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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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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


c300 camera canon cine ef eos lss pl xf

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.

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 hurt that the C300 inherits the broadcaster-approved, edit-ready XF codec from Canon's 1/3" camcorders along with Canon's usual looks-good-right-out-of-the-box image rendering. The camera renders crisp, clean images with 12+ stops of dynamic range, and the package handholds very well; overall, I'd rate this experiment as a success. Read More


avchd camera cine fs700 lss nex nex-fs700 slo-mo slow motion sony

Review: Sony NEX-FS700 “Super35” LSS AVCHD Camcorder

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

By Adam Wilt | June 30, 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 to SDHC cards, Memory Sticks, and an optional 11-hour Flash Memory Unit, but those clips now come from a camera with ND filters, slow-motion options to 960fps, and up to 14 stops of dynamic range with highlight-friendly cine gamma rendering.

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camera cine gear cinegear cinegear expo led lens light lomo prg

Cine Gear Expo LA 2012 - Assorted Photos

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

By Adam Wilt | June 23, 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 discussing the FS700, I had a chance to walk around and look at a few of the unusual things on offer... Read More


camera filter gh2 nd solar venus

Just for Fun: Shooting the Transit of Venus

Using a mirrorless camera, long lens, and a variable ND for solar event photography.

By Adam Wilt | June 07, 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. Read More


camcorder camera fs700 lss nex-fs700 slo mo slo-mo slomo slow motion sony

High Speed and Low Light with the NEX-FS700

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

By Adam Wilt | June 05, 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. Read More


3d camera filter lighting nab plasma

NAB 2012: Assorted Snapshots

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

By Adam Wilt | May 08, 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 interesting things that I saw in passing, with pointers for more info should anything catch your fancy. Read More


4k 6k camera cine dragon epic red red ray scarlet

NAB 2012: RED

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

By Adam Wilt | May 07, 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 collection of images shot around the RED booth, for your viewing pleasure. Read More