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December 22, 2010

Table of Contents

The Moving Picture: Authoring SD-DVDs for an HD/LCD World
FxFactory Development Partner PHYX Inc. Raises The VFX Bar With New Plug-In For Final Cut Studio And After Effects
Chrosziel’s New Accessories for Panasonic 3D and 4/3s Cameras
Singular Software Announces Dualeyes Public Beta Program For Mac Users
ProDAD Unveils New Adorage Effects Package 12 – Worldwide Effects
Anton/Bauer Features Dionic HCX® CINE VCLX Batteries, SO-SF35 and SO-14/28R Snap-On Belts At Band Pro One World 2010 Open House
Anton/Bauer Power Solutions For The Canon EOS 5D MARK II, EOS 7D and EOS 60D Digital SLR Cameras Now Shipping Worldwide
Switronix Announces New HDV Power Solution For Panasonic AG-AF 100

The Moving Picture: Authoring SD-DVDs for an HD/LCD World

I spent a week in December working with a contracting firm that provides video services to a large U.S. government agency. It was a very high-tech group, with broadcast-quality gear and talent, and it was interesting to see the breadth of productions that the group members support, from live events to training materials to videos in support of the agency’s technology initiatives. It was also interesting to see the breadth of outputs that they supported, from very high-quality H.264 files uploaded to their online video platform (OVP) for internet use, to WMV/lower-quality H.264 video for integrating into PowerPoint, and lots and lots of DVDs.

Before working with this firm, it had been a while since I had actually developed any DVD production-related training. After talking with the group during the preparatory phase of the training, it quickly became obvious that while DVD technology hasn’t changed in a while, the changes around it have significantly impacted both production workflows and playback environments. For example, by agency mandate, the group shoots in 720/60p, which means 60 full-resolution 1280x720 frames per second. The 60p mandate wasn’t designed to create the “filmic” look; rather, with their scientific bent, the group chose this format because it captured the most information at the highest quality. For example, their cameras supported 1080p, but only at a maximum of 30p, which meant 30 discrete video impressions a second. Though the frames are smaller, they wanted the 30 extra full impressions they were able to achieve with 720/60p.

However, to format 720/60p for standard-definition 480- line DVD, you have to convert it to 720x480 resolution video at any number of scan rates, both progressive and interlaced. You get the smoothest result at 29.97i, since you map each 60p frame to a 29.97i field, preserving the 60 impressions per second, albeit at a much lower resolution. Anyway, one problem that we focused on related to a long shot of a spokeswoman walking around a studio. In postproduction, they were inserting faux LCD screens displaying different videos, which is why they shot a long shot rather than a medium or closeup. The shot looked great at 720/60p, but after downsampling and interlacing for a 29.97i SD DVD, the woman’s face shimmered from the interlacing on the huge plasma display they used for previewing. The shimmering was brief and the client in the agency didn’t notice it, but the producers wanted to eliminate it.

The solution that they came up with was very creative: producing at 24p rather than 29.97i. As you probably know, 24p is a legal format for DVDs, and eliminating the interlacing got rid of the shimmer. The only problem was that the panning in the sequence looked a lot less smooth than the original 60p video, or even the 29.97i video. That’s because with either 60p or 29.97i, the viewer sees 60 distinct, regularly spaced impressions a second. Since 24 doesn’t divide into 60 evenly, the cadence after the 60p to 24p conversion is uneven (drop one frame, show a frame, drop two frames, show a frame, drop one frame, etc.). Though you can use interpolation techniques to smooth the motion, the result is never as smooth as rendering 60p video at 29.97i or what you would have achieved by shooting at native 24p.

We noodled for a bit, and I suggested that we convert from 60p to 29.97i in Adobe After Effects rather than Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Media Encoder, which they had previously tried. No dice: The shimmering was a little less noticeable, but it still was nowhere near as clear as the 24p video. Then someone suggested producing at 30p. I was skeptical since—as far as I knew—30p wasn’t a legal format for DVD. We gave it a shot, though, and DVD Studio Pro loaded the file without re-rendering, definitely a good sign.

