Adam Wilt

Camera Log | Adam Wilt rss

Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas, Pinnacle, Omneon, CBS, and ABC. Since 1997 his website,, has been a popular reference for information on the DV formats. He has reviewed cameras for DV Magazine and written its "Technical Difficulties" column, and taught classes and led panels at NAB, IBC, and DV Expo. He co-authored the book,"Optimizing Your Final Cut Pro System", part of the Apple Pro Training series.


Varicam menu simulator now available

Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 19, 2016

Panasonic has published an online simulator the VariCam's menu system, so you can get up to speed on the camera's interface and setup options before a VariCam gig.


Lumu Power: One light meter to rule them all?

A Kickstarter for an iPhone-powered incident, flash, and color meter
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 30, 2015

Lumulabs, the folks behind the Lumu plug-in incident light meter for iOS and Android (reviewed here) have just launched a Kickstarter project for Lumu Power: a combination incident light / color temperature / flash meter. Lumu Power will plug into the Lightning connector on any modern iPhone / iPad / iPod touch running iOS 8 or later. It's estimated to cost US$300 and ship in mid-2016, assuming it gets funded and things go according to plan. [Update: they reached their funding target in less than 3 hours.]



V-Log L on the GH4: don’t panic

Do you need 10-bit external recording for V-Log L? That depends...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 15, 2015

I shot V-Log L on the GH4 and graded it back to match Cinelike D, comparing internal and external recording. Yes, external ProRes recording helps; yes, 10-bit recording makes a difference. But that doesn’t mean that internally recorded V-Log L is unusable.


4K coming in Canada, Europe; here now, hands-on, in Fremont CA

"Sony 4K end-to-end — From Cameras to Displays" at Mac House, Oct 20
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 12, 2015

Canada's Rogers Communications has announced 2016 live sports broadcasting in 4K HDR, and Europe's broadcasters are shooting in 4K if not yet delivering in it. If you're in the SF Bay Area, get hands-on with Sony's 4K kit at the Digital Cinema Society's preso in Fremont on Tuesday, October20.


Cine Meter, Cine Meter II updated for iOS 9

If you use Cine Meter or Cine Meter II, please update!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 27, 2015

iPhone exposure meter apps Cine Meter and Cine Meter II have been updated for proper operation with iOS9. Please update!


Warning: iOS 9 breaks Cine Meter / Cine Meter II on some iDevices

Don't update to iOS 9 just yet, but if you have, here's how to see if you're affected
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 20, 2015

If you're using the iPhone app Cine Meter, update now to version 1.6; if you're using Cine Meter II, update now to version 1.9. iOS 9 no longer reports correct brightness metadata on some iPhones / iPads / iPod touches, and it's that metadata that the apps normally use to compute exposure. The new versions have workarounds for iOS 9.


New glass: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE primes

Three focal lengths in each set; 1.33x or 2.0x; $2500 – $3000 per lens
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 9, 2015

Hong Kong's SLR Magic has just announced the development of two sets of anamorphic primes: 1.33x and 2.0x. The sets are comprised of a $2500 35mm T2.4, a $3000 50mm T2.8, and a $3000 70mm T4. Given that SLR Magic's previous ANAMORPHOT adapters in both 1.33x and 2.0x have performed rather well, I'd expect these new ANAMORPHOT primes to be very nice indeed.


Before you rush out to buy V-Log L for your GH4... might just want to see what it does.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 1, 2015

Panasonic has announced price and availabiility of the V-Log L upgrade for the DMC-GH4: US$99.99 (or €99 or £79), mid-September (though at present you can save a whopping 4¢ pre-ordering from B&H instead). There will also be a DMC-GH4R with V-Log L built in and the removal of the 30-minute recording limit in EU countries; it's supposed to ship 7 September for £1199 in the UK, according to dpreview.


Veydra cine primes to gain E- and C-mount options; 12mm to ship in September

Soon you'll be able to use Veydras on Sonys and on the D16 natively
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 12, 2015

It’s been a busy week for affordable cine primes, with the Samyang XEENs announced Monday and Veydra’s announcement today of E- and C-mount options for the Veydra Mini Primes. Veydra also says the 12mm prime will ship in mid-September, and they’re working on a lens support to stabilize the primes on Micro 4/3’s (MFT’s) notoriously wobbly bayonet mount.


Preview: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 2.0x 50 anamorphic adapter

The 2.0x gives you more of what anamorphics are for.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 29, 2015

The SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 2.0x 50 is an anamorphic adapter with the classic Cinemascope 2:1 squeeze ratio, designed to mount in front of a lens with a 50mm or smaller clear aperture. The extra squeeze may seem extraneous, but the ANAMORPHOT 2.0x gives you more of the classic “anamorphic look” than a 1.33x adapter can: skinnier bokeh, more pronounced flares, and all the subtle aberrations in color, sharpness, and geometry that a 2:1 cylindrical compression lens imparts to an image.


SuperMeetUp at FCPX Creative Summit: Plenty of seats left!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 24, 2015

There are still plenty of seats for the SuperMeetUp at the FCPX Creative Summit this Friday in San Jose, CA. Presos by Randy "FCP" Ubillos, Alex "Alex4D" Gollner, and more; $27,000 worth of raffle prizes; food and drink; etc. It's billed as "the largest gathering of Digital Filmmakers and Visual Storytellers in the San Francisco Bay Area during 2015."


Review: The Green Screen Handbook, 2nd Edition

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 25, 2015

Jeff Foster’s “The Green Screen Handbook, 2nd Edition” is subtitled, “Real-World Production Techniques”, and it’s described as “a comprehensive how-to manual that walks you through the many integral techniques required in preproduction, production, and postproduction to use green screen effectively.”


Now Shipping: Veydra Mini Primes for Micro Four Thirds

Kickstarter-funded MFT cine primes are being delivered. They look good.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 2, 2015
[Update 12:05pm PST: 12mm prototype to arrive in April] The first four Veydra Mini Primes for micro four-thirds cameras, announced on Kickstarter last November and

HPA Tech Retreat 2015 - Final Thoughts

What just happened? Plus, Mark's fiendish quizzes
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 17, 2015
[Updated 10:53 PST 18 Feb: Quiz 5 winner] The HPA Tech Retreat is an annual gathering of some of the sharpest minds in post, production, broadcast, and distribution – and the 2015 Retreat is now over. As Leon Silverman and Jerry Pierce like to ask, what just...

HPA Tech Retreat 2015 - Day 4

SMPTE, AXF, MPEG-H, lightfield capture, QC, analysis, optimization, and more... even a half-day is chock-full.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 13, 2015
From SMPTE updates to the speed of future Ethernet and a really-big announcement from Belden's Steve Lampen, plus the post-retreat treat, which – unusually – is not a Mark Schubin confection. [Updated 13:35 PST: Final] The HPA Tech Retreat is an annual gathering...

HPA Tech Retreat 2015 - Day 3

Acquisition, creative intent, the cloud, not your mama's post, and more
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 12, 2015
At the Tech retreat today: technical aspects of 4K capture, grading colorspaces, ACES 1.0, and... wait for it... drones for dummies! [Update 19:15 PST: Final again (save for any additional corrections); added missing Josh Pines preso and "Snowflakes to Standards" panel; added closing presos and panels; fixed many scary...

HPA Tech Retreat 2015 - Day 2

Year in Review; Washington Update; UHD; CES; Broadcasters, and more
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 11, 2015
  From Mark Schubin's Intro and Year in Review, through Pete Putman's CES Review, it's day 2 of the Tech Retreat. Plus, we get to debate integer vs. fractional frame rates again, a topic that will never die. [Updated 18:58 PST: Final except for fixups.] The HPA Tech Retreat is an annual gathering of some of the...

HPA Tech Retreat 2015 - Day 1

Supersession: Shift Happens – Not Your Father's Post – What’s going on here?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 10, 2015
Leon Silverman, Michael Cioni, and Mark Schubin start off the discussion of how post is – yet again – evolving. [Updated 21:25 PST: Some typos fixed (including links to Mark's video clips). Final, except for various typo fixes and other corrections.] The HPA Tech Retreat is an annual gathering of some of the sharpest minds...

Renting Lenses from

What it's like to rent gear by mail.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 30, 2015
For my December lens tests with Veydras and Rokinons (among others), I needed some Rokinons, otherwise it wouldn't really be a test with...

First Look: Veydra Mini Primes for Micro Four Thirds

I test four new cine lenses for GH4s, BMPCCs, and other MFT cameras.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 15, 2014
I’ve had some time to play with four prototype Veydra MFT Cine Lenses: the 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, and 50mm. Here’s what I’ve seen. [UPDATE #4 6:00pm PST 17 Dec: Kickstarter project funded...

Review: Luxi For All Incident-Metering Photosphere for iOS and Android

The 2nd-generation Luxi fits any iOS or 'droid device up to 1 cm / .4” thick
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 3, 2014
Luxi For All (US$30) from Extrasensory Devices is a small, translucent white hemisphere with a spring clip. It’s designed to clamp over the front-facing camera of a smartphone, transforming it into an incident-reading light...

Coming Soon: Veydras Micro 4/3 Cinema Primes

Dedicated cine primes will improve cine-style workflows for MFT cameras
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 20, 2014
Los Angeles lensmen Ryan Avery (formerly with Schneider Optics) and Jim Zhang (a behind-the-scenes designer for the likes of Century Optics, Chrosziel, and 16x9) have teamed up to build the “Veydra” line of Micro 4/3 Cinema Lenses. Image...

Shame on you, PBS

When even PBS uses its flagship programs as advertising backdrops, is it any wonder viewers are dumping OTA TV for OTT VOD?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 21, 2014
I went back to Ohio  But my pretty countryside  Had been paved down the middle  By a government that had no pride "My City Was Gone" - Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders This past week, PBS aired Ken Burns' latest 7-part epic,

122 Slides on the Sony PXW-FS7

Sony’s new Super35mm camcorder, introduced by Product Manager Juan Martinez
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 11, 2014
The Sony PXW-FS7 “Vérité”, being announced at IBC as I post this, is a large-single-sensor camera aimed specifically at shoulder-mounted run’n’gun work: things like documentary shooting, news, direct cinema, and (shudder) “reality TV”.  It has a compact body, an innovative “SmartGrip” on a positionable arm, and a big...

Review: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50 anamorphic adapter

Make your camera a mean, clean, widescreen machine with this affordable anamorphic adapter
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 27, 2014
SLR Magic's ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50 is an affordable anamorphic adapter lens (US$899; $1099 with two diopters) letting you shoot 2:37:1 widescreen on a 16x9 camera, or, if you're in a retro mood, 16x9 widescreen on a 4x3 standard-def camera. It works on lenses with a clear front aperture of 50mm or less and a filter thread of 62mm or...

Art Adams and Adam Wilt on the F55 at Cine Gear Expo

Two PVC contributors talk about Sony's do-almost-anything cine cam
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 5, 2014
In Los Angeles for Cine Gear Expo this weekend? Art Adams and I will be giving an hour-long presentation on the Sony PMW-F55 at the Sherry Lansing Theater on the Paramount lot, Saturday 7 June, from 2:45 - 3:45 in the afternoon.  I'll go...

Entering Production: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50

SLR Magic’s anamorphic adapter is available for pre-orders until 14 February
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 10, 2014
I’ve just received a “test sample” of the SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50 adapter built with final parts, so it’s pretty much as it will be delivered. I’ll have a proper review in a few weeks, but as the...

Should Professional Editors care about FCPX (again)?

Sam Mestman thinks so: he's betting his company on it. I think he's right. Attend his demo 25 January and make up your own mind.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 16, 2014
Last October Kevin McAuliffe told us in two articles that Final Cut...

Quick Takes: Phase-detect AF coming to Canon C100; DaVinci Resolve 10 released

C100 to get better-than-70D AF; Resolve 10 Lite outputs QuadHD
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 12, 2013
Two stories of note from this past week: Canon's C100 Large-Single-Sensor AVCHD Cine Camera will be upgradable to dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus, similar to that used on the EOS 70D DSLR... but better. Canon's update should improve AF considerably. Note that in real life,...

Preview: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50 anamorphic adapter

Andrew Chan shows us a prototype of his innovative 1.33x anamorphic adapter
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 22, 2013
[2013.10.22 update: availability will be June 2014] At Art Adams's behest, SLR Magic's product manager and lens designer Andrew Chan stopped by on Monday morning, fresh off the plane from Hong Kong. Andrew is on a whirlwind week-long tour, showing off his new ANAMORPHOT 1,33x 50 anamorphic adapter...

First Look - Luxi Incident Metering Attachment for iPhones

A Kickstarter-funded photosphere turns the iPhone / iPod touch front camera into an incident meter
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 24, 2013
Back in late February, a chap named James Flynn put up a Kickstarter page for Luxi: "Luxi turns your iPhone into an incident light meter." He hoped to raise $10,000 to build the thing; 45 days later he had $120,921. I threw some money in...

