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Nick’s Holiday Picks – Setwear Gloves

Winter is fast upon us and outside of shooting, I’m trying to do one thing: Stay warm — especially with windchill here in Boston at 5º.

What better marriage than Setwear’s line of products, tailor-made to assist with 4-season outfitting for the video professional.  

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Setwear products are ruggedly made and built to last. I use them in all capacities; whether I’m loading cases or rigging lights, Setwear’s EZ Fit Gloves are my go to especially when it’s cold out.

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Stop on by and grab a pair!

Nick Giannino, Rentals + Expendables, giannino@rule.com

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MōVI Pro: Boston, You Ready?

Just when you thought that Freefly Systems had changed the stabilization game with the M15 — making a must-have, on-set production tool — they go out and do it again. Not just a major firmware update, new accessories, another type of handle, or iOS support, but all of this and an entire new system called the MōVI Pro!

The team at Freefly went all in with the Pro and developed what I and other MōVI owners/operators have always wanted. A few weeks ago, Freefly held a launch party at their headquarters, and I was lucky enough to attend. The minute I walked into the warehouse, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. MōVI Pro, Alta 6 and 8, Jibs, Tero, XL, Mimic, Food, Awesome People, and Craft Beer. It was a great time!

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Immediately, I had to try-out the Pro and see what the deal was. I got my hands on a Pro with a RED Epic build consisting of focus and iris motors, wireless video, and a Canon CN-E lens. This is a pretty standard build when it comes to MōVI work, especially in Boston. It felt great, looked elegant, and responded with incredible accuracy. Let me explain a few new details that really make me geek out over the new MōVI Pro.

New Ring: I have always been a huge fan of the MōVI Ring, and I
moviproffevent_0262always make sure that it’s ready to go with me on any job I’m on. Now, the Pro is integrated natively with the new style ring and it has FEET. How many times when on set have you thought, “I wish I could just put this thing down for 5 minutes?” Now you can do just that, and it opens up a new style of shooting as well. I know it may sound trivial, but it really is a huge factor in my opinion.

 

Power Base: Yes, please! D-Taps for accessory power as well as camera power is the real “game changer.” Now, no need for an onboard battery to power your Epic or Mini. Power your focus/iris/zoom motors straight from the base. Future MōVI builds will look so much more elegant, and camera assistants will love the power integration when setting up for the job at hand.

New Batteries: Enough said – hot swappable batteries with a 22.5v 1.8Ah rating are a dream come true. Let’s not forget they have battery life indicators on them. Big thanks!

Control Screen: We now have the ability to tune and adjust the MōVI Pro directly on location with no need of a tablet or computer. Before I forget, iOS users rejoice! You can now run the app on your device.

moviproffevent_0257New Mimic: Beautiful design and capabilities. MōVI control options will make this a must-have for your camera assistant.

RED RCP: MōVI and RED builds have become even better. Directly from your Mimic controller, you can now adjust camera settings when the operator is doing their job. Say what?!

Clamps and Mounts: It really is all about the little things. Now, with the new Pop-N-Lock system you can easily mount all your accessories that the job calls for. No more Velcro and Bongo Ties. After building many MōVI setups, this really excites me — just from an aesthetic view.

New Design: Hidden cables, dual pan bar, slightly taller cage, and enclosed motors. These new changes are bringing better and stronger stabilization to all operators.

As an operator, moving from an M15 (even M5) to the Pro will be a dream, and I see no major challenges (only sighs of relief). I still can’t get over the integrated control with RED cameras. This makes productions with this set up so much more streamlined and efficient. Let your operator get the shots that present themselves with literally no down time. I hope for a future update from Freefly that opens this technology up to other camera manufacturers. As an M15 and ARRI Mini user, my fingers are crossed.

Tabb and the crew at Freefly Systems really did an amazing job with their new product launch — from the brilliant and always exciting marketing (one of my favorite Instagram accounts), to their forward-thinking technology, and their ability to change the way we can achieve new shots — they are also gracious hosts (Sumerian Brewery is amazing). I thank you very much (yes, I’m a fan boy).

