Posted on

C500 MK II Cinema Camera – Leading the Full-Frame Charge!

It’s here! The new Canon C500 MK II, the long anticipated sequel to the C500 and (current) successor to the ever popular C300 MK II. This time, it’s Full Frame! Canon fans have been waiting a long time for this update to the Cine series, so how does it stack up?

Right off the bat, the C500 II is leading the charge into the Full-Frame Cinema Camera landscape. This camera offers Full-Frame 5.9K RAW recording internally to the new CF Express media. Additionally, it will record 4K S35 RAW, alongside 4K S35 and 4K Full Frame XF-AVC. Did I mention it shoots 4K? It shoots a lot of 4K. 

For high-speed and XF-AVC modes, there is a crop employed, depending on your settings. Below, I’ve outlined the main differences, crop-wise, between RAW and XF-AVC formats. My findings have it at about a 10% crop between modes. 

Color-wise, the C500 II brings the same tried-and-true Canon color science, with options for Canon LOG2 and LOG3, as well as the same methods for adjusting between color profiles and matrices. I’m still partial to “Production Camera.” The color is very Canon-like, with dependable skin tones and great highlight retention. Canon’s biggest advantage was always its built-in color science and this is no different. 

For high-speed options, you’ve got 60fps at 5.9K RAW and 4K formats — and up to 120fps for the 2K cropped modes — similar to the C300 II. Canon cameras have traditionally struggled with high-speed options, and it would have been nice to see some better, non-cropped options in the C500 II, but it’s also no huge shock that there aren’t any.

The new camera also includes a few new expansion units — the most useful of which adds an additional 2 XLR ports, V-mount power options, and lens control. It builds out nicely, and it doesn’t add too much bulk to the body — but it adds the increased real estate to throw it on a shoulder more comfortably — aided by the counter weight of a larger battery. Large batteries may be the way to go with this one, as the camera sure does use a lot of power. Nothing unexpected, though, as we’re seeing all the new full-frame cameras slurp down batteries without a care in the world. Price of admission, it would seem.

The new LCD screen and menu layout are a welcome change from the C300 II, and it feels right at home with C200 users. A single cable connects the screen to the front of the camera, ditching the audio bundled to LCD that has been an issue with the previous cameras. Overall, the build quality is rugged, and if past cinema cameras are any indication, people will be putting that to the test. 

For outputs, we’ve got a 4K HDMI, a Monitor SDI out, and a 12G 4K SDI out, in addition to the video terminal for the LCD/EVF. One small issue is that when recording in 4K formats, the SDI out is stuck to outputting 4K. Most wireless transmitters and on-board monitors don’t accept a 12G 4K image, limiting users to using the Monitor Out for on-camera routing. Not a huge issue, but not having the ability to spit out a clean and overlay/LUT signal at the same time to two places will get on the nerves of the DIT. I expect this will be addressed in a future firmware update. 

Using the camera is easy, as one would expect from Canon. While the menu system is a lot longer than with previous Canon cameras, it’s still as easy as ever to find what you’re looking for. 

Overall, we expect this camera will meet the needs of the full-frame minded shooter, with plenty of S35 modes as well. While the XF-AVC looks great, it’s the Canon Raw that really sings. And while it’s compressed, it’s still a pretty hefty workflow at around 32 minutes per 512GB card. It’s helpful that this camera can occupy both higher budget shoots with RAW workflows, and more traditional C300 II style shooting with XF-AVC — looking great in either scenario.  Reach out to Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com (800-785-3266) to take it for a spin. Canon’s Ryan Snyder and Paul Hawxhurst will be here on March 18th from 10am-12n for a hands-on overview. Click here to RSVP. It’s FREE!

-Alex Enman, Engineer

Posted on

Go Full-Frame in February with 25% Off

Feel the love in February! Get 25% Off Our Full-Frame Digital Cinema Cameras + Lenses all-month-long!

ARRI ALEXA Mini LF $1,600/day less 25%  •  Canon C500 MK II $550/day less 25%    Sony VENICE $1,300/day less 25%    Sony FX9 $425/day less 25%

 

Rehoused Leica R Primes in 19mm24mm28mm35mm, 50mm60mm Macro90mm, 135mm $85/day (each) less 25%

Zeiss Supreme Primes in 21mm, 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, 65mm, 85mm, 100mm $200/day (each) less 25% 

Zeiss 28-80mm PL/EF Compact Zoom $350/day less 25% 

Zeiss 70-200 PL/EF Compact Zoom $350/day less 25%

Zeiss Otus Primes in 28mm, 55mm, 85mm $75/day less 25%

Sigma Cine PL/EF Primes in 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm T1.5 and 14mm, 135mm T2.0 $70-85/day (each) less 25%  

Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom Call for Rate less 25%   Angenieux EZ-1 30-90mm / 22-60mm Zoom $250/day less 25% •  Angenieux EZ-2 15-40mm / 45-135mm Zoom $250/day less 25%

Capture full-frame resolution for more detail and exceptional image quality when you rent our full-frame digital cinema cameras and lenses at 25% off! Reach out to Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com.

How do the Full-Frame Lenses compare? Click here to watch our lens test, shot with the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF and comparing the Rehoused Leica R, Zeiss Supreme Prime, and Sigma Cine Prime.

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 Sony FX9 is HERE + We’re EXCITED!

UPDATE: The Sony PXW-FX9 is now available to Rent! This blog post was written before its arrival, but we’re no less excited! Please, read on to learn why and reach out to Rentals to book by email or phone (800-rule-com).