OS X: Fixing AVCHD media to avoid the dreaded “CANNOT OPEN”

OS X is too picky for its own good with AVCHD media names. Here's how to fix things.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 11, 2013
If you’re using OS X and you copy AVCHD media folders to a NAS (network-attached storage) or a case-sensitive disk, you may run into problems: opening the media in 10.8’s Finder gives you “CANNOT OPEN” instead of a clip browser, FCP X...

Photos: Sony F5 and F55

New Sony cameras at Videofax's Open House
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 20, 2013
Today, one of our excellent local rental houses, Videofax in San Francisco, held an Open House to show off the Sony F5 and F55 large-single-sensor cine cameras. I was able to get a few pictures of these new beasts, which Videofax has kitted out using third-party support accessories and a couple of rather nice...

HPA Tech Retreat Wrap-up

Demos, baseball, and final thoughts
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 25, 2013
The 2013 HPA Tech Retreat has concluded. In my final report, I offer some observations, look at a few items in the Demo Room, and show Mark Schubin’s post-retreat treat. Observations and Comments 4K and the cloud were in, 3D was out. Sony has apparently had F55 4K cameras in the field for several...

HPA Tech Retreat Day 4

Lightfield cameras, lens metadata, REDRAY, and even more!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 23, 2013
The Tech Retreat is an annual four-day conference (plus Monday bonus session) for HD / Video / cinema geeks, sponsored by the Hollywood Post Alliance. Day 4 offered a SMPTE update, lens metadata, lightfield cameras, new encoding paradigms, Ethernet AVB and video, upconverting to 4K, and the REDRAY player. Herewith, my...

HPA Tech Retreat Day 3

Post On Demand, VFX on GPUs, and more.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 22, 2013
The Tech Retreat is an annual four-day conference for HD / Video / cinema geeks, sponsored by the Hollywood Post Alliance. Day 3 covered a legislative update, post on demand, ACES, the VFX business, file-based architecture, IMF, working in raw, digital intermediates exchange network, the cloud, and what comes after file-based...

HPA Tech Retreat Day 2

ATSC 3.0, the Olympics in 8K, and more...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 21, 2013
The Tech Retreat is an annual four-day conference (plus Monday bonus session) for HD / Video / cinema geeks, sponsored by the Hollywood Post Alliance. Day 2 covered design considerations for HDR displays, ATSC 3.0 and the future of TV, broadcasters' concerns, mobile DTV, 8K UHDTV, and more. Herewith, my transcribed-as-it-happened...

HPA Tech Retreat Day 1: Super-sized Session: More, Bigger, but Better?

Looking at HFR, HDR, high-res, immersive sound, and more...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 20, 2013
The Tech Retreat is an annual four-day conference (plus Monday bonus session) for HD / Video / cinema geeks, sponsored by the Hollywood Post Alliance. The program for this year's show is online at and the opening "Super-sized Session" was on "More, Bigger, but Better?" Herewith, my...

HPA Tech Retreat: Charles Poynton on High[er] Frame Rates

A discussion of perception and display issues pertinent to HFR presentations
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 19, 2013
The 2013 Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat started today with a presentation from Charles Poyton on "High[er] Frame Rates". Charles couldn't attend in person, as his Canadian passport expired unnoticed, so we enjoyed him via a live webinar instead (which had all the "cone of silence" problems most webinars do!). Charles, an...

Cine Meter for iOS - shipped!

A light meter / waveform monitor / false-color display for iPhone
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 23, 2013
[Warning: crass commercial message follows.] So, it's finally done and dusted: Cine Meter for iOS has shipped.  It actually went live last Thursday, but one of my beta testers immediately told Jon Fauer about it. Jon posted a

Cine Meter for iOS - Beta Testers Needed

I was looking for a few good men...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 2, 2013
Happy New Year! [Update 5 January: I have all the testers I need, thanks!] I've been beavering away for a while on a new app. Cine Meter is a shutter-priority reflected light meter, an RGB waveform monitor, and a false-color display, for any...

First Look: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 DSLM hybrid still/video camera

The GH3 may be more valuable behind the scenes than filming them.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 5, 2012
I’ve had my new GH3 for a couple of days now; long enough to work my way through the manuals and answer my burning questions about how it compares to the GH2 as a video camera, and time enough to learn some interesting things about its stills capabilities.

Breaking news: Vantage One T1 Primes

Nine T1 PL-mount cine primes!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 26, 2012
Image from Film and Digital Times used by permission.Are you into super-shallow depth of field? Do you think modern lenses are too "clinical"? Shoot PL-mount? Vantage, the folks who make Hawk anamorphics, are introducing a new line of nine spherical prime lenses, from 17.5mm through 120mm. They all open up to T1,...

Review: Induro Hi-Hat

A new take on the venerable hi-hat: micro baby legs.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 17, 2012
This review will be short and sweet, just like its subject: Induro's Hi-Hat is a stubby little tripod that brings your camera down to earth with more flexibility and versatility than a traditional hi-hat or low-hat can offer, while still allowing the traditional mount-it-on-a-board use that filmmakers are familiar...

Review: Benro Video Tripod Kits

Benro has a new line of affordable fluid-head tripod kits. Are they any good?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 17, 2012
Chinese photo-equipment company Benro has been making tripods and heads under its own name for the past decade. At NAB 2012 they introduced a new line of kits with fluid heads for video use, and these started shipping in October. Benro's US distributor sent me three representative kits, with both aluminum and carbon fiber sticks...

DSLR Audio: Do YOU know where YOUR sync is?

Another reason why you might prefer a real video camera...

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 6, 2012
Recently one of my L. A. buddies, photographer and director Ralf Strathmann (Flash-based website), shot a feature using Canon 5D Mk IIs. He found to his surprise that the audio and video recorded by the cameras weren't in sync, with sound two frames ahead of picture. A discussion two...

Review: Blue Mikey Digital

A $99 digital stereo microphone and line-in adapter for recent-model Apple iDevices.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 1, 2012
Mikey Digital on an iPhone 4S running Voice Memo.Blue Microphones recently started shipping the Mikey Digital, an add-on stereo mike for iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPod touch 4G (iOS 6 only), and Blue offered to lend me one for review. I'd been...

Breaking news: Sony PMW-F5 & PMW-F55 4K Cine Cameras

Sony announces new 4K Cine cameras, and shows it's getting a clue about cine cam ergonomics.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 30, 2012
Sony has announced its next generation of affordable (?) (relatively speaking?) S35mm cine cameras, the PMW-F5 and PMW-F55. They use the same FZ lens mount as the PMW-F3, but sport 4K-capable sensors. Even more importantly, these cameras have a compact, modular layout eminently suitable for shoulder mounting and...

Quick Test: FCPX 10.0.6

Solid gains in the new FCPX release, with no obvious drawbacks.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 24, 2012
Someone has to be the first to stick a toe in the water when a new update comes out, so I jumped in with both feet. I'm running FCPX 10.0.6 on two different Macs, and so far, everything is OK. I plan to upgrade Mac #3 later today.Yeah, I know: Apple's anointed few have been running pre-release versions for a...

Video: With Art Adams on "The Canyon"

See the Bell & Howell 2709 hand-cranked 35mm rackover camera in action

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 21, 2012
I shot motion as well as stills on the production of "The Canyon" last weekend, and I've assembled a short doc showing what it's like to work with the Bell & Howell 2709 camera.As with my earlier

Photos: the Bell & Howell 2709 and "The Canyon"

Shooting a silent film with a hand-cranked camera.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 18, 2012
The Bell & Howell 2709 and 1st AC Art Adams.This past weekend I had the privilege of observing a crew from the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum as they filmed (yes, filmed) scenes for a silent movie, "The Canyon", using a 1922 Bell & Howell 2709...

An[other] OS X 10.6 to 10.8 Survival Guide for Editors

Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 15, 2012
Test rig: 10.7.4 MacBook Air, 10.6.8 MacBook Air, three different kinds of antacids, dual-boot 10.6.8/10.8 Mac mini (display; mini itself hidden behind MacBook Pro), 10.8 MacBook Pro.With the release of Mac OS X 10.8 (the word "Mac" has been struck from the name of the OS), an increasing number of...

Quick Review: Canon C300 Super35mm LSS Cine Camera

The C300 is a shooter's camera: a large sensor recording pretty pix with a broadcast-ready codec in a thoughtfully designed, highly flexible package.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 24, 2012
Canon C300 EF with Canon 24-105mm f/4 EF-L IS zoom.The US$16,000 Canon EOS C300 looks like nothing else, and works like it, too: its ergonomics, controls, and menus are rules unto themselves. It's a fearless re-imagining of how a large-single-sensor camera should be designed, held, and operated, but it doesn't...

Review: Sony NEX-FS700 "Super35" LSS AVCHD Camcorder

The FS100's new sibling adds Super Slo-Mo, Cine Gammas, NDs, and a new sensor.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 1, 2012
The NEX-FS700 (US$8000; $8600 with 18-200mm zoom lens) is an E-mount Large-Single-Sensor camcorder with the back end, user interface, and lens mount of the NEX-FS100, but with an entirely new camera section sandwiched between 'em. The FS700 still takes E-Mount lenses (and other lenses via adapters) and still records AVCHD clips...

Cine Gear Expo LA 2012 - Assorted Photos

Various interesting sights seen at Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 24, 2012
Cinoflex power-distro baseplate for the Canon C300, plus accessories. Yes, you can bulk up a C300 to the size of a CineAlta HDCAM!I attended Cine Gear Expo on the Paramount lot in L.A. earlier this month. When I wasn't busy

Just for Fun: Shooting the Transit of Venus

Using a mirrorless camera, long lens, and a variable ND for solar event photography.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 7, 2012
Using a mirrorless still camera (or DSLR with Live View capability) or a video camera in combination with a long lens and heavy neutral density filtration, it's easy to view and photograph solar phenomena like the recent transit of Venus.I used a Panasonic DMC-GH2 micro-four-thirds camera with a...

High Speed and Low Light with the NEX-FS700

Showing off what the FS700 can do, at Cine Gear Expo 2012 in LA.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 6, 2012
Sony asked Art Adams and me to talk about our experiences with and impressions of the NEX-FS700 camera at Cine Gear Expo in LA this past weekend. Here's my half of our combined presentation. [First, the usual airline / broadcast disclaimer: "the movie you are about to see has been edited for content,...

NAB 2012: Assorted Snapshots

A few cool things I saw at the show that didn't fit into any other articles.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 9, 2012
I got this fisheye lens, y'see, and by gosh and by golly I'm a-gonna use it.NAB is too big a show in too short a time to see more than a fraction of it. I've covered a few things in some depth (as have other PVC folks), but there's plenty more that slips by without proper coverage. Here, I have a few photos of...

NAB 2012: RED

RED's Ted Schilowitz discusses 2012's products, and a photo gallery.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 7, 2012
RED's "Leader of the Rebellion" Ted Schilowitz held a press conference at NAB on Monday, describing the projects and products RED is working on. Rather than paraphrase him, I've got him on card (well, it's not "on tape" and it's not "on film"; what are we supposed to say these days?) so he can tell you himself. I also have a...

NAB 2012: Camera Support

A few of the interesting bits 'n' bobs that make cameras usable.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 6, 2012
At NAB I found support vendors at the affordable end of the spectrum I hadn't seen before, comfy Aaton-style handgrips, F65 tweaks by Carlos Acosta, and a "drive-by demo" of a handy zoom/focusing lever. D|FOCUS and Jag35 D|FOCUS Systems...

NAB 2012: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Quadcopters, hexacopters, and octocopters, oh my!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 5, 2012
It's true: the black helicopters are coming after you. In the first two days of NAB, I saw five different folks walking through the halls carrying multi-rotor camera copters. In previous years? None. UAVs of all sort were all over the show; here are pix of a few of them. ...

NAB 2012: Recorders

2012 marks the return to the rack, only without the tape decks...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 5, 2012
AJA Ki Pro Quad 4K-capable recorder hooked to a Canon C500. In the past few years the industry has been moving away from rack-mounted tape decks in favor of small, on-camera or near-camera, portable recorders using CF cards, SSDs, and hard disks. At NAB 2012, we saw a partial reversal of that trend: the recorders...

NAB 2012: New EVFs

Two new viewfinders to compete with Zacuto and Cineroid, plus a bizarre prototype from Band Pro.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 4, 2012
Kinotehnik's LCDVFe showing a semitransparent mask. Just when you thought you need only decide between Zacuto and Cineroid for add-on EVFs, NAB gave us two new choices. Also, Band Pro showed their own high-end EVF, and it's a weird one. Kinotehnik LCDVFe

NAB 2012: Cameras & Lenses

A brief sampling of interesting photographic tools at NAB.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 3, 2012
JVC's 4K tinycam is actively cooled via grilles in front and back. I've already covered the basics of what Sony and Panasonic announced, as well as looking at

NAB 2012: Canon C300 Image Processing

Canon's Larry Thorpe on the C300's quad-HD sensor and "super green" sampling

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 1, 2012
Canon held a press dinner Monday night at NAB, where Larry Thorpe held forth on the Canon C300's use of a quad-HD sensor (2x HD resolution in both H and V dimensions) and how Canon's "super green" sampling boosts MTF and suppresses aliasing in the camera's 1080p images. Despite a heavy infusion of...

