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Quasar LED Lighting Tools to Rent or Buy

Quasar: one of over a thousand known extragalactic objects, starlike in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts, that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.

Unfortunately, we don’t have “the most luminous objects in the universe” in our inventory but we do have a fleet of Quasar Science products available to rent and buy. Quasar offers a wide variety of LED lighting tools and many of them can be found right here at Rule Boston Camera.

Low profile, self ballasted, dimmer compatible, energy efficient, 95+ CRI, flicker free, 25,000 hour lifetime, and much more are just a few of the many features in the Quasar line-up of products.

We encourage you to stop by the shop, and check out these lights for yourself. We’ve got a bunch of new fixtures on the horizon for both rentals and sales in addition to what’s already in our rental inventory (Crossfade LED Kit, Kino Quasar 4ft/4 Bank Fixture) and in our Production Outfitters Expendables Store.

Another resource is our IN THE SHOWROOM video on the A-LED and Q-LED Crossfade lighting tools. Click here to watch, and reach out with questions.

Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech

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The Angenieux EZ-1: Affordable and Flexible Cine Zoom

The Angenieux EZ-1 30-90mm T2 Super35 zoom lens is one of a handful of lenses in the quickly expanding category of affordable cine-zooms. For a long time, cinema zooms were always two things: heavy and expensive. In the past year or so, we have seen manufacturers innovate and release a new group of lightweight cinema zooms. To name a few: Zeiss 21-100mm, Sigma 18-35mm / 50-100mm, Fujinon 18-55mm, and Canon 18-80mm. As a documentary and commercial shooter, it has been great to see this huge increase in choices at a reasonable price. I find myself taking the Angenieux on set because of its size, its flexibility, and its wide open performance.

First and foremost, the size, weight, and handling of this lens is superb. It is well-balanced and weighs in at just 4lbs. I shoot a lot of handheld and gimbal work so weight is always a factor. Having built-in focus, iris, and zoom gears is a big advantage in both keeping the lens streamlined and removing any extra weight from add-on 3rd party focus gears. The EZ-1 also features rubberized grips along the lens for better control when not using a follow focus. This lens is built with the operator in mind.

In the documentary world, staying flexible on set is a must. The ability to quickly go from PL to EF to E mount on set with no tools is a big deal. Pairing lenses and sensors is a big part of a cinematographer’s job these days — both from an aesthetics standpoint and a function standpoint. This lens is equally at home on a Sony a7S wedged inside a car as it is on a 35mm ARRI film camera on a dolly. In addition to the lens mount, you can also change the rear optical block to go from covering just Super35 to covering full frame/ VistaVision. 

There is a certain feeling imbued into lenses by each manufacturer. A subtle difference that doesn’t come across in technical specifications but is often talked about amongst cinematographers and is unique to that manufacturer. Angenieux’s reputation is one of the best in the industry. The EZ-1 fits in easily amongst its family members and delivers the same consistent colors and pleasing sharpness that one should expect from Angenieux.  

-Harvey Burrell, Guest Blogger and Co-founder of Windy Films

 

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Now Taking Orders for the Canon EOS C200 Digital Cinema Camera

Coming Soon to Rentals and Now Taking orders for Sales! The Canon EOS C200 Digital Cinema Camera is the latest “ready-to-go” production camera from Canon that delivers outstanding image quality, performance and versatility, making it ideal for film, documentary and television production, corporate and event photography, and newsgathering.

Features include:

• 8.85 Megapixel Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor that supports 4K (DCI) recording with a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels

• Fully compatible with new and existing Canon EF-Mount lenses

• Built-in Viewfinder with LCD Touch Panel, Camera Grip and Handle Unit

• Dual DiG!C DV 6 Image Processors

• Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology

• Internal 4K RAW Recording with New Cinema RAW Light

• Internal 4K UHD and Full HD Recording in MP4

• Full HD 120P / 100P Slow Motion Recording

• Professional Workflow

• HDR Viewing

• ACES 1.0 Support

• Wide Range of Connectivity Options

Sales is taking orders. Contact sales@rule.com or 800-rule-com for details. We’ll be adding the C200 to our Rental inventory as soon as it’s available. Stay tuned for more details.

