Get the Latest BuZZ Each Week

OConnor Introduces Universal Baseplate

OConnor, a Vitec Group brand and providers of innovative professional camera and lens accessories, introduces the OConnor Universal Camera Baseplate, designed to adapt small to medium size digital cine cameras (with on-center mounting threads) to the thousands of standard professional accessories available in the industry.

The Universal Baseplate provides a sturdy camera platform that is engineered to allow optical axis centering of the lens to the correct rod measurement, and the ability to interface with standard studio bridgeplates for setups where large and weighty zoom lenses require rock solid support.

With the wide variety of form-factors, from standard camcorder design to hybrid DSLRs and compact digital cine cameras, the Universal Baseplate provides the ability to adapt any camera to a studio 15mm or 19mm bridge plate by changing out the four vertical 15mm rods. Custom size rods available for specific cameras can be ordered from OConnor. The Baseplate also allows for adjustment up and down of any standard set of 15mm rods attached to the LWS rod brackets for smaller camera builds.

The Universal Baseplate provides a channel in the top plate with a cutout plug to make insertion or removal of the 3-way camera screws quick and easy. The 3-way screws can be tightened by hand, with a tool through the drill holes, or by inserting a slotted screwdriver through a unique flip-up bottom plate access panel. The Universal Baseplate is truly universal, and is designed to future-proof the owner’s investment for many years and cameras to come.

The Universal Baseplate joins OConnor’s growing family of lens and camera accessories, including the CFF-1 Cine Follow Focus professional lens controller, O-Box WM mattebox for 16:9 format full-size sensor cameras, and the O-Grips professional camera handgrip system.

Click for more information about OConnor Universal Baseplate.

Boinx Software Announces Fotomagico Stylish Transition to Version 3.8

Boinx Software presents digital photographers and videographers with brand new transitions in FotoMagico 3.8, the company’s latest update to its unique slideshow presentation tool for Mac OS X. Version 3.8 is all about the transition; FotoMagico slideshows flow smoother than ever before with the new transitions Blinds, Flash, Pixelate, and Broken TV, and enhanced options for the existing favorites Fade and Flip.

Boinx engineers also went under-the-hood in version 3.8 to tune-up the software’s performance and audio playback for a more streamlined and efficient workflow. In accord with the iPhone and iPad’s support for HD movies, Boinx added an HD 720p format option to FotoMagico’s iPhone sharing plug-in, allowing users to display their HD movies on a HDTV with the appropriate connector cables. In addition, the FotoMagico export progress is now visible in the Dock icon so that users can send the app to the background and work in a different app in the foreground while not losing sight of the export progress.

Click for more information on FotoMagico or to download.

Click for more information about Boinx Software.

Panasonic Introduces New AG-AC7PJ

Panasonic Solutions Company announced the introduction of the AG-AC7PJ, a versatile, low-cost professional AVCHD shoulder-mount camcorder. Featuring Full HD (1920×1080) and SD Memory Card recording (480i) to SDHC/SDXC media, the AC7PJ is highly compact at under four pounds, offers stable, shoulder-mount shooting and comes complete with a large grip and zoom lever, as well as a wide-diameter, manual focus ring for smooth, precise operation.

With a high-resolution 3.32-megapixel ¼.1-in. MOS imager, multiple recording formats and intuitive professional functionality, the AC7PJ is ideal for entry-level professionals and will carry a suggested list price of only $1,300. The camcorder can also take 2.1 megapixel still images (1920 x 1080 in 16:9) and store them as standard JPEGs on an SD card. AVCHD recordings and stills can be directly played back from an SD card on a wide range of low-cost players including Panasonic Blu-ray Disc players, laptop PCs and advanced game consoles.

The camcorder’s wide-angle 38.5.8mm lens (35mm equivalent) facilitates panoramic capture and shooting in confined spaces. The AC7PJ’s Intelligent Zoom function enables telephoto shots at up to 23x magnification, with images maintaining clear, beautiful HD image quality. The Intelligent Zoom mode utilizes hybrid Image stabilization that combines both optical and electronic stabilization of the image.

Because the AVCHD format-based AC7PJ uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding – which provides a doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression based formats– recordings look clean and crisp, without image degradation or dropouts.