NAB 2012: Is BMD the new RED, Part 2?

BMD Cinema Camera specs; video preso from Dan May; unwarranted speculation and wild conjecture.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 27, 2012
The Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera was the surprise of the show. In this second report on the BMDCC, I gather together facts (such as they are at this early stage of the game), informed commentary, crazed guesswork, and pointers to more info. [updated 2012-04-29: CinemaDNG data rate corrected; 2012-05-07: better video...

Is BMD the new RED?

And is EF the new PL? More on the BMD Cine Camera.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 18, 2012
A few pictures of the $3000 BMD Cine Cam and some infonuggets. [update: added EOSHD's sensor size comparison.] Infonuggets:The camera uses a single 2.5K sensor, around four-thirds in size according to one of the BMD folks...

NAB Sunday: Canon's Presentation

More details on the Canon 1D C and C500 digital cine cameras.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 16, 2012
Canon held a meeting in the Brenden Theater at the Palms, showing off two 4K short films (one shot by Shane Hurlbut with the 1D C, the other by Jeff Cronenweth, using the C500) and turning Larry Thorpe loose with a wealth of technical details.The films looked rather nice, Cronenweth's in particular...

NAB Sunday: Panasonic and Sony Press Conferences

What the two big camera companies taked about officially.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 16, 2012
One of many GH2s being used to record the Panasonic press conference.When big companies hold press conferences, they're a mix of marketing / sales encomiums from happy customers, and some actual useful information about technologies and products. I'll mostly focus on the tech stuff that Panasonic and Sony...
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$3000 BMD Cine Camera?

Blackmagic Design announces a cine camera for $3000!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 16, 2012
I'm just passing on a rather astonishing announcement from Blackmagic Design. I'll try to get a look at this puppy later today, but now, I simply bring you the words of BMD's Grant Petty, received in an email...Blackmagic Cinema CameraWe have been thinking hard about cameras and some of the...

FS700: Fire & Ice

More Super Slow Motion studio tests with Sony's new LSS camcorder.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 13, 2012
Setting up for ice drops and water pours.The day after my fun with matches, Art Adams came by. We played with fire a bit more, then turned to water and ice.I'll let Art discuss the lighting aspects; I'll just offer a few quick observations and then let the video play.•...

Testing the NEX-FS700 at Meets The Eye

More slo-mo under controlled conditions.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 11, 2012
NEX-FS700 with Arri 85mm Ultra Prime, matte box, and follow-focus; Hot Rod Cameras Tuner Kit; Zacuto Z-finder-EVFI took the FS700 into work and shot under various lighting conditions to see what would happen. I also swapped out my cheap Nikon lens adapter and support kit for an updated Hot Rod Cameras Tuner Kit...

An NEX-FS700 Amuse-Bouche

Some slo-mo from Sony's newest LSS camera.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 10, 2012
NEX-FS700 with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and Zacuto Z-finder-EVFLast week, Sony announced the NEX-FS700, a super-slo-mo follow on to the

Quick Look: Sony PVM-740 OLED Display

A small field monitor... that doubles as a reference display?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 26, 2012
OLED—Organic LED—is said to be the display technology of the future... and it's here today. The PVM-740 is the smallest of Sony's trio of professional-series OLED displays, and Sony lent me one for a while when I was testing the NEX-FS100.It's nice. I mean, it's really nice. Perfect? Well, not...

Quick Look: Alpha A-mount Lenses on the FS100

Using Sony A-mount (and a couple of E-mount) lenses for video on the NEX-FS100.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 27, 2012
Sony sent me an NEX-FS100 to review , and included seven additional lenses: three A-mount zooms, three A-mount primes, and the E-mount 16mm pancake. They also sent two A-to-E-mount adapters, the $200 LA-AE1 and the...

Quick Look: Variable ND Filters

Variable NDs replace a boxful of filters, and allow smooth exposure changes... for a price.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 27, 2012
Formatt Hitech Multistop, Kenko Variable NDX, and Tiffen Variable ND filters on a Sony 24-70mmm f/2.8 Zeiss zoom.The Sony NEX-FS100 has no internal neutral density filters, and its telescoping...

Third-Party Accessories for the FS100

A quick look at some of the options available for kitting out an FS100 rig.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 27, 2012
NEX-FS100 with ShotGrip handle; Hot Rod PL Tuner-S kit; Arri 32mm Ultra Prime, matte box, and follow-focus.The protean design of the NEX-FS100 cries out for customization, and the market responds......

Review: Sony NEX-FS100 "Super35" LSS AVCHD Camcorder

An interchangeable-lens large-single-sensor NXCAM with a unique design.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 24, 2012
Sony's follow-on to the consumer-oriented, 1080/60i NEX-VG10 is the more professional NEX-FS100, an E-Mount AVCHD camcorder listing for US$5850, or $6550 with an 18-200mm lens. It shares the same sensor as the considerably more expensive PMW-F3, but nothing else—including its design. The FS100 abandons the problematic "overweight...

Quick Look: Sony F65 4K Digital Cine Camera

BandPro's Jeff Cree shows off the F65 at Videofax in San Francisco.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 29, 2012
Last week, San Francisco rental house extraordinaire Videofax took delivery of Sony F65 #15, and on Thursday BandPro's Jeff Cree came up to show off the camera to local DPs, ACs, and DITs. I was able to shoot some photos and take some notes, which I have pulled together and annotated, in a...

Review: Panasonic AG-AC160 and AG-HPX250 1/3" 3-MOS camcorders

Panasonic delivers full-res, full-function, feature-rich 3-chippers.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 23, 2012
While all the attention is focused on large-single-sensor cine-style camcorders, Panasonic has come out with a line of high-quality 1/3" 3-MOS handhelds that leave little to be desired. The HPX250 is a handheld version of the shoulder-mount HPX370, while the AC160 and its simplified sibling, the AC130, bring the same fundamentals...

Affordable PL-mount Primes Compared

85 minutes of lens tests!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 7, 2012
If you're in the market to rent or buy "affordable" PL-mount primes (e.g., under $10,000/lens), you won't want to pass up this test.On December 10, 2011, Portland Oregon's Indent Studios staged a massive comparison of several ranges of PL-mount primes:

Quick Look: Three New E-Mount Primes

Sony's new 24mm, 50mm, and 30mm macro lenses for NEX cameras.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 17, 2011
The 50mm f/1.8, 30mm f/3.5 macro, and 24mm f/1.8 lenses, with hoods.Sony has three E-Mount primes coming out right about now, and I had a chance to play with prototypes of them attached to an NEX-FS100 LSS camcorder. Here are my impressions, and a short test. Prototype...

LSS Notes: Sony F3/FS100 preso at MTE; "C300 = Awesome"

PMW-F3/NEX-FS100 demo Monday 12 Dec; large raster workflow seminar Tuesday 13 Dec; the best demo video ever.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 9, 2011
[Update 9 Dec: ASG Large Raster Workflow seminar Tuesday in San Francisco.]1) Media Solutions and Sony present Sony PMW-F3/NEX-FS100u Demo and Workflow Solutions this Monday, 12 December, at Meets The Eye Studios, San Carlos CA (Northern California, between San Francisco and...

Quick Look: Canon EOS C300 LSS 1080p Camcorder

Canon confounds expectations; thinks very differently.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 8, 2011
Updated Scoopic? Minimalist C300 with EF 24-105mm zoom.Last Thursday, Canon announced the EOS C300 (EF mount) and C300 PL (PL mount) "Cinema EOS" camcorders in a much-heralded rollout at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Saturday, I had a chance to visit Paramount...

Quick Notes: ETE Panel; MTE Open House

Two chances to heckle your correspondent!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 28, 2011
Meets The Eye's Studio A during its first production.Next week I'll be involved in two public events, one in Burbank (a panel on production technology) and the other in San Carlos CA (our shooting stages open house). Come by to visit, to ask questions, to complain, or to throw things. Also: what's in the pipeline...

Caleb Crosby's FS100 Top Handle

The first aftermarket handle designed specifically for the NEX-FS100.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 21, 2011
You can tell a camera has struck a chord when its users start turning out aftermarket accessories that are themselves objects of desire.Boston cameraman Caleb Crosby has been working with the Sony NEX-FS100...

Cine Gear Expo LA 2011

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 6, 2011
A Panaflex on a Silent Cat slider? It must be Cine Gear Expo time!Cine Gear Expo, "the film, video, and digital expo with focus", offered the usual kid-in-a-candy-store experience, and introduced new light-emitting plasma (LEP) instruments, new cameras, and a revolutionary new...

NAB 2011 - Odds 'N' Ends

Stuff I saw that didn't fit in any of my other NAB articles.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 2, 2011
Chromaticity plot of NorthernLights LEDs. Triangle is Sony F23's gamut. The chart at the top of the page shows the chromaticity coordinates of the wide-gamut LEDs used in the DSC Labs NorthernLights chart at the end of

NAB 2011 - Plasma Lights, and The Problem With LEDs

The first production-ready plasma light; the AMPAS SSL presentation; multicolor LEDs.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 2, 2011
The Photon Beard Nova, and what's at its heart.Here's the coolest "new thing" in lighting I saw at the show: Photon Beard's Nova, a focusable Fresnel-type instrument using a LEP (light-emitting plasma). It's unlike any other lighting instrument...

NAB 2011 - SCCE Charts

Hard numbers (such as they are) resulting from the Single Chip Camera Evaluation.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 1, 2011
SCCE test director Robert Primes, ASC.Steve Hullfish has already nicely described the Single Chip Camera Evaluation that Robert Primes, ASC organized at Zacuto's behest. I just have a couple of comments to add, along...

NAB 2011 - Cameras

In which I look obsessively at a Swedish design statement, almost to the exclusion of all else.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 29, 2011
The obligatory Sony F65 photo.There wasn't one overall theme to the NAB camera announcements. 4K cameras and HD-resolution LSS (large single sensor) cameras shared the spotlight with workaday small-sensor cameras packing ever more features into the same sorts of form factors we've seen for years. But Sony did make a...

NAB 2011 - Camera Support

Gearnex MoCo! Cranky sliders! The panto-jib! Throw the RED a dogbone! And more...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 27, 2011
Yes, there's actually a GH2 in there... somewhere... (grin)Another NAB, and more camera support kit for cameras big and small. Here I look at just a few things that caught my eye.(Let me state right out that I was shooting the show with a rig very similar to the one shown above. Except...

NAB 2011 - Lenses

PL-Mount and otherwise, cine-style lenses are proliferating.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 26, 2011
Two Illumina S35mm T1.3 Primes.More lenses! Crikey, RED builds an affordable PL-mount camera, Sony and Panasonic bring out even more affordable PL-capable cameras, and suddenly there are PL-mount (or interchangeable-mount) lenses everywhere! The complete set of five...

NAB 2011 - Recorders

On-camera recording devices, plus the end of tape?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 25, 2011
Sound Devices PIX 240 main display with all data overlays enabled.If NAB had an unofficial theme this year, it was "the year of compact on-camera digital recorders." And the subtext? Suddenly, silently: ProRes everywhere.I've got

NAB 2011 - FilmLight

The film scanner / color management / grading system company's NAB offerings.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 25, 2011
FilmLight's Blackboard 2 softkey control surface.UK company FilmLight is packaging their high-end color-grading system Baselight as an "under US$1000" plugin for Final Cut Pro. They've also announced the new Blackboard 2 soft-key control surface, and they're now the...

NAB 2011 - Stereo 3D

A quick look at some of the S3D oddities on offer at NAB 2011.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 25, 2011
If you're gonna shoot S3D, why not watch S3D? Dual PMW-F3s on a mirror rig. I'm a Chauncey Gardner when it comes to 3D: I like to watch. But as long as stereo 3D requires a bulky mirror rig, or a data cart like the one below, watching is...

NAB 2011 - Ikegami's HDS-F90 LSS 4/3" Camcorder

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 24, 2011
The folks over at DSLR News Shooter found that Ikegami is making a 4/3" PL-mount camcorder—Ikegami, fercryinoutloud!I didn't see this during my time at NAB, but

NAB 2011 Video - 3rd-Party Support for the AG-AF100

Lenses, lens mount adapters, matte boxes, follow-focuses, and more...

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 22, 2011
Panasonic's Jan Crittenden Livingston shows off some of the 3rd-party accessories for the large-single-sensor, interchangeable-lens AF100 camcorder.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 38 Mbytes.

NAB 2011 Video - Panasonic's second-generation 3D Camcorder

The AG-3DP1 has a 17x zoom and records to dual P2 cards

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2011
Steve Cooperman of Panasonic describes the 1/3" 3MOS AG-3DP1 3D P2 camcorder. It should be available later this year, but pricing has not been announced.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 12 Mbytes.

NAB 2011 Video - Panasonic AG-HPX250

An AVC-Intra P2 Handheld Camcorder
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2011
Panasonic's Steve Cooperman discusses the upcoming HPX250, a handheld camcorder with a 21x zoom recording AVC-Intra to P2 cards, as well as all flavors of DV, DVCPRO, and DVCPROHD. Think of it as a full-res HVX200 or HPX170 for the Modern Era.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 13 Mbytes.

