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Digital Video Goes Prime Time: Big Apple Plays Host to DV Expo East

The XL2 will be available in late August for a retail price of $4,999.

Meanwhile, as filmmakers swarmed the Canon booth to test out the XL2, John Waters, a pioneering filmmaker in his own right, delivered an uproariously off-color keynote speech about his early days making such cult films as "Pink Flamingos" and "Polyester."

While Waters admitted he had never shot a film in digital video, he said the "do-it-yourself" aspect of the genre was similar to how he shot his early cult films, many of which pushed the limits of social mores-even by today's standards.

"With digital video, now every pervert in the world can make their own celluloid masterpieces. It's the ultimate filth equalizer," Waters said with tongue firmly planted in cheek before a packed crowd at the keynote. "You can all be the kings of trash. You can take over my mantle of filth."

In addition to the Canon booth, there was a lot of buzz around Panasonic where they were showing off a lower-end product, the AG-DVC60, a 3CCD Mini-DV camcorder with a wide-angle, 16x optical zoom lens and-as a sort of throwback-shoulder-style shooting. The DVC60, at 5.5 pounds, is the weightier cousin to the AG-DVC30. With a 12-bit A/D and RGB Gamma Processor and features such as infrared for nighttime shooting, a movie-like recording mode and 16:9 recording modes, the DVC60 offers pro features at a suggested list price of $2,795. It will be available in September.

"The economically-priced AG-DVC60 is tricked out for top performance while its shoulder-mount design reduces fatigue and provides on-the-job respect," said Stuart English, vice president of Marketing for Panasonic Broadcast.

On the high higher-end, Sony was showing off its HD Digital Camcorder, the HDW-730S, which made its official debut at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas in April.