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March 17, 2008

Table of Contents

New On EventDV's TechThoughts Blog: Sony HVR-Z7U/S270 Lens Issue?
Roland Systems Group Unveils EDIROL V-8 Video Mixer
New Solid-State Visual Presenter from EDIROL Turns Heads
Creative Images Launches Reception Light
CSI Audio Podcast Gets Personal with Pro Photographers and Joins liveBooks Community
Apple Certified Trainer Ben Balser to Present Workshop, The Final Cut Studio 2 Workflow on April 17
Digital Heaven releases DH_Subtitle 2.0 plug-in for Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Studio 2 Microsite and Community Resource Launches on Zoom in Online
CyberLink Launches PowerProducer 5 for Authoring High-Definition Discs, including Blu-ray Discs and AVCHD DVDs
Toon Boom Releases Storyboard 1.5 and Storyboard Pro 1.5

New On EventDV's TechThoughts Blog: Sony HVR-Z7U/S270 Lens Issue?

Marshall Levy, who wrote our compact flash media test results, is finding issues with the lenses that adorn the latest HDV camcorders from Sony- the HVR-Z7U and the HVR-S270. He’s found focusing issues, lens wobble and says the issue was confirmed by Sony. Click here to read more.

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Roland Systems Group Unveils EDIROL V-8 Video Mixer

Today Roland Systems Group debuted its highly anticipated EDIROL V-8 Eight Channel Video Mixer. This next generation video mixer represents the natural expansion of the industry standard EDIROL V-4 four channel video mixer incorporating the same primary feature set. Doubling the video inputs and adding computer inputs truly addresses the needs and requests of the SD video market segment. The EDIROL V-8 appeals to VJs, schools, houses of worship and corporate AV users who need more inputs, more effects, and regularly incorporate computer graphics and presentation software applications in their video performance and presentations. World renowned VJ artist Grant Davis (aka VJ Culture) comments, "The V-8 is a truly amazing visual instrument and video mixer. For some shows that require more than 4 inputs we need to use multiple mixers, plus scan converters to get our computer inputs into the video mixers. The V-8 does it all in one unit, plus it has some pretty cool new effects and control surface cross-faders."

The V-8’s sleek and compact design lends itself to portable applications as well as permanent installations when size and space are considerations. In addition to a number of new powerful video effects, the user interface incorporates fader controls for effects on each bus and master output fader. Each of the first seven input channels has BNC connectors and loop-thru functions for individual channel monitoring. The eighth input can take either s-video or computer via 15-pin D-SUB. There can be two computers connected, accessible via a selector switch which auto detects the format accepting signals up to 1600 x 1200 eliminating the need for outboard scan converters.

Additional product information and photos can be downloaded at: www.edirol.com/v8.

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New Solid-State Visual Presenter from EDIROL Turns Heads

Today Roland Systems Group introduced the EDIROL P-10 Visual Presenter, their newest, compact and most affordable offering in the growing lineup of visual performance products. Although many presenters and visual artists use computers for their video and still playback, they are limited in accessibility, reliability, control and tactile approach to triggering content – which the P-10 provides. The P-10 is equipped with 12 keypads, dedicated knobs and dials; the user has tactile control and accessibility to all their material. The P-10 uses SD or SDHC memory cards for solid state, reliable storage and supports motion jpeg and still jpeg formats. A bright color LCD display enables viewing with no need for an external monitor. The P-10 is a stand-alone dedicated hardware device providing a very stable environment and is not susceptible to stuttering, virus attacks or hardware and software compatibility issues inherent with computers.

Analog capture inputs provide a quick and easy way to directly capture to the P-10 – and then immediately play it back with effects enhancing any presentation or performance. Additionally, the slide show function allows you to piece together still images to create a motion video effect.

The P-10 is the ideal solution for corporate presentations, VJ’s, clubs, houses of worship and sporting events – anywhere you need visuals available instantaneously and spontaneously. The sleek and compact design lends itself to portable applications and permanent installations when size and space are considerations.

The P-10 is also the perfect compliment to the newly released EDIROL V-8 Eight Channel Video Mixer as a dedicated input source for video performance and playback. Additional product information can be downloaded at www.edirol.com/p10.