NAB 2011 Video - Panasonic AJ-HPX3100

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 20, 2011
Panasonic's Steve Cooperman talks about the AJ-HPX3100, a 2/3" 3CCD camcorder costing less than US$20,000. 900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 19 Mbytes.[Corrected 2011-06-06: CCD, not MOS]

NAB 2011 - Arri Announcements

Alexa advancements, LED lighting, and support for other cameras.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 13, 2011
Some quick notes from Arri's Monday press conference, plus some from-the-floor photos.Arri L-series LED Fresnels: serious Arri-quality lighting with LEDs. Fully splashproof/dustproof; upgradeable light engines (since LEDs are doubling in intensity every 3-4 years). An...

NAB 2011 Video - Two New Video Recorders, and More...

Two new camera-top video recorders, a cool test chart, and video nametags.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 12, 2011
Sound Devices introduced two new solid-state video recorders, and FFV showed off one, too. Also: a very cool camera testing chart from DSC Labs, and name tags that display video.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 68 Mbytes.

NAB 2011 Video - Sunday Night at Sony

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 11, 2011
Sunday night, Sony lets a few journos in to see what's new before the doors open Monday morning. Sony's Juan Martinez shows off some of the features of the NEX-FS100 "NXCAM Super35" camcorder, as well as a new viewfinder attachment for the PMW-F3. I also grabbed a quick pic of the dustproof / splashproof HXR-NX70...

NAB 2011 - Sunday Seminars

I sampled several seminars in the Post|Production World and Digital Cinema Summit.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 11, 2011
DP Brian Pearson wields an EPIC as RED's Ted Schilowitz watches.On Sunday I sat in on several classes and sessions, to get a feel for the non-show-floor goings-on at NAB. Herewith, my fragmented, barely-edited notes.DP Discussion Gary Adcock leads a...

NAB 2011 Video - Saturday Setup

A quick look at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the Saturday before the show...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 10, 2011
The Las Vegas Convention Center, where NAB is normally held, and what goes on there on the Saturday before the show starts (clarification: DCS sessions are in the South Hall meeting rooms, not North Hall as my narration might imply).900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264, 17 Mbytes.

More on the Sony NEX-FS100U AVCHD LSS Camcorder

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 23, 2011
NEX-FS100 next to a PMW-F3, from a Sony NAB Seminar email.This image of the "NXCAM 35" camcorder is lifted from a promotional email for Sony's Super 35mm Seminars at NAB (more below). Jon Fauer shows a different configuration from his...

AG-AF100 and PMW-F3 on the Charts

...with RED ONE, Alexa, and EX1 resolution/aliasing comparisons.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 18, 2011
A PMW-EX3, PMW-F3, and AG-AF100 lined up on a cart.This past Monday, Art Adams and I went up to Chater Camera to have a quick look at the tonal-scale renderings of the PMW-F3 and AG-AF100, two new large-single-sensor (LSS) interchangeable-lens camcorders, and to torture them with resolution, aliasing, and IR...

New Sony Cameras

Sony flew a bunch of journos to Japan recently; here's what they saw.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 13, 2011
In the past couple of weeks, Sony took industry journalists on a junket to Japan, to get an advance peek at some new cameras (I was invited, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts). Jon Fauer and David Williams have written up what they've seen.In short:• A 4K camera with a...

How should I cover NAB this year?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 2, 2011
I'm starting to think about NAB 2011, and I'm curious what you thought of my 2010 coverage. Got a minute to let me know?Last year, I put together both traditional, dead-pixels, text-and-pictures reports, and a series of short video clips (all of them listed

HPA Tech Retreat 2011 Day 4

3D ghosts, camera arrays, etc.; final thoughts.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 21, 2011
On this fourth and final day of the 2011 Tech Retreat, we learned about standards activities, 3D ghosts, camera arrays, automated audio "recognition", a new method for making film protection masters, how bending a cable affects its performance, and a whirlwind tour through TV Tech history. Also: the death of tape... for real this...

HPA Tech Retreat 2011 Day 3

After the fear and trembling yesterday, suggestions of solutions; OLEDs; DSLRs; and more.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 18, 2011
Day 3 (by my counting; HPA calls this Day 2, because Tuesday's Super Session doesn't count) covered LTO-5, LTFS, IMF, HDSLR, OLED, FIMS, SOA, SLA, monitors vs. displays, file-based mastering, Hollywood in the cloud, and Disney restorations.These Tech Retreat posts are barely-edited...

HPA Tech Retreat 2011 Day 2

Mayhem, confusion, and chaos continue!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 17, 2011
Day 2 of the Tech Retreat covered the year in review, CES, cloud storage, broadcasting, pool feed audio, content protection, transcoding, stereo subtitles, and more...These Tech Retreat posts are barely-edited stream-of-consciousness note-taking; there's no other way to grab all this info...

HPA Tech Retreat 2011 Day 1

HPA Super Session 2011 -- Snowflake Workflows

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 16, 2011
HPA set the stage for the Super Session with these words:"With all the options in workflow today, it seems no two projects are exactly alike. Just like snowflakes, our projects begin beautiful, shiny, and a unique wonder to behold. But as they slowly drift to their final destination, they seem to just turn into slush,...

HPA Tech Retreat 2011

The industry's most thought-provoking conference happens this week.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 14, 2011
There's a quiet gathering in Palm Springs every February. Many of the post-production industry's leading luminaries, along with a gaggle of production folks, hangers-on, and ne'er-do-wells (including your correspondent) assemble for the Hollywood Post Alliance's Tech Retreat, three and a half days of discussion about where the...

Zeiss Eye Candy

Zeiss lenses show what they're really made of.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 4, 2011
I attended a local tradeshow yesterday and today, and Zeiss had a display table showing off still and cine lenses. Herewith, some images for your viewing pleasure.San Francisco bay area reseller and systems integrator Snader and Associates just held their annual

Macworld Expo SF 2011, 26-29 January

Save $10 on an expo pass, or 15% on a conference registration.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 4, 2011
Shameless promotion time: Register for MWSF2011 using Priority Code AWM17046, and you'll save $10 on an Expo-only pass ($15 instead of $25), or a 15% discount on any conference package. That's a better deal than the "2011Deal" offer on the

Pro Apps PDFs!

Oh, frabjous day: Apple offers PDF user manuals again!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 19, 2010
The PDF link downloads a copy of the docs to disk.OK, so maybe I'm stupid (no comments, thanks very much) and these have always been available, or maybe they're new: Apple has PDF user manuals for Pro Apps available for download.One of the big disappointments when Final Cut Studio 3 was...

Overview: Several First-Generation Versacams

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 7, 2010
Art Adams wrestles a fully kitted-out Canon 5D Mk II with 85mm f/1.2 Canon prime.Hybrids, HDSLRs, VDSLRs, EVILs, DSMCs, DILCs? There's as much confusion about what to call these highly-affordable, large-sensor, interchangeable-lens, video-capable still cameras as there is about their actual usefulness. Some...
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Quick notes: First PMW-F3 Movie; NXCAM 35 Pro Camcorder

Some chaps in the UK have shot a short with an PMW-F3, and Sony announces a pro large-sensor NXCAM camcorder.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 18, 2010
Things are really heating up in the large single sensor camcorder world.(1) Martin Scanlan writes:Hey Adam, I just had access to a test PMW-F3 for a couple of days so me and the DP Steve Lawes decided to shoot a run and gun short film with it to give it a real world test....

Hands-on with the Panasonic AG-3DA1 S3D Camcorder

Using the 3DA1 at the Createasphere / Panasonic 3D Workshop

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 15, 2010
Last weekend I attended the two-day Createasphere 3D Production Workshop Utilizing Panasonic AG-3DA1 Cameras in Burbank, and got a good overview of the issues in shooting stereo 3D (S3D) content, as well as some immensely instructive hands-on experience with the AG-3DA1 S3D...

Sony PMW-F3 Announced

Quick links to early info on this large-format camcorder.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 10, 2010
[Updated 2010-11-13: Added link to Jon Fauer's preliminary report.][Updated 2010-11-11: Sony USA press release, shipping date, US prices.] Sony has announced the PMW-F3, a 35mm-sized camcorder designed for interchangeable lenses. Think 35 Mbit/sec, 4:2:0 XDCAM EX; handycam form factor; new Sony...

Quick Look: Panasonic AG-AF100 MFT Cine-Style Camcorder

Panasonic shows off a prototype AG-AF100 at Birns & Sawyer

Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 8, 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010: Panasonic's Jan Crittenden Livingston appeared at Hollywood rental and sales facility Birns & Sawyer to show off a prototype AG-AF100 Micro Four Thirds cine-style camcorder. I was in town for the Createasphere 3D Workshop, so I stopped by for a look....

Remembering the DPS Spark

Aye, laddie, it takes you back...

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 24, 2010
Over the weekend I cleared out a bunch of old gear, including the capture card that launched a revolution: the DPS Spark. Thirteen years ago, this card changed low-cost video editing forever.The Spark was an Adaptec 8940-based IEEE 1394 capture card released in 1997, the first PC- and Mac-based card that...

Can a Mac mini handle dual-screen HD editing?

I compare an early 2009 and a late 2010 Mac mini with a three-year-old MacBook Pro.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 11, 2010
At work, I have a big, snorting, hairy beast of a MacPro, but at home I want something small, quiet, and abstemious with the power—yet still capable of dual-screen HD editing with reasonable playback performance when I need it. I've tested two Mac minis, with GeForce 9400M and 320M GPUs, alongside my older 15" MacBook Pro...

RED Visit, 21 September: EPIC!

I hold an EPIC in my hands, and get a glimpse beneath the covers and behind the scenes.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 27, 2010
[Update 2010.09.27: Spanish version / versión en español with thanks to / gracias a Carlos Zapater.]At five minutes to midnight on 13 September, I received a short message from RED Digital Cinema's Jim Jannard: "Want to come to the studios and get a sneak peak of...

RED Visit, 21 September: HDRx

RED's approach to HDR capture works better than it should.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 23, 2010
Last week, Jim Jannard at RED invited me to come down to RED Studios to talk about EPIC and HDRx, RED's new High Dynamic Range capture mode. I made the trip this past Tuesday, and had the opportunity to sit down with Jim, Jarred Land, and Deanan DaSilva for three hours. Here's what I learned about HDRx; a report on EPIC will...

Photos: On Location with Art Adams and the Arri Alexa

Production stills from Art's August evening outing with a prototype Alexa digital cine camera.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 6, 2010
Seen Art Adams' writeup on his Alexa shoot? I have a whole mess o' photos from that long, cold many, in fact, that I'd die of old age before I got them posted on PVC via the primitive, one-at-a-time upload...

See Arri Alexa in San Francisco at DCS, next Tuesday, 10 August

Arri's Michael Bravin shows off the Alexa at the Digital Cinema Society in San Francisco.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 4, 2010
Just a quick note: The DCS meeting in San Francisco this Tuesday (yes: this coming Tuesday!) will focus on the Arri Alexa. The meeting will be at BlueSky Studios from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Read on for details...Michael Bravin, Arri's VP for Market Development, will show off a prototype Alexa, discuss its...

Low Light: Do HDSLRs Really Rule?

Comparing Canon HDSLRs to video and cine cameras at high ISOs.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 2, 2010
The blogosphere is all a-twitter (and the twitterers are all blogging) about how good HDSLRs are in low light. I thought it would be interesting to compare the Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 7D with a couple of video cameras as well the RED ONE M and M-X, and see just how well they all perform at high ISO settings.

Review: Panasonic AG-HPX370 1/3" 3-MOS P2 HD Camcorder

The HPX370 offers 50/60Hz AVC-Intra and DV-format recording, and improves noise, sensitivity, and skew over the HPX300.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 29, 2010
The Panasonic AG-HPX370 (US$11,700 list; $9,200 street price) is a 1/3" 3-MOS shoulder-mount HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. It records everything from 480i to 1080p in 10-bit AVC-Intra 50/100 and 8-bit DV/DVCPRO50/DVCPROHD formats, with variable frame rates in 720p. Its MOS sensors capture a true 1920x1080 image with...

Mysterium-X Exposed, part 2

A more carefully calibrated comparison of RED's M and M-X sensors.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 8, 2010
With two RED ONEs back in from their M-X upgrades, and with the results of my previous test in mind, I ran a more rigorous examination comparing the Mysterium to the Mysterium-X.In my previous side-by-side there...

Mysterium-X Exposed, part 1

A quick 'n' dirty comparison of RED's M and M-X sensors.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 5, 2010
We received our first RED ONE back from the Mysterium-X upgrade, so without further ado, I slapped it on a tripod and compared it to a RED ONE with the original Mysterium sensor.I took RED ONE #2325 with its original sensor, and #2323, just back from the M-X upgrade, and set them up the same way: 4K HD, ISO...

