity, both camcorders offer Sony’s Memory Stick removable disk storage for another way to transfer short video clips to the PC.

The DCR-PC120 is priced at $1,411, while the DCR-IP7 cost is $1,577 (both U.S. equivalent MSRP).

RealNetworks Launches RealOne

Internet Media delivery stalwart RealNetworks on Sept. 24 unveiled a new integrated media product called RealOne. At the center of the RealOne Platform is the new RealOne Player, which is said to combine and reinvent the ubiquitous RealPlayer and RealJukebox and adds to them a powerful new media browser that would give consumers "an unmatched, multi-dimensional media experience."

The RealOne Platform is expected to offer compatibility with a wide range of development tools and services that enable users to create secure, digital media content.

More than 150 content providers and technology partners worldwide have already announced their endorsement of the RealOne Platform, the company reported. They include ABC News, CBS.com, FeedRoom, MLB Advanced Media, MGM Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weather.com.

The RealOne Platform, the company anticipates, will assist Web content creators in "extending their current Web sites to create an immersive multimedia experience, which features audio and video playback with contextual information."

By Dec. 1, the company said, it would also launch RealOne Service, an expanded version of its successful GoldPass media subscription service. RealOne Service is expected to be built upon the RealOne Platform and would offer a wide range of content and services, including downloadable and streaming major-label music from MusicNet.

Matrox Real-Time Upgrade

This fall, Matrox released the RT2500, which claims to have more real-time features than any other similarly-priced video-editing card available. The RT2500, designed and moderately priced for amateur video enthusiasts as well as professional multimedia producers, allows users to capture analog and digital video, perform three-layer real-time editing and deliver their finished project to DVD, CD, tape or the Web.

RT2500 features include Adobe Premiere, Inscriber TitleExpress, Sonic Foundry ACID Music and Matrox MediaTools, just as its predecessor, the RT2000 did. But while the older model was a two-card set (editing card and display card), the RT2500 is a single PCI-bus video-editing card that works in conjunction with your computer’s existing display card.

Released at $999, Matrox dropped the RT2500’s suggested retail price to $899 at press time.

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