We burned a DVD containing all the alternatives—29.97i, 29.97i from After Effects, 24p, and 30p—and the 30p looked as clear as the 24p, but smoother. We had a winner, at least on the big plasma screen.

Then we took the DVD around and played it on a number of other target platforms, including an old NTSC CRT monitor and Mac and Windows computers. What was shocking to me was how different the video looked on all of the playback platforms. The NTSC CRT monitor was the most forgiving, displaying the interlaced and progressive video with no shimmering or noticeable interlacing-related artifacts, and, of course, at 29.97i the video was very smooth. The big plasma was the least forgiving. The shimmering and interlacing was very obvious in the interlaced modes, and the motion was very jerky. The computer screens were somewhere in the middle, with the shimmering noticeable, though not terrible, but the interlaced lines were very noticeable.

This agency generally produces fairly short videos, and one idea was to produce two versions: one progressive at 30p and one interlaced at 29.97i, letting the viewer decide which looked best on his or her playback platform. Bridging over to what we do for a living, if I were producing a wedding video, I would definitely want to know the primary playback platforms for the resulting video. I’ve always produced for DVD exclusively in 29.97i, but as the market transitions from CRTs to plasma, LCD, and OLED displays, I definitely want to understand how my interlaced productions look before I shoot, edit, and render at 29.97i.

Jan Ozer (jan at doceo.com) is a frequent contributor to industry magazines and websites on digital video-related topics. He is chief instructor at StreamingLearningCenter.com.

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EventDV magazine has announced that voting is now open for the 2010 EventDV 25, the magazine's 6th annual all-star team of the hottest and most influential event filmmakers in the world. Elected entirely by reader/filmmaker voting, the EventDV 25 is the event filmmaking industry's one true reader's-choice selection of the filmmakers and studios who had the biggest impact on the industry in 2010. Honorees will be announced in early March on EventDV-TV. Watch EventDV.net and EventDV Spotlight for details. Readers of EventDV magazine, EventDV Spotlight, and www.eventdv.net are encouraged to vote now by clicking here, or on the EventDV 25 image on the right. Polls will remain open until January 5.

"It's amazing to see the changes in this industry since we first did the EventDV 25 in 2005," said EventDV editor-in-chief Stephen Nathans-Kelly. "Who'da thunk, back then, that most of the top producers in our business would be shooting with still cameras, crossing oceans to collaborate with one another, calling themselves filmmakers, and earning that appelation and more with the dazzling work they do? Not to mention regularly sharing that work online for their peers around the world to see?" Nathans-Kelly said. "And lest you doubt that we are indeed a global industry, and increasingly recognized for the talent demonstrated in the work we share, make no mistake: The world is watching. 233,000 viewers of a wedding clip posted late last month—89,000 in one day—attest to that. And there's no better showcase for that talent than the annual EventDV 25 awards show, which acclaims the best of the best and presents their very best work in all its glory."

Here's a look at Day One of last year's awards show, produced by Whit Wales of Whit Wales Wedding Films (who will be back in his producer/director role by popular demand this year) recognizing the 2009 EventDV 25:


(To see the rest of the 4-day show, visit the 2009 EventDV 25 Awards Show page.)

The voting and selection process for the 2010 EventDV 25 remains very similar to last year's process. Voters may vote as many as 25 times, but they can't vote for the same event filmmaker more than once. You must be a active in the event filmmaking industry to vote, and you must be active to make the list. And, as befits a competition that's about having a professional impact on your peers and on your industry as a whole, votes cast by filmmakers/videographers for themselves, for their family members, employers, employees, or anyone in their studio will not be counted. (Filmmakers who receive votes from themselves, their family members, their employers, employees, or business partners will still be eligible to make the list; the disqualified votes simply won't count toward their total.) To make votes easier to validate is that voters must identify themselves with a valid company domain name in their email address (e.g., filmmaker@mystudio.com) or a URL for their studio in the comments field for their votes to count. "Just give us something we can use to track you down and validate your vote," said Nathans-Kelly. (And of course without a working email address you won't be available for any of the prizes we'll be giving away to voters this year—details to come.) As in past years, the filmmakers/studios with the 25 highest vote totals will become the 2010 EventDV 25.