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ARRI Announces New Lightweight Matte Box LMB-4×5

At long last ARRI weds the popular LMB-25 with the studio functionality of the MB-19 in the new LMB 4×5. 

No longer must we double up on studio and lightweight boxes on the same job as the 4×5 can fill both roles.   

The swing away and tilt module is my favorite new option!  

Click here to watch ARRI’s cool CGI video that visually explains the whole system:

Adam Van Voorhis, Equipment Manager,

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The New AKIRA Firmware Update for the MōVI

Everyone loves a good firmware update and Freefly Systems did not disappoint with the newest Akira update. New features and incredible improvements make up the newest download. The MōVI camera stabilization system has already offered up amazing opportunities for filmmakers, and the gifts keep coming.

Movi-Firmware-Akira

 

HiPER STABILIZATION: This new feature (more of an improvement) is the shinning star of Akira, in my opinion. Stabilization performance of the MōVI has increased, resulting in images that are much more stable and stronger overall. Longer lenses, focus, iris, and zoom setups can now be achieved more easily with incredible results.

TIMELAPSE MODE: The possibilities seem endless when working with the MōVI and now, with Timelapse Mode, yet another door has opened. Creating your time-lapse moves with this new software is literally a dream come true, so GO OUT AND MAKE NEW IMAGES!

TARGET MODE: GPS position locking and follow mode! Oh, this is getting fun now! When working with the MIMIC, transmitter operators and DP’s can introduce a “chase cam” look — seamlessly.

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Improvements all around and new added features make up the Akira update. I didn’t even mention the new user interface for the mobile applications. Oh, and there are even more goodies to be found. Ok, enough reading! It’s time to put Akira to the test.

We sell and rent a variety of Freefly motion tools. Please contact us at answers@rule.com or 800-rule-com (800-785-3266) for more information.

Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MōVI Tech, law@rule.com

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First-time clients get 30% off your first rental during the month of September!

CONTENT CREATORS! Going back to work just got more exciting during the month of September. We are offering all first-time clients a 30% rental discount on your first rental during the month of September.

Whatever your project, we’re here to help. Our Rental Agents are here to gear you up with just the right audio, video, lighting and editing equipment for your most critical projects.

If you’re one of our regular customers, we’ve got something special for you, too.

Reach out to Rule Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com.

BtWHomePage

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Mixing Paint: The Phantom Flex4K

As with all of their products, Vision Research has created yet another high frame rate monster. Shooting RAW or ProRes, the Flex4K can crank all the way up to 938fps at true 4K — and almost 2,000fps in HD. With all that power under the hood, the question now becomes: What are we going to shoot?! It took us a while to come up with a subject that would do the camera justice. Eventually, we had it all planned out – we were going to see if mixing some paint with a huge speaker would produce some cool results. (It did.) First, we knew we needed light. Lots of light. The mid-day sun was our best bet, so we set up outside. To hold our subject, we set up a basic wooden platform, making sure to keep a wide enough base to catch any paint shrapnel. We hooked our speaker up to a receiver, and fed it various tones from an iPhone — apparently, yes, there is an app for this. With our stage set, we then turned to camera settings. We decided that shooting the true 4K image would be best – 4096 x 2304 at 938fps. If we had chosen a standard UHD 4K recording, we could have shot even faster. For paint, we went with a water based children’s finger paint – in hopes that maybe we could salvage the speaker, and our clothing. The water based paint would also mix better – a latex paint would mix slower, but may have looked cool as colors intertwined more. We’ll give that one a shot next time. We decided to shoot to the ProRes codec, rather than RAW, once we saw the image the camera gave in the standard rec709 color space. The final video color has not been graded in any way, all the footage is straight off the camera. While the RAW files are wonderful, and fantastic for grading – it can become somewhat burdensome with ever shrinking hard drive space. We found the colors to be awesome in the 709 gamma, and very reminiscent of ARRI. There is also the option for LOG. For glass, we chose the Angenieux 25-250, partly to keep our gear out of paint’s way – but also to take advantage of the beautiful lens compression you get on the long end. The focal plane wasn’t too shallow at T4, but the added compression at 100mm and above really brought the image alive. After the shoot, I loaded the ProRes files into Premiere, and we were exporting soon thereafter. For such a high data rate, specialized camera, the workflow all around was relatively simple. Watch the final results: https://vimeo.com/158513325   The Phantom Flex4K is available to rent here at Rule – come check it out! -Alex Enman, Engineer, enman@rule.com

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Lighting Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? I Have Just the Light For You!

