Live Streaming an online “TV” show. How hard can it be? Enter Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro.

Multiple cameras, audio, music and overlay graphics.

Sounds hard?

A little bit of research, a little bit of playing with options, learning what a macro system can do and the magic made available from the engineers at Australia’s own Blackmagic Design, and the world is your oyster.

Add another mic, an SSD hard disk, an Ethernet connection, the ATEM control software and this gives you unlimted potential.

I’ll have a step-by-step tutorial covering all these steps over the next week or so.

In the meantime, have a look at the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. This amazing device can do for under a grand what not that long ago cost >10 + times that. 

Review: DJI Pocket 2

In the “action camera” stakes, GoPro has all but got the battle won. Forays into the skirmish by the likes of Sony – and its FDR-X300 is a damn fine little camera – and to a lesser degree, Nikon, plus a whole bunch of “knock off” models from various manufacturers, has done little to dent GoPro’s straggle hold on that market.

Not even the mighty DJI with its “Action Camera” model, which unlike the Sony looks like a GoPro, has made little headway.

But DJI has an ace up its sleeve in a sideways direction with the Pocket Camera.

The latest version, the Pocket 2, is an advancement on the original Pocket (go figure) and whilst it has not grown too much in size, it has a bigger sensor, wider lens, a better autofocus system and even more built in mics.

But it’s major party trick is of course the three axis stabiliser using technology no doubt learnt from the DJI engineers who are the ones who nailed together the brilliant Ronin series of gimbals for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras as well as the OSMOs and just lately, the OM4 for smartphones.

And of course DJI drones all feature three axis gimbals on board, so it is safe to say the DJI boffins know a thing or two about the technology.


OK, lets get down to the nuts and bolts of the DJI Pocket 2.

The sensor is a 1/1.7” CMOS type and allied with the 20mm F1.8 lens lets you shoot in both 64Mp and 16Mp still image modes as well as panorama shots in 3 x 3 and 180°.

Video is available in 4K / 60p, 2.7K/60p, 1080/60p and HDR 2.7K/30p. Of course lower frame rates such as 24, 25, 30 and 50p can be dialled in too.

Audio is captured by no less than 4 on board mics complete with directional audio and sound tracking.

Storage is to microSD up to 256GB and the onboard battery is said to be good for 140 minutes when shooting at 1080/24p.

Getting back to that marvellous little gimbal system the controllable range is pan (-230° to +70°), tilt (-100° to +50°) and roll +/-45° with the mechanical range available in wider pan (-250° to +90°), tilt (-180° to +70°) and roll +/-90°. The maximum controllable speed is 120° / second with shutter speeds from 8 to 1/8000 of a second.


There is a whole bunch of modes available to the user to maximise the user of the DJIO Pocket 2 such as Timelapse, Motionlapse and Hyperlapse with slo-mo at 1080p /120fps for 4x and 1080p/240fps for 8x.

Timelapse as the name suggests is for timelapsed shooting cramming hours into seconds, motionlapse is DJI’s motion smoothing system and hyperlapse takes a series of photos which are then combined into a timelapse video with motion. The difference between timelapse and hyperlapse is that you can control the speeds during the course of the hyperlapse video whilst timelapse is constant.

ActiveTrack and Facetrack systems are also incorporated letting you easily keep subjects in shot. This can be activated either on the Pocket 2 itself, or via the accompanying DJI Mimo app on your smartphone.


With the Pocket 2 you can shoot RAW DNG files (but not RAW+JPG at the same time) up to 64Mp with file sizes around the 120+MB mark. When shooting panoramas, as mentioned, the Pocket 2 supports 3 x 3 shooting, stitching this matrix inside the DJI Mimo app into a 5 x 7 image. In 180° mode in contrast, the Pocket 2 shoots and stitches 4 discreet images.

Other niceties include a Story mode using video and music templates to manufacture movies in just a few taps and an AI editor that automatically combines clips with transitions and music.


Accessories available include a “do it all” handle which incorporates built in wi-fi, Bluetooth, an audio jack, wireless mic receiver, external speaker and tripod mount. We didn’t receive one of these in the review unit, but in our original Pocket 1, we did have the wi-fi receiver so can very much recommend this as it makes communication with the DJI Mimo app so much easier than the physical connection to the phone otherwise needed.

Other accessories include a mini control stick, external wireless mic with windscreen, a waterproof case (which is very much on our wish list), a wide angle lens, ND filters and charging case among others. A full list is available at

In Use

Despite its wide array of functionality, the DJI Pocket 2 is amazingly easy to use and master.

As well as the obvious shoot-on-the-go usage, the Pocket 2 makes an admirable vlogging tool, especially if you add the “do it all” handle thus getting live streaming capability.

If you are into panorama shooting, the gimbal takes away the risk of shakiness when doing the same with a smartphone while moving in a straight line, and of course the photo mode cannot be ignored.

In its own way, the DJI Pocket 2 has almost (maybe) accidentally become the Swiss Army Knife of cameras, being adept at some many functions and adaptable to so many environments – although again I stress to get the best out of it, you really do need the “do it all handle” as otherwise, with a smartphone hanging off the side, it does become a little unwieldy.

Given a fully kitted DJI Pocket 2 and a Mini 2 drone I can pretty much shoot anything at any time. Throw in the waterproof case and anything under the water, on the land and in the sky is within reach.

Cop that GoPro!


The basic DJI Pocket 2 is AUD$599 and available from the DJI Shop online. We have also seen them in Camera House shops locally and I am guessing all the usual haunts will stock them in varying degrees (but we strongly urge talking to proper camera people when buying stuff like this as the knowledge available is invaluable compared to the chain stores selling all manner of tech).









Skyhouse choose Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package

Skyhouse’s team of dedicated, seasoned creatives formed Skyhouse Studios in early 2020 with the purpose of producing creative solutions for any visual endeavour by leveraging their scale and expertise. Recently the company were looking to get on board with cloud rendering for animation and VFX and for that they chose the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package and a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan.

Skyhouse General Manager, Lydia Grbevski, explained, “We had been looking to implement AWS cloud rendering through Deadline Render Manager for a long time and began our search for a local vendor to no avail. We found overseas companies were offering a similar service but it wasn’t convenient or cost effective for us to go down that route. With that in mind we were very quick to jump on board when Digistor announced its off the shelf solution that implemented AWS through Deadline as it was cost effective and easy to implement. We did need support though so, that combined with a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan, was an ideal solution for us.”

The Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package enables Skyhouse to scale on-premise and in-house rendering capabilities into the cloud with enhanced render speed and scalability. Using cloud-based rendering, Skyhouse can now scale their rendering power in minutes to control how quickly they want to complete any project giving them incredible compute elasticity and cost control as they only pay for what they use.

