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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

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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%

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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

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The Arrival of the Alexa

The Alexa, the much-anticipated new digital cinema camera from ARRI, arrived last Monday in its factory-fresh box.  The Rule Boston Camera staff was obviously ecstatic to get their hands on the camera after various ARRI factory delays postponed its arrival.  Within its first few hours at our shop (Arri Unboxing), the Alexa was booked on its first rental — a week-long commercial job.  Our Alexa made its first public debut at the PBS Quality Workshop at WGBH on November 4th, where the camera was eagerly inspected by the many who attended. From a rental house perspective, the ARRI Alexa is a welcome tool in the transition from the ease and image quality of film-based acquisition to the current needs of digital cinema.  The camera will be an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative to both the RED and the numerous HDSLR systems currently being used in productions. We’ll be hosting an upcoming Learning Lab dedicated to the features of the new camera, but in the meantime call or drop by with questions or to catch a glimpse of the Alexa. Brian Malcolm, General Manager

Arri's Guenter Noesner provides an overview of the Alexa