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The Canon EOS C300 and Project Imagin8ion’s WHEN YOU FIND ME really had an impact on me..

– How do I begin… I just watched When You Find Me, which made its debeut a few days ago as part of Canon’s Project Imagin8ion.

Described as a Hollywood short film inspired by 8 winning photographs chosen by Ron Howard and Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, When You Find Me was shot with Canon’s soon to be released Cinema EOS C300 camera. As a father of two daughters, similar in age to the girls in this film, and husband to a wife who I would never want to be without, I will publicly admit, it moved me -tears and all!  And, I think, for all the right reasons. Within one minute, I totally forgot why I was actually watching it (which was to study how the Canon EOS C300 actually performed ) and I was completely enshrouded in the story, the characters, the mood – everything.  I felt so much, for what the girls were feeling, for what parents feel for their children, and how each of us carries our own fear, hope, regret, and ultimately, relief.  I was quickly overwhelmed by simultaneous emotions… it was powerful, I didn’t expect it at all. This short film simply reminded me why I went into this business in the first place! My apologies for being sappy on this post.  That said – Thank you Ron Howard, thank you Bryce, and thank you to everyone involved in this project – especially our friends at Canon! – Tom Talbot Director of Technology Rule Boston Camera

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Shoemount Anyone?

With all of these shoulder mounts getting put together, most of my customers are finding that they need more than one shoe mount. And with all of those extra screw holes in the FS100, might as well put them to good use, right? So here you have the top shoe mounts that I’ve found to be most useful. I’m well aware there might be others out there that are working excellently, and if so I would love to add them to this collection.  I would also love feedback about which of these works best for you, the customer. So please, if you read this and so desire, email me at these three things: 1.    Which would you buy for the price and usability? 2.    Is this an item that would be useful for Rule to stock? 3.    Which would you find yourself using the most?

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Shooting with the New Panasonic HPX250 AVC-Intra 100 Camcorder

I had the unique opportunity last weekend to be one of a select few to shoot with Panasonic’s new AG-HPX250 AVC-Intra  100 camcorder in a real-world environment.  The camera has a familiar look to it with a body style similar to the cameras it’s replacing (the HPX170 and HVX200).  The main difference between these three cameras is that the 250 adds the AVC-Intra 100 codec. The HPX170 has been around since 2008 so the 250 keeps the line fresh with other features like a 21 x optical zoom vs. a 13 x.  Another change is, of course, the sensor which is now a 2.2 million pixel 3MOS vs. the HPX170’s CCD.  Panasonic also decided to jump into the Event and PEG TV markets by adding Genlock and Time-Code interfaces.  A major jump-up in viewfinder quality was also very evident on the HPX250 with over 1 million pixels vs. the 170s 235k.  Although the sensor size is still 1/3″, I did notice better detail in the shadow areas of the images I was recording.   I imagine this was because I was using AVC-Intra 100. I used the camera for approximately 4 hours on one of my Steadicam Flyer LE HD rigs for a Range Rover training video that I’m shooting.   The camera was originally going to be used for BTS shots, but our regular camera package did not have all the components ready to go, so the HPX250 quickly became the “A” camera for the shoot.   Without having time to read the manual, I was able to quickly get the camera set-up and ready to shoot as time was of the essence.  Panasonic has nicely laid out the key features with quick and easy access to buttons on the operator side of the camera.  Everything you need — like focus assist, ND, audio controls, scene file, waveform, etc., is nicely placed in plain view. Once the shoot was done and it was time to edit, the AVC-Intra 100 footage easily loaded into all three of the edit systems I use (and tested it with).  Final Cut Studio, Premiere Pro CS5.5 and Avid MC5.5 and even FCP X worked nicely.  The AVC-Intra 100 held up a little better in post than a few samples I shot in DVCPRO 100, especially when cropping into the image. If you are in the market for a DVCPRO HD or AVC-Intra 100 camcorder, the Panasonic HPX250 is affordable at under $6k.  It’s definitely worth checking out. Mike Sutton, Senior Account Manager Twitter: @MNS1974

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Early Sneak Peak at the Panasonic AG-HPX250

Over the last few days we at Rule Boston Camera have been evaluating the forthcoming Panasonic AG-HPX250. As a matter of fact, I think we may be among the very first in the country to get our hands on it and we are happy to pass along our first impressions. Working with Jason Potz, one of our engineers here at Rule, we setup the camera at one of our camera test stations.  We decided to throw the HPX170 camera next to it for comparison. For those who may not be aware, the HPX170 essentially an HVX200A but without the DV tape mechanism.  The 170 / 200  share a lower effective resolution imager of 1.1 million active pixels with a spatial offset but the new HPX250 offers what is often called a Full HD imager of 2.2 million pixels! It is also worth noting that packed inside this Compact HD styled camcorder is the very impressive 4:2:2 10-bit sampled  AVC-Intra 100 codec.   To date, this higher quality recording has been reserved for “full sized” ENG type camera bodies costing thousands of dollars more. On the surface, you could consider the AG-HPX250 a replacement for the very successful and respected HVX200A but with several important improvements that I have outlined below. Here are some of the key improvements over the HVX200A or HPX170:

  • Longer 22x lens but with the same 3.9mm wide angle as the HPX170

  • Full HD 1920×1080 1/3” 3-MOS 2.2 Million pixel (times three) imager

  • Timecode and Genlock connectors via BNC useful for multicam studio shooting

  • 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra 100, AVC-Intra 50, DVCPro HD & Standard Definition record options

