Product Roundup: Power Tools for Presenters

High performance digital imaging hardware and software can greatly enhance your multimedia presentations.


Digital SLR cameras provide the high resolution, excellent image quality, and versatility required to capture professional quality images under a wide range of shooting conditions. These cameras accept a variety of professional accessories and interchangeable lenses, and can deliver pictures good enough for poster size prints or giant screen display.


Prices for an excellent semi-pro digital SLR, such as the new lightweight Pentax *ist DS or the powerful Nikon D70, start at less than $1,000. For even higher resolution and better low light performance, take a look at the 8.2 megapixel Canon EOS 20D (around $1,600 with an interchangeable EF-S 18-55mm zoom lens).

If your team requires the ultimate level of professional image capture and processing power, you will want to consider Nikon’s fast new 12.4 megapixel D2X ($10,000), or the very impressive 16.7 megapixel Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II ($12,000).

Dynamic Video

New computer-based editing systems and camcorders make it easy to include the highest quality conventional video, or even High Definition (HD) footage in your multimedia presentations.

Canon’s versatile new 3-chip XL2 camcorder ($5,000) offers interchangeable lenses and a full range of image and audio controls for broadcast quality recording on DV tape.

The new 3-CCD Sony HDR-FX1 ($3,700) camcorder captures both high-resolution 1080i HDV video or standard video on DV format tapes. The HDR-FX1 features a non-interchangeable 12X optical Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar optical zoom lens, and a full range of manual controls. A fully professional version, the Sony HVR-Z1U (less than $6,000), adds SMPTE timecode and other capabilities.

Applications of Power

Visual Communicator Studio from Serious Magic lets you combine live video, graphics, and audio into a slick multimedia presentation. With the application’s V-Screen, you can key in backgrounds and graphics behind the speaker for a news format look. Costs range from $199 to $695.


Using Macromedia Captivate ($499) you can create professional-level software product demonstrations or Flash simulations without programming skills. The application automatically records all your on-screen actions and can easily add text captions, mouse movements, and other actions.

Bright Lights

A super-bright, high-resolution projector will make a big difference in your presentations. Upgrading your projection capabilities makes especially good sense if you’re creating high-quality images for presentations in larger meeting rooms and environments with difficult lighting conditions. The compact NEC LT265 ($2,495) outputs a room filling 2500 ANSI lumens yet weighs less than 6.5 lbs. This native XGA (1024 x 768) unit uses DLP technology and can accept inputs as high as UXGA (1600 x 1200). Its 802.11g communication system enables presenters to wirelessly send slide shows from a laptop to the projector.

An investment in the appropriate professional tools for the production and delivery of high-impact multimedia presentations will increase productivity and improve communications.

Sidebar: Tips for Presenting Successfully

As a business leader, it is critical that you communicate with confidence. In fact, your company relies on the effectiveness of your communication.

Set and state your agenda at the very beginning. Remember that strong visuals make an immediate and long-lasting impression. Use charts, photographs and video to convey your message. Use a projector to make a big impact. It will help set yourself apart as you convey your individuality, enthusiasm, and successes. Don’t forget your three key selling points!

Make your meeting interactive. Listen to your client. Entice your clients with your knowledge and/or products, but give them just enough to make them want to come back for more. Set a follow up meeting-and follow up promptly!


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