Posted on

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.

img_6321

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.

img_6315

Get in touch with any questions. Thanks.

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

Posted on

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!

freefly-movi-pro-handheld-bundle-p4167-6568_image

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

Posted on

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.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-11-38-52-am

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

Posted on

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.

14188506_10153690766587187_7986189164664326298_o

 

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

Sound Advice Tour Recap

The Sound Advice Tour ended its tour in Boston MA and I was lucky enough to go and check it out. Being an audio guy I was really curious how he was going to explain and teach us things about audio for video. In the class there were way more video people than audio people, with all different levels of experience. He first started by showing us clips of different movies he has done and showed us how much the audio impacts the movie as a whole and the slightest sound can change the whole setting. I was really impressed with how much work is really done for a feature length film and by the end you can end up with over hundreds of tracks for foley, music and sound effects. Once we got more into the lecture he talked about how to record foley and what types of microphones to use in certain situations. For example if you are using a Sennheiser MKH 8060 out in the field to record your audio and you need to do ADR in the studio then you should use the exact same microphone in the studio so it has the same characteristics. He showed us a cool technique that when using an omni-directional microphone with a group of people walking and talking in circles around the microphone it creates a cool effect to where it seems like there are way more people in the setting than there actually is. This really blew my mind away, “DOPE”. We did talk a lot about equalization and cleaning up your audio in post. Cleaning up your audio really makes the voice stand out and removing unwanted noise in the background can really make a difference. The thing I was most excited about was learning how to get rid of that unwanted noise that comes from having a microphone on a boom pole. I always kind of knew how to get rid of it but the way he showed us really blew my mind and really helped me out for my future projects. If you don’t have the software called RX4 by iZotope and you are doing audio for videos then I highly recommend you get this. This software’s algorithm is highly advanced and can do just about anything from de-noising, to a simple EQ clean up and even de-reverbing! “WHAT?!?!” Yeah this software can really do it all and will make your films stand out from the rest of them. I went home and bought it that same day because I was so amazed by it. We also learned the three aspects of music that can really help your film because you do not want some horror type music in an epic fight scene it just doesn’t make sense. First you have your rhythm, your fight or flight. Second is melody, the thematic recall. Third you have the harmony, the emotional core of music. Most of the time there are two of these happening at a given time. Another good tip for everyone out there bad foley is better than no foley even if it is recorded on your iPhone still use it, it will help you out in the end. But remember mix it low and give it some EQ because those couple of steps are better heard low than not being there at all. After the whole class I learned a lot and recommend anyone check out Mark Edward Lewis’s class if you get a chance he really explains everything in depth and he really engages the audience. -Scott Pierce, Quality Control Technician, pierce@rule.com

Posted on

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