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

Rent the Sony VENICE Digital Cinema Camera at 25% off in July

Rent the Sony VENICE Digital Cinema Camera at 25% off in July! Each month, we offer a special rental rate on equipment we think you’ll love. This month, we’re offering the Sony VENICE at 25% off the regular rate of $1,300.

The VENICE is equipped with a newly developed, full-frame image sensor, phenomenal color science, and a user-friendly design with clear and simple menu navigation. With the wide latitude and gamut recorded by the VENICE, freedom of expression is significantly expanded in grading and based on established workflow. Click here for product page and rental rate.

Contact RENTALS by email or phone at 800-rule-com for availability, details, and to book.

Posted on

Highlights from 2018 Cine Gear Expo Atlanta

RBC’s Brian Malcolm and Dylan Law journeyed to Pinewood Atlanta Studios for the first Cine Gear Expo in Atlanta.  For gearheads like us who have checked-in at Cine Gear’s annual expo on the West Coast, this was a bit closer to home.

What do we love about both Cine Gear Expo events? You get access to a lot of manufacturers along with inside knowledge behind the latest camera and lighting equipment and accessories for film, video, and digital media makers. You also have lots of conversations with the makers — DP’s and AC’s who are or will be using the gear.  This combination, along with hands-on access and demos, goes a long way in determining what makes sense for our rental customers, and, eventually, what we will add to our rental inventory.

Below is a quick look at the gear and technology that made an impression. Click here to follow Rule Boston Camera on Instagram and check out Dylan’s Instagram takeover for #2018CineGearExpoATL.

Highlights from 2018 Cine Gear Expo Atlanta:

• The continuing synergism between the two VITEC companies, SmallHD and Teradek, who are hard at work developing new wireless monitor products. 

• The VITEC group via Teradek is also integrating RT Motion wireless focus into the line-up with a promising new wireless focus system.

Lindsey Optics has an awesome line of tray mounted close up filters which will become a “must have” for any rental house.

• LED tubes continue to crowd out all other lighting at trade shows. Quasar continues to dominate the offerings with price and quality, while the new Freestyle tubes from Kino Flo introduce a ballast-based RGB alternative. And, finally, Digital Sputnik seems about to release their very versatile RGB tube.

LiteGear is stepping up to the RGB world with their versatile new LiteMat Spectrum series.

Canon had their new mirrorless R camera, featuring a new line up of high quality RF lenses. It’s very likely that the RF mount will show up on future pro digital cinema cameras.

• Shout out to our pals at PC&E Atlanta for a tour of their rental facility and their awesome party.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to us at answers@rule.com. And follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Posted on

Now Taking Orders for the Canon EOS C200 Digital Cinema Camera

Coming Soon to Rentals and Now Taking orders for Sales! The Canon EOS C200 Digital Cinema Camera is the latest “ready-to-go” production camera from Canon that delivers outstanding image quality, performance and versatility, making it ideal for film, documentary and television production, corporate and event photography, and newsgathering.

Features include:

• 8.85 Megapixel Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor that supports 4K (DCI) recording with a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels

• Fully compatible with new and existing Canon EF-Mount lenses

• Built-in Viewfinder with LCD Touch Panel, Camera Grip and Handle Unit

• Dual DiG!C DV 6 Image Processors

• Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology

• Internal 4K RAW Recording with New Cinema RAW Light

• Internal 4K UHD and Full HD Recording in MP4

• Full HD 120P / 100P Slow Motion Recording

• Professional Workflow

• HDR Viewing

• ACES 1.0 Support

• Wide Range of Connectivity Options

Sales is taking orders. Contact sales@rule.com or 800-rule-com for details. We’ll be adding the C200 to our Rental inventory as soon as it’s available. Stay tuned for more details.

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

Canon C300 Pub Night With Larry Thorpe

I would like to thank all of those who joined us for Canon’s C300 event last night.  It was very well attended with a record 150 guests at our popular Pub Night series.  It was great to see a crowd of seasoned professionals eager to learn about the exciting new cinema camera offered by Canon.  As always, the night began with an excellent selection of  pizza and beer, but the floor was quickly handed over to Canon’s Larry Thorpe, an industry veteran who is one of the masterminds behind the development of the C300.  He was, by far, the best candidate to give the presentation.  He led the audience through many exciting specifications on the camera including its new Super 35mm sensor designed from the ground up with its native 850 iso sensitivity.  For a great list of specs on the camera you can visit Canon’s EOS web page.  Larry also showed various Canon-funded projects that were commissioned to highlight the range and resolution of the new camera.  The projects clearly show that the C300 promises to be a very important cinematic tool for filmmakers. We had four C300s on display (two with EF mounts and two with PL mounts) with one set-up to record Larry’s presentation.  Afterward, all hands were on the demo C300 models which were configured in various handheld and studio setups.  It was a great opportunity for everyone to push buttons, prod accessories, focus lenses and ask questions. Although the cameras will be returning to Canon, we expect to have another unit in-house soon for those of you who may have missed the event. We are actively working with Canon to finalize a dealership agreement for the C300 which would place us in a newly-formed Canon group titled “Professional Production System Dealers”. The group was formed not only to support the C300 but also to reinforce Canon’s commitment to produce future cinema cameras and lenses.  I am very excited about our developing relationship with Canon and all that it promises to bring to our clients.  I will, of course, keep you posted. We should have pricing and delivery info by January 17th.  If you are thinking about purchasing a C300 please consider talking to us first.  We are here to support you. Brian Malcolm, General Manager, malcolm@rule.com