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Rule Tech Expo is just around the corner

I am really looking forward to next week’s Rule Tech Expo.  To see a formal description go to http://www.rule.com/TechExpo For those of you that are not aware, Rule is hosting its first annual mini tradeshow along with several 1 hour presentations in our Learning Lab. Our entire office will be filled with several dozen “booths” featuring many of the manufacturers that we work with every day.  You will be able to see their latest offerings and ask lots of questions.  Additionally Rule’s sales and rental teams will be out in force with equipment set up for you to poke and prod as well. Many of the items that you may be interested in purchasing will be in stock for purchase at the show – just visit our Showroom or Production Outfitters areas during your visit if you are interested in carrying home a goody or two. This year presentations in the Learning Lab will include: Panasonic’s Michael Bergeron will be in to show and talk about their upcoming 3D camera along with professional 3d monitoring, switching and more! AJA and Gary Adcock will be in to discuss how the Kona3 can work in 3D and show some examples of 3D with Cineform. Cinematographer Brian Heller and and our own Tim Coughlan will be showing off our BRAND NEW Phantom HD Gold high speed camera. If you are worried that you didn’t RSVP in time, there is still time and we are happy to have you! We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday June 22nd from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at our facility in Brighton or on Thursday June 24th from 10:00am to 3:00pm in Manchester, NH. Tom Talbot Director of Technology

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13 High-Speed Phantom Cameras Used at 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa…

Eight Vision Research Phantom v640 and five Phantom HD cameras are currently being used in South Africa to shoot the 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament.  I watched a few games already, and noticed that the slow motion was used very frequently — and not just for replays of the latest goals, shots or fouls, but also to show the audience dancing, singing and enjoying the show.  I  specifically liked the close-up shots of the athletes’ faces in slow motion with muscles rippling under the skin, showing all the effort and emotion and delivering quite a new visual quality… Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer

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Phantom HD Gold at Rule…

…the first high-speed HD camera arrived at Rule yesterday.  With up to 1000 frames and 2K resolution, it’s quite easy to use, especially with laptop and controlling software (although more difficult with on camera controls).  It requires some learning! This camera has firmware v.661.  It is controlled by v.687 of Phantom Camera Control (PCC) software (on laptop) now. The newer software is available – v.689, but we have to make sure, that it works properly. There have been some issues reported.  We’ll keep you posted! Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer

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Hummingbirds with the Canon 5D Mark II

I had brought my Canon 5D MKII along this memorial day weekend in anticipation of taking some set stills, but found myself on a small nature shoot. The subject was two hummingbirds who were hanging around a feeder that was put out. I put a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L series lens on my camera and had hoped to at least get a few out of focus pictures of these very fast birds. Instead I decided to put the 5DMKII into video mode and the shutter speed at 4000 making the appropriate adjustments to aperture and ISO settings. I waited frozen for a few minutes and then one flew up to the feeder and then banked off into the sky within seconds. I decided to throw the lens into macro mode and go even closer, knowing they would be back for the sugar water to fuel the pace at which they were flying. Within 4″ of the lens the female flew into frame and decided to stay a while completely ignoring me (frozen still with camera). She stayed for over 60 seconds and flew out of frame making for the perfect shot. I had never thought of using the 5DMKII for nature work (video) in the past and this experience made me rethink a few things. I had shot nature footage before with long lenses on my Aaton XTR cameras, and the Arri SR2, etc but it was always a lengthy process and required a lot of gear to make it happen. I had also shot stock footage of turtles, frogs, cranes, and other water animals with XL2’s, SDX900’s, etc but it too wasn’t the same as this experience. Being able to stealthily whip out the 5DMKII and within seconds start shooting hardly seemed like work. Getting to the shutter speed, ISO, F-Stop, and Depth of Field preview all took seconds to accomplish. I highly recommend a follow focus and basic support, as the camera is front heavy with most lenses and hand-holding can become very fatiguing fast (especially the the heavy lens, battery grip, and other accessories). Outside of that setups were a breeze and really allowed for a lot of freedom to rapidly adjust settings. In the future I would definitely bring a Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and maybe the 185mm f/3.5L Macro USM which would have yielded much better results. A tripod or mono pod couldn’t have hurt either. 😉 Mike Sutton Senior Account Manager Rule Boston Camera 617-227-2200 x 206 sutton@rule.com