Posted on

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Gets the Job Done

Last weekend I filmed a little passion project. It was a music video, and I was operating as a one-man show. Since I was shooting solo, my goal was to have a camera that was both lightweight and compact without sacrificing quality. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was a perfect fit with a 4/3 image sensor that captures 4096 x 2160 DCI 4K. With great Codecs — like ProRes and Blackmagic Raw — I was in for an easy post-production workflow. 

For this shoot, I was operating in a variety of locations, and I knew the camera had to be able to handle each one. The first location was a dark basement and another location was outdoors in daylight. My goal was to make sure I didn’t lose my shadows in the basement or my highlights in the sky while outdoors. With the BMPCC’s 13 stops of dynamic range and its dual ISO, I didn’t have any issues at all.

The 5-inch LCD touch screen that comes with the camera was perfect. I had mounted a SmallHD monitor to the camera, but I caught myself looking more at the camera’s screen than at the external monitor. It was big enough to get that sharp focus, which I really liked.

The one flaw I found with the camera was using it with an LP-E6 Battery. I use these batteries with my Canon DSLR, so I always have a bunch of them lying around. I couldn’t believe how fast I went through them while shooting. I was switching batteries about every half hour or so. Since I was in one location with a charge station it was not a concern for me. If your shoot happens to be less convenient to a power source, then you’ll be glad to know that this camera does come with a DTap Power Cable to draw power off your gold mount and V-mount batteries. Keep in mind that this adds weight to your camera set-up, but it saves you from the hassle of worrying about power.

One last great feature with the BMPCC is that you have some media options for recording. This camera has built-in SD and CFast card slots along with a USB-C port. The USB-C is great because you can record to an SSD through it, and you’ll get almost endless amounts of storage potential. 

Overall, I was glad I brought the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K along. It most definitely got the job done.

– Alex Lopez, QC Technician

Posted on

The New Vega Upgrade for Ready Rig Is a No Brainer

With a simple install and immediate results, the new VEGA upgrade is a no-brainer for rental houses and owner-operators alike. Owner-operators, click here to follow Ready Rig’s simple upgrade instructions.

The improved stability and weight control make the upgrade worth every penny. For any gimbal job, add a Ready Rig with VEGA to your order for improved stability and weight control. The VEGA absorbs unwanted motion to capture smooth and fluid shots with the controls at your fingertips. You’ll love the improvements in this motion tool — made by industry professionals for industry professionals!

Take the VEGA for a spin and let me know what you think. To book it, reach out to Rentals by email or call 800-rule-com.

Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech

 

Posted on

Capture an Affordable Anamorphic Look with the Atlas Orion Lenses

Unique bokeh characteristics, focus breathing, desired flaring, EF or PL mount, fast T-Stop (for anamorphic), standard front diameter (114mm), and affordable cost — these are just some of the features found in the Orion 2x Anamorphic lenses from Atlas Lens Co.  

The Orion series (we have both A and B sets) brings anamorphic shooting to the masses! While traditional anamorphic lenses can be out of reach, budget-wise, we’re thrilled to carry the full set that includes the 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 80mm, and 100mm anamorphic prime lenses.

My favorite part of carrying these lenses here in Rentals? I love when customers come into the shop with a smile on their faces because they can now bring the anamorphic look to their clients and their projects. 

The size and weight of these lenses make them great for handheld, tripod, dolly, gimbal, and drone workflows. Once you see your first few frames through these anamorphic lenses, you will understand what Atlas Lens Co. has done for the industry. 

-Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech

Posted on

2 for 2! Get a 2-week Rental at a 2-Day Rate in the Last 2 Weeks of December

SHOUT OUT TO ALL OUR AWESOME CUSTOMERS! As a year-end THANK YOU, we’re offering a special 2-week for 2-day rate to our valued customers!

From December 16th to January 3rd, rent anything in Rule Boston Camera’s rental inventory (based on availability), and pay a 2-day rate!

DON’T FORGET TO PLAN AHEAD! Rule Boston Camera will be closed for the holidays on December 25th, 26th, and January 1st.

We are grateful for the opportunity to support your creative process with gear, technical support, and services throughout the year!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for an amazing 2020!

Posted on

The Sony FX9 is Coming Soon + We’re EXCITED!

Today, I wanna talk about the newly announced Sony FX9, a camera I couldn’t be more excited for… But before I do that, we need to talk about some history.