  • 720p or 1080i

  • HD-SDI and HDMI outputs

  • 2x P2 Card Slots

  • Separate control connectors for remote Zoom and Focus

  • Smaller form factor and lower cost battery system than HPX-370 but with many of the same capabilities

  • List price of $5,995

After looking at the body size, lens, menu system, external connectivity and price, it seems to me that this is a very smart camera choice for Public Access, Education, and Government customers that desire a fairly low cost solution that can easily perform dual duty as both a studio camera by day and a roving compact HD camcorder by night. Tom Talbot – Director of Technology

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New Firmware Upgrade for Ki Pro Mini

The new firmware upgrade from Aja for Ki Pro Mini V.2.6.0 is now available.  This upgrade fixes an existing problem with CUSTOM CLIP TAKE by removing this menu parameter altogether. What’s also good about this upgrade is that it adds new functionality by enabling the RED Epic, RED One and certain Canon XF cameras to pass metadata directly to Ki Pro Mini via a single SDI cable. The update is designed to streamline the workflow between Ki Pro Mini and REDs or Canon’s high-resolution imagery on set and in post. Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer,

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New In The Showroom

Lots going on In The Showroom these days.  Much of it consists of rendering footage on the showroom comp and loading the new Adobe 5.5, Apple Final Cut X and updating our Avid.  If you’re not familiar with that software and are considering an upgrade, you should come by and ask us your questions. What we have in stock and ready to go is exciting. We’ve got lots of new Sennheiser headphones, tons of SxS, CF, SDHC, and P2 Cards, plenty of different speeds to fit whatever camera/recorder you are working on, custom Zacuto rigs, Canon lenses and DSLR’s, and…ta da…the Sony FS100 and F3 cameras (which, yes, we do have in stock… just raring to go and definitely ready to be your latest experience!). We’ll be running a sale on Ki Pro Mini’s, so if you attend any of our August Learning Labs, stop by the Showroom for a look-see!  This sale will only be running for a short time, so if this is something that you’ve been thinking about purchasing, please let us give you a quote.  We also have an interesting addition of Porta Brace bags. This is an experiment on my part–since it is easy to go online and see all sorts of bags that you are curious about, but, if you are like me and need to see it and touch it, well — now you can!  We have sack packs, Cable bags, small DSLR bags, airplane bags for traveling, backpacks, ect.  If there is something you’d really like to see in here, let me know! I’ll make it happen. Sincerely, Your Neighborhood Salesperson, Brooks

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Alexa and Alexa Plus Software Updates

We’re in the process of updating and evaluating the latest software for the Alexa and Alexa Plus. The most important new features for ALEXA and ALEXA Plus: • Custom looks through ARRI Look Files • Audio playback from SxS PRO cards • Auto white balance • Anamorphic de-squeeze in EVF-1 and on MON OUT (paid license feature) • Peaking focus check in EVF-1 and MON OUT • False color exposure check for Log C images • EVF ZOOM target position • Compare stored image from SD card with live image • RETURN IN video • Operating time counter • SD card formatting in camera • EVF ZOOM and EXP buttons are now latching • SxS recording can be turned off • More silent operation at higher ambient temperatures • ‘Rec Low’ fan mode for silent operation in extremely hot environments • V-mount battery adapter update The most important new features for ALEXA Plus: • Master/Slave lens motor control • 3D lens sync • Lens Data System (LDS) info display in EVF-1 and on MON OUT • Lens Data Archive (LDA) • Electronic level in EVF and MON OUT Dave Kudrowitz, Senior Engineer

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Back from InfoComm!

It’s nice to be back in Massachusetts following the heat of Orlando at this year’s InfoComm Show.  The show was great and provided opportunities for learning new skills from other industry professionals, exposure to the cutting edge of what technologies are available now in AV installation and continuing positive relationships with manufacturers. This year’s show focused on a few things that we at Rule Boston Camera already do well.  There was talk about the move in our industry away from providing products and towards providing services.  We go into most of our jobs assuming that all of your perspective installers can get you the same equipment that we can.  What sets us apart needs to be our attention to detail and the ongoing relationship that we have in providing not only the gear you want but the “Engineering Services” you need. The product category that seemed to have some buzz behind it this year was digital signage.  I agree with many of the presenters at the show, that in the next year to three years, who is using digital signage, and how they are using it will change dramatically.  New products at a wide range of vertical markets and price points can meet this need.  It is our goal at Rule to ride this wave since we already started surfing it!  We will take what we have learned from our clients who are already running digital signage and from those running bulletin boards on their PEG stations in order to offer a full range of products along with our engineering expertise to find the right solution for each customer’s need. Each year at this show, I learn more and more of what else is out there.  I am looking forward to implementing much of what I saw and to returning next year to learn more of what I have not even thought of yet. Ian Tosh Director of Engineering Services

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Production Outfitters: Community Resource

Boston’s film community is a growing community, and there is no greater partner to that growth than Rule Boston Camera.  Inherent in the company is a drive and motivation to supply the film and video community with the latest and greatest — not only in cameras and support but with an eye on covering all of the bases of production equipment needs. Enter Production Outfitters, Rule Boston Camera’s resource for production and expendable needs.  At Production Outfitters–as a convenience to our customers–we strive to provide all of the little tools and supplies that might otherwise be overlooked. Ranging from gaff and camera tape to gels, Assistant Camera equipment, Hard Drives and memory cards for the latest digital cameras, Production Outfitters aims to be an expanding resource to our customers and to the ever-growing local industry. If you have any suggestions on what’s hot or new in the industry, call or email me and I’ll work to make these options available to you. Help us to help the Boston film community keep growing and shooting! Nick Giannino, Production Outfitters Store and Rental Agent