Grbevski continued, “We needed a way to scale our internal render farm without having to submit renders to a separate render manager or third party cloud rendering service. Deadline with AWS allows us to submit renders to our local farm and spin up extra machines of our choosing from the cloud. Sounds simple, but the set up was not. That’s where Digistor came in. Their engineers were able to take care of the entire setup process and troubleshoot with Thinkbox and AWS. Having Digistor’s help along the way, especially in ironing out those teething issues, made the process so much more simple, easy and efficient.”

According to Grbevski the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package is an ideal solution for Skyhouse and indeed any company operating in the areas of visual effects, visualisation, animation and editing, who would benefit from less time spent on waiting for renders to finish, and would like to utilise Digistor’s extensive experience in deploying and supporting cloud-based workflows.

Digistor’s onboarding package also enables Skyhouse to take advantage of cloud rendering utilising the AWS Portal, with Digistor setting up and configuring the AWS cloud environment and helping them communicate with an on-prem Deadline environment.

AWS Portal simplifies the Skyhouse process of launching infrastructure and rendering in the cloud by extending an on-prem Deadline environment into the cloud, using AWS EC2 spare capacity – EC2 Spot. It also facilitates secure communication between the on-prem and AWS cloud environments, handling the asset transfers and software licensing.

Grbevski added, “Our setups are quite complicated and we found they would often break when we used other platforms. Amazon’s cloud infrastructure mirrors the exact setup we have on premises and even remaps things to work with Linux render nodes which work out to be more cost effective than the Windows equivalent. It goes without saying that Digistor’s offering has levelled up our game and in turn, levelled out the playing field. This technology has given us the ability to deliver the same level of work as some of the bigger studios and we have not had to sacrifice on quality or quantity of work due to traditional rendering constraints.”

Digistor’s Skyhouse liaison Andrew Hogan added, “I’m delighted to say that not only did Skyhouse purchase the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package and a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan but that we are in further discussions to upgrade the support offering to encompass additional Digistor services as they are so impressed.”

Digistor’s Customer Assurance Plan was a big part of the reason Skyhouse chose the overall Digistor package as Lydia Grbevski concluded, “We were blown away by Digistor’s engineering teams’ commitment to make things work and never leaving us with an unfinished or untested setup. They have always provided a committed and professional service. In other words the Digistor Cloud Render Onboarding Package is excellent and the Digistor Customer Assurance Plan is so good we are going to upgrade it.”

For more information go to:

Video creator oriented “Black Friday” deals…

We don’t normally partake in these sorts of things, primarily as I have no intention of being a mouthpiece for vendors flogging things.

I mean, I didn’t get up this morning and think, “What can I do for free today so others can make money?”

Having said that, there are vendors out there who do realise our worth in getting thier message to you, the actual end-user who at the end of the day, does pay the bills. These vendors do assist us in our quest and I am happy to reciprocate.

So here are a few for starters:


Gift yourself (or someone you love) something you really wanted this year. Save 20% on a new 1-year subscription to Pro Tools, Media Composer, or Sibelius.

Offer only valid till November 29th, so start shopping now!

avid button


If you’re looking for a powerful solution to play back, manage and transcode your media, Kyno Standard is for you. Go for Premium if you want all in: best-in-class format support, offloading, powerful workflows from camera to edit and there’s more to come this year with Kyno 1.9 due to be released in the coming weeks. This offer also applies to upgrades from Kyno Standard.

If you’re already using Kyno and you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to upgrade to the latest version, purchase another year of update for Kyno Standard or another year of update for Kyno Premium at a 30% discount.

And there are more deals too.  Click the button below

Kyno button


Drones, pocket cameras, gimbals, action cams – all the best toys (that are actually useful!) are in the DJI Store with some amazing discounts for Black Friday. You can even win product on a daily basis!

Click the button below to find out more.

dji store button


10 volumes of effects and more. Nomrally USD$599 now only USD$26!! Here’s a sample of what you get …

busyboxx mshot

Click the button below for more info.


We’ll add more of these special deals as they become known to us.


New Sennheiser Mics

Sennheiser MD 445 vocal mic

Get maximum presence and feedback rejection

The stage is incredibly loud, with the instruments seeming to acoustically close in on the vocalist… – these are challenging environments for which the new MD 445 from Sennheiser was created. The audio specialist’s large-diaphragm, dynamic stage microphone combines a direct, head-on sound with a tight super-cardioid pick pattern, providing not only maximum isolation from other on-stage sound sources but also an extremely high level of feedback resistance. With the high-rejection MD 445, vocalists can effortlessly assert their presence even in the loudest of environments.

The wired, super-cardioid MD 445 vocal microphone and the MM 445 microphone head (pictured with the capsule interface) for use with Sennheiser wireless transmitters

“The MD 445 is the most powerful microphone in our MD range,” says Kai Lange, senior product manager with Sennheiser. “If its sister model, the MD 435, is the beauty, the MD 445 certainly is the beast. It effortlessly cuts through loud stage sound and establishes an audibly greater proximity to the vocals. Its direct, high-resolution sound gives vocals a totally new richness, intensity and assertiveness.”

The MD 445 microphone and MM 445 microphone head retail at $799.00 AUD / $899.00 NZD each.

MD 445 Technical Data

Transducer principle                        dynamic
Frequency response                         40 – 20,000 Hz
Pick-up pattern                                  high-rejection, super-cardioid
Sensitivity (free field, at 1 kHz)        1.6 mV/Pa; -55.9 dBV/Pa
Max. SPL (at 1 kHz)                            163 dB
Equivalent noise level                       18 dB(A)
Dynamic range                                   145 dB(A)
Nominal impedance (at 1 kHz)        245 Ω
Min. terminating impedance           1 kΩ
Connector                                           XLR-3M
Dimensions                                        ⌀ 47.5 mm x 174 mm
Weight                                                 329 g

Click here for more information on the Sennheiser 445

Sennheiser MD 435 vocal mic

Get the famous MD 9235 capsule sound in a wired microphone

The wired MD 435 cardioid vocal microphone and the MM 435 microphone head (pictured with the capsule interface) for use with Sennheiser wireless transmitters

Until now, this outstanding sound has been exclusively reserved for top-end live sound and broadcast productions – now, Sennheiser is bringing the sound of its dynamic MD 9235 capsule to a wired vocal microphone. The new MD 435 large-diaphragm microphone brings accentuated presence, sparkle and pleasant detail to every voice.