The Year: 2014. Latvia has just adopted the Euro, Birdman and Whiplash have made Jazz drumming the official soundtrack of the year, and Dr. Dre became a billionaire after selling some headphones to Apple.

It was a time of transition in our industry, and Sony decided to make a big move in the cinema camera market. At this point, Sony’s lineup was based mostly around the F55 and F5, twin cameras that spanned the $15-25K market. We tend to see large manufacturers borrowing technology from their higher-end cameras and spinning it off into lower tier models, and in 2014 Sony swung for the fences. They borrowed the sensor from their popular F5 cinema camera, stuck it in a cheaper, shoulder-friendly model — and released the PXW-FS7.

People. Freaked. Out. 

The FS7 went head-on against Canon’s massively popular C300, and the mid-tier cinema market changed. The FS7 was popular for a host of reasons, but the one that stuck out most and really set it apart was the form factor. Sony decided that, sometimes, it’s nice to put a camera on your shoulder. Borrowing designs from Super-16 Aatons, not to mention a carbon copy of their hand grip, the FS7 was unlike any other camera – because it looked most like a camera. The best part was the price point – coming in around $8K, compared to Canon’s C300 that sold closer to $15K.

The FS7 was updated a few years later with the FS7 II. The model was exactly the same, specs-wise, but had the addition of the FS5’s Variable ND filter system. Sony also created a new locking E-Mount to deal with the hefty lenses shooters were pairing with the camera. The mirrorless, small flange distance E mount lent itself well to adapting — and the smart cropping modes for the 4K sensor meant that you could use pretty much any lens you could get your hands on. 

The FS7 was, at the time, a powerhouse of specs. Full DCI 4K up to 60fps, HD up to 180fps – a RAW back for 12bit RAW up to 240fps at HD. The camera was scalable, somewhat modular, and fit on pretty much anyone’s shoulder out of the box – no need for third party shoulder pads and accessories. 

The interesting piece of this story is that even in today’s camera landscape, the FS7 II is still an extremely capable camera at its price point. It’s still more powerful than the C300II, having no issues with crop and high frame rates, and is in line with great color options in Slog3. So, what could they improve on? 

That brings us to today, the Fall of 2019 — 5 years since the FS7’s release. The industry has been waiting patiently for a true update to the FS7, and an FS7 III had been rumored for years. In September, Sony announced the PXW-FX9 – something much more than a small update to the line, and, in fact, a whole new model with something very different to bring to the table, all while keeping what worked with the FS7 in mind. 

Just as the original FS7 borrowed some DNA from it’s older brothers, the FX9 is no different. Sony’s new flagship VENICE camera has made some serious waves in the industry, offering not only an amazing full frame 6K image — but a new color science that has DP’s second guessing their ARRI and RED cameras. This is a huge step for Sony. As a colorist, I hear the “it’s an ok camera but it has that Sony video look” quite a bit — a claim I find entirely foolish. The offering of a true wide gamut and log gamma mean that the camera looks however you want it to — and if it looks too “video-y,” then you’re doing it wrong. That point aside, the VENICE is beautiful. The new color, paired with the full-frame look, is something to behold.

And that’s where the FX9 comes from, borrowing the new color science and sporting a brand new 6K imager. Now, that doesn’t mean it can record full 6K like it’s older sibling (currently), but what it does mean is that it creates a wonderfully deep image from the 6K to 4K debayer. If you know anything about sensors, you know that you don’t necessarily want to shoot the native resolution of a CMOS sensor – ideally you want a larger resolution to debayer a better image from. This is how the original C300 made its HD image look so nice, even though it had a 4K sensor. The C300II uses a similar 4K sensor to shoot 4K, and it really doesn’t shine as brightly as it should for that reason.

The FX9 has an entirely new body, and while it’s price point is somewhat higher than the original FS7 – I think the extra costs have been put in the right places. It’s more rugged, built tougher, and looks amazing. Using the same media as the FS7, XQD (now called CFexpress and being widely adopted by plenty of other manufacturers) means one doesn’t have to worry about corrupt cards and all the problems that come with CFast2.0 — a media format I’d describe as straight garbage.

The FX9 still has the option for an external RAW back, just like the original XDCA unit, but this time it’s pushing out 16Bit RAW. 

