Canon HV20 officially announced

News of the HV20 was leaked a few days ago, but now it’s official. The Canon HV20 is in the same product line as the HV10 consumer HD camera. The HV20 is a different form factor, looking to be similar to the Panasonic GS line of small consumer cameras, rather than the palmcorder look of the HV10. The primary feature added to the HV20 is 24f support. The HV10 could play back 24f tapes from an XLH1/XHG1/XHA1, but couldn’t record in 24f. That makes it a pretty tempting choice for beginning filmmakers who want a higher-end look. I would guess that it’ll street for $899, which makes it a pretty nice choice for folks who are serious about their video, but working on a limited budget.

20070131 Hires Hv20 3Q Back

20070131 Hires Hv20 3Q Front

Color voodoo

The process by which real life turns into digital video is, by all accounts, pretty arcane. Not necessarily because of bad design decisions (though there are plenty of those) but just because real life is very complex, and our tiny little brains haven’t figured out great ways to capture it.

In any case, color sampling and color spaces is an area that trips up many folks in this field. You’ve got analog ranges, digital ranges, 8bit, 10bit, 12bit, and then you’ve got color profiles on the computer to contend with. has a two part article (part 1, part 2) dealing with color spaces in video. Take a look if you’re at all interested in understanding why your image changes colors when you move it from Photoshop to Final Cut, or from your Mac to a PC. Keep in mind though, that all of this happens separate of the color subsampling step. The detail lost by going to 4:2:2 or 4:2:0/4:1:1 is independent of the latitude lost due to color space conversion.

Pan’s Labyrinth VFX

FXGuide has an article up about the VFX in Pan’s Labyrinth. It’s a film I really hope to see soon. It sounds like there was a fair amount of practical work done on the set – from the trailer, I was sort of expecting that every shot would be a VFX shot. It’s worth reading to just to learn about all the tools that were used. I’m not well schooled in the world of 3d, but I’m always interested to hear people talking about the ways in which one renderer can be worlds above another. A lot of kung foo going on there.

I’m so Web2.0 that I bleed rounded corners

Sorry for the slow updates lately. We’ve started our semester here at the University of Minnesota, so much of my time is being spent getting the young folk excited about production. Woo.

The other major time sink lately has been a major set of new features for Media Mill, including project management, locking and tagging, and drag and drop clip organization. An unfortunate side effect of all this goodness has been growth in page load times. In my case, loading the “my videos” page results in 250K of html, in addition to the included javascript libraries. So, rather than follow the advice of my namesake to “simplify and add lightness,” I’ve instead focused on complicating and adding ajax. Thus the title of this post. You’re going to love it.

Anyways, the video industry is in a post-CES, pre-NAB lull right now. Everyone is off drinking at Sundance,and frankly I don’t really care about Sundance…

Apologies and MacWorld roundup

Sorry for going silent for the last few days. Zero hours of sleep at MacWorld, combined with real-world work kind of caught up with me.

MacWorld was a blast, thanks to all those I met there. Aside from the obvious Apple announcements, the big star for me was the Axiotron ModBook. It really is beautifully engineered. I really hope to get a couple to use with ScopeBox. Check the link if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

The LAFCPUG meeting was a good time, though all of us were dead tired by that point in the week so it was a bit hazy. We did some renegade ScopeBox promotion, which was a blast, and had good reactions throughout. I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything nasty to the folks from Focus Enhancements. Go me!

Now I’m back at the University and the semester is in full swing. NAB is only a few short months away, and there should be some pretty exciting things in the meantime.

CES didn’t bring a lot of exciting announcements for the prosumer/professional video production world. Sony released a slew of new consumer-level HDV cameras, recording to all manner of media. Half of them are AVCHD (recording to mini-DVD) and the rest are HDV (recording to mini-DV). Otherwise, there’s not a ton of stuff that caught my eye. Aside from the iPhone of course …