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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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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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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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e-mount fs100 lens macro nex primes sony zeiss

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

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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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4k a-cam f65 fs100 hd ikonoskop jvc panasonic red sony

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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