“With the MD 435 cardioid high-end microphone, even soft voices will effortlessly assert themselves,” says Kai Lange, senior product manager with Sennheiser. “Singers will not only cut through the mix, their voices will also retain that natural quality and detail that the MD 9235 is so famous for.”

The MD 435’s lightweight aluminium-copper voice coil ensures fast transient response, resulting in a very detailed, nuanced and transparent sound, especially in the treble. The large-diaphragm microphone features very wide dynamics of 146 dB(A) and can handle sound pressure levels of up to 163 dB/1 kHz. The outstanding acoustics come with a mechanical design created to take on the rigors of life on tour: The MD 435 features a metal casing and has a shock-mounted capsule to protect it from structure-borne noise. A hum-compensating coil protects the microphone against electromagnetic interference.

The cardioid MD 435 features a very pleasant proximity effect and the microphone is very tolerant of sound hitting the capsule at different angles. It reproduces vocals clearly and confidently even in loud live settings.

MD 435 Technical Data

Transducer principle                        dynamic
Frequency response                         40 – 20,000 Hz
Pick-up pattern                                  cardioid
Diaphragm diameter                        25,4 mm / 1”
Sensitivity (free field, at 1 kHz)        1.8 mV/Pa; -54.9 dBV/Pa
Max. SPL (at 1 kHz)                            163 dB
Equivalent noise level                       17 dB(A)
Dynamic range                                   146 dB(A)
Nominal impedance (at 1 kHz)        245 Ω
Min. terminating impedance           1 kΩ
Connector                                           XLR-3M
Dimensions                                        ⌀ 47.5 mm x 181 mm
Weight                                                 350 g

Click here for more information on the Sennheiser 435

New Sony FX6 Full Frame Pro Camera

FX6 combines the best of Sony’s industry-leading digital cinema technology with advanced imaging features from Alpha™ Mirrorless Cameras

Sony today officially announced the FX6 camera (model ILME-FX6V), the latest addition to Sony’s Cinema Line; a series of products that brings the company’s expertise in imaging technology to a broad range of filmmakers and content creators.

Sony’s Cinema Line, which also includes the VENICE and FX9 cameras, delivers a coveted filmic look, cultivated from extensive experience in digital cinema production, as well as enhanced operability thanks to an innovative body design, extensive durability and intuitive customisability.

As part of the Cinema Line, the all-new FX6 incorporates Sony’s core technologies of image sensor, processing engine, and AF (autofocus) performance. FX6 is also compatible with the wide range of Sony E-mount lenses for creative flexibility.

“The new FX6 is the latest example of Sony’s continuous drive to push the boundaries of imaging technology based on the needs of our customers, especially in the growing space of video creation” said Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Australia & New Zealand. “The addition of the FX6 into our Cinema Line range presents another tool to enable the extraordinary skills and talents of today’s content creators and cinematographers. The FX6 leverages technology from Sony’s industry-leading VENICE cinema camera and marries it with the best of Sony’s innovative Alpha mirrorless camera technology.”

 Jun Yoon continued, “Sony is seeking to showcase the exceptional talent and abilities of cinematographers and filmmakers across Australia and New Zealand, with the Sony Film Festival. Commencing in 2021, the Sony Film Festival aims to encourage filmmakers at all levels, from passionate enthusiasts to industry veterans. Building on Sony’s deep roots in the global film and television industry, and its technology leadership in digital imaging, the inaugural Sony Film Festival will open for entries in January 2021.”

Full-frame cinematic image quality

The new camera features a 10.2 MP2 full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor that delivers a 15+ stop wide dynamic range3 with high sensitivity and low noise. FX6’s base sensitivity is ISO 800 with an enhanced sensitivity setting of ISO 12,8004 – expandable to 409,6005 – for shooting in low and very low light conditions. It is capable of recording in XAVC All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit depth with stunning image quality in DCI 4K (4096 x 2160 – up to 60p), QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p6) and FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p) for incredibly detailed slow motion. When more convenient file sizes are needed, FX6 can record in XAVC Long GOP 4:2:0 8-bit QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p6) and 4:2:2 10-bit FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p). FX6 also includes a BIONZ XR™ image processing engine, first used in the new Sony Alpha 7S III camera, providing up to four times faster processing performance compared to the FS5 II.

Developed with the same expertise as Sony’s world-leading VENICE cinema camera, FX6 offers advanced cinematic colour science including S-CinetoneTM for richer tonal reproduction right out of the box, as well as S-Log3, S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine for post-production flexibility. FX6’s cinematic colour science is optimised for premium applications by capturing the maximum dynamic range from the sensor and providing creative freedom. Leveraging the colour science of VENICE, FX6 also allows productions to easily match footage with other cameras in the cinema line.

Advanced video features

Pulling from Sony Alpha’s impressive AF features, FX6 offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining 627-point7 focal plane phase-detection AF, with advanced Face Detection and Real-time Eye AF in high frame rates, with continuous AF, allowing camera operators to effortlessly and precisely track fast-moving subjects in slow motion without losing focus. Fast Hybrid AF works with over 50 native E-mount lenses, and at 4K 120p8. The camera can also capture up to five times slow-motion with 4K (QFHD) 120fps.

The new FX6 also offers internal electronic variable ND filters for easy and seamless control of the camera’s filter density. Users can set variable ND to auto, or adjust the filter density manually in smooth increments from 1/4 to 1/128, for perfectly exposed images without affecting the depth of field or shutter angle, even during changing lighting conditions. Combined with the camera’s ultra-high sensitivity, the electronic variable ND filter provides users with outstanding creative control in almost any shooting environment.

Made for content creators on the go

Outstanding Mobility and Operability

Built with a durable magnesium alloy chassis, measuring just 4.6 inches x 6 inches x 4.5 inches (116 millimetres x 153 millimetres x 114 millimetres), and weighing just 1.96 pounds (0.89 kilograms), FX6 has a compact and lightweight design making it easy for users to grab and shoot at any time. The new camera includes a heat dissipating structure to keep the camera’s components within their normal operating ranges to prevent overheating, even during extended recording times. FX6 also features a modular design allowing users to easily pair accessories, such as grips and viewfinders, or attach the camera to other mechanisms, such as gimbals and drones.

FX6’s 3.5-inch LCD Viewfinder can be attached on multiple locations of the camera body for added freedom, and easy menu control with touch operation. Using a quick access control menu for commonly accessed features, camera operators can change key settings with a single touch – including Codec, Imager Scan Mode, Picture Size and Frequency, Base ISO and Sensitivity, Shooting Mode and Audio Levels.