HDSLR Revolution: Gale Tattersal Talks about "House"

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 3, 2010
A Canon 5D Mk II with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, like one of the setups used on "Help Me"."Help Me", the season 6 finale of "House", was shot with Canon 5D Mk II HDSLRs using off-the-shelf Canon still lenses. This past week, Director of Photography Gale Tattersal quashed a few rumors about how the show was shot, and...

Review: RED101 Training and Reference DVDs

How to familiarize yourself with RED ONE in the comfort of your own home.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 21, 2010
Jay Kelley describes using the RED ONE on a gearhead with an eyepiece leveler.RED101 is a $60 DVD set covering most of what you need to know to build, configure, and operate a RED ONE camera. If you're thinking about buying or renting a RED ONE, or you just want to know your way around the camera, RED101 is a...

Monitor your Canon HDSLR Wirelessly

A clever setup lets you monitor and control your Canon remotely.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 21, 2010
Berat User, a DP working in Chicago with Canon HDSLRs, came up with a clever way to monitor the camera's image remotely while walking around the set.He posted the following message on CML, and I reproduce it here with CML's permission:
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HDSLR Revolution: House Party

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 11, 2010
Ready or not, here they come: HD-capable DSLRs are being used for high-end productions, despite their various shortcomings. One of the boldest such experiments is the 17 May episode of the FOX TV drama "House", shot entirely with Canon 5D Mk IIs using stock Canon stills lenses.Read up. Prepare. Watch. There will be a...
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...Winding down from NAB

Shooting ENG-style with a DSLR? Mostly harmless.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 25, 2010
Here we are a week after NAB, and I find that I shot 177 stills and 27 minutes of video over two days on a Canon 5D MkII (it may not sound like a lot, but I grew up on pricey film, and I'm not one of those mash-the-button-down-and-hope-for-the-best photogs. Last year, I shot 237 stills over five days—and no video). Would I...

NAB 2010: Final Thoughts

Another NAB has come and gone. What did the passing waves leave behind on the beach?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 23, 2010
It looks so peaceful at night... I only had two days at NAB this year, but I still came away with the strong impression of three major trends; call them the 3Ds...   video-capable DSLRs...

NAB Pix: 3D Rigs

Various alternatives for getting two cameras pointed in the almost the same direction.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 22, 2010
NAB showed that there are quite a few different ways to shoot stereo 3D. A lot of the buzz was about the Panasonic AG-3DA1 camcorder shown here, and rightly...

NAB Video - 3D Rigs

Looking at beamsplitter rigs, and GV's amusing display.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 22, 2010
A look at Grass Valley's 3D marketing, followed by a walkaround of several two-camera beamsplitter (a.k.a. mirror) rigs. 900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - microRemote

Redrock Micro's remote lens controller.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Redrock Micro's Brian Valenti shows off the new microRemote and microTape.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - Lighting

LED fresnels, dedolight innards, active diffusion, and a wet HMI.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
LitePanels LED fresnels (yes, that's Rodney Charters fiddling with the Sola6); why dedolights make light the way they do; zylight's Active Diffusion panels, and K5600's very damp HMI.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - DSLRs

All sorts of fiddly bits to outfit your DSLR for digital filmmaking.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Support gear for DSLRs as seen (mostly, but not entirely) at the Zacuto booth.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - Doddle

A quick demo of the doddle iPhone app.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Doddle is a mobile production guide: a website and an iPhone app for finding crew and resources, and managing call sheets. Mobile Imagination's Sean Smith takes us through the basics.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - Cinedeck

A quick demo of the Cinedeck user interface.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Cinedeck is a video recorder built into a 7" monitor. Here's how it works.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - Cameras

Sony SRW-9000 PL, Aaton Penelope Digital, and the GoPro Hero.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
From the sublime to the silly... high-end digital cine cameras, and a $300 crash cam, along with the sorts of footage it shoots.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Video - Camera Support

Sliders and Stabilizers

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Several camera sliders, and Cinevate's prototype small camera stabilizer system.900x506 QuickTime movie, 1 Mbit/sec h.264.

NAB Pix: Camera Support

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Redrock Micro's microTape ultrasonic rangefinder.An ultrasonic rangefinder with focusing-distance readout for $500? Read on......but first, some serious slider action: sliders allow smooth camera motions over (relatively) short distances without the bother of having to set up dolly...

NAB Pix: Recorders

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
S.Two OB-1 in E-E, playback, and record modes.I've mentioned the OB-1 before, but this was the first chance I had to really play with it. It's typical of S.two's attention to detail that the state of the OB-1—E-E passthrough, playback, or recording—is...

NAB Pix: Cameras

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Ikegami HDS-V10 GFCAM tapeless 2/3" 3-CCD camcorder.In between the DSLRs and the 3D rigs, there were a few "traditional" broadcast cameras (like the Ikegami V10 shown above), small-format camcorders, and digital cinema cameras to be seen. Here are...

NAB Pix: Lenses

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
Schneider Optics Cine Xenar PL-mount prime.Band Pro had these Cine Xenars on display, next to the new Summicrons. Like the Zeiss Compact Primes, the Xenars are low-cost (by cine standards) cine lenses with differing maximum apertures. A set of five Xenars, from 25mm...

NAB Pix: DSLR Stuff

Loupes, lenses, and lights, oh my!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2010
The Zeiss 15.5-45mm Lightweight Zoom... with an EF mount on a Canon 7D.If one theme of NAB was 3D, the other was video-capable DSLRs. The danged things were everywhere; I saw more people shooting video with DSLRs (myself included) than with anything else. There was plenty of new DSLR gear to look...

NAB 2010: Camera Snapshots

Pix of some cameras I saw in the Central Hall.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 13, 2010
Bruce Johnson picks up a Canon XF300.There's too much to cover in the time I have available, so I'll just mention some cameras now, and provide more detailed writeups on them after the show is over.Canon is showing two new solid-state 1/3" 3-CMOS camcorders recording 50 Mbit/sec 4:2:2...

NAB 2010: Sony, Sunday Night

A quick peek at some of the stuff on Sony's stand... and new lenses, too.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 12, 2010
The PL-mount 35mm SRW-9000, with a 2/3" SRW-9000 in the background.I arrived in Las Vegas late on Sunday, and Sony's Juan Martinez invited me into the Sony booth for a quick look at the goodies.The SRW-900, Sony's shoulder-mount HDCAM-SR camcorder, is here in both its current...

Gearing up for NAB...

Is the 5D Mk II the one camera to have when you're having only one?*

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 6, 2010
Here we are a week before NAB, and I find myself with a Canon 5D Mk II full-frame DSLR with 24-105mm zoom, a Sennheiser MKE 400 microphone, and a Zacuto Z-finder—and I'm a Nikon shooter!Here's the thing: we're supposed to be shooting and posting a lot of video clips on PVC for this NAB. There were four...

Panasonic HPX370—the HPX300, take 2

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 6, 2010
A week before NAB, Panasonic has announced the HPX370, an updated version of the barely-a-year-old HPX300. The 370 is a shoulder-mount, 1/3" 3-CMOS true-HD camcorder listing for US$11,700 complete with 17x Fujinon zoom and color LCOS EVF. It records to dual P2 card slots on the operator's side of the...

HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 4

LOUDNESS, 3D, 4K, and unshaking shakycam.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 22, 2010
The fourth and final day of the 2010 HPA Tech Retreat started off with the vexing problem of TV loudness, and ended with an inspirational talk by Belden's irrepressible Steve Lampen.[Previous coverage: Day 1,

HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 3

HDR imaging, animation restoration, collaborative networking, and more...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 19, 2010
The Tech Retreat's third day covered regulatory issues, HDR imaging, using a plasma for reference monitoring, SOA, networking, file-based workflows... and Mo Henry. (As usual, these are barely-edited notes, scribble-typed as people spoke. Screenshots are copyrighted by their creators; poor reproductions...

HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 2

Panels and papers at the Tech Retreat
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 18, 2010
The 16th Annual Tech Retreat was officially opened by HPS President Leon Silverman today. (As with yesterday's coverage, this'll be stream-of-consciousness coverage.)Mark Schubin: Welcome to the 24th annual "this is the year of HDTV"—but press bridges are still analog NTSC,...

HPA Tech Retreat 2010 - Day 1

3D in the home, 3D and more in the Demo Room.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 17, 2010
Mark Schubin's unique bifocal 3D glasses.The Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat is a gathering of postproduction, broadcast, TV, and cinema folks in Palm Springs every February. This year, 3D is a big topic, and Tuesday's Super Session was "3D in the Home", chaired by Jerry Pierce & Peter...


Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 18, 2010
RED Leader Jim Jannard at Ren-Mar RED Studios on Saturday.On Saturday 16 January, RED hosted three open-house sessions in Hollywood, for CML (cinematography mailing list) members, ASC (American Society of Cinematography) members, and for RED ONE owners. I attended the CML session, and here's a quick...

Update: the "NXCAM Prime" is the Sony HXR-NX5U

It'll cost $4950, and it takes SD cards as well as MS PRO Duo.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 7, 2010
Sony officially rolled out the HXR-NX5U today, which I had been calling the "Prime" in my preview article. Now, the remaining puzzle pieces can be revealed...[Update 7 Jan 2010: FMU price is $800, not $500; AX2000 price...

Preview: Sony HXR-NX5U 1/3" 3-CMOS AVCHD Camcorder

The solid-state cousin to the HVR-Z5U: is HDV dead?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 4, 2010
Sony's HXR-NX5U, the first in the "NXCAM" line, is a close cousin of the HDV HVR-Z5U, but it records full-resolution AVCHD to Memory Sticks and/or a snap-on 128 GB Flash Memory Unit. I've put a prototype NXCAM NX5U through its paces; let's see how it does, and what it suggests for the future. [Updates: 6 Jan 2010: model #s,...

Band Pro Presents Three Days in LA

F35 DIT training, a 3D symposium, Band Pro's Open House... and some new lenses.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 21, 2009
Band Pro Film & Digital is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and they put on three days of free events in Los Angeles to mark the occasion: F35 training with Jeff Cree, a 3D Symposium, and an Open House with gear, food, and conversation—and some new PL-mount primes, too.

Review: Panasonic AG-HMC40 1/4" 3-CMOS HD Camcorder

Midway between palmcorder and handycam, the highly affordable HMC40 delivers true, full-res HD.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 14, 2009
Two kilobucks, two pounds, and two megapixels: the Panasonic AG-HMC40 sits squarely in the gap between palm-sized consumer camcorders and pro-level handheld cameras with pro-level price tags. While it lacks some of the amenities of its larger cousins, it provides no-excuses, full-resolution HD imaging, 24 Megabit/sec AVCHD...
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Something BIG from Sony—XDCAM EX Grows Up.

Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 20, 2009
Today Sony announced the PMW-350, a 2/3", 3-CMOS shoulder-mount camcorder shooting XDCAM EX and DVCAM on dual SxS cards. The camera, shipping in January, will come with a new Fujinon f1.9, 8-128mm zoom patterned after the...

Review: Sony HXR-MC1 1-CMOS AVCHD POV Camcorder

The HXR-MC1 captures images difficult or impossible to shoot with conventional camcorders.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 28, 2009
The HXR-MC1 is a "camera on a rope".Sony's HXR-MC1 ($2800, street price) is a "POV" camcorder, an HD single-chip CMOS camera head with 10x zoom, separated from the "main body" with controls, LCD screen, and recording media, by a nine-foot umbilical cable. You can put the camera head in unusual or awkward...

Quick Look: Panasonic AG-HPX300 1/3" 3-CMOS P2 HD camcorder

A low-res look at a high-res camera.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 10, 2009
I recently had a brief hands-on session with the Panasonic AG-HPX300, courtesy of VMI Video's "Big Deal Day" demo with Panasonic's Jan Livingston. While I wasn't able to run formal tests, I did have enough time with it for some initial impressions.The

MacWorldSF 2010 Free Expo Registration

A shameless plug for the plucky and determined MWSF Expo.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 2, 2009
The annual MacWorld Expo show soldiers on next February, despite the lack of Apple itself (so far, Apple isn't exhibiting at CES or NAB either; apparently Apple means it when they say "we don't need shows"). MWSF is still the best place to see new iPod—erm,...

Art shoots a spot on the Canon 5D MkII

Hands-on with a DSLR rigged to work like a cine camera.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 21, 2009
Sunday, 19 July 2009: DP Art Adams joins Director Simon Sommerfeld to shoot a spec spot on the Canon 5D MkII DSLR. I stopped by and grabbed a few stills. Simon's son Cary was pressed into service as the talent. The 5D MkII ihas been built up with

RED+FCP: 3-channel Audio NG in STP

Yet another example of why you want to validate a new workflow on a small project!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 21, 2009
Just a quick note: I took a short piece shot on RED and sent the FCP edit into Soundtrack Pro. I found to my dismay that I was unable to apply almost any processing to most of the clips: no noise reduction, no add-on processing (as shown in the image). A bit of investigation followed:Clips with...