The AC7PJ supports six recording modes, including, in 1080i HD, the high-quality HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), the HG mode (approx.13 Mbps), the HX mode (approx. 9 Mbps), the HE mode (approx. 5 Mbps), and, for 480i SD shooting, the SA mode (approx.9 Mbps) and SX mode (approx. 4.5 Mbps). The camcorder can record for up to 8 ½ hours on a single 64GB SDXC card in the HA mode. AVCHD is supported by a wide range of editing options, including Apple Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 or later, Adobe Premier Pro CS5 or later and Grass Valley Edius Neo 2 booster or later.

The camcorder boasts several automatic features tailored to the beginning videographer. The powerful Intelligent Auto (iA) function senses the shooting conditions and automatically identifies the settings and activates functionality that will deliver optimal results. iA controls the hybrid Image Stabilization, as well as Intelligent Contrast to retain a natural contrast and Intelligent Scene Selector to assess a setting and switch the scene mode accordingly. The AC7PJ also incorporates a Wind Noise Canceller that automatically detects and suppresses wind noise only, achieving natural sounds with lifelike ambience.

A variety of manual functions, affording shooters enhanced creativity, includes Manual Focus, Manual Iris, Manual Shutter Speed, Manual White Balance and On-Screen Assist Functions (Zebra Pattern/Luminance Level/Histogram).

The AC7PJ is touch-screen driven, with controls set simply by touching the 2.7-inch LCD screen, making operation intuitive and easy. The camcorder comes standard with HDMI output, USB 2.0, analog component (BNC x 3) output, A/V output, two channels of Dolby digital audio, and a built-in stereo microphone as well as a 3.5 mm external mic-in jack.

For editing or playback, professionals can transfer content by inserting the SD Card into Mac or PC computers or by connecting the camcorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface.

The supplied battery provides more than four and a half hours of continuous recording. Using the optional VW-VBG6 battery extends shooting time to more than 11 hours.

Click for more information about Panasonic’s AG-AC7PJ camcorder.

VocalBooth First Mobile Studio on the Road

Bend, Oregon based VocalBooth announces the delivery of the VocalBooth Mobile Studio to consumer brand giant Quaker Oats. The brand is using the vehicle, which contains two fully equipped recording studios, for their national Superstar Search tour on behalf of Quaker Oats Chewy bars.

The Quaker Oats Chewy Bar Superstar Search, being promoted by pop superstar Nick Jonas, is a national singing competition for young, mostly pre-teen, girls and boys. Contestants can come to the tour location nearest them and perform one of four songs in one of the on-board VocalBooths. They are recorded and videotaped and then have the option to upload their performance on a special website where people can go to vote for their favorites.

The VB Mobile Studio is a 30 foot trailer. The studio is comprised of two control rooms and two 4×6 VocalBooth Performance and Recording booths. VocalBooth has also installed premium audio and video gear which will be used for the client’s marketing events.

VocalBooth has experience working with advertisers and marketing campaigns. One of the more creative marketing initiatives was for BlackBerry during the Madonna Sticky and Sweet Tour. The VocalBooths were wrapped in graphics to resemble BlackBerry cell phones. Concert goers were invited to record karaoke style a Madonna song and then download it to their BlackBerry phone.

Click for more information about Vocal Booth.

Litepanels Adds Versatility to Sola ENG LED Fresnel

Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand, has added even more versatility to their award-winning on-camera LED Fresnel light. The upgraded Sola ENG now operates on battery or AC power thanks to the newly included AC/DC Adapter. Additionally, the new Sola ENG kit features a detachable D-Tap power cable, and stand adapter bracket so it is quick and easy to mount on either a camera or a stand.

The daylight balanced Solas provide great controllability and light shaping properties including variable beam control from a 70° flood to a 10° spot but utilize just a fraction of the power of standard fixtures. Employing a proprietary 3” (7.62cm) Fresnel lens, it draws just 30 Watts yet produces light levels equivalent to a 250W tungsten.

Litepanels’ Sola Fresnels feature instant dimming from 100% to 0 with no noticeable color shift. The Sola ENG provides ergonomic manual focus and dimming via lens-style rotating control. Output is fully flicker free, and remains consistent even as the battery voltage goes down.

Designed for both on-camera and off-camera mounting, the Sola ENG is only 4” x 4” x 5” (102mm x 102mm x 127mm) and weighs just 10 ounces (.28kg).