One key difference in this year's voting is that EventDV is partnering with a number of vendors in the industry to provide exclusive giveaways to registered EventDV 25 voters. The drawing will take place after the polls close on January 5, and winners will be announced around or about January 15. Giveaway sponsors signed on so far include Sony Creative Software with a full boxed copy of the brand new Vegas Pro 10 professional NLE, Digital Juice with their all-new Standard Topload Camera Bag for DSLR users, NewBlueFX with their Video Essentials IV, Schneider Optics with their Cam Caddie DSLR stabilizing handle, and Petrol Bags with their Deca Transparent Rain Cover. More giveaways will be announced as the voting progresses.

"This year, as in 2009," Nathans-Kelly said, "we will also be recognizing 25 more studios as EventDV 25 Finalists, an acclimation accorded to those who are making their mark pushing their way ever closer to the top 25 list." (The 26th-to-50th highest vote totals will comprise the Finalists list.) For more information on last year's distinguished list, visit the 2009 EventDV 25 Finalists page.

In keeping with the all-star team/baseball theme of the EventDV 25, EventDV has a Commissioner who reviews and certifies the vote after the polls close on January 5. "Three-time EventDV 25 honoree John Goolsby of Godfather Films is the only person I can even imagine in this role. Consummate professional, grizzled industry veteran, and architect of one of the most comprehensive and rollickingly successful branding overhauls our industry has ever seen," said Nathans-Kelly, "the achievements and professional mien of Godfather Films' John Goolsby epitomize everything the EventDV 25 is about. Which is exactly why we asked him to become Commissioner. It's an honor to work with him, and to give him the final word on who makes the list and who doesn't. After Commissioner Goolsby certifies the vote, we'll have our 2010 all-star team, and we will reveal it to the industry—and to the honorees themselves—in the 2010 EventDV 25 all-star show on EventDV-TV in March."

Watch the EventDV Spotlight newsletter for more announcements about the 2010 EventDV 25 and for announcements of other exclusive giveaways that registered EventDV 25 voters become eligible for when they register and cast their votes. (Even if you cast your vote before we announce a prize sponsor and their logos appear on the voting page, you'll still be entered into the drawing for the prize.)

To make your 25 selections for the hottest and most influential videographers of 2010, click here and vote now.

2010 EventDV 25 Voting Page

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FxFactory Development Partner PHYX Inc. Raises The VFX Bar With New Plug-In For Final Cut Studio And After Effects

Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the post-production and broadcast markets, announced that development partner PHYX Inc. has released PHYX Stylist for the FxFactory® platform. PHYX Stylist is a brand new collection of generators and filters designed to work inside Adobe® After Effects®, Apple® Final Cut Pro®, Apple Motion®, and Apple Final Cut® Express applications.

PHYX Stylist's range of image processing tools provide artists with the ability to quickly and easily replicate the looks of various optical systems, generate realistic fog with control over detail, and produce shimmering stars, highlights and illuminations. PHYX Stylist also enables users to re-light actors and remove unwanted haze from footage.

"PHYX Stylist reboots essential photographic looks, pushing beyond the boundaries of physical tools and filters to deliver unprecedented speed and power," says Justin Bendo, President and CEO, PHYX Inc. "FxFactory has been the ideal platform for bringing our tools to Final Cut, Motion, and After Effects users. We are excited for the PHYX Stylist release, and we thank Noise Industries for their continued support."

"The visual capabilities of PHYX plug-ins amaze me – and PHYX Stylist is no different. The easy-to-use image generators and overlays will enhance any professional's video footage with just the click of the mouse," comments Niclas Bahn, director of business development, Noise Industries. "The previous PHYX plug-in releases generated rave reviews, and we are sure that this release will do the same."

PHYX Stylist Highlights:
PHYX Stylist includes five distinct filters and generators to add unique effects and enhance the image-quality of any professional shot. Highlights include:

  • Cathode Ray: Simulates night vision, old or damaged televisions, electronic microscopes/telescopes/rifle scopes, smart-bomb videos and more. Powerful optical, scan line, and noise tools also provide users with added flexibility.

