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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, 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 Fi...

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NAB 2012: Camera Support

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

By Adam Wilt | May 05, 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. Read More

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NAB 2012: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Quadcopters, hexacopters, and octocopters, oh my!

By Adam Wilt | May 04, 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. Read More

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NAB 2012: Recorders

2012 marks the return to the rack, only without the tape decks...

By Adam Wilt | May 04, 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 are moving back into the racks. Read More

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NAB 2012: New EVFs

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

By Adam Wilt | May 04, 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. Read More

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NAB 2012: Cameras & Lenses

A brief sampling of interesting photographic tools at NAB.

By Adam Wilt | May 02, 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 Canon's C500 and the BMD Cine Camera, but JVC also had interesting camera announcements worth looking at. And of course that's not all there was to see... Read More

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NAB 2012: Canon C300 Image Processing

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

By Adam Wilt | May 01, 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. Read More

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

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

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

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 embedding.] Read More

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Is BMD the new RED?

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

By Adam Wilt | April 17, 2012

A few pictures of the $3000 BMD Cine Cam and some infonuggets. [update: added EOSHD's sensor size comparison.] Read More

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$3000 BMD Cine Camera?

Blackmagic Design announces a cine camera for $3000!

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... Read More

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NAB Sunday: Canon’s Presentation

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

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. Read More

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NAB Sunday: Panasonic and Sony Press Conferences

What the two big camera companies taked about officially.

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 announced today (and adding my own snarky commentary in [square brackets]). Read More

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FS700: Fire & Ice

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

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. Read More

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Testing the NEX-FS700 at Meets The Eye

More slo-mo under controlled conditions.

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-EVF

I 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 (sliding baseplate, PL mount, and 15mm rod adapters). Read More

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An NEX-FS700 Amuse-Bouche

An NEX-FS700 Amuse-Bouche

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

By Adam Wilt | April 09, 2012

NEX-FS700 with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and Zacuto Z-finder-EVF

Last week, Sony announced the NEX-FS700, a super-slo-mo follow on to the NEX-FS100. On Saturday, a pre-production FS700 arrived on my doorstep. On Sunday, I went to the coast to try it out; I offer a small sampler of the results for your delectation. Read More

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Quick Look: Sony PVM-740 OLED Display

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

By Adam Wilt | March 25, 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 quite, but darned close; let's just say I've reset my expectations when it comes to reference displays. Read More

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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.

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 $400 LA-EA2. Here's a quick look at these lenses and adapters, and how they work for video on the NEX-FS100. Read More

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Review: Sony NEX-FS100 “Super35” LSS AVCHD Camcorder

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

By Adam Wilt | February 27, 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 Handycam" form factor in favor of a compact, lightweight box-camera layout that works nicely on a tripod and readily enables cine-style customization and flexible lens choices. It's a bold departure from the status quo and one that, with only a couple of quibbles, pays off handsomely. Read More

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Quick Look: Variable ND Filters

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

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 18-200mm lens doesn't work well with matte boxes. Lens-mounted variable NDs are said to be the ideal solution: a single filter capable of 2 to 8 stops of brightness attenuation, thus replacing several conventional NDs.Sony sent two variable NDs along with the FS100, and by sheer coincidence I had just ordered one myself, so I had a chance to try all three side by side. I've also explored one of them further on a PMW-EX1 and a DMC-GH2 EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera. Variable NDs are indeed useful, and are arguably the most important filter in your toolkit when shooting with electronically-controlled still-camera lenses—as long as you understand their peculiarities. Read More

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Third-Party Accessories for the FS100

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

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... Whether you want a more comfortable and stylish top handle, a simple lens adapter, or a full-on, ruggedized wrap-around support system capable of mounting the heftiest cine zoom, somebody makes it. Let's take a look at some of the options available. Read More

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Quick Look: Sony F65 4K Digital Cine Camera

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

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 somewhat scattershot manner, for your viewing pleasure. [Update 2012.01.29: typo & terminology fixes] Read More

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