This is literally the most flexible light in the world of entertainment lighting! The Bi-Color Flexlite, released in April of this year by Aladdin USA, is a light everyone should be using on every shoot. When I say “literally” I mean the fixture can actually bend to fit the contour of a column or the ceiling of a car. The Bi-Color Flexlite is so light and malleable that you can tape it to a column or to the ceiling of a car without any other type of support. Crazy, right? But “literally” true. Need the light to be daylight balanced to boost the ambient daylight from the windshield of a car? No problem. Switching color temperature is a breeze with the turn of a dial! Use gaffers tape to tape the unit to the ceiling of a car or the inside of a windshield. And don’t worry about power availability — you can run it off a battery. As an LED, it will run for an hour on a 90wh battery or 2 hours on a 180Wh battery. The “flexibility” doesn’t stop there…the accessories available for this fixture can support any situation. Do you need a lightweight lantern in a limited power situation? Just strap on gold mounted batteries and set it up with the custom-built lantern. The lantern just pops open into shape when you remove it from the bag -– it can be set up in a matter of seconds. Don’t have a c-stand or maffer clamp? Hang the Bi-Color Flexlite in its lantern anywhere. The kit comes with a dual magnet mount so it can be mounted onto any metal surface. The kit is full of useful accessories in addition to the dual magnet mount. Included is a baby pin adapter to set it up directly on a stand. Additionally, there is a soft box with no support rods or speed rings – the soft box just affixes via Velcro directly to the back of the light. The front diffusion piece sits approximately 4″ above the Bi-Color Flexlite panel. This creates a beautiful, soft light. Have you been concerned about the green shift in LED lighting? Well, not any more! This light reads  like a dream on the CRI with even, white light – no valleys and no peaks. Check out this photometrics chart from the Aladdin website:

Aladin Bi Flex 50W
60cm/2ft 1m/3ft 2m/6ft 3m/9ft CRI
Daylight  6000K 4200lux 1600lux 450lux 210lux 98
BiColor    4200K 4600lux 1700lux 500lux 230lux 97
Tungsten 3000K 3400lux 1200lux 340lux 170lux 97

But wait, there’s more… I just can’t say enough great things about this fixture. The Bi-Color Flexlite is splash and rainproof too – they have conducted tests submerging the fixture in pools and an aquarium. BUT, do be careful, as the dimmer and power unit are not splash/rainproof and will need to be protected. This light can be used in so many different ways that I wouldn’t want to be on set without at least one of these. Thank you for reading, and, as always, do not hesitate to call me with any questions at 617-277-2200 (or 800-rule-com), or email me HighOutput@rule.com. I look forward to seeing all of you at my next Showroom Demo on Wednesday, September 30th from 12 to 1pm. RSVP: HighOutputEvents@Rule.com. -Alison Cupples, Lighting Specialist, HighOutput@Rule.com

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Fun New Features Come with the Latest Panasonic GH4 v2.2 Update

Though I’ve already written about how head-over-heels I am for Panasonic’s overly affordable GH4, I thought I’d take some time to check in with the little wonder, and discuss some of the fun new features Panasonic has included! Earlier this spring, Panasonic released firmware version 2.2, and with it a slew of updates aimed squarely at the most fastidious gear nerds. The Lumix series of cameras have long been championed by a loud minority – people hacking cameras, doing everything they could to squeeze the best possible image out of these cheap mirrorless cameras. With the GH4, that community has grown impressively. A subset of the micro four thirds folks, however, is that of the anamorphic shooters. For years people have been attaching old anamorphic projector lenses to adapters, rigging up double focus systems, and putting themselves through production hell – chasing that anamorphic image. Panasonic has once again listened to their user base, and with their new release has enabled true 4:3 anamorphic recording for 2x lenses. Not something you see very often in price ranges below $40,000! Below is a great lens test from vimeo user Sittipong Kongtong, comparing the lowly GH4 with the RED Dragon. https://vimeo.com/127348773 Here’s another great interview with Panasonic from NAB, conducted by www.nofilmschool.com – giving a bit more insight into how it all works – as well as discussion on the upcoming firmware update that will allow true V-Log recording! V-Log will be coming straight from the Varicam 35, which is a surprising addition to a camera at such a low price point. For comparison, it’s not until the C100 level of camera that Canon offers a log profile. Panasonic continues to answer niche shooters’ prayers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=110&v=rzaVp7cSaf4 I will be hosting a Showroom Demo on the new firmware, as well as some color correction techniques for the GH4 on June 10th from 12:00pm-1:00pm here at Rule Boston Camera. Be sure to swing by! -Alex Enman, Engineer, enman@rule.com