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Creative Images Launches Reception Light

Darrell Boeck of Creative Images found the need for an item missing in the wedding video industry: A wireless, off-camera lighting system with its main purpose being wedding receptions. It has enormous advantages over on-camera lights or traditional wired light kits. It features the following:

  • Wireless remote control. A videographer can attach a small remote control to their camera or place it in their pocket to switch the light on and off, from across the room.
  • Operates on a rechargeable 12 volt battery which eliminates the need for cords and gaffers tape
  • Light is discreet since it is small, and does not roam around with a camera
  • Lighting is very even and now videographers can achieve the quality light photographers receive with multiple flash units
  • Light is high on a stand, out of the eyes of guests

Learn more at www.receptionlight.com.

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CSI Audio Podcast Gets Personal with Pro Photographers and Joins liveBooks Community

Cinematic Studios Inc (CSI) has quickly become a leader in providing video production services for the professional photography community. It is the exclusive video production company for such wedding photography organizations as WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) and Pictage, the leading online photo processing company. Now CSI is serving photographers in another medium: audio—as in podcast.

Last September CSI launched F-Stop Beyond, an audio podcast billed as "Fresh Air" for photographers, alluding to the popular NPR radio talk show starring Terry Gross. "As in everything we do, I wanted to produce a show that would be different than what’s currently out there," commented CSI Creative Director, show host and producer Ron Dawson, an EventDV contributing editor and 2007 EventDV 25 honoree. "There already are so many podcasts, forums, and blogs dedicated to business advice and shooting tips from the pros. I wanted to learn more about the heart of the artist behind the lens. As a visual artist myself, I understand that the personal issues we address on the show have as much to do with an artist’s craft as their lens or what aperture setting they use during a reception."

The topics Ron covers in his interviews are indeed personal: family, faith, marriage, politics, childhood, racial prejudice and philosophy are just some of the issues addressed on the show. "I’m not out to reveal any dark secrets and I actually give our guests the option to tell me ahead of time what topics to avoid. So, it’s by no means cutting edge journalism. However, I’m constantly surprised at the authenticity, openness, and candid honesty our guests have offered. Their willingness to share is amazing.

"The guests on the show are professionals who have acquired some level of celebrity status within their industry, and everyone likes to learn about celebrities’ personal lives. But, the show also has the objective of revealing that these people are real. They have real problems and don’t always have everything together. My hope is that this will in and of itself inspire and encourage listeners. You realize if they can do it, you can too." Each new episode is posted online Friday and can be streamed at www.fstopbeyond.com. It is also now available on the liveBooks Community site. (LiveBooks is the leading provider of unique Flash websites for professional photographers. CSI also partners with liveBooks to provide promotional video services for their clients). The show is also available for free in iTunes (do a search of "F-Stop Beyond" in the iTunes stores, or point your browser to http://cinematicstudios.podbean.com/feed.)


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Apple Certified Trainer Ben Balser to Present Workshop, The Final Cut Studio 2 Workflow on April 17

The Final Cut Studio 2 Work Flow
iDiDx Expo, Lafayette, LA
April 17, 2008, 1:00-5:00pm
LITE Bldg, 537 Cajundome Blvd, 1pm-5pm
Presented by: Ben Balser, Apple Certified Trainer
Sponsored by: Cinematic Arts Workshop

This free seminar will present the capabilities of Final Cut Studio 2 as a whole, showing a real world work flow.  It will explain the basics of capturing from tape and tapeless acquisitions, editing/compositing tools, motion graphics, sound sweetening, color grading/correction, compression, DVD creation, and output for on-line delivery.  All the basics of the Final Cut system, with a few tips and tricks thrown in, for both novice and mid-level users.  This seminar will also greatly benefit those potential users still considering Final Cut Studio 2.  Ending with a brief Q&A session, this should prove a valuable event for both users and potential users of the Final Cut Studio 2 professional post-production system.