Interested in buying or renting the MōVI Pro or other Freefly motion tools? Click here to email us or call 800-rule-com.

Dylan Law, MōVI Tech and QC/Logistics, law@rule.com moviproffevent_0245

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Nick’s Holiday Picks – G-Tech 1TB G-Drive

As my second holiday gift pick for the technically-inclined, I’ve chosen the 1TB G-DRIVE ev ATC Thunderbolt from G-Technology.

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Not only is the drive water, pressure, dust, and shock resistant up to 6.6’, it can float, and endure water submersion in up to 1’ for up to 30 seconds. Equipped with a rotational speed of 7200 rpm, and data transfer speeds up to 136 MB/s, this drive is highly capable of performing multiple functions. It comes pre-formatted for Mac, but can be easily re-formatted for Windows. Just like last week’s GoPro HERO5 Black, you’ll find this week’s pick up on our giant “holiday candle” in our Production Outfitters expendables store.

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Feel free to get in touch with any questions. Thanks.

Nick Giannino, Rentals + Expendables, giannino@rule.com

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Nick’s Holiday Picks – The GoPro HERO 5

Each week through mid-December, I’ll pick a gift option for the technically-inclined on your holiday gift lists.

This week, my first pick is the GoPro HERO 5, available in our Production Outfitters expendables store.  The HERO 5 is the next exciting step for GoPro’s product line, and it comes with some great upgrades from the HERO 4 Black.

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First and foremost, it’s waterproof without a housing (up to 33ft). With some new Video Stabilization and some RAW Photo capability the Hero 5 is starting to add some additional support to their already feature packed product line. GoPro is still the name of the game when it comes to action sports cameras and the HERO 5 continues that tradition.

Take a look on our giant “holiday candle” for next week’s pick.

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Get in touch with any questions. Thanks.

Nick Giannino, Rentals + Expendables, giannino@rule.com

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Now Taking Pre-Orders – Buy the Freefly MoVI Pro at Rule Boston Camera

We’re now taking pre-orders for the latest in Freefly’s line of camera movement systems. Introducing the new MōVi Pro — their most powerful, versatile, smart and reliable digital handheld stabilizer yet!

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Freefly plans to start shipping mid-November. Each MōVi Pro system will include the MōVi Pro, the MIMIC, 2x MōVi Pro battery packs & more to get you started right out of the box! To place your pre-order with a $200 deposit (non-refundable, but transferrable), contact Michael Kalish at sales@rule.com or 800-rule-com. Be sure to watch the intro video at https://vimeo.com/188601738. And click here for the MōVi Pro sales price, description, specs and features.

Interested in trying before buying? The MōVi Pro is coming soon to Rentals. Click here for rental rate and details or contact rentals at answers@rule.com or 800-rule.com

RBC’s Dylan Law flew to Freefly HQ in Washington for their MōVi Pro launch party. Stay tuned for his upcoming blog post with all the technical and creative details.

-Haley Parizo, Sales Operations Manager, parizo@rule.com

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Canon Introduces New Firmware Upgrade for C300 + C300 MKII

Canon has announced a new firmware upgrade at NAB New York that is sure to please C300 shooters.  The main features for the Mark II are enabled audio recording in 2K crop mode and the ability to turn off the internal microphone.  The update brings an expanded Zebra range (5% to 100%) on the Mark II and shutter angle priority (keep your desired shutter angle as you change frame rates) on both the original C300 and the Mark II.

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The other updates coming with the firmware relate to Canon’s Cine Servo Zoom lenses in EF mount.  Auto and push iris are now available for Cine Servo EF 17-120mm and EF 50-1000mm, as well as the new 18-80mm that will be released shortly.  Dual Pixel autofocus will also be supported for the EF 17-120mm and 18-80mm on the Mark II and original cameras with dual pixel capability.  We currently do not carry these lenses (we have the 17-120mm available in PL mount only), but we will have an 18-80mm once it is released later this month.