New Firmware for the HPX300 series camcorders

Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 14, 2009
The email looked like any other masculine-insecurity spam: "NEW PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING UPDATES". But it went on to say, "FOR PANASONIC AG-HPX300", so I knew it was OK... there's new firmware for this killer 3-CMOS camcorder...

"Droidmaker" available as a free download

Michael Rubin's historical tale of NLEs and CGI is available as three free PDFs!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 14, 2009
Michael Rubin, the author of several Mac and editing books, wrote a Lucasfilm/Pixar-centric history of the development of nonlinear editing and computer graphics for film production. The book, Droidmaker, gets
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SxS Joins P2 in the Dustbin of History?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 9, 2009
Here at the Apple Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple announced a new lineup of MacBook Pros. The 13" and 15" models drop the Expresscard34 slot, in which we stuck our SxS cards for reading (or our

Cine Gear Expo 2009

Tools and toys of the trade, on the Paramount lot in Hollywood.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 8, 2009
The "expo" part of Cine Gear Expo took place on Friday and Saturday last week (there were also Master Classes and film screening starting Thursday and ending Sunday). This year it was at "the Studios at Paramount" in Hollywood at Gower and Melrose. It was a balmy 70ºF (21º C) under cinematically cloudy skies, a far cry...

RED+FCP+Color: Making It All Work

Lessons learned in RED FCP/Color roundtripping, and a suggested FCP/Color workflow for RED clips.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 1, 2009
I had previously reported that 2K REDCODE footage (2048x1152), shrunk to 93.75% to fit an HD timeline in FCP, came back from Color as 1920x1080 footage shrunk once again by another 93.75%. I've since explored this further and...

Review: Sony RM-1000BP LANC Remote Control

Full—and I mean full—remote control of compatible Sony camcorders.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 4, 2009
The RM-1000BP controlling an HVR-Z5U.Sony's US$1200 (street price) RM-1000BP Remote Commander is a LANC remote control. It connects to any Sony camcorder with a 2.5mm LANC (a.k.a. Control-L) jack, which means most consumer/prosumer Sonys built in the past two decades. On most of those camcorders, it'll do...

Review: Sony VCL-HG0872K wide-angle lens for HVR-Z5U

This 0.8x lens widens the view and improves geometry.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 4, 2009
The wide lens, with its hood and eyebrow, bulks up the front of the HVR-Z5U.The US$1000 VCL-HG0872K is a 0.8x wide lens designed specifically for the HVR-Z5U HDV camcorder; it bayonets in place of the Z5U's lens hood. It widens the view nicely with negligible sharpness loss, and it actually improves image...
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If you read my NAB 2009 wrap-up in Firefox...

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 2, 2009
Just a quick update: I had some HTML comment lines in my NAB 2009 Wrap-up article. They caused Firefox (but not Safari or IE) to redact the sections on Storage, JVC, and Sony.I've removed the comments and now Firefox sees the whole article. You...

Review: Sony HVR-Z5U 1/3" 3-CMOS HDV Camcorder

The Z5U can be thought of as the Z7U's fixed-lens half-brother.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 1, 2009
"When Sony bought Konica/Minolta", says Sony's Juan Martinez, "we suddenly became a major lens manufacturer." One of the results of this acquisition is the HVR-Z5U, an HDV/DVCAM camcorder with a 20x fixed "G lens". Consider it the wide-zooming half-brother of the HVR-Z7U, which shares much of what comes behind the lens.

NAB 2009 - Wilt's Wrap-Up

Three top themes from NAB 2009, and other observations.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 29, 2009
An Akeley Audio Camera at the ASC booth.When it comes to cameras and production gear, I saw three major themes at NAB this year: 3D, storage, and digital cine accessories. I'll discuss these, look at what the "big 3" camera suppliers had on offer, and mention other things of interest at the...

NAB 2009 - New PL Mount Lenses

It's all RED's fault: an explosion of PL mount lenses. Here's what I found at NAB.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 27, 2009
As soon as the RED ONE was announced, the market for PL mount lenses capable of covering a Super35mm-sized image started heating up. Aspiring R1 owner/operators hunted down almost every decent used lens available, and caused the lead times on new PL mount glass to skyrocket. At NAB...

NAB 2009 - Wednesday RedUser Party

There are a million NAB parties in Vegas. This is the story of one of them.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 24, 2009
RED's Ted Schilowitz introduces the demo reels.Wednesday evening, following a two-hour Scratch demo (about which I'll have more to say in an NAB wrap-up article), I journeyed out to the Rio Hotel for the RedUser NAB party, organized by Steve Sherrick of

NAB 2009 - Tuesday: Day of the Locusts?

Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 22, 2009
I get up after a solid and refreshing four hours of sleep and set off for the Convention Center. After threading my way through the corridor of shops at the MGM Grand enroute to the monorail station (almost nowhere in this town can one gain access to the monorail without running the gauntlet of casino-based commerce), I find the access...

NAB 2009 - Monday Madness

A sampling of tech demos and real products.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 21, 2009
gCubik: Sharing and Grasping 3D ImagesI spent Monday at NAB in the South Hall, with a brief excursion into North Hall. Here's a little of what I saw and heard...gCubik: Sharing and Grasping 3D Images used a handheld cube with 3D LCDs in each face to demonstrate in-the-round...

NAB 2009 - Saturday Workshop

A couple of notes from the Director of Photography Workshop
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 20, 2009
The calm before the storm: the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday evening.NAB holds several pre-show conferences; I arrived midafternoon on Saturday and sat in on two presentations in the Director of Photography Workshop, one on Red, and one...

NAB 2009 - SI-2K

Silicon Image and P+S Technik make liars of me and Arri
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 20, 2009
BandPro's Jim Hegadorn wields the Si-2K MiniToday I was honored with a pre-show tour through BandPro's booth, where I saw many things, most of which I can't discuss yet (more on them later tonight). What I can share is some images of the current

NAB 2009 - Zeiss Compact Primes, Sony SRW-9000, etc.

More goodies from the Sunday before the show.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 20, 2009
An SRW-9000 at BandPro with a Zeiss DigiZoom.Both BandPro and Sony had prototypes of the new SRW-9000 HDCAM-SR camcorder to show, as well as the new PDW-F800 XDCAM HD camcorder. But first, those Zeiss Compact Primes I was rabbiting on about...

Sharpness is a Complex Thing

Resolution numbers don't tell the whole story; some times less is more!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 10, 2009
Limiting resolution is easy to determine, but there's a whole lot more to image sharpness and overall quality than resolution. For example, you can optimize a pinhole camera for maximum resolution, OR you can optimize it for a sharper-looking image!Check out "The Pinhole Camera Revisited, or, The Revenge of the...

Plugins You Should Know About

More FXScript plugins, some for free, and all useful.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 25, 2009
Just a quick follow-on to last week's FXScript article—some real-world examples of FXScript plugins that add value to FCP. Some are even free.FXScript isn't just for filters. UK editor Alex...

It's Not The Camera...

Talent, not tools, make the cameraman (or woman).
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 24, 2009
Speedskater and part-time videographer Julia Smith writes, regarding the image you see here:"This setup with cameraman yields this kind of work:US Champs 2009 Short Track Men 500m A Final (normal version)
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Play Ping-Pong for Faster File Flipping

Separating source and destination disks can really speed thing up.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 19, 2009
Just a quick note: If you're moving heavy data around, disk seeks can be a huge drain on performance. I was flipping Red One clips from .R3Ds into REDCODE-native .MOVs using FCP's Log and Transfer function today. This operation is basically a file copy, with a bit of re-wrapping in the middle; it's I/O-limited, not CPU- or GPU-limited.

FXScript: FCP's Most Under-appreciated Feature

I whip up a dead-pixel masker for a feature, and you get the filter for free, along with a quick tour of FXScript.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 17, 2009
So, these guys throw me a feature needing some digital janitorial work. I spend a few days in Motion and Shake, hand-tracking in fixes atop super-wide-angle, wildly distorting, handheld shots with exposure changes in 'em, and faking up some greenscreen comps for stuff that didn't get shot. Cool. But there are also stuck pixels...
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Mark Schubin on "The Fandom of the Opera"

Mark's HPA Tech Retreat preso, and a Toronto SMPTE webcast
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 16, 2009
Mark Schubin discussed the intersection of TV technology and opera, and live broadcasting of the NYC Metropolitan Opera (Mark's Emmy-winning day job), following the 2009 HPA Tech Retreat. By popular acclaim, he has posted his

HPA Technology Retreat 2009

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 23, 2009
How is the Tech Retreat like (and unlike) a location shoot? Why does New York's Metropolitan Opera put ten minutes of solid white at the tail end of each live HD cinemacast?The Hollywood Post Alliance 2009 Tech Retreat commenced at 2pm on 17 February 2009,...

Panasonic's AG-HPX300: full-res camcorder with AVC-I under $11K

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 16, 2009
Panasonic announced the AG-HPX300, a 1/3", 3-MOS shoulder-mount P2 camcorder with a 17x Fujinon interchangeable lens (the Euro version will be the AG-HPX301E). In many ways, it's a companion to the HVX200A and HPX500: six scene files, 1080i/p recording, 720p variable frame rate recording, SD recording in both DV and DVCPRO50 formats,...

RED+FCP: ProRes Clips from Log and Transfer

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 13, 2009
In my previous RED+FCP article I looked at importing RED clips using Log and Transfer, and focused on using REDCODE-native files in FCP and Color. This time, after clearing up a nagging question, I'm going to concentrate on...

Upcoming: HPA Tech Retreat, and NAB

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 6, 2009
• The HPA Technology Retreat happens February 17-20 in Palm Springs, and there's still time to register. It ain't cheap, but it's probably the most information-packed and thought-provoking TV-tech conference in the world. Links below for last year's coverage.

Review: Sony HDW-650F HDCAM Camcorder

The 650F is cheaper, lighter, quieter, faster, and more capable than its predecessor.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 1, 2009
The Sony HDW-650F (US$44,950 list) is a 2/3" 3-CCD 1080i/1080p shoulder-mount HDCAM camcorder using "Power HAD FX" CCDs, a 14-bit A/D, and a newer generation of DSP for a better image than previous HDCAM camcorders have offered. Yet it costs less, weighs less, and offers more features than the 700-series HDCAMs it succeeds....

REDCine 3.1.8; Widescreen LCD; Wilt Sells Out

REDCine now exports audio; a 2.33:1 LCD; your correspondent reveals his inner fanboy.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 29, 2009
• REDCine 3.1.8 was released today; it exports QuickTimes with audio. To the right of the timeline there are now four buttons, one for each track the R1 can record; buttons are enabled for any track used in any of your loaded clips, and pressing a track button outputs the corresponding track as a 32-bit, 48 kHz mono...

RED+FCP: Native REDcode Importing

Using RED footage directly in Final Cut Studio 2, courtesy of RED's plugins.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 28, 2009
Last November, RED Digital Cinema Camera Company released an installer adding RED functionality to Apple Final Cut Studio 2:RED QuickTime Codec v3.7.0 (read-only REDCODE decoding for QuickTime).An FCP Log and Transfer plugin,...
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Sweetening the Depresso

Consider this: down times can be great times to find production funding.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 26, 2009
Suddenly, Hollywood Seems a Conservative Investment, writes Brooks Barnes in The New York Times. His thesis? "Wall Street, real estate, the art market - all of those other supposedly stable investment areas - are now such a mess that Hollywood is one of the safer places...

Review: Canon Vixia HF11 AVCHD camcorder

This inexpensive consumer camcorder makes surprisingly good HD images.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 12, 2009
The HF11 with LED video light illuminated. Above the LED are the flash and the instant-AF window.The $1199 Vixia HF11 ($850 street price) is a one-chip CMOS consumer HD camcorder recording 1080-line AVCHD to flash memory, either its own internal 32 GB buffer or an SD / SDHC memory card. It lacks a viewfinder;...
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NAB 2009: no RED tent

First Apple and Avid, now RED
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 8, 2009
RED Digital Cinema's Jim Jannard has announced that RED will skip NAB 2009. A delay by a supplier means "too many non-working prototypes at NAB" (no snide comments, please), so RED will skip the big industry confab in favor of their own "RED DAY" event(s).Both Avid...

R.I.P, VHS Distribution

After more than three decades, VHS is fading away...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 24, 2008
Today's NAB SmartBrief points out that the last major supplier of pre-recorded VHS tapes stopped shipping them to retailers in October. They reference

Dissenting from Depresso

Maybe indie features aren't a business, but docs are a different matter.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 22, 2008
Mike Curtis has made the case that indie features aren't a viable business. Sad, perhaps (Nate Van Dusen said Mike was "serving up hot cups of depresso"), but that doesn't mean that indie films as a whole are dead....