Final Cut Studio has become deeply established in the south Louisiana production community with such resources as the South Louisiana Final Cut Pro Users Group, an Apple Retail Store, Final Cut being taught in schools to future editors, in-state Apple Authorized Training, and with it's adoption by broadcasters and major institutions.  This professional post production suite taken the market as the premiere system for all levels of post production from event videography, to broadcast, to documentaries, to film.  And with Louisiana currently being the third largest film market in the country, there's no better time to discover why Final Cut Studio is an industry leader for all levels of professional post production work.

International Digital In-Development Expo (iDiDx)

iDiDx 2008 will show case film and music in addition to pitching opportunities, panel discussions, workshops & concerts. iDiDx attracts filmmakers, technologists and educators to express their talent and vision. iDiDx contributes to the cultural fabric of Acadiana while showcasing the spirit and essence of Lafayette’s unique culture through entertainment.

Ben Balser, ACT
Apple Certified Trainer, founder of the South Louisiana Final Cut Pro Users Group (slfcpug.org), production consultant, author, and digital signage systems design/admin.  His independent HD format documentary, Louisiana Indians, begins production spring of 2008.

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Digital Heaven releases DH_Subtitle 2.0 plug-in for Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro

Digital Heaven, one of the leading third party developers for Apple Pro Apps, today announced the release of DH_Subtitle 2.0, a major update to the popular subtitle generator plug-in for Final Cut Express and Final Cut Pro.

DH_Subtitle was the first Final Cut subtitle generator to create professional style boxed subtitles. Traditionally, this style has been time consuming to create with the need to make a correctly sized shape on a different layer for each line of text. DH_Subtitle automatically creates the box according to the text entered and also ensures the last line of text is always in the same vertical position, no matter how many lines of text a subtitle may contain.

In addition to boxed style, DH_Subtitle has always had the option of drop shadow behind text and with version 2.0 there is a new outline style which puts a line around the text to increase legibility. Also new in this version are controls for text tracking and leading.

DH_Subtitle 2.0 is available for immediate purchase from the Digital Heaven online store for US$20.00. A watermarked trial version can be downloaded from the Digital Heaven website. Customers who purchased DH_Subtitle on or after 1st February are eligible for a free upgrade.

Product Page: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/fcplugins/dh_subtitle.php
Trial Version Direct Download Link: http://download.digital-heaven.co.uk/DH_Subtitle_Trial.dmg
Purchase Link: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/store

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Final Cut Studio 2 Microsite and Community Resource Launches on Zoom in Online

This week saw the launch of Zoom in Online’s Final Cut Studio 2 microsite. Microsites, a new concept for the network, are easily navigable and filtered areas of the website which house all related content and serve as a jumping off point and resource center for various creative communities. The Final Cut Studio 2 microsite offers inspirational online video and podcast interviews with the biggest below-the-line talents, video based tutorials on all the studio’s tools, commentary on the craft of filmmaking and updates on the latest news and events taking place in the Final Cut community.

The microsite is populated with original Zoom in Online productions, syndicated programs from various media partners, and an assortment of member contributions. Weekly updates to the site will keep users up to date on the freshest stories, newest tips and latest happenings from the world of Final Cut Studio.

"Users are drawn to our microsites thanks to our exclusive access and entrenched community" said Meredith Villano, Director of Business Development at Zoom in Online. "Our content and corporate partners utilize our microsites as a turnkey product marketing vehicle and an opportunity to engage with a dedicated user base."

The microsite is located here. Users are encouraged to register and leave comments about what they find most useful or email Zoom in Online for opportunities to participate.


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CyberLink Launches PowerProducer 5 for Authoring High-Definition Discs, including Blu-ray Discs and AVCHD DVDs

CyberLink Corp. (5203.TW), innovative solutions provider for the connected digital lifestyle, announced today the release of disc authoring software CyberLink PowerProducer 5, which supports the creation of Blu-ray Discs and DVDs featuring video content recorded in the AVCHD format.

PowerProducer 5 is available in two versions. PowerProducer 5 Ultra lets users create high-quality professional-looking discs on Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. With support for the AVCHD video format, users can also create DVDs featuring highly compressed high-definition content. PowerProducer 5 (DVD) supports the creation of customized menu designs for DVDs and VCDs.