Litepanels Sola ENG fixtures are available now, worldwide through the Litepanels dealer network. The package includes: Sola ENG LED Fresnel light, two leaf barn doors, three gels (1/4 Correction, Full Correction, Diffusion), AC Power Supply with power cord, Stand Adapter Bracket, Detachable D-Tap DC Power Cable, Shoe Ball Mount and adapter. For more information on Litepanels HD-friendly LED lighting systems, contact Litepanels, Inc., 16152 Saticoy Street, Van Nuys, CA 91406, Phone: 818/752-7009, Fax: 818/752-2437 Email:,

Click for more information about Litepanels Sola ENG fixtures.

Luxology Announces New Studio Environment Set 2 Kit

Luxology LLC announced the availability of the Studio Environment Set 2 (SES 2) Kit, a new collection of high dynamic range (HDR) spherical images complete with ground planes that make it easy for users to obtain professional-quality studio lighting. A successor to the highly acclaimed SES 1 Kit, the extensive library of images was produced exclusively for Luxology by Yazan Malkosh of 9b studios and is designed for use with Luxology modo 501, Bentley Systems’ MicroStation and SolidWorks Premium and Professional 2011.

Architects, artists, industrial designers, engineers, packaging specialists and CAD visualization professionals will benefit from the ability to choose prebuilt SES 2 studio and interior lighting setups without having to create custom lighting setups for each project. SES 2 is particularly well suited for professionals who need to visualize small to medium-sized subjects.

Click for more information on Luxology and SES 2 or modo 501.

Matrox Ships New Editing, Streaming, and H.264 Encoding Features for MXO2 Input/Output Devices

Matrox Video Products Group announced the availability of new software releases for the Matrox MXO2 product line for Mac and PC. Highlights of the new releases include support for Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium, capture support for Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder, and presets for new H.264 encoding parameters in Adobe Media Encoder.

The award-winning Matrox MXO2 devices provide cross-platform Mac and Windows support and can be easily moved among desktop systems in a facility, installed in an OB van, or taken on the road with a laptop. Key features include: lightning fast H.264 file creation for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray via Matrox MAX technology and professional audio and video input and output with 10-bit hardware up/down/cross conversion.

Enhance Technology Unveils Dual-Active 10G iSCSI IP SAN Storage

Enhance Technology, a data storage designer and manufacturer, released the UltraStor ES3160TG-D dual-controller 10GbE iSCSI SAN storage solution. The ES3160TG-D extends the dual controller UltraStor ES line which currently offers high availability performance solutions in Fibre Channel (FC-D), iSCSI (P4-D), SAS (SS-D), and Expansion Arrays (JS-D).

The UltraStor ES series systems offers SMB, SME, and Mid Market companies a TEIR 1 storage solution that will meet today’s most demanding application delivery needs such as Server Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Database Management, Email and DR Replication environments. The UltraStor ES makes it easy for customers to lower their overall storage TCO while integrating a storage solution that offers simple yet robust storage management, performance optimization via customizable hardware based RAID configurations, the choice of mixing and matching drive packs including the latest 3TB SAS as well as 600GB 15K SAS in the same chassis, Load-Balancing, Controller Failover/Failback, complete N+1 components as well as remote replication all in one densely packed 3U 16-drive rackmount system.

The combination of 10G bandwidth together with the latest in 6G SAS backplane allows the ES3160TG-D to realize better than 1,200MB/sec sustained data transfer rate while offering excellent scalability to over 192TB’s using available SAS expansion chassis.

Customers also receive Enhance’s renowned service and support including an industry leading 3-year standard warranty that includes 1-year of advanced replacement (ARP) on ALL UltraStor and EnhanceRAID systems.

Click for more information about Enhance Technology and the Dual-Active 10G iSCSI IP SAN Storage.

New Final Cut Pro Editing Software Draws Mixed Reviews

Apple’s popular Final Cut Pro video editing software got a major face-lift Tuesday, as an all-new, speedier program that requires a new learning curve.

While Apple calls it a “revolution” in video editing, because Final Cut Pro X is much faster to use, editors and filmmakers took to online forums to liken the release to Coca-Cola’s ill-fated “New Coke,” introduction of the 1980s, when Coke tried to update a popular product that consumers felt didn’t need a refresh.

