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Macintouch has an excellent review of a third party Hackintosh denominated the SuperMaX — a Mac OS X-ready PC that installs OSX using the Snow Leopard retail DVD. The $7000.00 super fast computer uses a pair of Intel’s latest hexacore “Westmere” X5680 processors — 12 CPU cores in total, overclocked from 3.33 GHz to 4.2 GHz. By contrast, Apple’s just-released 12-core Mac Pro runs at just 2.93 GHz. The storage system includes a hardware RAID card, with two 100GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSDs striped into a super-fast 200 GB startup volume and dual 2TB Western Digital RE4 drives striped into a fast, 4GB data volume. Video is provided by a Mac-edition Nvidia GTX 285 card with two DVI ports. Included in the article are some impressive bench testing.


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Synthetic Aperture has released Color Finesse 3.0, its color correction and enhancement plug-in for Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and other programs. Among several new features is 64-bit plug-in (to support Adobe’s CS5 64-bit applications), native FxPlug plug-in support for Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion, new Auto-Color and Auto-Exposure buttons, a new Vibrance control, HSL curves, a Highlight Recovery tool, and zoom in the Vectorscope. The Color Finesse plug-in is $575 for Mac OS X 10.5 and up (Universal Binary) or Windows XP and up; the standalone HD+ version (with plug-in) is $1,995. Upgrades from previous versions start at $149.


Nikon3100

Nikon announced its new entry-level DSLR D3100 includes a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor 1080p HD video capture @ 24 fps and full-time autofocus with monaural sound. The video DSL shoots to the AVCHD format with a maximum bit rate of 21 mbps. Pricing is around $699.00.

Here are the salient video related specifications from the Nikon Press Release:

The Nikon D3100 D-SLR allows users to capture stunning Full HD, 1080p resolution (1920×1080) movies. Users can record cinematic quality 24p video clips, or shoot at 24 or 30 frames-per-second at 720p, ideal for sharing online. By incorporating versatile NIKKOR lenses to the equation, users can now create a variety of photography effects to video such as isolating subjects with a shallow depth of field, and recording in low light conditions. NIKKOR lenses also deliver the sharpness needed for HD video, and Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology helps to eliminate camera shake.

While Nikon pioneered HD video in a D-SLR, Nikon is now introducing another industry first to enrich the user experience: The D3100 is the first D-SLR to implement full time AF for D-Movie video shooting and while in Live View mode. Using contrast based AF, the D3100 automatically focuses on subjects when Live View is activated to aid shooting when using the LCD. The D3100 camera also uses Face Detection technology to lock focus on up to 35 human faces, a feat not even accomplished with consumer camcorders. To further simplify movie shooting, Live View is activated at a single flick of a dedicated switch, and HD video recording is achieved by a simple press of a button.

Sharing and editing video clips is also easier than ever, as the D3100 records movies in the versatile H.264 AVCHD codec (.mov file). While playing movies back in the camera, users are able to edit recorded videos by clipping footage from the beginning or end of a movie. High Definition movies and stills can be shared with family and friends on an HD television via HDMI output, and control slideshows and video using the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) interface that is a part of most modern remote controls from HDTV manufacturers. Additionally, the D3100 is compatible with the new SDXC memory card format to store large amounts of photo and video data so users can shoot multiple scenes without interruption.


ACVCMini

Grass Valley is now shipping its “ADVCmini” hardware and software conversion product for the Mac. The ADVCmini video converter is used to transfer VHS tapes, digital camcorders, and similar sources to their Mac computer for editing in Final Cut Pro via composite or S-Video connections along with stereo audio. The unit is small, portable, and powered by the Mac’s USB port. USB, composite video/audio, and S-Video are included. The 3D Y/C separator in the new Grass Valley ADVCmini box is claimed to provide higher-quality conversion than what is generally available by using the company’s PerfectPicture technology.

Key Features

  • Works with all home and professional analog equipment
  • Capture from composite, S-Video, and SCART equipment (EU only)
  • 3D Y/C separation for superior composite video capture quality
  • Nothing else to buy – capture software and all cables included
  • Stereo audio capture with input level adjustment
  • Connects to Mac via USB 2.0
  • Powered by your Mac via USB cable
  • PerfectPicture technology provides:
    • 3D Y/C separation
    • Hue, saturation, and brightness (HSV) controls
    • Contrast and quality adjustments
  • PerfectSync technology for recording synchronized video with audio


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The Axon Haptic is an Atom based 10.1″ touch resistive iPad type device that supports installs of any Darwin OS, including Apple’s Snow Leopard via a hidden EFI partition. The device has yet to ship, but its specs are impressive for this size device. They include 2GB of RAM, 320 GB HDD, WiFi, web cam, 3 USB ports, VGA port, ethernet, headphone and microphone jack. The company cautions against installing Snow Leopard due to EULA restrictions, and there is no assurance the FCS will install and run, but it’s worth a look.


Speed

CalDigit’s new AV Drive is a combination FW800/USB3 1 TB drive that brings USB3 speeds to MacPros via a PCIe board, and to MacBookPro laptops that have an ExpressCard 34 slot. The AV drive, which is PC and Mac compatible provides a USB 3.0 interface capable of 5Gbps transfer speeds. CalDigit claims higher FW800 data rates beyond other boards. The drive and PCIe solution runs about $250.00 from various resellers.  The drive and enclosure, together with EC/34 or PCIe USB3/FW800 board is expected to ship in early September, 2010.

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A filmmaker web site has detailed twenty-two iPhone and iPad applications that can be used to edit video. Some are designed to edit video on the iPhone, such as iMovie, others like ReelDirector actually provide editing capabilities for the iPad. Several utilities are provided such as ProPrompter, logging tool Action Log Pro, and slate creator Movie Slate. It is an interesting read of where mobile editing is target.


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As appealing as the new 2010 iMac i7s are for a Mac-based video editing station, they run second to the 2009 Nehalem Mac Pros in a series of video related tasks over at barefeats.com. Rob Morgan compared the Mac Pro 4870 = 8-core ‘early 2009’ Mac Pro 2.93GHz with 12G of 1066MHz RAM with the latest iMac Core i7 ’10B = 4-core ‘mid 2010’ iMac 2.93GHz Core i7 with 16G of 1333MHz RAM. In three video related tasks that included Compressor 3.5, AE CS5 and iMovie encoding as well as CPU Speed ratings, the Mac Pro came out on top. While not a surprising result, the new iMacs when coupled with Other World Computing eSATA hack, remain an attractive option for Mac based video editors.


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Digital Heaven has released BigTime 2.0, an updated version of its Final Cut Pro utility that provides a resizable floating display of Final Cut’s current timecode. This release includes a a HUD (head-up display) window for the timecode display, the ability to view timecode over the Digital Cinema Desktop Preview display, optional automatic launch and quit along with Final Cut Pro, full customization of the HUD window and the DCDP overlay display, and other improvements.

BigTime is $49 for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 (Universal Binary) with Final Cut Pro 5 or later.


PHYX Cleaner is an FxFactory-based plug-in for After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Final Cut Express. The plug-in provides tools for repairing and enhancing video quality, including the ability to rebuild pixelated chroma channels, restore lost information in gradients while increasing effective color depth, convert fields into progressive comb-free frames, buff-out skin blemishes, and remove high and low frequency jagged noise. PHYX Cleaner is $199 for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6.