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Camera Log

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

Panasonic delivers full-res, full-function, feature-rich 3-chippers.

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 to the AVCCAM (AVCHD) world. [Updates 2012.01.30: SDI out is 10-bit only on 250, not 160; 2012.02.24: typo page 2, should be "or any of the other misfortunes possible with location audio."]{C} Read More


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Affordable PL-mount Primes Compared

85 minutes of lens tests!

By Adam Wilt | January 07, 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. Read More


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Quick Look: Three New E-Mount Primes

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

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. Read More


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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.

By Adam Wilt | December 08, 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 San Jose). Read More


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Quick Look: Canon EOS C300 LSS 1080p Camcorder

Canon confounds expectations; thinks very differently.

By Adam Wilt | November 08, 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 and see it for myself. [Update 2011-12-16: fixed malformed movie embed code.] Read More


ete expo meets the eye mte panel previzion stages

Quick Notes: ETE Panel; MTE Open House

Two chances to heckle your correspondent!

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 after that. Read More


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Caleb Crosby’s FS100 Top Handle

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

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. Read More


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Cine Gear Expo LA 2011

More LEPs, more cameras, and a "time filter" that's the biggest advance in shutters since, um, shutters were invented.

By Adam Wilt | June 06, 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 electronic shuttering device that gives digital cameras better motion portrayal capabilities than even the best mechanically-shuttered film or digital camera. [Updated 2011-06-11: removed erroneous "12 Hz" shutter rate reference.] Read More


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NAB 2011 - Odds ‘N’ Ends

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

By Adam Wilt | May 01, 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 this video clip. The LEDs get around the problem of making highly-saturated reflective patches and allow you to test the limits of a camera's saturated-color handling ability. Read More


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NAB 2011 - Plasma Lights, and The Problem With LEDs

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

By Adam Wilt | May 01, 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 we use—other than the sun—in that it doesn't pass electricity directly through the light-giving element (tungsten filament, diode junction, rarefied gas surrounded by phosphors, carbon arc, etc.). Read More


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NAB 2011 - SCCE Charts

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

By Adam Wilt | April 30, 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 with images of the three charts of actual numbers that emerged from the tests. Read More


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NAB 2011 - Cameras

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

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 leap into uncharted waters with the NEX-FS100, while Ikonoskop's A-cam dII throws out all the rules, rethinking camera design from square one. [Updated 2011-04-30: corrected F65's sensor size.] Read More


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NAB 2011 - Camera Support

Gearnex MoCo! Cranky sliders! The panto-jib! Throw the RED a dogbone! And more...

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. Read More


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NAB 2011 - Lenses

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

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! Read More


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NAB 2011 - Stereo 3D

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

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 all I'm likely to do. Fortunately, NAB shows that I'm not the only one who feels that way: there were plenty of [somewhat more] practical solutions for shooting stereo. Read More


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NAB 2011 - Recorders

On-camera recording devices, plus the end of tape?

By Adam Wilt | April 24, 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. Read More


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NAB 2011 - FilmLight

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

By Adam Wilt | April 24, 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 non-US distributor for Visionary Archive. Read More


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NAB 2011 - Ikegami’s HDS-F90 LSS 4/3” Camcorder

An Ikegami GFCam large-single-sensor 4/3" camera with a PL-mount lens???

By Adam Wilt | April 23, 2011

The folks over at DSLR News Shooter found that Ikegami is making a 4/3" PL-mount camcorder—Ikegami, fercryinoutloud! Read More


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

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

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. Read More


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NAB 2011 Video - Panasonic AG-HPX250

An AVC-Intra P2 Handheld Camcorder

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. Read More