This video gives you a sense of just how much damage the Japanese tsunami has done to electronics production, including that of Sony [SNE], now thought to be the supplier of future camera modules for the Apple [AAPL] iPhone 5. It doesn't take too much genius to figure out that chaos such as this will be impacting across the consumer electronic supply chain.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer said last weekend that the recent Japanese quake/tsunami/nuclear disaster had affected the company's Sendai plant, where it produces CMOS camera sensors. Stringer claimed Apple buys its sensors from Sony.
The video shows one of Sony's Sendai plants. As reported, this one produces professional video tapes, blank Blu-ray Discs and other media products.
The disaster means "Sony won't be able to make some of these products for months to come," reports Martyn Williams. The impact? There's already a shortage of HDCAM video tape for portable video cameras.
A Final Cut
Japan's tsunami is likely to impact the video and broadcast industries in many ways: limiting essential resources, such as DV tape, and constraining supply of CCDs for video cameras.
These will likely be matters for discussion at next week's giant NAB broadcasters event in Las Vegas. Apple will dominate other conversations at the show with the introduction of Final Cut 8 there. Apple introduces most of its best video-focused solutions at NAB.
The Final Cut Pro User Group Network meets at NAB each year. The group is a key user group for Apple-using video pros, and it updated its website last night to reveal:
"The Final Cut Pro User Group Network is excited to have a very special guest presentation at the 10th Annual Las Vegas FCPUG SuperMeet. Come to see a surprise sneak peek at something very special -- you really do not want to miss this one!"
This seems set to be the public introduction of Final Cut 8. That's in keeping with a Steve Jobs promise, "A great release of Final Cut Pro is coming early next year," said Apple CEO, Steve Jobs in an email last year.
The 'biggest overhaul' for a decade
A small collection of video editors met in Cupertino to take a look at the new suite recently, calling it, "the biggest overhaul to Final Cut Pro since the original version was created over 10 years ago."
Apple has reportedly taken all the demo space at the Supermeet, causing one event sponsor, Avid, to pull out of its participation in the event. "Sponsors slated to participate during the Tuesday event at Bally's are Avid, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design and Canon," the Hollywood Reporter informs.
Final Cut 8 will be a 64-bit workhorse festooned with new features, including some iOS implementations -- mouse-based gestures will help you edit video, though it isn't clear (ie. sources won't tell me) if these gestures extend to pinch and zoom of video assets when working on a clip.
What else can we expect?
--I expect improved rendering, GPU acceleration and the capability to fully utilize all available system resources (processors, RAM, etc.). I also expect server-based resource sharing improvements Qmaster.
-- Don't be surprised to see the introduction of improved codec support. I'd anticipate sharing/export features such as CNN iReporter and Vimeo to appear.
-- A much improved QuickTime/AV foundation when used with Mac OS X Lion. I'm anticipating a lot of activity here -- don't forget that Apple's OS X teams drew heavily on the Final Cut experts in developing the OS roadmap -- this delayed a scheduled FCP upgrade last year, for example. Expect big things.
-- 3D editing?
What do you look forward to? Let me know in comments below. While we wait, here's a good wish list of potential features.
Signing off, the video below shows the best Apple-related April Fool prank I saw this year.