Professional-level reliability

In line with professional workflows, FX6 includes a 12G-SDI output that also supports 16-bit RAW, HDMI output, timecode in/out, built-in Wi-Fi and four channel audio recording (via XLR Interface, Multi-Interface Shoe and built-in Stereo Mic). The new camera also features two media slots compatible with CFexpress Type A cards9 for higher overall capacity, and faster read and write speeds, in addition to SDXC UHS-II/UHS-I cards.

Additionally, Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare10 software facilitates fast and easy editing. Users can import FX6’s image stabilisation metadata into Catalyst Browse/Prepare to transform handheld footage into incredibly smooth and stable visuals. FX6 also has a dedicated Clip Flag button to easily filter and locate preferred takes using Catalyst Browse/Prepare. This software also reflects metadata indicating when FX6 is rotated or in its normal position, eliminating the need to rotate footage beforehand. FX6 is also compatible with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile App to easily monitor and control focus, iris, and zoom remotely11.

About Cinema Line

Cinema Line is a series of professional cameras that have a filmic look, cultivated from Sony’s experience in digital cinema production, and enhanced operability and reliability that responds to the wide variety of creator’s high demands.

Cinema Line includes the digital cinema camera VENICE, which is highly acclaimed in the feature and episodic production industry, and the professional camera FX9, which is popular for documentary and drama production. With the new FX6, Sony brings versatile creative tools to all types of visual storytellers.

  • 1 For S-Log3. Sony test
  • 2 12.9 megapixel total
  • 3 For S-Log3. Sony test
  • 4 when shooting in S-Log3
  • 5 when shooting in SDR/HDR mode
  • 6 10% image crop
  • 7 Maximum AF points and area coverage. This varies according to the recording modes.
  • 8 There are some restrictions on the availability of the frame rates and system frequencies for AF.
  • 9 CFexpress Type A cards are necessary for XAVC-I QFHD 100/120fps and XAVC-I FHD 150/180/200/240fps.
  • 10 Catalyst Version 2020.1 is required.
  • 11 Compatible cameras, remote controllers, smartphone and applications are required.

Sony Film Festival

Sony is excited to announce further details of the Sony Film Festival, off the back of the FX6 and Alpha 7S III announcements. In its inaugural year, the Festival includes three categories; Fiction, Non-Fiction and Music Video, embracing a broad swath of the short-form filmmaking landscape. With an impressive pool of prizes up for grabs, the Sony Film Festival will open for entries in January 2021. Interested filmmakers can find more information or register their interest by visiting the festival site here.


The FX6 full-frame Cinema Line camera will be available in Australia from December 2020, for SRP $9,999.

For full product details, please visit: FX6

Review: Ignite Pro 5 from FXHome

by Dr David Smith

This article started out as a review of Vegas pro 18. I planned to include an overview of Vegas POST, namely Vegas Effects and Vegas Image. Then I began a review of HitFilm Pro 15 and the further I delved into the story the more I became aware that this was a family of apps and plugins that were shared to a greater or lesser degree by HitFilm Pro, Vegas and a number of other popular video editing apps. So I thought I’d try and explain these relationships and show how useful they can be for your professional projects.

FXHome plugin display

Let’s start with HitFilm Pro. I reviewed HitFilm Pro 15 back in August 2020 and was impressed by the huge variety of included plugins and by its ability to seamlessly integrate non-linear editing with 3D compositing, all on a single timeline.

HitFilm Pro is produced by FXHome and it includes more than 800 video FX and presets. When you look at the list of VFX you’ll see them usefully arranged into functional groups and that rang a bell of familiarity. I had seen that same hierarchy of FX in Vegas Effects. No surprises here, because the Vegas Effects and Vegas Image apps are both developed by FXHome in collaboration with Magix and Vegas Pro. Finally there is Ignite Pro 5, also from FXHome and which allows you to install almost all of the HitFilm and Vegas FX plugins directly into your NLE of choice, which in my case is Vegas Pro 18. All the major platforms are supported, including Premiere Pro, Da Vinci Resolve, Final Cut pro and so on.

So how does Ignite Pro work in Vegas Pro?

The answer is: very simply. Install the software and activate it and in your Video FX tab you’ll find no fewer than 174 new effects. The range is astonishing, and my first comment is that it is a real shame that these plugins appear as a big, long list, rather than being arranged in functional groups as they are in Vegas Effects and HitFilm Pro. You can reduce the confusion a little by clicking on the Third Party tab within Vegas FX but I hope FXHome can figure out a way to implement this functional grouping for those Vegas users who don’t have Vegas Effects (as part of Vegas POST).

That said, there are some useful plugins in this assortment. Years ago I used Ignite 3 and found their chromakey options gave the best results I’d seen. I had tried the chromakey modules in Vegas Pro and Boris Red, and the New Blue plugins but I just got better results in quite complex keying situations with the tools available in Ignite. The Matte Cleaners and Spill Removal were brilliant in getting a sharp key even when filmed against a green screen under less than optimal conditions.

Another favourite was the Ignite Pro Skin Retouch which was very simple to use and produced subtle and very flattering improvements in skin tone.

Of course, coming from FXHome, you know there’ll be all sorts of action possibilities and they are all there, from Blood Spatter to six versions of Lightswords, to Gunfire and Blood Spray. Bring on the horror!

A small number of effects that are featured in Hitfilm Pro and Vegas Effects did not appear as options within Vegas Pro 18. I checked with FXHome – which has been extremely responsive to my questions – and was directed to a comparison page which shows all of the effects available in each of the supported host editors. A couple of these effects really whet my appetite and although I can’t access them directly in Vegas Pro, I can easily use them in Vegas Effects, which is great.

One that is really useful is the Clone Stamp, located in the Video Clean-up folder within Vegas Effects.

Imagine you’ve shot a great hand-held interview in a room that unfortunately has a power point visible in the wall behind the subject. With the Clone Stamp you can sample some wall colour from near the power point and use this as a mask to cover the power point completely. Even if your camera moves around a bit, you can use motion tracking to simply and very accurately track the moving power point and remove it from your shot.

I found this process tricky to figure out on my own, so I looked up the relevant tutorial. Unfortunately, the tutor spoke so rapidly and moved the mouse pointer so fast that the tutorial was just about impossible to follow. In a separate article and video I will try and do a slower paced more intelligible tutorial to cover this useful repair tool. Can’t promise but I’ll do my darndest!

Two other plugins that are not available in Vegas Pro are the Audio Waveform and Audio Spectrum FX, located not in the Audio folder but in the Generate folder. These let you record what is essentially an oscilloscope image of your audio file as it plays. I’ve wanted a good version of a plugin that will do this for years and this one works really well. The Audio Spectrum does this differently, recording output level versus audio frequency and it also works beautifully.


