Two New Opturas Available

Canon Ships Two New Opturas

Canon has shipped two new Mini DV camcorders, the Optura 300 ($1,299) and the Optura Xi ($1,499). The units have 10x and 11x optical zoom lenses, respectively. Each camcorder includes a 2 megapixel, 1/3.4-inch CCD. Both models also connect directly to Canon Bubble Jet printers, as well as newer Pictbridge-compliant printers. Other photo-friendly features include flashes and auto-bracketing.

The Optura 300 includes a 2.5" LCD and electronic image stabilization. The Optura Xi includes a 3.5" LCD viewscreen, an optical image stabilizer and adds zebra-stripe exposure indicators as well as a manual focus ring.

NewTek: New Video Toaster and Lightwave 3D

NewTek, maker of the ground-breaking Video Toaster, has shipped the latest iteration of the product, dubbed VT[3]. The Video Toaster can capture and live-switch video, and now includes greater support for DV sources. The VT[3] retails for $2,995. Registered

Video Toaster owners can upgrade to the VT[3] software for $595.

Maxtor Announces OneTouch External Hard Drives

Maxtor has unveiled their new line of OneTouch external FireWire, USB 2.0 hard drives, which work with both PCs and Macs. Unlike previous Maxtor external hard drives, the new OneTouch units include a power switch, to protect data and to save wear and tear on the drive. The drives include Dantz Retrospect Express software, which is capable of making backups automatically on demand with one touch of the drive’s OneTouch button. The OneTouch button can also launch other applications.

Apple Ships DVD Studio Pro 2

Apple shipped DVD Studio Pro 2 on August 18. DVD Studio Pro 2 is a ground-up rewrite of DVD Studio Pro with new optimizations for Mac OS X, which includes a new user interface and new templates. It is a professional product with an interface that is designed to be scalable, so beginning users with some iDVD experience will be able to start using the application just as quickly as experienced DVD Studio Pro users. The package includes Compressor, the batch transcoding tool that is also included with Final Cut Pro 4, as well as A.Pack, a Dolby Digital encoder that handles stereo and 5.1-channel sountracks. The full version carries a retail price of $499, and upgrades are available for $199.

Pinnacle Buys Dazzle from SCM Microsystems

Pinnacle Systems has purchased the Dazzle Digital Media and Video consumer business from SCM Microsystems for $21.5 million in stock, leaving SCM to focus mainly on its security business, which includes smart card-based broadcast decryption, network authentication, personal identification and physical access products. Additionally, SCM’s digital media reader business was sold to Zio Corporation, which will continue to market products with the Dazzle brand.

DVD Update

According to research released by NPD group, 209,959 DVD burners were sold in the first six months of 2003, compared to only 32,297 in the first six months of 2002.

  • Lite-On IT has shipped the LDW-401S 4X DVD+RW drive for computers ($170), which includes buffer underrun protection and 40X digital audio extraction. The company will begin shipping the LVR-5001 DVD+RW set-top recorder sometime this month. It has a 4X DVD+RW mechanism and a FireWire port, and is expected to retail for $300. Expected soon after: the LVW-5010 DVD-RW/+RW set-top recorder, which will include a hard drive, a FireWire port, a memory card reader and an electronic program guide.
  • Memorex has shipped a DVD-RW/+RW drive, branded as the Dual-X. The unit ships in a kit, including Memorex blank discs, cables, screws and Roxio Easy CD and DVD Creator 6. Memorex claims a 5-minute hardware installation time for the unit, which sells for $330.
  • Plextor raises the ante for speed with an 8X unit, the PX-708A. The $299 unit can burn DVD+Rs at 8X, DVD-Rs and DVD+RWs at 4X and DVD-RWs at 2X. In kit form, it comes with Roxio Easy CD and DVD Creator 6 Basic and Roxio PhotoSuite 5 SE.
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