“I’m shocked,” says Paul Harb of Beyond Creative Productions, who was co-editor on the recent films The Expendables and Rocky Balboa. “I’ve never seen a company take a piece of software, say this is the next evolution, and make it feel like 20 steps backward.”

Over the past few years, Final Cut Pro has become the go-to program for serious video editors, competing with video-editing programs from Avid and Adobe. Final Cut is also popular with students, journalists, documentary makers and Hollywood. The movies True Grit and The Social Network were edited with Final Cut.

But John Davidson, a Los Angeles-based producer of TV promos and commercials, says he won’t switch his company over to the new version yet. “It doesn’t do a lot of things pros need,” he says.

The old Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Express have been discontinued in favor of the new Final Cut, which went on sale for $299.99 at the online Apple App Store. The previous version of Final Cut 7 was $999.

The new Final Cut is targeted at today’s video makers, who use memory-card-based media instead of videotape. It has been upgraded to 64 bits, which enables it to run faster than before. In previous versions, the addition of graphics and the use of different video camera formats at the same time would cause the program to stop and wait for “rendering.” The new Final Cut keeps running while rendering occurs in the background.

Larry Jordan, who teaches Final Cut to students and filmmakers in Los Angeles, has been testing the new program since February, and has grown to love it. “It’s huge,” he says.

Some Hollywood pros on message forums likened the new Final Cut to a beefed up version of iMovie, Apple’s entry-level video program that comes free on new Mac computers. But Jordan disagrees. “You can ride a bike and a motorcycle, and while both have handle bars and a seat, the motorcycle has a lot more power,” he says. “The same here. The new Final Cut may look similar, but it blows the doors off iMovie.”

Click to view Jefferson Graham video review of Final Cut Pro X.

Click to original “Apple Overhauls Final Cut Pro” by Jefferson Graham of USA Today.

Click to read original “New Final Cut Pro Editing Software Draws Mixed Reveiws” by Jefferson Graham of USA Today.

Digital Production Buzz — June 16, 2011

Gesine Thomson, Justin DeSheilds, Bruce Nazarian, and Bruce Sharpe

HEADLINES: Keeping a creative team motivated, the life of a production coordinator, musical madness, and a new release of Plural Eyes. All this, plus Pick Our Brains, on this week’s show!

This week’s episode of the world’s only interactive talk radio program covering Digital Production, Post-Production and Distribution is filled with information and entertainment designed for the independent filmmaker or industry professional.

Click to listen to the current show:

*Right click on Download and “Save Link As…”

Join host Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton, as they talk with:

Gesine Thomson, Principal, GT.

It is almost impossible to overstate the impact Gesine Thomson, principle at GT. She is an internationally recognized architect and speaker specializing in large scale community planning and sustainable commercial growth. Her architecture takes her world-wide, and she is currently the chief architect working on a sustainable community development the size of Manhattan. We spoke with her about the role media plays in her architecture, and how she keeps her creative team fresh and focused. Gesine rarely gives interviews, we are delighted she is talking with us!

Justin DeSheilds,Production Coordinator, National Geographic Television

The competition for working at National Geographic Television is intense. One of the new recruits is Justin DeSheilds, production coordinator, who joined the company about a year ago. Production coordinators are the folks on the production team that figure out how to make all the great ideas actually work. We speak with him this week to talk about the role of a production coordinator and how he fits into the bigger picture of production.

Bruce Nazarian, Music Producer and The Digital Guy

Our favorite music producer, Bruce Nazarian, returns with a look at what’s happening on the audio side of our industry. Bruce is a regular on the Buzz, and after you listen to him, you’ll understand why. This week, after a spate of recent trade shows, we want to take a closer look at the latest technology news from the music industry. It is always fun listening to Bruce’s opinions on what’s the latest, and greatest, gear.

Bruce Sharpe, CEO, Singular Software

Bruce Sharpe, CEO of Singular Software, just released a new version of PluralEyes – his utility for syncing double-system sound – for Edius this week. And, just in case you thought he was finding time to sleep, he also released a beta of a much faster version of PluralEyes for Final Cut Pro. We want to talk with Bruce this week about his new goodies and what he’s planning for the future.

Pick Our Brains

This is your chance to get your technical and creative questions answered. You can contact us three different ways:

You can’t find people or interviews like this anywhere else! It’s another fascinating show.
It’s all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!