FXHome has put a huge amount of work into developing first-rate professional software tools for video editors and 3D imaging. The tools work intuitively, have a comprehensive range of adjustments, and mesh seamlessly with other plugins in your NLE of choice.

In the case of Ignite Pro 5, I have a couple of minor quibbles, most notably with the frenetic pace of some of the tutorial videos, and also with the lack of a function-based folder structure for the Video FX in Vegas Pro. That’s probably due to some quirk in the way Vegas is built and it’s only really a problem because there are so many FX available.

One very positive consequence of the availability of essentially the same set of FXHome plugins in various applications – eg Vegas Pro, Vegas Effects and HitFilm pro – is that having learned how they work you can use them easily in any or all of these applications. That is a significant advantage compared to having to learn new user interfaces in each different application.

If you want to soup up the options available in your NLE, you can probably do no better than spending US$299 on Ignite Pro 5. Its plugins are powerful, stable, and really useful.


Price US$299 includes 12 months upgrades and tech support plus a 3-seat permanent license.



New DaVinci Resolve 17 AND a new Speed Editor Keyboard

Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve 17, a major new release with over 300 new features and improvements including HDR grading tools, redesigned primary color controls, next generation Fairlight audio engine including Fairlight audio core and support for 2,000 real time audio tracks plus dozens of other time saving tools for editors including a redesigned inspector, new bin sorting and metadata clip views!


DaVinci Resolve 17 public beta is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 17 is a major new release with over 100 new features and 200 improvements. The color page features new HDR grading tools, redesigned primary controls, AI based magic mask and more. Fairlight updates mouse and keyboard edit selection tools so customers can work faster, along with Fairlight Audio Core and FlexBus, a next generation audio engine and busing architecture with support for 2,000 tracks. Editors get a metadata slate view with bin dividers, zoomed waveforms for audio trimming, smart reframing, a unified inspector and dozens of other time saving tools. In addition, compositions created in Fusion can now be used as an effect, title or transition on the edit and cut pages.

DaVinci Resolve 17 features incredible new creative tools for colorists. Power Window drawing has been improved, there are new split screen wipe options, an additional Sat vs Lum curve, improved scopes, support for 17 point 3D LUTs and more.

The HDR grading palette lets customers create new color wheels with custom roll off for specific tonal ranges, giving customers more creative control to make fine adjustments. The wheels include exposure and saturation controls for each zone. They’re color space aware so customers get perceptually uniform results.

The mesh based warping tool lets customers adjust two color parameters at once. Customers can adjust both hue and saturation or chroma and luma. Adjustments are made by dragging control points, with smooth falloff for clean, natural looking adjustments. It’s an entirely new way to transform color in their images.

Selecting and tracking people for targeted correction has never been easier. Magic mask uses the DaVinci Neural Engine to automatically create masks for an entire person or specific features such as face or arms. Customers get matte finesse tools, the ability to add and remove strokes and automatic tracking.

DaVinci Resolve color management adds features to simplify their workflow and improve image quality.

DaVinci wide gamut and DaVinci intermediate are timeline color space and gamma settings that provide a universal internal working color space. It’s larger than what cameras can capture, or BT.2020, ARRI wide gamut and even ACES AP1. Customers will never lose image data, no matter where it comes from.

DaVinci Resolve 17 is the biggest update in Fairlight history with new features, tools and core improvements that make it the world’s fastest and highest quality solution for audio post production.

Edit selection mode with new keyboard shortcuts unlocks functionality previously available on the Fairlight Audio Editor. These context sensitive tools make editing incredibly fast. If users are switching over to Fairlight, these intuitive and familiar tools will help customers get up and running quickly.

Fairlight Audio Core is a low latency, next generation audio engine that intelligently manages workload by using all CPU cores and threads, as well as the optional Fairlight PCIe Audio Accelerator card. Customers get up to 2,000 tracks, each with real time EQ, dynamics and 6 plug-ins, all on a single system.

FlexBus is a flexible bus architecture that uses up to 26 channel wide multi purpose buses instead of fixed buses. Customers can send tracks to buses, buses to tracks, and buses to buses in as many cascade layers deep as needed to create massive sessions. Route anything to anything without limitations.

The new transient analysis tool automatically detects individual words, beats, or sound effects. Transient markers are displayed as vertical lines in the waveform. Customers can navigate between them using the arrow keys. Transient markers make it easy to identify specific parts of a sound for editing.

Fairlight Audio Core and FlexBus enable large projects with thousands of tracks on a single system. Previously this required “chase” computers to be sync’d with a primary system. Plus DaVinci Resolve’s multi user collaboration lets multiple sound editors work on the entire project at the same time.

DaVinci Resolve 17 makes the cut page even smarter with great new features designed to help customers finish quick turn around projects even faster.

Metadata slate view with bin dividers makes it easy to sort and find clips based on scene, shot, camera and more. When used with source tape, it’s the fastest way to jump in and out of scenes or groups of shots.

Customers can now see larger audio waveforms while trimming.

Now customers can edit in 16:9 HD or Ultra HD and quickly create square or vertical versions for posting to Instagram and other apps. The DaVinci Neural Engine automatically identifies faces and repositions them inside the new frame so customers don’t have to do it manually.

Finding the right effect, transition or title is faster and easier than ever. The elegant, new multi column view lets customers see more and scroll less. Descriptive icons also help customers quickly find what customers need. Plus, customers can hover scrub the mouse across any item to see a live preview in the viewer.

Live production projects from ATEM Mini Pro ISO can be opened as a video edit. The sync bin with multiview lets customers fine tune edits from the original live production or even replace shots. You can use the HD ISO recordings from ATEM or relink to Blackmagic RAW camera files for finishing in Ultra HD.

The edit page adds dozens of time saving new features that professional editors have asked for.

Now customers can create easily managed, independent proxy media that dramatically improves system performance and makes projects portable. Proxies can be as small as 1/16th resolution and saved as H.264, H.265, ProRes or DNxHR. They can even be generated internally or externally by third party tools.

It’s now easier to create synchronized multicam clips. Simply stack clips on the timeline and use the new “auto align” tool to sync based on timecode or waveform. Customers can also manually move clips into position to create a sync map. Timelines can be converted into a multicam clip or a compound clip.

New Resolve FX 3D, HSL and luma keyer plug-ins let customers pull keys directly in the timeline on both the edit and cut pages. In addition, alpha channels from Resolve FX and Open FX plug-ins are now supported, as are embedded alpha channels and external matte files giving customers even more compositing options.

The render in place command lets customers generate render files for any portion of the timeline. Once rendered, customers can move, edit and trim without having to re-render. Unlike cache files, render files are easy to manage and portable.