Zacuto's Great Camera Shootout '08

Side-by-side test clip shot with everything from an HVX200 to 35mm
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 13, 2008

SlashCAM's Camcorder Database

Test results with images, to compare and contrast.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 12, 2008
Our minders here at PVC have been gently encouraging us to write up "holiday lists". They say, "people love lists—so publish a list already, or we'll send the holiday ravens 'round to peck out your eyeballs!" Well, I ain't got no list (yet), but the folks at slashCAM have posted
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Calibrated Codecs

Use MXF media natively in FCP and on Windows; use FCP media on Windows and non-FCP Macs.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 5, 2008
Need to use MXF media (P2 DVCPRO/50/HD and AVC-I, IMX, XDCAM) natively in Final Cut Pro, or in Windows NLEs? Need to play FCP-captured or FCP-generated Quicktimes with HDV, DVCPRO50/HD, or XDCAM/HD/EX content on Windows machines, or on Macs without Final Cut Studio? Check out Importers...

Events: DCS & MFM discuss CineAlta; FCPUG SuperMeet; Broadcast Video Expo

Three months, three events, in the SF Bay Area and London.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 27, 2008
Get out, meet people, see cool things, and learn stuff. December: Learn about CineAlta cameras and different recording gammas in Cupertino. January: party with the FCP faithful at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. February: the UK's own miniature version of IBC takes place at Earl's Court in London. Be there, or may your...
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The 24 fps Prayer

It's a religious issue...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 23, 2008
We at Meets The Eye have been discussing frame rates today, triggered by the article at We'd like to use frame rate as a creative control, not as overcranking or undercranking, but as a presentation tool to affect mood and perception. None of us are particularly enamored of 24 fps, and Tim...


Testing RED ONE for green/magenta sensitivity, and what we found.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 19, 2008
Art Adams and I have observed here on PVC that the RED ONE seems unusually sensitive to green and magenta colors. The topic keeps coming up on the cinematographer's mailing list, too, and on I decided to compare the R1 to several other cameras under a variety of lighting conditions. I got more than I bargained...

RED ONE: Obsolete Already?

Where does the current RED hubbub leave the RED ONE?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 17, 2008
An R1 yesterday. It doesn't look too worried.With last Thursday's epic announcement (pun intended) from RED, the other shoe has fallen.Four years ago at DV Expo 2004, a couple of folks working on what was then simply called the "Oakley Special Project" took me...

Review: Hood-Pro Sock-loupe

$80 turns your PMW-EX1's LCD into a big, beautiful viewfinder.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 11, 2008
The Hood-Pro Sock-loupe turns the EX1's LCD into an EVF.   Lots of people have said, "if only there were a viewfinder lens I could mount on the PMW-EX1's LCD, I'd be...

Making "One Man, One Vote"

Production and post for a seven-minute short.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  November 4, 2008
Ten years ago a fellow named Marshall Spight posted a challenge on DV-L called "Throwing Down the DV Gauntlet", in which he said, "everyone talks about shooting serious dramatic films with DV, but does anyone actually do it?" I responded, and we wound up making a 20-minute...
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moby gratis- film music

Free moby music for non-profit/noncommercial films and videos.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 26, 2008
LA-based FCP & Avid editor and bungee jumper Shane Ross posted this tidbit on his Little Frog in High Def blog: moby has released nearly 80 tracks for

PMW-EX1 Firmware 1.11

Sony's 1.11 firmware updates older EX1s with bug fixes, new features.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 22, 2008
23.98PsF output is available on EX1s with firmware 1.11.I've upgraded our PMW-EX1 from firmware version 1.03 to firmware version 1.11 and I can happily verify the following improvements...23.98PsF live output can now be selected in HQ 1080/24p mode (using the VIDEO SET menu)....

Sony notes, 7 Oct 2008

Tidbits from the VMI show
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 8, 2008
The business end of the HVR-Z5.There were a couple of unexpected surprises at VMI's mini-Sony show today in Sunnyvale, CA. While the HVR-S270 and PMW-EX3 camcorders, the PMW-EX30 SxS recorder/player, wireless mics, and LCD displays were the main attractions, Sony also...

Review: Sony PMW-EX3 Removable-lens 1/2" 3-CMOS HD Camcorder

Under the skin, it's an EX1. But goodness: what a different skin!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  October 1, 2008
The US$8320 (street price) Sony PMW-EX3 is an eight-pound, high-definition "chainsaw" camcorder with three 1/2" CMOS sensors. It's essentially a repackaged EX1—true 1920x1080 sensors, 1080 and 720-line XDCAM EX recording on SxS cards, variable frame rates, wide-latitude cine gammas, hugely tweakable—with an...
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Form vs. Content

Never upstage the star of the show.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 27, 2008
I sit down this evening to watch Professional Wrestling—erm, the first 2008 Presidential Debate. I've got KQED-HD tuned in, the local PBS channel on 9.1. Ray Suarez in the News Hour studio, neat and clean and perfect in every respect. Man, I love HD... until they cut to the feed from Mississippi. All of a sudden it's Ken Burns & "The War"...

Review: Panasonic AG-HPX170P 1/3", 3CCD P2 Camcorder

The P2-only HPX170 is a multitalented, smooth operator with improved picture quality.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 22, 2008
The Japanese word "kaizen", usually translated as "continuous improvement", applies to Panasonic just as much as Toyota. Just as the HVX200 built on the success of the standard-definition DVX100, adding multiformat recording and multiple frame rates, the HPX170 takes the best features of the HVX200 and builds on them. The 170 makes a...

One Man, One Vote

A short film, appropriate (?) for the season.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  September 14, 2008
I've been unusually quiet of late because I've been embroiled in the final VFX, foley, finishing, and compression of a short film, "One Man, One Vote". Have a look. Don't worry: it's only seven minutes long; if you don't like it, it will be over soon enough.
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Aperture 2.1.1 Won't Preview Raw Photos

If you shoot raw stills, and use Aperture, don't update to 2.1.1.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 27, 2008
I use Apple's Aperture to import, organize, and do simple processing on digital pix. I just updated to 2.1.1, and now the image import window won't show raw images—only dashed rectangles (JPEGS still show up properly). The raw images' metadata is shown correctly, except for the consistently goofball pixel size of 128x128. If I select raw...
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AJA Io HD drivers updated

Important fixes and enhancements in the version 6.0 driver
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 21, 2008
AJA has released version 6.0 drivers for the Io HD, AJA's external video I/O box and format converter connected using FireWire800. Version 6.0 adds a bunch of new features:Support for true progressive (in addition to PsF) 1080p capture and...

Accessorizing RED ONE

It takes more than a body and a lens to make a shooting package.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 13, 2008
A fully-loaded RED ONE at Digital Cinema Society's PCDP meeting.Today most of the items on our RED ONE order changed status from "Backorder" to "Completed", so it seems like a good time to discuss kitting out the cameras for real-world use. We wandered over to

Review: Panasonic BT-LH1760 17" LCD Monitor

The highly capable 1760 is a worthy upgrade from the 1700W.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 7, 2008
Panasonic BT-LH1760, showing cross hatch, WFM, VITC, audio meters at the top, and 90% safe area marker with half-shaded background.The $4500 Panasonic BT-LH1760 is a 17 inch, 1280x768 video monitor with multiple analog and digital inputs and a 100/120 Hz refresh rate for crisp motion rendering. It displays NTSC, PAL,...

Digital Cinema Society meeting Tuesday in San Francisco

Meet at Adobe to discuss RED, XDCAM EX, and Adobe workflows
Written by Adam Wilt  |  August 3, 2008
On the evening of August 5, 2008, the Digital Cinema Society Northern California Chapter will come together to examine workflows for both the Sony XDCAM EX and RED One Cameras. Adobe will present native XDCAM EX editing workflow using Premiere Pro CS3 and other CS3 software, give the latest details on their Cinema DNG initiative, and...

RED notes: Build 16 released; "nearly ready"

Build 16 is ready to ship, and so are our cameras, almost.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 30, 2008
The science project continues: back in mid-June when we looked at RED build 16 beta firmware, we saw some must-have enhancements, but some showstopper bugs. That was then; this is now: here's how build 16 has...

Non-Locking Connectors Considered Harmful

A rant, a sad story, and—gasp!—some possibly useful suggestions.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 25, 2008
What results from not having both eSATA cables properly plugged in at startup time.All hail the progress of inexpensive CE (Consumer Electronics) and IT (Information Technology), and the cost benefits they bring to production! Unfortunately, they also bring some gotchas, like a plethora of non-locking...

How Important is Resolution?

It's all about pixel counts... or is it?
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 9, 2008
SD, 408p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p... 2k, 4k, UDTV... it seems like the big push is to get ever-higher resolution. It's true that given two pictures, identical in every other way, that the higher-res image will look better—if you're close enough to see the difference. But it turns out that resolution isn't as...

Quick look: RED Build 16

Not a full test, but a first look at a beta build.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  July 7, 2008
The sacrificial RED at Chater. Also note: labeled control buttons!Last week, Dane Brehm gave a bunch of us a tour of RED's build 16 features (as Art Adams reports

Cine Gear Expo 2008 - Day 2

The second day of the hottest equipment show in LA
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 26, 2008
Cine Gear Expo on the blazing-hot Universal backlotDay 2 of Cine Gear Expo dawned sunny and hot—our in-car temperature display registered 102 degrees Fahrenheit by 1:30pm. Despite the heat, there were plenty of things worth seeing.

Cine Gear Expo 2008 - Day 1

The hottest equipment show in LA... literally...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 21, 2008
Cine Gear Expo on the Universal back lot.We came down to LA for Cine Gear Expo, a two-day showcase of all manner of production things: grip gear, lighting, camera accessories, and so on.It is quite literally the hottest equipment show around...

Maelstrom - Production (part 2)

Shooting "jazz style" on a Rob Nilsson feature
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 19, 2008
Sunflowers: two VistaBeam 600s fill the shadows. [See also: Preproduction; Production (part 1)]Day 4 - We have a 3pm call for a 4pm start (we're skewing later in the...

Maelstrom - Production (part 1)

Shooting "jazz style" on a Rob Nilsson feature
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 18, 2008
Still life with water bottle: An EX1 sports a DvRig Junior; Alan Hereford's homebrew DvRig is at the bottom of the picture. Day 0 - Finishing up our preproduction for Rob...
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In LA? Hire this editor!

Shameless plug - editor for hire
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 16, 2008
I'm decompressing from "Maelstrom" and catching up on email that accumulated during the shoot, and I notice that Los Angeles-based editor Sharon Franklin is looking for gigs. She says, Ideally, I'd love to get on a feature film or television...
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Maelstrom - Preproduction

A whirlwind scramble to gather gear for a Rob Nilsson film
Written by Adam Wilt  |  June 6, 2008
About a week ago, Tim Blackmore and I learned that we were providing tech support for Rob Nilsson's upcoming film, "Maelstrom", a Direct Action workshop film with four actors. We knew it was going to be shot with an EX1 (which we have), handheld (EX1, handheld? hmmm), with the...

Review: Sony HVR-Z7 & HVR-S270 1/3" 3-CMOS HDV camcorders

Sony gets serious about HDV with two fine cameras based on the same core components.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 22, 2008
The shoulder-mount S270 (left) and the handheld Z7 (right) share the same innards.The HVR-Z7 and HVR-S270 camcorders take Sony's commitment to the HDV format to the next level. Both are based on the same core technology: three 1/3" ClearVid CMOS sensors viewing the world behind interchangeable lenses. The...
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Process Note: Deleted Comments

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 13, 2008
Normally I leave article comments as they are, even when they are (to my admittedly biased viewpoint) flame-bait, less than perfectly well intentioned, or otherwise not especially helpful. I figure that folks will soon learn who the good guys are and who the trolls are, and so far it's worked pretty well: the quality of discourse in the...
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Two Compleat Idiots Discuss RED Post

Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 13, 2008
Art and Adam discuss the aftermath of the Wii spec spot and Art's venture into RED post...ARTI just posted my convoluted post process for RED on PVC. ADAM

Random RED Revelations

Stuff we learned during testing and Art's spec spot shoot
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 10, 2008
Tim Blackmore helps John Chater tweak back-focus on a RED ONEThe more we work with RED ONEs, the more we learn about what they do and how to work with them, thus the following grab-bag of observations and experiences.Flange Focal Depth Adjustment When we arrived at

More RED Res Testing: The Mystery(ium) Resolved

A new chart shows what this camera (and several lenses) can really do.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 8, 2008
I obtained a new, 4K resolution test chart at NAB, and aimed RED ONEs running build 15 version 2.2.5 at it using four different lenses: a 50mm Super Speed, a 50mm Ultra Prime, a 18-50mm RED zoom, and a 24-290mm Optimo. Cutting to the chase: I'm pleased to report that I see detail extinction at about 3.2K, confirming the numbers RED and others...

Schneider IR Filter Tests

Using the 486 UV-IR Cut filter to improve imaging.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  May 2, 2008
Art Adams with the 486 filter on a RED ONELast week, Art Adams, Tim Blackmore, Ted Allen, and I tested the Schneider 486 UV/IR cut filter on a RED ONE and on a Sony PMW-EX1. Tim wore his famous "doesn't look anything like that in real life" "black" shirt, and we lit him with IR-rich incandescent...

RED on location: Art Adams shoots a spec spot

Art's first chance to use a RED ONE on a location shoot.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 30, 2008
Saturday, 3:33pm: crew assembles at Chater Camera to pick up the bulk of the gear and load it into Simon Sommerfeld's truck.We arrive on location at 4:00pm. The shoot occurs at the elegant Craftsman-style house of Craig and Diana, an...

