Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Panasonic Toughbook

Its been some time since I have seen the Panasonic Toughbook range, but the latest versions have got the point that they are ideal for (photo) journalists operating in tough terrain. They are in the 3000 Euro range, which is a lot for a laptop these days, but then you can continue writing out in the rain. I once saw someone who tried to test such a computer by throwing into a swimming pool. Bit like putting it in a blender - not a good idea. It's shower proof and the various outlets are protected against moisture - but not designed to be submerged. The spec for the hard-drive is on the slow side for fast video editing, erring on the side of robustness rather than speed. The screen can be swivelled around and is bright enough to be usable in quite bright sunlight. Options exist to remove the hard-drive easily, so that different users can swap disks, complete with the Windows Vista operating system.

Edirol R-09HR Spotted

The new Edirol is out but apparently heavily back ordered. Spotted this at a call-centre exhibition last week in Utrecht. This recorder was being used to record conversations between stockbrokers using mobiles - as a record in case of later disputes.

Snapper Audio Tool Updated

If you edit audio on the Mac, with something like Pro-Tools then the latest version of Snapper is worth getting. It allows you to manipulate audio very quickly and send off entire files (or bits of them) as MP3 files to e-mails. A new version was released today and I like the fact that they offer a 100 day trial so you can really test it out before you part with your hard-earned cash. I'm guessing a Dutch connection from the name "Peter Bakker", though I guess they're on the West Coast of the US rather than the West Coast of Europe. Check out the 100 second demo.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Packshot Creator

A French company makes this photo-studio in a box, selling it as a complete solution for people who run shops from their home (e.g. selling on E-Bay). It is a fast way to make a product shot that give enough detail and which looks professional. There's a version which has what looks like a microwave turntable inside to made 360 shots. You can't buy the light-box on its own - you have to buy the camera and the software as well....at least that's what the Dutch dealership told me. I was impressed by the quality and the compactness of the studio. Would be interested myself (to be able to photo equipment I have tested) but don't need the camera. I can imagine this might be useful for broadcasters making websites who want to photograph small objects to illustrate articles, perhaps avoiding high copyright charges on agency material.