Source side adjustments let customers change a clip before editing it into the timeline. For example, customers can adjust RAW controls, add a LUT, remap audio tracks, change sizing, playback frame rate and more, all before editing a clip into the timeline.

Customers can now import and export individual timelines or bins, giving customers more ways to collaborate. Timeline and bin files are easy to share and small enough to email.

New support for native processing of interlaced timelines results in higher quality compositing and titling for interlaced deliverables. High quality DaVinci Neural Engine de-interlacing analyzes motion between fields to reconstruct progressive frames. Customers also get realtime 3:2 pulldown removal.

Compositions customers create on the Fusion page can now be saved as a template and used on the edit or cut page. New animation curve modifiers can be used to automatically retime animations when customers change their duration in an edit. Audio playback with waveform display makes it easier to create precisely timed animations, there are shared markers with the edit page and more. In addition, 27 GPU accelerated Resolve FX have been added to the Fusion page, including the noise reduction and sharpening tools from the color page. New node view bookmarks make it easy to navigate large comps, the toolbar can be customized with their favorite tools, and vertical layouts are supported in the node editor.

Node tree bookmarks let customers quickly navigate to any part of the node tree in a large composition. Customizable toolbars let customers quickly switch toolbars based on the current task. Vertical node tree layouts give customers more room to view the spline and keyframe editors when creating animations, and more.

Customers will find new and improved format support on the media page, new delivery options, and a unified inspector design on the media, cut, edit and Fairlight pages. DaVinci Resolve 17 also features consistent timeline navigation across all pages, better metadata support, new image scaling algorithms, the ability to share smart bins, smart filters and optimized media across all projects on a system, and even more GPU and CPU accelerated Resolve FX.

Now anyone can build their own post production studio. The free version of DaVinci Resolve now includes the revolutionary multi user collaboration tools previously available in DaVinci Resolve Studio. That means customers can have multiple users all working on the same project at the same time, for free.

Support for growing files in the media pool lets customers start editing while files are still being recorded. There’s decoding support for QuickTime PNG, uncompressed RGB 8-bit and YUV 10-bit AVI, and spanned Panasonic 8K SHV clips.

DaVinci Resolve 17 support for frame based metadata from Blackmagic RAW, ARRI, RED and Sony camera files, along with decoding and rendering per frame EXR metadata.

In addition to existing Python and LUA scripting, DaVinci Resolve 17 adds a new workflow integration API and a new encoding API. These APIs allow third party developers to create integrated asset and workflow management solutions for DaVinci Resolve, as well as encoder plug-ins for custom output options.

“This is a massive update and it has amazing new technology and features for colorists, audio engineers, editors and visual effects artists,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “While the new color science, HDR grading and improvements and Fairlight usability are the most noticeable features, what I am most proud of are the thousands of small improvements that customers will notice every day!”

DaVinci Resolve 17 Features

• Next generation HDR color correction with customizable wheels and tonal zones.
• Mesh and grid based color warper delivers an entirely new way to transform color.
• Magic mask automatic object isolation powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine.
• Improved color management with tone mapping and color space aware tools.
• Massive DaVinci wide gamut color space for higher quality image processing.
• High speed audio editing with new keyboard and mouse context sensitive tools.
• Fairlight Audio Core engine with auto load balancing and support for 2,000 tracks.
• Revolutionary FlexBus architecture for audio routing without limitations.
• Automatic transient detection for beats, words, and sound effects.
• Support for massive audio projects with thousands of tracks on a single system.
• Metadata based card view in media pool on cut page.
• Precision audio trimming on the cut page timeline and graphical trimmer.
• Smart reframe powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine on cut and edit pages.
• Live effect, title, and transition previews on cut and edit pages.
• Import and edit projects from ATEM Mini Pro ISO.
• Proxy media workflows up to 1/16th resolution in H.264, H.265, ProRes or DNxHR.
• Timeline based clip syncing to create multicam and compound clips.
• Alpha support for keying and compositing on cut and edit pages.
• Render in place command for effects heavy clips on cut and edit timelines.
• Make source side adjustments before editing clips into the timeline.
• Portable timeline and bin files for easy sharing.
• Native interlace processing and realtime 3:2 pulldown removal.
• Node tree bookmarks, customizable Fusion toolbar, and vertical node layouts.
• Support for growing files in media pool.
• Support for frame based metadata for Blackmagic RAW, ARRI, RED, Sony and EXR.
• Workflow integration API and third party encoder API.

Availability and Price
DaVinci Resolve 17 public beta is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design web site.

Blackmagic Design Announces New DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor
New editing keyboard works with the DaVinci Resolve cut page to create a new generation editing solution that’s dramatically faster!

Fremont, CA, USA – Monday, 9 November 2020 – Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor, a new keyboard for DaVinci Resolve’s cut page that allows a new and dramatically faster editing solution that’s a combination of integrated hardware and software. This means the editor can work much faster because, unlike a mouse, the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor has a control for each edit function and can perform multiple tasks at the same time. In addition, for a limited time, every customer who purchases DaVinci Resolve Studio from a Blackmagic Design reseller will get the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor included free of charge!

DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor is available immediately from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for AU$469.

Traditional edit software uses thousands of clips to organize their media, so customers need to constantly click and drag clips to edit. That’s too slow for work such as TVCs, news, promos and training videos. However old tape based linear editing had the advantage of all media being played from a videotape, so customers could simply fast forward and rewind to see all their shots. Now the cut page has a modern version of the videotape and it’s called the “source tape”. Simply push the source button and use the search dial to scroll through all their media. Plus, the current clip is highlighted live in the bin. After the edit the viewer will stay in the source tape so customers can move to the next shot faster.

Entering in and out points is the most used function in editing, so the speed editor keyboard includes large in and out point buttons that customers can easily locate by feel. That’s perfect for two handed editing where users are using their right hand for transport control and their left hand is placing in and out points and performing edits. Customers can simply scroll along with the search dial and place in and out points anywhere customers want. Once the in and out points are set, just reach their fingers up to the edit function buttons to perform the edit. The in and out points can also be used to focus the source tape. Then customers can change the source tape back to the whole bin by pressing the escape key.

Editing with a keyboard is different to editing with a mouse, so the cut page editing functions have been upgraded to take advantage of the speed of a keyboard. The edit functions are intelligent and use the “smart indicator” in the timeline to work out where to insert, so most of the time customers don’t need to place in or out points in the timeline to do an edit. They are located just above the in and out keys, so are easy to locate by feel. Plus each time customers edit, the cut page won’t waste time switching over to the timeline, allowing customers to stay in the source tape and visually browse, placing clips continuously. That’s much faster as customers can just keep throwing clips into the timeline.

With a large high quality search dial built into the panel, customers get an extremely accurate way to trim shots. With the search dial being such a physically large control, it completely transforms how it feels to trim shots. Plus it’s much faster too. The trim buttons will change the search dial into a trim control and customers simply hold the trim buttons and rotate the search dial. This means customers can select various trim modes with their left hand while adjusting the trim with their right. It’s extremely fast and the smart indicator in the timeline will let customers know which edit users are trimming. Just move along the timeline and live trim edits. It’s a whole new way to work.

Editing software can be slow at adding transitions to edits because customers have to click and drag effects down into the timeline. However, with the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor, customers can just press a button to switch them on and off. It’s really fast as customers can scroll down the timeline adding or removing effects. The smart indicator in the timeline will let customers know which edit point will be affected, and customers can move the timeline to move the edit point in focus. The cut key will remove any effect on an edit point in the timeline. Pressing dissolve adds a dissolve to the edit point using the default duration. Pressing the smooth cut button adds a smooth cut so customers can eliminate jump cuts.

The DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor eliminates the large QWERTY keyboard for a smaller more portable design, so the function button area includes only the controls customers need for editing. Some of the enhanced function keys on the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor are not even available on the full sized editor keyboard. Plus, some keys have an alternative function where customers can press and hold or double press to get a second function using the same key. That means customers need less keys for a more portable design, but it still retains a lot of editing power. The keys are in a separate group so customers can find the key customers need by feel and operate faster than a regular keyboard.

The escape key is positioned to the top left so it’s easy to locate, as it’s the most common key for reversing some functions. A good example is the sync bin and if customers select a camera, customers can go back to the multiview by selecting this escape key. Plus, if customers double press it, it works as undo.

The sync bin is a new style of multi-cam and it allows customers to find shots that are sync’d to the current shot in the timeline. That lets customers find cutaways using a familiar multiview interface. Then use the camera keys to select an alternative shot, and source overwrite to edit it into the timeline.

The audio level key lets customers quickly set audio levels of clips by holding the key and adjusting the level using the search dial. That’s a fast way to set audio levels while editing. Double pressing the key lets customers add a marker, and double pressing and holding allows customers to set the marker color.

The full screen button is highlighted red so customers can find it quickly and switch to a full screen view of their viewer. That’s great for presenting their edit to clients. Plus if customers double press the full view button, it will go into full screen view and play from just before their most recent edit.

The transition button is similar to the cut and smooth cut buttons, however it will add a custom transition of their choice from a pallet of all the available DaVinci Resolve transitions. If customers press and hold the transition button users will see the pallet appear allowing selection of the one customers want.

The split button will instantly cut the clip in the timeline at the current playback point. If users are positioned on a split in a clip, then pressing the split button will remove the split. If customers press and hold, customers can use the search dial to move the current clip up and down the timeline.

Pressing snap will turn on snapping in the timeline. Snapping on the speed editor is different, as it’s not magnetic so it’s more subtle. It works by momentarily pausing jog at the edit points so it’s nicer to use. Or if customers press and hold, the search dial will let customers adjust the viewer size.

Ripple delete removes the current clip at the playback point then ripples the timeline to fill the space left by the deleted clip. This eliminates any blank spaces in the timeline. Customers can use it with split to remove parts of shots customers don’t want. Plus, it will also reduce their timeline duration.

The camera number section lets customers select the cameras when using the cut page sync bin. Plus, if customers press a camera number while turning the search dial, the selected camera will be applied to the timeline in real time as customers jog forward. This feature is called live override and on the speed editor panel customers can do it momentarily by holding the camera button, or customers can latch it on using the live override button. When live override is latched on, the buttons light up and customers can select cameras just like a production switcher. Customers will see a multiview and customers can just cut from camera to camera. Plus, this section even has the video only and audio only buttons for greater editing control.

The DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor model includes built in Bluetooth so customers can use the keyboard without messy wires, and customers can even use it in conjunction with their regular computer keyboard. That’s perfect for using it with a laptop. Customers can also use the keyboard via USB if required and the USB connection will also charge the internal battery. With Bluetooth and a built in battery, the keyboard is extremely portable.

“We think this is an incredibly exciting product as it has such dramatic workflow ramifications,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Until now, editing software has been designed to be used with a mouse, however that’s slow as each edit function often takes multiple mouse clicks to do each task. Now with the DaVinci Resolve cut page and the DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor being co-designed, it means they work together for a whole new generation of editing workflow. It’s so fast and a lot of fun to use!”

DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor Features

• Source tape allows faster clip searching.
• Large trim in and out buttons.
• New keyboard modes for intelligent editing.
• Buttons to allow search dial to live trim.
• Buttons to change transition type.
• Integrated search dial control.
• Keypad for direct timecode entry.

Availability and Price
DaVinci Resolve Speed Editor is available now for AU$469, from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Tutorial: How to use solar to power your video gear.

Over the last few months I have learnt a lot of new things. A few I have mentioned here such as 3D printing, but another over the last weeks has also taken my fancy.

The use of solar panels and 12v power to give electricities to a number of devices we use regularly in this video and filmmaking game in fact..

The Scenario

You are out on a shoot in a remote location for a few days, perhaps filming a special scene for a movie, getting footage for a David Attenborough or just for your own amusement. You will need power to charge batteries for cameras, mics, probably a laptop, mobile phones, maybe lights for a campsite and yes, even for cooking and refrigeration.

Sure, you could drag along a petrol-powered generator, but these are decidedly environmentally unfriendly and not cheap to either buy or run. So why not enlist the power of the sun, literally? You possibly have a solar setup on the roof of your house so why not mimic that in a scaled down version you can use on remote shoots?

If like me, this was all magic-meets-voodoo and you have no idea where to start, let me assure you, the basics are pretty simple. And it needn’t cost an arm or leg.



But first is to dispel the myth that a solar panel powers a device. It does not. A deep cycle battery does that. The solar panel makes sure the battery stays charged. Between these two goes a solar charge controller whose main job is to make sure the battery is not overcharged, as the panel will usually put out more juice than the battery is capable of storing.

Now if all your devices are simply 12v (such as a refrigerator), then you can plug this straight into the battery system, usually via cigarette lighter type sockets and plugs or a plug type called an Anderson plug, but if you want to charge or run 240v devices, you’ll also need an inverter.

The trick is working out what size you need for each of the components making up the system – that is, the solar panel, the charge controller, battery and inverter.