  • Fog Generator: Goes above and beyond simply "graying" images by simulating moving, breathing fog with control over detail, density, and image diffusion. It also contains depth channel control for heightened realism.

  • Haze Removal: Removes grayish casts to reveal clarity and color. Also includes a 'warming' filter to convert 3400 Kelvin to below 3200 Kelvin, all while increasing density.

  • Skin Light: Gives users the power to 'bounce' light onto talent's skin, with control over the reflector's color and amount of reflectivity.

  • Sparkler Star: Generates sparkles/stars on highlights. Users can control the size, color, and intensity of sparkles/stars.

Availability and Pricing of PHYX Stylist

Until January 31, 2011, users can purchase PHYX Stylist for an introductory price of $99 USD (regularly priced at $199 USD). Visit: http://www.phyxware.com/NI_Stylist.html.

Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Studio and Apple Final Cut Express users can also sample hundreds of other FxFactory plug-ins by downloading the free trial version of FxFactory from: http://www.noiseindustries.com/fxfactory.

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Chrosziel’s New Accessories for Panasonic 3D and 4/3s Cameras

Chrosziel has a prepared its 3DA1Kit (456-203DA1KIT) for the new S3D Camcorder Panasonic AG-3DA1 consisting of a LightWeight Support (401-415) with 15mm rods, the MatteBox 456 Academy Double and the Retaining Ring (410-65) shaped to tightly fit the camera’s twin lens.

Those who already have the LightWeight Support for the Panasonic HVX200 can continue using it. It also fits on the Sony PMW-F3 (version shown in 2010) and the Canon XF300/305.

The MatteBox 456 Academy is equipped with two rotating filter stages with multiformat filterholders (510-01) for 5x5“ and 4x5.56“. When using the 5x5“ filters, both stages rotate without restriction.

All 2/3“ TV and Cine MatteBoxes with 142,5 mm connection can be used on the AG-3DA1 with the retaining ring 410-24 also shaped to fit the twin lens.
The Kit costs € 1,863.

For the shortly available Panasonic AG-AF100, Chrosziel has no less than 3 kits ready. Basis for two kits is the new LightWeight Suppport 401-427 with 15 mm rods together with MatteBox 450R2 with two rotating filter stages. The front stage takes 4x4“ or 4x5.65“ filters, the rear stage 4x4“. The kits are distinguished by the respective light-prevention rings. Chrosziel assumes that the camera will be used with only one type of lenses – cine or photo. Hence the 450R2AF1KIT with flexible light-prevention rings is intended for typical Micro Four Thirds Lenses with 50 to 85 mm outside diameter; the 450R2AF2KIT for compact PL-mounted lenses with diameters from 75 to 95 mm.

For all larger lens diameters up to 130 mm, use the 456-20AF1KIT with LightWeight Support 401-427, MatteBox 456 Academy Double with Flexi-Insertring (411-68) for diameters from 95 to 125 mm.

The Kits with MatteBox 450R2 cost € 1,317, the MB 456 Academy Double version costs € 1,794.
(all prices RRP ex VAT)

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Singular Software Announces Dualeyes Public Beta Program For Mac Users

Singular Software, a developer of workflow automation applications for digital media, has announced that it has launched the highly anticipated DualEyes™ for OS X public beta program.

Winner of TV Technology's 2010 Mario Award for its breakthrough technology, DualEyes is a standalone application for the automatic synchronization of video and audio clips in dual-system audio production. Designed to work alongside any video editing application, DualEyes is streamlined to accomplish the task of replacing in-camera scratch audio with separately recorded high-quality audio.

The DualEyes for OS X public beta program is available for Mac OS X 10.5 and later. To download the DualEyes for OS X public beta, please visit: http://www.singularsoftware.com/downloads.html.

About DualEyes
Recommended for both novice users and seasoned professionals, DualEyes synchronizes and cuts the audio to automatically match each video clip in both start time and duration. Users simply record audio on a separate recorder and use that to replace the DSLR camera audio in post-production. With DualEyes' technology, all original media files are kept intact, while new media files are created for advanced flexibility.

