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, adamwilt.com, 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.

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 LensRentals.com

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 http://www.hpaonline.com/2013-program 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...

$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...