In version 5 CyberLink has made major improvements to product usability, providing a simpler, re-stylied interface, and new design tools for creating customizable disc menus with imported photos and videos. "Now with the release of CyberLink PowerProducer 5, it is not only the Hollywood studios that can produce high-quality discs like Blu-ray Discs and AVCHD DVDs," said Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink. "By offering easy-to-use features and the latest format support, PowerProducer 5 lets consumers quickly author and burn their high-definition home videos with professional-looking results."

New features in this version include:
• BD-RE 3.0 certified, users can rerecord and append Blu-ray Discs, as well as create menus on Blu-ray Discs. • AVCHD format support lets users output high-definition content to a DVD disc and store large volumes of high-definition content on Blu-ray Discs and AVCHD discs.
• On-Disc Editing allows users to append video and slideshows, edit and add/remove playlists on BD-RE, DVD+VR, and DVD-VR discs.
• Customizable Disc Menus let users import video and use built-in designs to create stylish navigation menus.
• Direct burning with Right-to-Disc™: support for BDAV and BDMV, as well as DVD-VR.
• Support for 5.1-channel Dolby Digital lets users create discs that play on their home theater system.
• Magic Movie Wizard: automatically creates a movie from users' clips, with a theme and music chosen by users.
• Slideshow Styles: enables fast creation of slideshows with 3 different animation styles.
• Magic Clean: automatically adjusts lighting and removes excess noise.
• White Calibration: lets users define true white with the calibration eye-dropper tool to adjust the color temperature of videos and photos.
• Backlight Correction: makes foreground objects clearer in conditions of strong backlighting.

Product Pricing and Availability
PowerProducer is available from CyberLink's online store in nine languages:
• CyberLink PowerProducer 5 Ultra USD 79.95/Euro 74,99
• CyberLink PowerProducer 5 (DVD) USD 49.95/Euro 44,99
• CyberLink PowerProducer 5 Upgrade to Ultra USD 49.95/Euro 44,99

Now available online, CyberLink PowerProducer 5 Ultra supports the authoring and burning of Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. Available online soon, CyberLink PowerProducer 5 (DVD) supports authoring and burning to DVDs and VCDs. CyberLink PowerProducer 5 Upgrade allows users of versions 3 and 4 to upgrade to PowerProducer 5 Ultra. CyberLink also offers OEM versions of PowerProducer to PC and CE manufacturing customers.


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Toon Boom Releases Storyboard 1.5 and Storyboard Pro 1.5

Emmy award-winning Toon Boom Animation Inc. announced the release of both Storyboard and Storyboard Pro 1.5 today. In addition to several performance improvements and the support of Mac OS X v10.5 that apply to both products, version 1.5 also brings new features in the Pro version only. In this latest release, Storyboard Pro customers will find further production integration with the support of Final Draft, Acrobat and Photoshop file format and improved editing capabilities in the timeline as well as enhanced drawings tools.

Current Storyboard Pro customers can upgrade to version 1.5 for $199.99 US, unless they have a valid maintenance agreement. Current Storyboard customers can download version 1.5 at no cost by logging onto their Members/My Products Page on Toon Boom’s website.

Toon Boom Animation Inc. also announced its partnership with Final Draft ’Professional Scriptwriting Software’ to offer end-to-end solutions to the pre-production market. Both Toon Boom and Final Draft products will offer greater integration with file format compatibility to ensure a smooth process between script writing and storyboarding.

Geared towards the entertainment industry at large, Final Draft and Toon Boom Storyboard Pro make a perfect combination to embark on live-action, advertising, animation as well as storytelling projects. Schools and educators can also fully appreciate the academic benefits of using these award-winning applications, as part of their film, animation and design programs.

"Final Draft is natural partner when it comes to cater to the needs of pre-production teams. We look forward to a great response in the market place as our products truly deliver efficiency and quality" shared Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom.

A Final Draft-Storyboard Pro bundle is available at $999 US in the Toon Boom online Store. Final Draft is also available at the special price $ 199 US, valid until March 31, 2008. Information about the Toon Boom Storyboard family 1.5 is now available online at www.toonboom.com/products/storyboard/.

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