"Brilliant! Once again, Singular Software has identified a real need and addressed it elegantly. The software is intuitive to use, the labeling of newly created files is logical, and the whole process is rapid and efficient. Although designed with DSLR videographers in mind, this clever software will find many other uses and, like PluralEyes and Presto before it, will be a 'must have' item in your NLE toolbox," says David Smith, filmmaker and director.

To read the rest of David's review on AusCam Online, please visit: http://auscamonline.com/issue/october-2010/article/review-singular-software-dualeyes

Other DualEyes Versions
DualEyes for Windows® XP®, Vista® or Windows 7® (32-bit and 64-bit) is available to purchase via the Singular Software website for $149 USD: http://www.singularsoftware.com/buy.html


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ProDAD Unveils New Adorage Effects Package 12 – Worldwide Effects

proDAD, the highly acclaimed developer of digital video effects and image enhancement technology today announced availability of the highly anticipated Adorage Effects Package 12 – Worldwide Effects.

The new Adorage Effects Package 12 delivers exactly what it promises – 2,000 new effects and transitions in HD-quality specifically for adding some pizzazz to travel and vacation videos. Adorage 12 focuses on sights, skylines, and contours. This new 64-bit version complements its predecessor “HD Global Travel & Flags FX” and is a great addition for anyone with other Adorage volumes or first-time users. First Introduced in 1999, Adorage has been a favorite among ambitious hobby editors for digital video editing, and is now being used by professional editors worldwide.

Adorage Effects Package 12 combines sights from all over the globe with skylines of many large cities and many universally applicable effects. Adorage 12 offers an amazing number of effects including a variety of composite options, a large repertoire of short clips, numerous split-screen effects, as well as video-collages. Selection of the appropriate effect is available with the single click of a mouse. Effects may be adjusted quickly and easily, and still pictures as well as film material can be integrated freely, thus leaving plenty of room for style and creativity. While the included effects are in stunning HD resolution, they can also be used in SD projects.

Adorage effects feature fast rendering times and are easy and intuitive to use. Adorage Effects can be used seamlessly with included plug-ins for popular Windows-based NLEs including: Adobe® Premiere/Pro/Elements, AVID®/Pinnacle Studio, Corel® VideoStudio/Pro/MediaStudio, Grass Valley® Canopus EDIUS and Neo, Magix® Video Deluxe, Sony Vegas Movie Studio/Vegas Pro, and Ulead Videostudio/mediastudio . Adorage 12 supports 32- and 64-bit versions of popular NLEs and now supports Sony Vegas Pro 64-bit and Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. The new 64-bit plug-ins allow owners of previous Adorage volumes to use them in newer 64-bit NLEs.

Price & Availability

Adorage Effects Package 12 is available for immediate purchase and download from the proDAD online shop and is available for a special introductory price of $79 until January 15, 2011. Learn more about Adorage Effects Package 12 at http://www.prodad.com


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Anton/Bauer Features Dionic HCX® CINE VCLX Batteries, SO-SF35 and SO-14/28R Snap-On Belts At Band Pro One World 2010 Open House

Anton/Bauer®, a brand of The Vitec Group, and the world’s premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, will showcase its DIONIC® HCX 120 watt-hour capacity battery, CINE VCLX Batteries, SO-SF35 and SO-14/28R Snap-On® Belts at Band Pro One World 2010 Open House.

Anton/Bauer will demonstrate the versatility of its powerful solutions for professional filmmakers and videographers, including:

  • DIONIC® HCX High-Current Battery: With a 120 watt-hour battery capacity and a brand new motion detection sensor that protects against capacity loss, the DIONIC HCX is the company’s latest addition to its successful DIONIC series high-current battery line. The DIONIC HCX’s most exciting feature is its unique, built-in motion detection sensor. After a two-day period without a load, the DIONIC HCX automatically goes into “deep sleep,” significantly reducing self-discharge and allowing extended storage with nearly zero capacity loss. To “awaken” the battery for normal use, customers need only move the battery, thus activating the motion detection feature and as a result, “wake up” the battery. This new motion detection feature significantly increases the overall life of the battery by mitigating lithium-ion battery self-discharge when the battery is not in use.

