BlackMagic Intensity Extreme with Thunderbolt Connection [Review]

Blackmagic Intensity Extreme

Blackmagic Intensity Extreme with Thunderbolt Connection

Two weeks ago, I wanted to bump up my live camera action. Knowing that camera companies like Canon have decided to remove DV and component video connections on their newer lines of cameras, I had to find a solution to pull video from the HDMI output. Therefore, I bought the Intensity Extreme.

BlackMagic Intensity Extreme Advantages

The biggest feature on this device is that I can connect directly to the Thunderbolt™ port on my MacBook Pro. This is the machine I do the majority of my video, using Wirecast to record and broadcast.

The BlackMagic Intensity Extreme can also get video from a composite source, using the breakout cable (included). Therefore, it’s a perfect way to stream your gaming session to uStream or Justin.tv. If you have an SD camera, you can also connect to the Intensity Extreme to broadcast. Therefore, I could connect my Kodak Zi10, or a Flip camera using the composite cable.

Intensity Extreme is compatible with Avid, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier, DaVinci Resolve, Wirecast, and many other programs. You can even use it for a program like Screenflow, to enhance the video with your face in the corner.

No Windows Drivers – Yet

The Intensity extreme does not have Windows drivers just yet, so you Bootcamp users out there will want to use your Mac for recording. It doesn’t mean you cannot get it to work in Windows, but you will not have support just yet. You will have to purchase the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle to have Windows support.

BlackMagic Intensity Extreme – Overall

The device is simple to set up (camera to Intensity to computer). There is no external power, so you don’t need to worry about a battery or plug. The Thunderbolt cable does not come with the Intensity Extreme, so you will have to drop another $50 for that.

The BlackMagic Intensity Extreme is $284, and is a perfect way to add a 16:9 camera to your mix (like the Canon VIXIA R20 I used). This can give your recordings more depth because you will have focus, white balance, exposure, zoom, and other features a webcam cannot offer.

The Blackmagic Intensity Extreme is also part of Todd’s new High Definition Mobile Broadcast Studio.

Canon Vixia Camcorders

Canon Vixia CamcordersThe Canon Vixia camcorders have been popular with consumers and Canon have upgraded the range with six new models. Jeffrey Powers has been a Vixia owner for some time and chats to Ben Thomas from Canon to learn more.

Some of the new models have built-in wi-fi allowing live streaming from the camera to iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. The footage can be captured by the free Movie Uploader app and, if desired, uploaded to Facebook and other video sharing websites.

There’s also new dynamic image stabilization technology that has four different stabilization modes that kick-in depending on the particular situation.

The Vixia camcorders normally record the AVCHD format but they can record direct to MP4 which is great for sharing on media players and mobile phones. The cameras take SDXC cards (up to 64GB) and have internal memory; the price determines exactly how much. Roughly, 32 GB will give 12 hours of 720p footage.

Prices start from $349 for R-series and $549 for the M-series.

Sorry we didn’t get to see Kellie Pickler. Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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