Rocktooloud, The Black Mag



The Black Magic Intensity card sounds like a great product, but check the requirements for the computer it’s plugged into. I think you need a fairly beefy computer. And you would have to lug it around where ever you shoot, since you would be recording directly to the computer, bypassing the tape. If that’s OK with you, check out the Sony FX7, or even better, the Sony V1U.

For a bit more money (around $6000), you can avoid HDV compression by going with the Panasonic HVX200, or the soon to be released Sony PMW-EX1. Both units record directy to solid-state memory cards. In the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about the PMW-EX1. It’s signal is more compressed than the HVX200’s. And color info is compressed to 4:2:0, while the HVX200 encodes to the more desirable 4:2:2. But preiminary reports say the PMW-EX1 produces a sharper image. However, the PMW-EX1 does resort to interframe compression (the HVX200 does not), so there could be some interframe compression artifacts with excessive subject motion, but not as bad as with HDV. So, it’s going to be a tough choice. Panasonic has a long-standing reputation for better color reproduction, but it looks like the Sony is going to give to a “higher” high definition image.

Ya pays yer money, and ya makes yer choice.

Ken Hull

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Videomaker’s 2020 holiday gift guide

When it comes to holiday gifting for people who are deeply involved in a niche or hobby, it's challenging to decide which ideas are worthwhile. If the hobby has become an actual gig that they invest in, it can be daunting. This is true with videographers as much as anything, but we're here to help. You might want to find a gift that is exactly what they need to round out their gear, or something a little more fun. Either way, we've got you covered.