Check out this video with Canon Technical Advisor, Brent Ramsey, for more information about the upgrade.  We’ll be updating the C300 Mark II EF Mount and PL Mount cameras in our rental inventory when the firmware is released on December 13th. Interested in buying the C300 Mark II? See links below and contact us at sales@rule.com or 800-rule-com.

Canon EOS C300 EF 24-70 Kit

Canon EOS C300 with Dual Pixel CMOS AF Feature Upgrade

Canon EOS C300 MK II 

-Grace Deacon, Engineer, deacon@rule.com

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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.

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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.

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The Sony PXW-Z150

  Sony_PXW-Z150 There’s a lot to be said for a good camcorder-styled camera — a format that, in recent years, hasn’t been given the love and attention I feel it deserves. While not the most exciting camera, more often than not (and especially for event and corporate shooters) — it is by far the most practical. The market was given a glimpse of the future late last year, with Panasonic’s release of the DVX 200. The camera provided a Micro Four Thirds imager, with a camcorder-styled body and attached zoom lens. The idea being that run-and-gun shooters needn’t compromise on depth of field any longer. By using the larger sensor, shooters could finally get images that rivaled those of their DSLR counterparts in the sub-$5,000 market. It’s a need that won’t be going away any time soon, either — producers and content creators have come to enjoy the shallow depth of field “look” that one gets from large imagers (the Canon 5D Mark II is probably to blame). But, rigging these small cameras with external recorders, audio interfaces, shoulder mounts, top handles, and shotgun mics was never the end-all, be-all answer shooters needed (although the DVX 200 delivered on these issues). Enter the Sony PXW-Z150, Sony’s newest offering in the PXW line, sitting happily alongside the popular FS5. At a little over three grand, this camera packs a punch. Its imager is slightly smaller than that of the DVX 200, but compared to the ⅓” and even ⅔” sensors of the prior generation of camcorders, the Z150’s 1” sensor adds just enough depth-of-field options to feel very versatile.   z150-medium In addition to its sensor, the Z150 has a few more tricks up its sleeve to bring it in line with its fancier, smaller counterparts. Sony has built the foundation of the camera’s acquisition on the now tried-and-true XAVC-L codec. While it’s not as dense as the FS7’s XAVC-I, it’s a huge improvement from the price-comparative a7SII (XAVC-S). The Z150 records a UHD 4K image internally, using the same SDXC cards as the FS5. It also has the ability to overcrank to 120fps in HD formats. Slowmo seems to be the new battleground for this market, and it’s great to see that Sony has matched the challenge. Perhaps the most interesting feature, for a humble colorist to appreciate, is its ability to record 10 bit HD. Traditionally, any camera under $10,000 recorded 8 bit images internally. To see a camera like this recording a nice and dense 10 bit image is a huge improvement. This camera has far more in common with an FS7 than an EX1. After that, the features meet all the new standards easily — built-in ND filter, a powerful autofocus and full auto mode, and XLR inputs. Run-and-gun shooters will feel right at home with the familiar Sony layout, and even though they’ve simplified the menus — I don’t find myself wanting anything extra. A common criticism of Sony’s latest camera lines is how complicated their menu structures are, so to see things paired down a bit in this camera is a welcome addition. It’s slightly disappointing that the Z150 doesn’t include any LOG gammas, but the normal picture profiles fill any creative gaps you may have. I don’t foresee many people shooting LOG on a camcorder, but with 10 bit, my question is ‘why not’? I would love to use the Z150 as a B camera to an FS7. Those are small potatoes, though, and I find myself very satisfied shooting with the Z150. For folks who are comfortable with the EX1 or NX cameras, this is, most likely, the 4K upgrade you’ve been waiting for. We are currently selling and renting the PXW-Z150, please contact us at answers@rule.com or 800-rule-com (800-785-3266) for more information! Alex Enman, Engineer, enman@rule.com

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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