VIDEO CAMERA 1994

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NEWS -- JULY ISSUE

 

CANON BACK IN CONTROL

Weíve been grumbling about the lack of editing facilities on Canonís budget and mid-market camcorders for as long as we can remember, and it seems the penny has finally dropped. The all new UC100, due out this month, will be their first family machine to have a Control L terminal, so it can be used with almost all of the edit controllers now on the market. Canon have been taking a few leaves out of some other manufacturers books, which is only fair, considering the number Canon-originated features that have appeared elsewhere. The front end is a real nostalgia trip; the sliding 0.7 wide-angle lens adaptor looks very similar to one devised by Fuji a few years back, and the shape and position of the built-in video light is pure JVC. Maybe Canon are getting their own back,  a couple of JVC machines now feature pop-up video lights, originally that was a Canon idea. The built-in lens cover is operated by the main on/off switch, Sony dreamt that one up, and the sideways zoom control was, we seem to recall, a Panasonic innovation. The rest, though, is pure Canon, for the record the feature list also includes:

 

* 12x variable-speed zoom

* 5-mode program AE

* 7-speed shutter

* title generator

* 2-lux low-light sensitivity

 

Canon have made extensive use of digital processing circuitry, and combined the functions of various systems in to one multi-tasking chipset, including white balance, exposure and focusing. (Didnít Panasonic try something similar a year or so ago?); fewer components means improved quality and, hopefully, increased reliability . So now we come to the price, the UC100 will be selling for just under £700, and that really does sound like a return to the good old days. A full  review is underway as we speak.

 

GAMES MONITOR

Hereís a clever idea, a range of 14 and 15-inch colour TVs that are designed to double up as high-performance monitors for computer and video games. Theyíre the CT-14MS1BM,  CT-14MS1TX and CT-15MS1TX from Mitsubishi. The features that makes these sets special are VDU-inspired tilt/swivel stands, 2-channel stereo sound systems (not NICAM, though), front AV terminals and RGB-configured SCART sockets; all thatís in addition to fairly standard features like infra-red remote control, off-timer and loop aerial. That adds up to the perfect video games TV, and the prices, which start at under £200 for the 14MS1BM, look like a very good deal indeed. The TX model has a fastext decoder, that takes the price up to £230, and the 15-inch (36cm FST screen), which also has a from S-Video socket, on-screen menu and channel display, will sell for £260.

 

SWINGING SIXTY

Mitsubishi can normally be relied upon to include at least one camcorder-friendly VCR in their range, this year itís the new HS-M60V, which will be hitting the shops in August, priced at £480. Itís a mid-market NICAM stereo machine with automatic set-up, tape tuning system improved on-screen displays and mid-mount deck mechanism. The features weíre most interested in, though, are:

 

* front-mounted AV terminal

* jog/shuttle dial

* insert edit

* audio dub

* NTSC playback

 

Hopefully weíll be getting our hands on one in the next month or two, so look out for a full review soon.

 

YOUíRE ABOUT TO BE SURROUNDED!

Surround sound comes to home movie-making, or at least it will later in the year when Ent-Tech Entertainment Technology launch their Digital 3D Surround Sound Animator (DSSA) software package. DSSA is a CD ROM-based system designed to work on PCs compatible with the MPC2 multi-media standard. It will be able to produce professional quality surround sound effects that can be decoded on any home cinema system, including Dolby Pro Logic set-ups. The package will enable the user to position and move sound and effects anywhere within the 3D soundstage; the effects can be stored on disc, as CD-quality ĎWAVí files, or output to a sound mixer for editing or dubbing to tape. DSSA is still under development but be assured weíll be following the progress of this very interesting development and plan to take a closer look at what it can do over the coming months.

 

SHARPER VIEW CAM

The Sharp VL-E30 View Cam, which only arrived last September, has just undergone its first facelift. Nothing drastic you understand, just enough to keep the opposition on its toes. For the record the VL-E31 -- as it will now be known  --  features a restyled handgrip for the left hand, and some slight alterations to the screen housing. And thatís about it, just thought youíd like to know. Oh, by the way, the price stays the same, at around £850.

 

LITE FANTASTIC

If youíre into serious video editing and post production youíll probably already be aware of Video Machine, the powerful PC-based edit controller, effects generator, mixer and digital processor. Itís serious technology for broadcast and professional video users, but now FAST Electronics, who also brought us Movie Machine (see feature this month) have developed Video Machine Lite, a cut-down version of Video Machine selling for less than £2,000 (ex VAT), thatís around half the price of the original Video Machine. Most of the important features remain intact, including a formidable assortment of 300 digital effects, frame grabber, two-deck edit control, digital keying and two-channel video mixing. The features which have been stripped include the pattern generator, alpha-channel wipes and edit decision list (EDL) export facility. Even in its simplified form itís still a bit OTT for most home users but commercial and industrial video studios will almost certainly be queuing up for it.

 

NB -- hold the front page, still waiting for this one to be confirmed...

 

SONY NEAR, BUT SO FAR

The Channel Tunnel may have brought us closer to France, but in video terms weíre as far apart as ever, as this new Sony palmcorder clearly demonstrates. Itís the CCD-TR150, which Sony UK tell us they have no plans to introduce into the UK. Canít say weíre sorry to hear that; the specification looks decidedly uninteresting, and we suspect it may have been an ill-considered  response to the Panasonic CS1. Itís a record-only machine, with optical viewfinder, fixed focus lens with switchable wide-tele setting and mono FM soundtrack. The price in France is around £500.

 

 

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R.Maybury 1994 1705

 


 

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