WEVA 2007 brief

Wedding and Event Videographers convened last week in Las Vegas for the 2007 WEVA show. It was unfortunate timing with the 30-year anniversary of Elvis' death meaning every qualified Elvis impersonator was in Graceland. So, we won't be able to post another random Elvis impersonator pic, as we've seem to have done in the past when we blog about Las Vegas based shows. Nonetheless, we had a good time mingling with the constituents of one of the most daring categories in pro video– wedding videography. And, in the spirit of these good people I'll quickly ask where the heck was Sony and Canon at this year's exhibit? But, rather than waste time talking about people who weren't there, let's talk about what we did see. Checking Out Camcorders We're giving Panasonic and JVC gold stars for having booths at the show. Although they had nothing new in the booths, it was nice to see that they were out there in full-force. We did pick up a bit of chatter from the Panasonic booth about a new shoulder-mount camera being developed somewhere between the HVX200 model and the HPX500 model. That got our collective minds spinning and there's nothing more to report on that topic, but we hope to learn more soon. LightScribe announced new color background discs last December, but this was actually the first time we had seen them in the flesh and we're quite excited how much pop the color background gives even the simplest of graphic design. Check out the image and see for yourself. This method of disc labeling has been known to be one of the safer methods, but we're now thinking it might be a very good way to separate your DVD discs from the competition in terms of style. The color background discs cost a fraction more than the standard gold discs and they come in yellow, orange, red, blue and green. Shining Technology CitiDisk [image:blog_post:14112] Shining Technology has a new CitiDisk adapter called the Pocket Adapter that stows your CitiDisk and external battery in one below-the-camcorder, black-matte-finished, aluminum box. It's really that simple. Just add a tripod adapter on the bottom of that and off you go. The benefit of the Pocket Adapter is that it's sturdy, protecting your CitiDisk and by keeping everything centralized, you'll have less issues with tangling the FireWire and external battery cables. These are all good things. The Pocket Adapter goes for $160. Shining Technology is also teasing a soon-to-be product, the Beetle. Apparently they had an Alpha version at NAB, which looked like a stick of metal, and to date the Beta version is still getting tinkered with. Shining Technology's Beetle, much like their CitiDisks, will store digital video to a hard drive. The difference is that Beetle will work with Betacams and other analog devices in an automated fashion using RS232/422 control protocols. The Beetle also will capture video in DV, DVCPro50 and MPEG-2 formats. Maybe there's still life left in that old Betacam yet. Expect more news about Shining Technology Beetle around the time of DV Expo. Sentry Case [image:blog_post:14113]The Sentry Case made its debut on the exhibit floor and made some buzz among the booths, literally. The Sentry Case is equipped with an alarm among other security features, making it one of the first cases to give videographers a sturdy and secure storage option while at relatively unsecured shooting locations. At events where you neither can afford to pay someone to watch your gear nor can you trust the party guests, this case is handy. Let's take you through this step by step. First, it's big. Real big. You could easily store 3 medium sized prosumer camcorders in there (i.e., Sony HDR-V1Us) and some accessories too. Despite it's size, the Sentry Case remains somewhat easy to move with it's telescopic pull-handle, wheels, and large handles outlining the perimeter of the case. This is where we find the first security feature. The handles around the case, the primary means of moving this behemoth are removable. Simply pull the pins where the handle hinges from the case, throw your handles inside the case and lock the case opening. There, no more handles. At this point if a thief tried to take the case it would be a cumbersome affair. The telescopic pull-handle will even lock in the closed position, so wheeling away is more difficult than before. [image:blog_post:14114]But, certainly that's not good enough all on its own, so the Sentry case also is equipped with a steel cable that can be locked to furniture or whatever have you at the location. The cable joins on the inside of the case. And, the alarm we mentioned earlier is one of the more clever security features. The alarm features a 12v power adapter connected to the built in alarm panel. The case user plugs in the alarm to a wall socket, activates the alarm (an interior switch), locks the case (make sure your handles are in there) and now has an activated alarm awaiting anyone who should remove the power source. That means if someone where to unplug that adapter or cut the power cord the case's 108 dB alarm will sound. To make sure this doesn't happen accidentally, the power adapter has a plastic note card cautioning English and Spanish readers not to remove the power cord or else an alarm will sound. What this in effect does, it makes sure nobody moves your stuff without you knowing. All in all, when you take all features in account, you have a hard to grip case, attached to something with a steel cable, a lockable latch to keep people from the case's interior and an alarm that sounds should it be removed or interrupted from the power source. That should help prevent theft, don't you think? Needless to say, we were impressed. There's one little thing we didn't like, however. In order to get the power adapter and steel cable to run from the interior of the case to the exterior, there needs to be an opening. Sentry Case's solution is drilling a hole in the corner at the seam of the case. We don't think this is a security problem, thankfully, but it's an eyesore. Deal-breaker? Not really, the Sentry Case is a one-of-kind case and well worth the added prevention of having your stuff ready for you where you left it. The eyesore is an engineering challenge we hope to see solved for the next generation of Sentry Cases. The Sentry Case's external dimensions measures 28.17" L x 22.27" W x 15.10" D and internal dimension are 25.52" L x 19.5" W x 13.8" D. Here are the colors to choose from: black, International orange, gun metal grey, safety yellow. And, they ship empty, with pluckable foam, or with foam dividers for $500, $570 and $680, respectively. LaCie [image:blog_post:14115]Hard drives seem to be a dime a dozen these days. But a good hard drive for the video editing professional is not so easy to come by, at least not without shelling out some dough. That's why we were excited to finally be introduced face to face with the LaCie Quadra hard drive family. What's so special about this particular line is that these hard drives are equipped with an eSATA connection (hence the name Quadra, you see it's a Quad interface: eSATA, FW400, FW800, USB 2.0). It has all those connections mentioned plus an additional FireWire 800 port, allowing you to more easily daisy chain these drives together. The Quadra family ships in 320 GB, 500 GB, 750 GB and 1TB sizes at $189, $229, $319 and $599 respectively. Well, that certainly wasn't all we saw from WEVA, but that's what caught our eye this year. It's somewhat surprising that we didn't catch more, seeing as there were no Elvis impersonators to distract us. But then again, maybe an Elvis here or there is a good way to get worked into a frenzy about video gear. So, here it is from the archives. Enjoy.

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