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An Introduction to the Sony PXW-FS7

As with all my blog posts, I’m happy to introduce you to yet another camera that’s being called “The Next Big Thing!” I’ve talked at length about the Panasonic GH4, the Sony a7s, and other it cameras that seemed to stir up buzz this past year. 2014 was a great year for new technology to find its way to lower price point cameras, and the culmination of that may be the new Sony FS7. The FS7 was touted as being designed by Sony from “listening,” and I can’t argue with that. Professionals have been asking for an ergonomic, easy to use, high frame rate, 4K camera with built-in ND filters and all the bells and whistles one would come to expect from a professional camera. A large chip, easily adaptable mount – and a high quality internal codec. This list seems long and perhaps unattainable for a sub $10K camera, but all of those features have been delivered and met in the FS7. First and foremost, some specs. The Sony FS7 has a s35 sized sensor, that seems to be almost identical to that of the Sony F5. In my book, this may be the best selling point of the camera. With this sensor, the FS7 is able to not only record UHD 4k to 2 different flavors of XAVC, but it can also shoot up to 180fps in HD. For low light, the sensor has a base ISO of 2000 – with some built-in ND filters to help you out. Standard XLR inputs, and even a nice arri style rosette for the very comfortable and easy to use side handle. This camera will most be compared to the wildly successful Canon C300 – but truth be told, the FS7’s got it beat in features. SLOG3 is available, as well as the highly gradable and precise Cine EI mode. This camera fits in line much closer to the F55 and F5 than it’s namesake, the FS700. Unlike the FS700, the FS7 does not have a 3G SDI output on its standard body. Instead, a rear add-on unit is required to pass RAW out to something like the Odyssey 7Q. While this is sort of a bummer, the rear RAW unit also provides the ability to record ProRes directly to the cards internally – though XAVC is a very high bitrate codec itself. After using the FS7 for a few weeks, all I can really say is that it more or less works as advertised. All the promises Sony made are delivered, and the camera works great. It’s comfortable, but could stand to use an additional shoulder pad to add some comfort. The battery times are very long, and the buttons on the camera are familiar and easy to find. The big credit most users gave to the Canon C300 was it’s ease of use, and good image. The FS7 meets that, and goes beyond. High frame rates are going to be the next big camera battleground in the next 5 years, and Canon’s 60FPS at 720p isn’t holding a candle to the FS7’s 60FPS at 4k, or 180FPS in HD. I’ve run into a few small issues when adapting Canon lenses with the metabones speed boosters and smart adapters – but they are usable. Metabones released a firmware update for the speed booster ultra that seems to have helped it out – though operation still seems sluggish. These are nitpicking details, however. If you’re curious about image quality, you can find plenty of beautiful examples all over the net as the camera is finding it’s way to shooters. And keep in mind, the image quality will be near identical to the Sony F5! Here’s a really great video from vimeo user Joe Simon Films showcasing some of the FS7 abilities. https://vimeo.com/112027631 And here is a beautiful spot shot on the F5 from vimeo user Overseasfilms.com – pretty amazing that this image can now be captured by a camera that costs around 8 grand! https://vimeo.com/85711136 Check out this review from Anticipate Media: http://vimeo.com/anticipatemedia/review/113330848/9d76c28504. We have the FS7 here at Rule to buy or rent, so be sure to come check it out. -Alex Enman, Engineer, enman@rule.com