The Fastest Editor … in the WORLD


Everyone’s favorite throwback company, NewTek has launched SpeedEdit, “the world’s fastest video editor.” It’s got a “Next-Gen Workflow” and other features of much importance!

So what’s the deal? Despite my sarcasm, it actually has some interesting features. Or at least, the marketing speak talks of some nice features. They claim to edit natively in any codec, without transcoding, and without worrying about mixed resolutions. So, instead of picking a resolution for your project before you start cutting, you just start cutting. If they can actually do it (we’ll see) it’s a pretty neat idea. Resolution independence is something that I’d love to see in Final Cut Pro sooner rather than later. Cutting natively with all the crazy formats that come off the internets is a bit more questionable – it seems like a recipe for glitches.

They’ve also got a fancy interface which appears to consist of the worst elements of Avid, mixed with a dash of Video Toaster and a pinch of TriCaster. Ugly.

Still, it’s a curious product. Nothing they’re doing is technically impossible, but it’s the sort of thing that’s really hard to do well, especially in a brand new piece of software. We’ll see…

Tripod Reviews

Tripods are one of those things that can be very difficult to judge objectively using just published information. Unlike a camera whose specs you can read and understand, finding a good tripod is much more subjective.

With that in mind, I was really happy to see that has published a large tripod review. They’re looking at primarily high-end tripod systems, but there’s still a lot of good information there. You might need to log in to access the article.

… “Why I don’t care about AVCHD but maybe you should” …

Panasonic has released a couple of new AVCHD-based camcorders, the HDC-SD1 and the HDC-DX1. The SD1 shoots to SD card, the DX1 shoots to 8mm DVDs.

Both of these cameras record in AVCHD, a format which appears to be gaining some traction in the consumer space. What is it? Essentially it’s an H264-based recording format targeted at folks who don’t have any intention of serious post production. Because H264 is not only long-GOP but also bi-directionally predicted, cutting it in an NLE is relatively problematic. But then, how many soccer-moms or nascar-dads are cutting their video of little Jimmy’s baseball game? Not that many.

Anyways, I haven’t paid much attention to these devices because I’m not convinced they’re worth the trouble. For most people, digital cameras are quickly replacing separate camcorder devices, because the 640x480x30fps video that most digicams shoot is “good enough.” For those who need a little more, something like the Sanyo Xacti HD1A is probably a more convenient device than a traditional camcorder form factor. I’ll have one of those in for review in a few days, so we’ll see.

In any case, I think AVCHD is an interesting format which I don’t really care about. But perhaps you do.

Core2Duo Macbooks announced

Booo! Hisss! They antiqued my laptop. (It’s like pimping my ride, but different)

Apple has announced Core2Duo based Macbooks, combining juicy Merom chips with … well actually, it was really just a chip upgrade. The upper tier models ship with 1gb of ram now as well, which is a nice addition Additionally, the superdrive is dual-layer now.

This is a bit of a surprise to me, as we’re getting awfully close to Christmas. I had expected Apple to hold off on any more product line updates until Macworld.

Despite what the specs might have you believe, these are actually quite capable laptops for video editing. Motion certainly isn’t thrilled about running on mine, but if you’re just working in your NLE, there isn’t a ton of reason to jump up to the more expensive MacbookPro.