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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... Read More

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ac160 avc-intra avccam camcorder camera hpx hpx250 panasonic video

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


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


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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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


avchd camcorder camera hxr nx5 nx5u nxcam review sony

Preview: Sony HXR-NX5U 1/3” 3-CMOS AVCHD Camcorder

The solid-state cousin to the HVR-Z5U: is HDV dead?

By Adam Wilt | January 04, 2010

Sony's HXR-NX5U, the first in the "NXCAM" line, is a close cousin of the HDV HVR-Z5U, but it records full-resolution AVCHD to Memory Sticks and/or a snap-on 128 GB Flash Memory Unit. I've put a prototype NXCAM NX5U through its paces; let's see how it does, and what it suggests for the future. [Updates: 6 Jan 2010: model #s, prices, availability, SDHC cards, commentary; 7 Jan 2010: FMU price is $800.] Read More


avchd camcorder camera dslr fs100 nex-fs100 nxcam sony

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


cf card hdv hvr-mrc1 hvr-s270 hvr-z7 review sony

Review: Sony HVR-Z7 & HVR-S270 1/3” 3-CMOS HDV camcorders

Sony gets serious about HDV with two fine cameras based on the same core components.

By Adam Wilt | May 21, 2008

The shoulder-mount S270 (left) and the handheld Z7 (right) share the same innards.

The HVR-Z7 and HVR-S270 camcorders take Sony's commitment to the HDV format to the next level. Both are based on the same core technology: three 1/3" ClearVid CMOS sensors viewing the world behind interchangeable lenses. The cameras share the same EVF and LCD panels, the same microphones, the same rich feature sets (including CF card recording, and both interlaced and true progressive HDV modes), and the same fundamental performance, but they're packaged very differently. The Z7 is a svelte Handycam, while the S270 is a no-excuses shoulder-mount camcorder, bristling with dedicated buttons and switches, full-sized BNC connectors, large-cassette capability, and four channels of audio recording—a first for HDV. Read More


avc-intra hpx370 p2 panasonic review

Review: Panasonic AG-HPX370 1/3” 3-MOS P2 HD Camcorder

The HPX370 offers 50/60Hz AVC-Intra and DV-format recording, and improves noise, sensitivity, and skew over the HPX300.

By Adam Wilt | July 29, 2010

The Panasonic AG-HPX370 (US$11,700 list; $9,200 street price) is a 1/3" 3-MOS shoulder-mount HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses. It records everything from 480i to 1080p in 10-bit AVC-Intra 50/100 and 8-bit DV/DVCPRO50/DVCPROHD formats, with variable frame rates in 720p. Its MOS sensors capture a true 1920x1080 image with remarkably high sensitivity and low noise; and its "rolling shutter" skew is comparable to other affordable high-quality CMOS cameras like the PMW-EX series Sonys. Read More


ex1 pmw-ex1 review sony sxs xdcam xdcam ex

review: Sony PMW-EX1 1/2” 3-CMOS HD Camcorder

The quirky first Handycam from Sony's CineAlta group offers stunning performance.

By Adam Wilt | February 01, 2008

The US$6500 (street price) Sony PMW-EX1 is a six-pound, high definition Handycam with three 1/2" CMOS chips. It resolves a true 1920x1080 image; shoots both interlaced and progressive; records 1920x1080, 1440x1080 (HDV-compatible), and 1280x720 formats; and offers variable frame rates from 1 fps to 30 fps (1080p) or 60fps (720p). The camera records using long-GOP MPEG-2 on dual SxS solid-state memory cards, and provides a 10-bit SDI output with embedded audio and timecode. It is awkward to handhold, some controls are hard to use, and it lacks SD recording, but its excellent pictures, comprehensive image tweaks, and pin-sharp LCD make it a compelling HD camcorder. 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