  • CINE VCLX BATTERIES: The CINE power system provides ultimate power performance, extended run-times and flexibility. Ideal for remote locations, the CINE VCLX batteries are powerful enough to run an ARRI Alexa for over 4 hours. The safe and high power draw performance of the Nickel Metal Hydride cell technology can also power microwaves, recorders, and lighting, including HMI’s and the Litepanels 1x1 LED panels. The CINE VCLX includes (2) 4-pin XLR for 14.4V and (1) 3-pin XLR for 28V, and provides dual simultaneous outputs (20 amps at 14.4V; 12 amps at 28V).

  • SO-SF35 and SO-14/28R Snap-On® Belts: Snap-On Belts are an ideal solution for utilizing current battery inventory and replacing old NiCad belts with any Logic Series® batteries. They can also be used with any two Logic Series® Batteries and offer limited hot swap capability for continuous power. The SO-14/28 for universal applications includes 4-pin XLR for 14.4v (fused at 10 amps) and 3-pin XLR for 28V (fused at 12 amps) and provides simultaneous 14.4V and 28V outputs. The SO-14/28 provides 28V output for all film cameras, digital cameras and 30V lighting, as well as 14.4V output for cameras, recorders, lighting and other field production gear. The SO-SF35, designed specifically for the Sony F23 and F35 cameras, offers dual simultaneous voltage outputs via 8-pin LEMO connector at 14.4V (11-17V range; 10 amp maximum) and 28V (12 amps maximum).


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Anton/Bauer Power Solutions For The Canon EOS 5D MARK II, EOS 7D and EOS 60D Digital SLR Cameras Now Shipping Worldwide

Anton/Bauer®, a brand of The Vitec Group, and the world’s premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, is now shipping the QR-DSLR and DSLR-ADP-ELPZ power solutions for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D and EOS 60D Digital SLR cameras.

Addressing the rising demands of cinematographers adopting Digital SLR camera movie making, Anton/Bauer is offering new power solutions for the EOS 7D, EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 60D cameras. These new power solutions run monitors, lights, transmitters and other accessories not possible with a standard OEM battery.

Utilizing the Logic Series® batteries, the QR-DSLR has the ability to mount to most third party support rigs, such as Red-Rock Micro, Zacuto and Cinevate, and offers a much needed counter balance to the rig. It can also be configured in a pouch pack which is worn on a belt when handheld production is necessary. The DSLR-ADP-ELPZ is based around the ElipZ® battery system and provides the user the ability to power the camera and ElightZ® or EledZ, an appealing option among the event photographer crowd. This can also be adapted to both a shoulder mount or pouch pack configuration.

“We are thrilled to offer the QR-DSLR and DSLR-ADP-ELPZ power solutions for the digital cinematography market,” says Michael Accardi, president, Anton/Bauer. “Filmmakers are relying increasingly upon their Canon EOS Digital SLR cameras to capture HD movies, and Anton/Bauer offers the best solutions to power their energy demanding gear.”



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Switronix Announces New HDV Power Solution For Panasonic AG-AF 100

Switronix Inc. announces the PowerBase70-VBG, its newest addition to their line of HDV power solutions (available January 1st, 2011). The new PB70-VBG is a 70wh 14.8v lithium ion battery pack providing up to 5 hours of runtime of OEM batteries for the Panasonic AG-AF 100. The PB70-VBG mounts under the camera or may attach to a HDV support via its 1/4-20 release plate or V-mount.

Wired as a 14.8v battery pack, it can provide extended power to up to two additional 12vdc devices, as well as other devices requiring lower voltage through an additional XP power regulation cable. The pack is also furnished with a 1/4-20 on either side to mount accessories.

For those that already own the PowerBase 70 with a Canon 5D/7D converter block (model GP-DV-CH), a converter block for the Panasonic AG-AF 100 (model GP-DV-VBG) may be purchased individually.

Note: PB70-VBG will also be compatible with panasonic HMC camcorders.

For additional specs and details on the PB70-VBG, click here


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