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by Adam Wilt

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 Fi...

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cameras f5 f55 large sensor large single sensor sony videofax

Photos: Sony F5 and F55

New Sony cameras at Videofax's Open House

By Adam Wilt | March 19, 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... Read More


3d 4k cloud hpa hpa tech retreat post schubin

HPA Tech Retreat Wrap-up

Demos, baseball, and final thoughts

By Adam Wilt | February 24, 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... Read More


4k avb encoding encoding accelerators ethernet framerates hpa hpa tech retreat lens light field

HPA Tech Retreat Day 4

Lightfield cameras, lens metadata, REDRAY, and even more!

By Adam Wilt | February 22, 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... Read More


HPA Tech Retreat Day 3

HPA Tech Retreat Day 3

Post On Demand, VFX on GPUs, and more.

By Adam Wilt | February 21, 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,... Read More


4k 8k atsc broadcast cloud hd hpa hpa tech retreat ultraviolet uv

HPA Tech Retreat Day 2

ATSC 3.0, the Olympics in 8K, and more...

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. Day 2 covered design considerations for HDR displays, ATSC 3.0 and the future of TV, broadcasters' concerns, mobile DTV, 8K UHDTV, and... Read More


3d 4k audio cameras effects hardware hfr hpa hpa tech retreat motion

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

Looking at HFR, HDR, high-res, immersive sound, and more...

By Adam Wilt | February 19, 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,... Read More


amoled display dlp hfr high frame rate hpa hpa tech retreat lcd plasma poynton

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

A discussion of perception and display issues pertinent to HFR presentations

By Adam Wilt | February 18, 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"... Read More


apps apps4phones cine meter ios iphone light meter software test video waveform monitor

Cine Meter for iOS - shipped!

A light meter / waveform monitor / false-color display for iPhone

By Adam Wilt | January 22, 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 quick review on Film and Digital Times... Read More


Cine Meter for iOS - Beta Testers Needed

Cine Meter for iOS - Beta Testers Needed

I was looking for a few good men...

By Adam Wilt | January 01, 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 iPhone / iPod / iPad with a... Read More


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

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

The GH3 may be more valuable behind the scenes than filming them.

By Adam Wilt | December 05, 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... Read More


camera cine lens pl prime vantage

Breaking news: Vantage One T1 Primes

Nine T1 PL-mount cine primes!

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, with the knife-thin DoF and the organic look that implies, and—wait for it—they'll be available in a partially-uncoated version for lower contrast and increased flare. Read More


baby hi-hat induro low support tripod

Review: Induro Hi-Hat

A new take on the venerable hi-hat: micro baby legs.

By Adam Wilt | November 16, 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 with. Read More


benro camera fluid head pan sticks support tilt tripod

Review: Benro Video Tripod Kits

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

By Adam Wilt | November 16, 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 and three different fluid heads, to test and compare. Read More


5d audio camera canon dslr fcp gh2 panasonic sync

DSLR Audio: Do YOU know where YOUR sync is?

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

By Adam Wilt | November 06, 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 weeks ago on the Cinematography Mailing List also debated DSLR A/V sync, or the lack thereof. I decided to have a look into it. Read More


Review: Blue Mikey Digital

Review: Blue Mikey Digital

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

By Adam Wilt | November 01, 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 intrigued by earlier, analog Blue Mikeys at trade shows, so I jumped at the chance to look at—and listen to—this digital descendant. Read More


camera cine f5 f55 pmw-f5 pmw-f55 s35mm sony

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.

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 building into usable rigs, and a side-mounted, hotkey-driven, operator-oriented menu system that looks more like the UI on an Alexa or an F65 than those on an F3 or other cameras with their roots in ENG. Read More


apple editing fcp fcpx final cut pro red

Quick Test: FCPX 10.0.6

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

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. Read More


2709 35mm bell camera film gh2 hand-cranked howell rackover silent

Video: With Art Adams on “The Canyon”

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

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. Read More


2709 35mm art adams cameras essanay film niles silent

Photos: the Bell & Howell 2709 and “The Canyon”

Shooting a silent film with a hand-cranked camera.

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 hand-cranked 35mm camera—the first film camera not made of wood. Our own Art Adams is the 1st AC on this show, and these pictures complement his articles about it. I've got a quick overview of the camera, I'll show what's involved with loading the film, and close with a few snapshots of operating the 2709 and filming "The Canyon". Read More


10.8 mac mountain lion os x

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

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." Well, mostly.

By Adam Wilt | August 14, 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 apps requiring 10.7 or later, and the presumed end of Apple's support for 10.6, it's getting to the point where Mac users have to decide to make the jump, or remain forever on 10.6. I've spent the last two weeks systematically testing 10.8 in real-world scenarios, and I've got both good news and bad news, or, more precisely: the good, the bad, and the ugly... and the just plain "think different" stuff... and how to fix [most of] what's broken.[Updates: 2012-17: contact info added; 2012-8-15: MPEG Streamclip works; Canon XF importers won't install, but there's a workaround.] Read More