NAB 2008 - Take-aways

What NAB 2008 told me about where things are going.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 28, 2008
I spent NAB 2008 walking around, looking for gear for our production company and getting a feel for where things are headed in general. I took away several strong impressions about where the industry is going—as well as a couple of interesting toys. The Format Wars ain't over With the advent of...

Snapshots - NAB 2008 Day 4

Stuff I saw on the final day of NAB 2008
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 20, 2008
Softron's OnTheAir Video: playlist automation for OS X Softron Media Systems demoed their suite of fully Mac-native broadcast automation apps, with OS X compliant user interfaces. Their capture and playout apps use AJA or BlackMagic cards, standard codecs, and...

Snapshots - NAB 2008 Day 3

More pix from the show floor
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 17, 2008
Panasonic AG-HPX170 The Panasonic HPX170 is a P2-only update to the HVX200 (The HVX has been updated to the 200A and remains in the lineup). The HMC150, which records to AVCHD and lacks many of the 170's advanced features, looks much the...

Snapshots - NAB 2008 Day 2

Codex Digital, SpeedGrade, Tangent, SI2K, and Nila
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 16, 2008
Codex Digital Portable and disk pack Highlights of my walking around the show floor on Tuesday...Codex Digital showed working versions of their Portable digital cine recorder. $44K gets you the lunchbox plus a three-hour drive pack, and the superb...

Snapshots - NAB 2008 Day 1

Various images from the show floor
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 15, 2008
Carlos Acosta shows off his prototype shoulder mount for the F23 Carlos Acosta shows off his prototype shoulder mount for the F23 at the Band Pro booth. Fully flexible configuration: grips rotate freely or lock down, and adjust laterally, vertically, and in or out. Shoulder pad is positionable and can be angled; split foam...

Sony Snapshots - NAB 2008 Day 0

Some highlights of what Sony is showing
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 14, 2008
PMW-EX3 with 2/3" cine lens, Sony HDD recorderSony's Juan Martinez gave me a night-before-the-show tour of the Sony booth (really a miniature city; "booth" doesn't do it justice), and here are some of the highlights from a camera operator's perspective.PMW-EX3The EX3...

Locking HDMI cables!

Finally, a non-self-ejecting HDMI cable
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 12, 2008
Left: normal HDMI cable. Right: locking HDMI cable. Note the cantilevered paddle with two tiny retention hooks.A colleague and I were discussing the sorry state of the physical HDMI connection; we call it a "self ejecting" technology. HDMI cables fall out of HDMI sockets with surprising ease. Fortunately there's now a...

Review: Camhandle camera support

Renegade tripod handle makes handheld shooting smoother.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  April 7, 2008
The $220 Camhandle looks like a tripod handle gone AWOL from its tripod. Its attachment plate bolts to the underside of the camera, and it hangs off the left front side. It looks goofy, but it works surprisingly well. I tested it for two weeks on the notoriously hard-to-handhold PMW-EX1.

Pix: Zacuto rig; RED tests

A Zacuto support kit for small cameras; Art Adams tests RED build 15 at Chater Camera
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 29, 2008
Art Adams uses his spot meter during exposure testing.Camera porn: some photographs from the past couple of days...Zacuto handheld rig with HVX200 and EX1 26 March 2008: Art Adams checks out Simon Sommerfeld's

RED? Or Cyan?

Why the RED's highlights went cyan and dark, and how to fix 'em.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 26, 2008
In my unfair comparison of three cameras, I found that RED's overexposed highlights went cyan and got darker than surrounding, non-overexposed areas. Here's why it...

Working with RED Footage

RED's postproduction tools, and some pitfalls of learning them.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 22, 2008
For my unfair comparison of three cameras, I had to process RED clips to a greater degree than I had previously, including dealing with odd overexposure artifacts. I relate my experience,...

EX1 Misfocusing Explained

Some PMW-EX1s show back-focus changes when internal ND filters are used
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 21, 2008
[Updated 2008.03.29] I noticed in my unfair comparison of three cameras that the EX1's outdoor shot wasn't in focus. I was puzzled: I had zoomed in and focused carefully, then zoomed out and...

Three three-letter cameras: EX1, F23, RED

An unfair comparison of three entirely different cameras
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 17, 2008
On March 7th, Tim Blackmore and I visited Videofax, a San Francisco camera rental house. Videofax is unique in the area (as far as I know) in having both a RED ONE digital cinema camera and a Sony F23 HDCAM-SR camcorder. Videofax's Leigh Blicher kindly invited us to come by and take...
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Discussing RED, uncensoRED

Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 17, 2008
Context: Adam shot some RED footage on Friday 7 March, as part of a camera comparison, and took the raw files home to play with. Art shot a quick test with the same camera six days later....

Exporting stills from FCP

Correcting for FCP's assumptions, and a surprising discovery.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 11, 2008
I recently had a chance to compare the PMW-EX1 with a RED and an F23 (about which, more will be said in coming days). I collected quite a few video clips from the cameras and I'm going through the process of exporting still frames from the two Sonys, using Final Cut Pro. As I want to capture the full exposure range in the stills, there's more...
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PMW-EX1: XDCAM Transfer 2.5.1 for Mac Released

Fixes clock-mode timecode import bug; qualified for OS X 10.4.11 and higher
Written by Adam Wilt  |  March 7, 2008
Sony has released XDCAM Transfer 2.5.1, software used to import XDCAM clips into QuickTime and Final Cut Pro. This version fixes a bug where PMW-EX1 recordings made with CLOCK-mode free-run timecode were not being properly...
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PMW-EX1 Update 2

Corrections and details
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 28, 2008
• Adam Van Voorhis of Boston Camera says that the EX1 does indeed supply Y/C video, using the same VMC-15FS cable that works on the HVR-V1.• Reader Mark Weiss ran a formal
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Traveling with batteries, Pro Apps Updaters, etc.

Stuff to watch out for; tips 'n' tricks
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 25, 2008
• FAA rules on lithium battery transport•

HPA Tech Retreat - Day 3, etc.

Cameras, compression & concatenation; displays, distribution, & demos
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 25, 2008
Fox Network's Yves Montane showing one of many display performance plots.Day 2 Revisited Larry Thorpe and John Galt argued for a more nuanced view of camera resolution, such as MTF (contrast) readings at 200, 400, 600, and 800 TVl/ph, as well as a subjective description, in addition to the...

HPA Tech Retreat - Day 2 (abbreviated)

Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 22, 2008
I logged in to PVC and spent 90 minutes writing up the day's events. Apparently I took too long: when I hit "submit" I was asked to log in again, and all my edits were lost. Oops. Yes, I should have copied my work to a nonvolatile file; no, I didn't. I don't have time to retype everything, so I'll have to leave you with a few pictures and some...
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PMW-EX1 - use regen timecode

Free run TC may confuse XDCAM Transfer
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 22, 2008
A post on the Cinematography Mailing List yesterday indicates that XDCAM Transfer may not see all the clips on an SxS card if the EX1's timecode was set to "clock" mode, one of the free run options. Sony is reportedly going to address this issue with an updated version of XDCAM Transfer. For now, it appears the safe thing to do for now is to...

HPA Tech Retreat - Day 1

3D, AudioScope, CES, and the Analog Shutdown
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 21, 2008
On this, the first "real" day of the HPA Tech Retreat, we were treated to 3D cinema demos and discussions, a CES review, a phased-array mic for sports recording, and more.We started at the Cinemark Theater with a presentation on the state of 3D digital cinema, with a practical demo on a brand-new 60 foot screen...

HPA Tech Retreat - Day 0

LCDs, Radiosity, and the AMPAS IIF
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 20, 2008
This 3M film is used in the diffuser of a 23" LCD panel"Day 0" of the 2008 HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs offered four sessions; I attended three: Euredjian on LCDs, Poynton on Radiosity, and AMPAS on the Image Interchange Format.Martin Euredjian of
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EX1 Gammas

Those cine gammas I like? They're not for everyone.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 18, 2008
When I reviewed the Sony PMW-EX1 camcorder, I raved about its cine gamma settings, derived from the hypergamma curves in the F23, F900/R, and various XDCAM HD 'corders. The email I've been getting indicates that my...

PMW-EX1 Update

A different PMW-EX1 has slightly different characteristics.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 18, 2008
A few days ago I obtained a new, production-build PMW-EX1 camcorder, serial #103171. Its shipment had just arrived in the USA, so it's a sample of what's shipping now. While it's 99% the same as the pre-production camera I reviewed, it has a couple of differences worth noting—having two samples gives a more rounded picture of the...
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DCS RED ONE Event - March 1st, Sunnyvale, CA

See the RED ONE Digital Cine Camera and talk with early adopters
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 17, 2008
What: Digital Cinema Society (DCS) RED ONE Event - Northern California/Pacific Northwest ChapterJoin us for an exciting and informative afternoon exploring the RED ONE camera and the RED digital cinema workflow at NetApp in Sunnyvale, CA. Get a close look at the cameras and learn first-hand what all the RED hype is...

Whither The HVX200?

Does the EX1 render the HVX200 obsolete? Don't be too sure!
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 11, 2008
The PMW-EX1 is Sony's answer to Panasonic's HVX200: a variable-frame-rate, progressive-scan, multiformat HD camcorder using solid-state storage. The EX1 has higher resolution; it lets you shoot VFR in 1080p as well as in 720p; it betters the HVX slightly in both zoom range and latitude; it offers more image...

review: Sony PMW-EX1 1/2" 3-CMOS HD Camcorder

The quirky first Handycam from Sony's CineAlta group offers stunning performance.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  February 1, 2008
The US$6500 (street price) Sony PMW-EX1 is a six-pound, high definition Handycam with three 1/2" CMOS chips. It resolves a true 1920x1080 image; shoots both interlaced and progressive; records 1920x1080, 1440x1080 (HDV-compatible), and 1280x720 formats; and offers variable frame rates from 1 fps to 30 fps...
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DVMP - Windows-based DV25 utility

DVMP lets you view and edit DV25 metadata and manipulate files.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 27, 2008
Colin Browell has released DVMP Pro 2, an update to his Windows utility for DV, DVCAM, and DVCPRO25 .AVI and .DV files. DVMP Pro 2 displays and edits the DV Metadata that most NLEs ignore, such as user bits, time & date, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, widescreen flag, etc. With...
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2008 FAA rules on battery transport

Written by Adam Wilt  |  January 1, 2008
Effective 1 January 2008, lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries face new restrictions for carriage on a passenger aircraft. • Lithium batteries may not be placed in checked baggage unless installed in/on the powered device (thus, no spares in checked luggage). • Unlimited numbers of small Li-ion batteries may be...
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2008 HPA Tech Retreat program posted

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 30, 2007
The 2008 Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat program is posted online at HPA Online. The Tech Retreat happens 19-22 February 2008 just south of Palm Springs, CA.Topics this year include HD displays (including a four-hour LCD...
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PMW-EX1 Lens Fix

Sony (USA) has announced their EX1 fixup plans.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 18, 2007
Carroll Lam over on has posted a PDF memo dated 15 December 2007 (reproduced below) in which Sony lays out their plans for fixing EX1s with asymmetrical, corner-cropping vignetting. Basically, if your EX1 has the problem, Sony will fix your...
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PBS' "The News Hour" goes HD

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 17, 2007
As I type this, "The News Hour" on PBS is in the middle of their first HD broadcast. Now there's as much detail in the picture as there is in the stories!
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Sony's Mac SxS driver doesn't play well with the Duel Systems Adapter

Reading P2 cards on your MacBook Pro? Read on before installing the SxS driver.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 14, 2007
Sony distributes an SxS card driver with the PMW-EX1 camcorder. If you install it on your MacBook Pro running 10.4, you won't be able to read P2 cards using the Duel Systems Adapter. Fortunately, Sony's uninstaller works well, so you can install the driver to work with the PMW-EX1's SxS cards, then uninstall it to work with Panasonic P2 cards...

P2 vs. SxS - an Unfair Comparison

Is SxS cheaper than P2? No, at least not yet...
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 12, 2007
One of the advantages Sony has been touting for SxS is a lower cost per bit than you'd get with Panasonic's P2 cards. At B&H, as of 11 December 2007, a
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Apple Pro Apps - Save Those Updaters!

Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 12, 2007
A quick word of warning: if you see updates to Apple's Pro Apps (Final Cut Studio, Aperture, and the like), download them and squirrel them away somewhere safe, even if you're in the middle of a project and unwilling to update anything. Updaters vanish when new major versions come out.I had a machine running FCP 5.0.4...
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PMW-EX1: Update on lens issues

Some PMW-EX1s have lens issues, and what Sony says about 'em.
Written by Adam Wilt  |  December 11, 2007
When I looked at a prototype Sony PMW-EX1 camcorder I noted that the lens had some problems. Sony told me that the prototype had a lens element misaligned due to a bug in the firmware, so I didn't make a big deal about it.