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Zacuto Recoil V2

With the influx of Canon C100 Ownership, the topic of handheld systems oftentimes comes up.  Clients are either used to shooting with an ENG style shoulder mount camera or DSLR’s and want to transfer the handheld shooting skills with either to a camera like the C100. Now the C100 is a great camera, but ergonomically normal a camera it is not.  Luckily, companies like Zacuto bring along great products to help make that transition much simpler and more cost-effective. The most recent rig to cross my path was the Zacuto Recoil V2, a product I had seen and specced for awhile but never got hands on with.  Set-up with the Recoil goes quickly and is pretty intuitive.  Where this rig gets it right is the grip relocator, which is worth the price of admission all on it’s own.  This may be the most cost-effective single piece to be used with rods that retains the same functionality of the camera on the market.  No longer are you using a dumb handle for the sake of handheld; you’ll get all the functionality of the hand grip just in a more logical place. You simply connect the 1/8” plug from your grip into the receiver and then run the 20”+ cable back up to the port on the camera and voila. Now for some bad. Well sort of bad. On Zacuto’s product page, they specifically address needing an EVF for this rig. Sad to say, there really isn’t a way around this…for a C100.  For a C300, however, the ability to articulate and move the EVF that comes with the camera makes a lot more sense and works well for this rig.  The same rule would apply with a C500. For the C100 ultimately, using an EVF with an articulating arm serves the trick as you can now create a more flexible and positional eyepiece. Secondly, I would recommend some longer rods to allow for more flexible adjustment of distance for the camera.  Ideally you want the weight to be on your shoulder for the best hand held support, and longer rods allow you to move the grip locator to a more comfortable position. The shoulder pad QRP system is handy as well and is pretty flexible in terms of placement.  It’s easily positioned and removable. One huge note to make with this rig: Be sure to use the Tripod TB-1 Adapter Plate that comes with the camera to work with the rig.  The only two points of contact on the rig are 3/8” and ¼ 20”; no safety pin.  So be sure that’s on the bottom before you start rigging. Another suggestion is the use of a Quick Release Plate System to create a fluid workflow from tripod work to shoulder supported, handheld work. I found the Kessler Kwik Release plate to pair well with the Zacuto set up. All in all, this is a great, cost-effective rig to get you started with some handheld work, with some limitations.  No one rig will solve every problem, but I see the Recoil V2 as being a really smart and sharp start to solving some workflow hurdles with Canon’s Cinema EOS Camera line. -Nick Giannino, Inside Sales, giannino@rule.com

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Production Outfitters: New Swag!

Productions Outfitters just received some new swag! Now available — sleek black hats and custom printed Wiha tool kits.

The hats are classic baseball caps modeled by our own Bryan Alford…

The tool kits are an AC’s dream, with 30 different wrenches and screwdrivers, conveniently packed in a small Velcro kit.

We also carry a variety of other grip and camera pouches that easily strap onto your belt for easy accessibility!

Stop by and check it out!

Nick Giannino, Production Outfitters Store

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The Alexa – Out of the Box and Into It’s First Local Feature!

Our very own Alexa was the star of a film shooting locally, in New Bedford, MA, this Winter.  “Fairhaven” is a comic drama that tells the story of three childhood friends reuniting in their home town of Fairhaven, MA.  Written and Directed by Tom O’Brien who fell in love with the Massachusetts seaport town and was inspired to set the project there.  The film is being shot by DP Peter Simonite and features stars such as Mad Men’s, Rich Sommer, Six Feet Under’s, Chris Messina and Deadwood’s Sarah Paulson.
We missed our Alexa dearly and we were eager to hear what our friends at Fairhaven thought of the camera.  General Manager Brian Malcolm and myself ventured down to Westport, MA to meet the cast and crew on location at Lee’s Market for some grocery store interior shots.  On the way, Brian spotted 4 Red-Tailed Hawks and one male Cardinal.  I tried to play the bird game too but my bird-like findings turned out to be trash bags trapped in branches or bushels of leaves.  (You’ve won this round, Malcolm!)
When we arrived on the set, we were warmly welcomed by an excited cast and crew.  Everyone raved about the Alexa with its superior image quality and high sensitivity in low light.  The Alexa is rated at ISO 800 but we learned that they were able to get exposures of up to 1600 ISO.  Phrases like “This camera will change the industry forever” and ” I never want to work with another camera again” were echoing around us as the crew testified to the camera’s cinematic abilities and ease-of-use.
We really enjoyed watching the Fairhaven team in action, and we’re looking forward to the film’s release!
For more information about the Fairhaven movie visit their website at www.fairhaventhemovie.com.
For more information on the Alexa, call or email answers@rule.com.
Nick Giannino, Rental Agent