Preorders are available now, with it due to ship in December 2019. We’re pretty confident that this camera is going to be THE camera for mid-tier cinema uses. Commercial, doc, streaming, even TV – all in that glorious full frame field of view. Look for an update once ours arrive!

-Alex Enman, Engineer

Posted on

Go RED This November with 25% Off RED Digital Cinema Cameras

November is all about RED! Rent our RED Digital Cinema Cameras at 25% off all month long! Contact Rentals by email or call 800-rule-com for details and to book your rental. Click here for the flyer.

RED DSMC2 Helium 8K Digital Cinema Camera

Powered by the HELIUM 8K S35 sensor, this camera is capable of shooting 8K Full Format at up to 60fp. RENT: $975/day LESS 25%

 

 

RED Gemini 5K Digital Cinema Camera 

Featuring a dual sensitivity rating, the Gemini produces a clean high ISO image. RENT: $900/day LESS 25%

 

 

RED Weapon 8K S35 Digital Cinema Camera

Capable of shooting motion and stills in 8K 2.4:1 at up to 75fps, or 8K Full Format at 60fps. RENT: $975 LESS 25%

 

 

RED Raven Dragon Digital Cinema Camera

Captures high-resolution motion and stills in 4.5K Full Format at up to 120fps or 2K Full Format at up to 240fps. RENT: $495/day LESS 25%

Posted on

Spots Available! Hands-on Internship for Spring Semester

CALLING ALL STUDENTS! Join Rule Boston Camera for our Spring Semester Internship starting in January and ending in April for 2 days a week of high-level training and hands-on access to the latest film and video equipment and technology.  You’ll learn the basics from our team in the Quality Control Department with exposure to the in’s and out’s of Rentals and Engineering along with demos of the latest and most popular gear from our tech team.

P

Interested? Send resumes to Dylan Law at law@rule.com. This is an unpaid internship.

Click here to see our Interns in action.

Posted on

Get Paneled with 25% Off Select LED Panel Lighting in October

Choose from a variety of compact, ultra-bright and high-quality LED lighting panels at 25% off all month long! Contact Rentals by email or call 800-rule-com.

ARRI SkyPanel S60-C LED        $257 less 25%

Litepanels Gemini 2×1 Soft Light $195 less 25%

LiteGear LiteMat+ Plus 8 LED Kit $175 less 25%

LiteGear LiteMat+ Plus 4 LED Kit $125 less 25%

Posted on

Analog Is Alive and Well with the ARRICAM ST

Despite popular belief, analog acquisition is alive and well in 2019.

The continual re-birth of photochemical filmmaking has given us at Rule the great joy of keeping our film cameras on hand for new generations to discover. After a long pause we are finally able to bring a new (to us) film camera into our offerings.

The ARRICAM ST (short for Studio) is the flagship culmination of ARRI’s long history in building beautiful motion picture cameras — with the ST combining features from the ARRI 535B and the Austrian Moviecam Compact into one elegant camera system. It is a whisper quiet film camera (under 20dB) with all the bells and whistles one would expect from a studio camera.

One of my favorite features of this particular ARRICAM ST is that it has a 3 perforation Super 35mm movement. This allows you to frame for 1.78, 1.85, and 2.39 while using 25% less film. Less film means longer takes on the same 400′ and 1000′ loads as well as a significant cost savings in processing, prep, and scanning of your film. While not as aggressive a savings as shooting 2 perf, 3 perf affords you more flexibility for choice of aspect ratio and still leaves you some wiggle room for reframing when shooting for a 2.39 aspect ratio.

My second favorite feature is the programmable speed control box on the side of the camera. By working in conjunction with the electronically controlled spinning mirror shutter, the speed control box can generate speed ramps from anywhere within 1-60fps at the push of a button. The ability to “slow time on a dime” is something incredibly special when imaged on film. Cue up your favorite Wes Anderson film for reference.

I’m admittedly quite personally biased to shooting film. While many will find good reasons to disagree, I feel that nothing quite matches the characteristic response of a spinning mirror exposing emulsion. Film after all has the built-in “film look” that many of us try to desperately mimic with every digital cinema camera that races down the track. Film negative has unparalleled highlight handling, smooth motion cadence, and fine organic texture. Film is even more forgiving to focus pulls.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience the guilty pleasure of shooting film, perhaps the ARRICAM ST can be the muse for your next project and your first photochemical romance.

-Adam Van Voorhis, Equipment Manager