Last year at NAB there were two products that I felt could really change the biz – but sadly, neither actually came out last year. Apparently, that’s changed.
One device is quite expensive and one is really inexpensive, but both have the potential to change their respective niches.
On the spendy side, I wandered through the Ikegami booth and saw what looked to be a DVD burner inside a box the size of two shoeboxes taped together. The InPhase Tapestry holographic drive can store up to 300Gb on a DVD-sized disc, which is just what all the folks moving towards shooting on solid-state media need. Better yet, InPhase is claiming the ability to extend storage capacity to 1.6 Terabytes per disc. Now that would hold a lot of footage! List price for the drive (when released) is in the $17,000 range, with no clue on what a disc will cost. A quick Google-scan will reveal imminent-release press alerts going back as far as 2005, so let’s hope this is the year that long-term storage finally gets small.
The inexpensive choice from NAB 2007/8 has to be the Hoodman WristShot. Looking a lot like a wrist splint, the WristShot is just the thing for handicams that won’t stand still on the end of your hand. The WristShot clamps to your forearm with two form-fitting fiberglass shells, which are held in place with Velcro. On the inside edge is a multi-articulated support that attaches to your camera via the tripod mount. The camera support is adjustable up and down and in and out, to make up for differences in design from camera to camera. Putting a camera on the WristShot makes good handheld work much easier with a Handycam, and I bet it would even go a long way towards curing the Sony EX-1’s legendary “tippiness” problem. $199 at hoodmanusa.com.