If you are running such a system into a two battery setup in a vehicle (one battery as a “crank battery” to start the car and the other to act as the power source for your devices), then you’ll also need a DC-to DC charger system and isolator in the mix, but I’ll leave that part to the auto sparkys to sort out and advise on.

To get these sizes, calculations are made as to how much power in Amp Hours you need based on the TOTAL of all devices running simultaneously, the number of hours of sunlight and the battery size.

The Bare Necessities

ZM9137-12v-200w-folding-solar-panel-with-5m-cableImageMain-515As a rough guide, and assuming you want to recharge batteries for something along the lines of a Blackmagic 6K Pocket Camera or a Panasonic PV100 say, a couple of mobile phones, a laptop like the Gigabyte Aero, a and some LED lights say and want some portability via a flexible solar panel as against a rigid fixed unit, then the following list would be a good basis to start from and give you room for margin to spare:

Of course you’ll also need some cable, connectors and the like, and perhaps some extra Anderson plugs depending on the setup you decide upon.MI5734-500w-12vdc-to-230vac-pure-sine-wave-inverter-electrically-isolatedImageMain-515

I have put in links to some products as you can see, but I strongly suggest you chat to an expert about your power needs before committing to exact sizes in terms of power capacities to make sure, and then add a 20% margin on.

And don’t forget, once you have the basic system, it can always be expanded quite easily to accommodate greater power needs.

HB8504-battery-box-with-voltmeter-and-dual-usb-charger-and-dual-anderson-plugsImageMain-515Disclaimer: I a NOT an electrician of any sort. This is information I have picked up as I have gone along and is given in good faith and accurate as far as I can tell, but I take NOT responsibility. ALWAYS get a qualified person to check when you nstart mucking about with electricities of ANY sort….





Review: Nextbase 322GW intelligent dashcam

The built in SOS Emergency system alone is worth the price suggests David Hague.

It was probably 15 years ago that I got my first dashcam and it came from Kaiser Baas, which whilst it still seems to exist as an entity, I have not heard from for many years (since they fired their very good PR person in fact).

This was a basic unit; it shot video to an SD card continuously in specific time sized chunks, and when full, it started again, overwriting previous files sequentially.

There were no bells and whistles, it just did what it said on the tin. I have bitter sweet memories of this camera on one trip (of many I have made) crossing the country from east to west and vice versa. In the middle of the famous Nullarbor Plain it recorded a particularly spectacular lightning storm.

Except that I forgot to pull the files off and so they were sadly overwritten sometime later. There is a lesson there kiddies.

Fast forward to the latter part of 2020, and the humble dashcam, like its sibling, the webcam, has had a major makeover, and the latest to cross my desk is the Nextbase 322GW.

SOS Emergency System

Okay, lets accept the mundane and quickly pass over the fact the Nextbase 322GW shoots continuous video. That’s obviously a given.

There are a couple of major party tricks the 322GW has that places this unit above most others however, and these should capture your undivided attention.

The first one is that the Nextbase 322GW is (allegedly and I couldn’t disprove this) the world’s first dashcam with a built I emergency SOS system. In short, in an emergency, even if the driver of the vehicle is out of action, the Nextbase Emergency SOS system can alert the emergency services of the location of an incident and other details.

When an emergency situation is detected by the unit, an automatic system does a rapid “false positive” check. If this passes, via Bluetooth, your mobile is placed in a “beacon” mode whereby if the phone remains motionless or unanswered, an emergency alert is sent.

Information previously entered into the smartphone app such as your name, motor vehicle type and colour, blood group, any allergies or other medical information and history are then sent along with GPS data on the location.

According to the Nextbase website, the system (which gives you the first 12 months free) is available right now in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States, but it accepted my info without a murmur and I am assured by the PR folk it does now also work in Australian and NZ (but as at time of writing they are double checking this).

It’s important to note two major things however.  Not all incidents will trigger an alert. A low speed impact for example will probably not send an alert, nor will, of course, if the unit and / or smartphone are damaged in the incident.

The second is that the service is NOT guaranteed.

If the user in not incapacitated and emergency services not needed, the system also states the alert must be turned off. One assumes you might get a bill otherwise for a false call out.

Despite these two provisos, in a country such as Australia, having a system like this is almost a must have in my opinion (I have a major interest as a road safety / driver training evangelist). The wide-open spaces and distances travelled mean that the odds of a remote accident are higher than elsewhere, especially those wildlife related. Often, we hear of people being found in an accident situation off the road in scrub or down ravines and have been there undetected for hours or even days.

Other Features

As the Nextbase 322GW interacts with your smartphone via its app, video captured by the unit can be easily synced to your phone at any time. Both high and low res (1080p and 720p at 60fps) videos are captured letting you quickly scan through the lo-res version on your phone when needed, and then use the hi-res to get detail such as say, registration plate information.

Any footage can then be sent to your insurer if required, using the Nextbase Connect app.

Being Bluetooth, as soon as the 322GW is activated (and of course has been previously paired), it will connect to the smartphone on startup.

Using what Nextbase call Intelligent Parking, the 322GWwill automatically record any physical bump or movement when parked and unattended. The inbuilt G-Force sensor will remain active and its sensitivity increased even after the ignition is turned off.

If activated by any bump or movement, the camera will start and record 30 seconds of footage.


For location, both the US and Russian commercial GPS systems are used to get accurate GPS data, and that data is captured 10 times per second and this data rate aides in speed and acceleration information. Data tracked by the Nextbase 322GW can later incorporated into Google maps according to the company’s website.

In Use

I have had the Nextbase 322GW in my Monaro now for a few weeks now and found it incredibly easy to instal and use. Despite the large brake of the windscreen placing the 2.5” touch screen at a more than average distance from the driver, it is still easy to see and read, especially at night.

Feedback is very good, both audio and visual, and as the blurb states, the data is extremely accurate.

Recorded footage is crisp and clear with not too much distortion despite the wide 140 degree viewing angle.


At AUD$329,99, the Nextbase 322GW is not in the price league of the “average” dashcam of course. But when you factor in the life saving attributes of the SOS emergency system, then this is a very small price to pay I would suggest.

I would even go as far and say, that with my 20 years’ experience in road safety activisim in the country regions of Western Australia via the government, shire and police sponsored Roadwise system, parents should consider very strongly putting a Nextbase 322GW in their kid’s cars – especially newer drivers.

If you want even more functionality, Nextbase has other models in the range including some with Alexa connectivity, specialist location systems, 4K resolution and even a “bad weather” mode.

I have asked the company to send me their latest flagship model, the 622GW (announced today) and hopefully will be reviewing that in the near future.

For more information, the Nextbase website is at

If you want to review the full documentation of the 322GW, it is available here.