Adobe announced that Premiere Pro 1.5, which previously had relied upon portions of CineForm's Intermediate current events software for its HDV acquisition, was adding plugged-in HDV ingestion in what's now officially called version 1.5.1. With the introduction of a free HDV plug-in,Premiere Pro can capture HDV footage via FireWire directly from camcorders in its capture interface, and then can export a finished timeline back to camcorders like Sony's HDR-FX1.
So where does that leave CineForm? Fortunately for them, still in the catbird seat. Its Aspect HD 2.5b is still compatible with the Adobe plug-in, but Premiere users will probably want to upgrade to the new Aspect HD 3, seeing as how a) it's free, and b) it promises to triple the timeline performance of Adobe's HDV plug-in and offers users up to four simultaneous 1440x1080i streams. Aspect 3 also adds cut-and-paste support between Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects timelines and increased visual dynamic range for "superwhite" and "superblack" processing.
If you want to skip the capture process entirely, then FOCUS Enhancements, as usual, has your answer. In mid-March—just as its eagerly awaited FS-4 was beginning to ship—the company announced the summer 2005 availability of its new FS-4 HD and FS-4Pro HD Portable Direct to Edit (DTE) for recording HD and HDV streams from the appropriate camcorders via FireWire.
If you've already plunked down $799 for an FS-4 or $1,195 for an FS-4Pro—or were planning to do so before summer—don't fret. Both models are upgrade-able to HD capability, and those who buy one before April 30 can purchase the upgrade for $99. It'll cost $299 after that, and Focus had yet to set the MSRPs for the FS-4 HD and FS-4Pro models as of press time. No time like the present.