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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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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.

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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%

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Rent the Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom Lens at 25% Off in June

The best just got better! Rent the Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom lens at 25% off all-month-long!

The Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom Lens, with new optical and mechanical design, delivers unparalleled optical performance and mechanical reliability.  

Angenieux’s Interchangeable Rear Optics technology allows for the lens to be switched between 3 modes of coverage: Super 35mm, Ultra 35mm, and, coming soon, Full Frame/VistaVision.

Features include improved optical and mechanical design, no ramping, minimal breathing, superior optical characteristics, 321 degree focus ring with over 70 marks, and top carry handle. Click here to read Alex Enman’s blog post on this “multi-format monster”. 

Rent it for 25% off the regular rental rate of $695/day in June! Contact Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com for details, including multi-day rates.
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Meet the Flexible + Foldable Aladdin Fabric-Lite 350W

The Aladdin Fabric-Lite 350W is our newest LED 3×3 panel that can be folded and flexed.  I’ve found that the best part about this light is its flexibility — because it’s made of fabric, it can easily be folded and packed into a backpack. This makes it easy to take pretty much anywhere.

The Fabric-Lite  can be mounted onto its frame with a diffuser and grid, or you can simply hang it wherever you need it. There are literally NO restrictions for where this light can go…

I took the Fabric-Lite on a recent shoot to NYC, and it was the perfect choice. I folded and packed it away in my camera bag for traveling, and when it came time to use it, I tied it up high around a pillar to use as a fill light.

Another fantastic feature about this light is that you are not restricted to AC power. It comes equipped with two gold mount plates for your battery power needs, which makes it easy to use. The light has a color temperature range of 2900 to 6200k with a CRI of 97.

Interested in renting the Aladdin Fabric-Lite 350W? Contact Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com.

Alex Lopez, Quality Control Technician

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Holiday Hours: Closed 12/31 and 1/1

We will be closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, December 31st and January 1st to ring in the new year with family and friends. Please reach out to us at our main number (617-277-2200) with any emergencies. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your business in 2018 and for allowing us to support every type of production — from passion projects to feature films — we love our job and we love supporting you in yours!

We’ll be back on Wednesday, January 2nd. Happy New Year and cheers to 2019!

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POSITION FILLED – Seeking Dynamic, Production-Savvy Rental Agent

This position has been filled. Thanks to all who applied!

Rule Boston Camera is looking for a dynamic, production-savvy person to join our rental team — perfect candidates should be comfortable talking with our clients about the latest cutting-edge cinematography equipment.

Our rental agents form long-term relationships with our clients who are actively producing some of the best content here in New England and around the world.

If production and camera technology are your passions, please send a resume and letter of interest to General Manager, Brian Malcolm – malcolm@rule.com.

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Fully-Equipped Services: Monitor Calibrations, Custom Training, Shared Storage and More

You may only know us as a production equipment rental house. What you may not know is that we are a fully-equipped and knowledgable service house, too. Whether you are looking for monitor calibrations, custom training sessions, consultation, equipment maintenance, or shared storage check-ups and improvements, we’ve got your back! All services are available on an a la carte basis, however, we also offer one of the best-valued service programs in the industry today. Rule+ enables you to access all of our services whenever you need them.

What is Rule+ and What are the Benefits?

 

Rule+, our customized pre-paid service spending program, is built to provide the highest level of assurance to agencies, in-house and external production companies, owner-operators, and post-production houses. Available in four service levels — Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum — Ruleensures that you are able to extract the maximum value from your gear with minimum hassle.  Not only does each service level enable you to use any of your pre-paid credit against any of our services at a generous discount, we also throw-in many value-added incentives such as periodic check-ups, priority tech support, FREE monitor calibrations, rental credits, and FREE local delivery for our Platinum clients.

“EXPERT HELP FOR CONSISTENT OUTPUT!”

Who uses Rule+? 

Every organization, large or small, can take advantage of Rule+ benefits as any of our plans can be customized to suit any company size. Our current clients include leading advertising agencies, leading local and ivy league academic institutions, and in-house agencies with global brand organizations, as well as Boston’s premiere sports teams.

Justin Peterson, Director, Digital Content Production at the Boston Celtics explains:

“Expert help for consistent output! As we grew and began mixing and matching cameras and monitors, we noticed inconsistencies. Some monitors ran red, while others ran blue. Our Sony ENG and Canon C-line cameras didn’t mesh well. Rule+ allowed us to get expert help in painting our cameras, and properly calibrating our monitors for consistency. We no longer question who’s monitor is the right color. Rule+ was an easy way for us to ensure we had the necessary resources included in our budget so we could focus on our job; producing high quality content”. 

 

Contact us today to see which Rule+ plan best suits your needs!

Dan Gruenpeter, Business Development Manager
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Quasar LED Lighting Tools to Rent or Buy

Quasar: one of over a thousand known extragalactic objects, starlike in appearance and having spectra with characteristically large redshifts, that are thought to be the most distant and most luminous objects in the universe.

Unfortunately, we don’t have “the most luminous objects in the universe” in our inventory but we do have a fleet of Quasar Science products available to rent and buy. Quasar offers a wide variety of LED lighting tools and many of them can be found right here at Rule Boston Camera.

Low profile, self ballasted, dimmer compatible, energy efficient, 95+ CRI, flicker free, 25,000 hour lifetime, and much more are just a few of the many features in the Quasar line-up of products.

We encourage you to stop by the shop, and check out these lights for yourself. We’ve got a bunch of new fixtures on the horizon for both rentals and sales in addition to what’s already in our rental inventory (Crossfade LED Kit, Kino Quasar 4ft/4 Bank Fixture) and in our Production Outfitters Expendables Store.

Another resource is our IN THE SHOWROOM video on the A-LED and Q-LED Crossfade lighting tools. Click here to watch, and reach out with questions.

Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech