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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

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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

 

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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.

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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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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

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The ALEXA Mini Goes Full Frame with the LF

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a camera nerd — and if you’re a camera nerd, you’ve probably heard of this company called ARRI. They’re from Germany. They’ve been around for like, 100 years or so. Us camera nerds know that when ARRI announces a new camera, it’s a big deal. They make cameras that have an enormous impact on how our industry operates — and the new Alexa Mini LF is no different.

Full frame video has been increasing in popularity over the years — it’s hard to say where it started to pick up steam, but the Canon C700 Full Frame and RED Monstro Vista Vision are certainly the big cameras that hit the market first — followed closely by the Sony VENICE and ALEXA LF. We knew these cameras were coming, as lens manufacturers had been posturing for a full frame cinema option for years. 

When ARRI released the ALEXA LF, the baby brother of the large format ALEXA 65, we knew that full frame was an official part of cinema. While the ALEXA LF is a wonder of engineering, it is still packaged in the heavy and bulky ALEXA-style body. Great for large scale shoots and multiple operators, but not so great for the everyday indie or commercial setups. This is where the ALEXA Mini has found its footing, with its small scale lending itself well to gimbals, drones, and operators of every stature with its democratizing 5lb body.

Enter: The ALEXA Mini LF. The full frame, 4.5K capable, 5.7lb ALEXA. When going through the specs, one can find themselves wanting to use words like “full frame monster” and “game changer” — or other buzzword camera nerd affectations. There is no need. It’s an ARRI ALEXA Mini LF. Enough said.

The Mini LF can do all the things it’s family members can – but with some added resolutions. Below, a list of the various options for SUP 6.0:

 

The camera’s size has also remained mostly unchanged, with a few updates on body design to accommodate the newer Codex Media.

 

 

Speaking of media, ARRI has chosen to abandon the CFast format (thankfully) and has moved to the newer Codex Compact Drives. Some will say this media choice is expensive – and that’s because it is! Very much so. Coming in right around $2,400 bucks per 1TB card, they’re up there, but no more so than any other professional recording media. Have you met my friend, the RED Mini Mag? Or how about the Sony AXSM cards? Those run over $4,500 per TB!

ARRI is being aggressive with its promotion for this camera, same as the ALEXA LF — listing it’s dynamic range as higher than “any production camera.” A bold claim, but anyone who’s shot with these cameras can attest to its authenticity – these are the closest to film DR you’re going to get. 

ARRI has also chosen to remain with their Alev III sensor, assuring that the same ARRI Color Science that has won so many awards over the years is maintained at their higher resolutions. Other updates include higher usable sensitivity with lower noise, new internal ND filters, improved timecode and audio connectivity, two built-in microphones, and a brand spanking new Viewfinder – the MVF-2 HD OLED EVF. 

This new model has a 4” flip out monitor, and a newer flexible cable to cut down on wear and tear. The camera is packed full of small improvements which really proves that ARRI listens to their users and is always tweaking their designs to best serve their customers. It gives every camera they make a sense of true professionalism. 

The big draw, of course, is the full frame image. There’s something I’ve always loved about the field of view you get when shooting full frame — there’s just something about it. Perhaps it comes from years of taking still photos, or maybe my early career shooting with the 5D (MK II, so you know I’ve got that OG DSLR street cred. Where my AF100 folks at?) Regardless of why, the full frame immersion paired with the ARRI look is a match made in heaven. I very much look forward to seeing some of the amazing films and content produced with this camera — it’s a game changer, and a full frame monster.

Missed the ARRI ALEXA LF and Mini LF along with Signature Primes and accessories at our September Pub Night?  Click here for event photos.

– Alex Enman, Engineer

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Optical Support Jackal Rickshaw is the Perfect Tool

Ahhh… dreams do come true! The Jackal by Optical Support is the perfect tool for our clients and our local production market. From the easy travel case to the quick adjusting wheel base, the Jackal has it all and more.

Rickshaws have been on film sets for many years now and come in all shapes and sizes. We do a large amount of Flowcine Black Arm work at the shop, and the team at Optical Support jumped on the opportunity to help us combine both worlds.

We are very excited for our clients to take the Jackal for a spin. It’s ready for any Handheld, Easyrig, MoVI, Ronin, Steadicam, and Black Arm jobs you may have. And, if you rent the Jackal in September, you’ll get 25% off the regular rate. Click here to learn more or contact rentals@rule.com or 800-rule-com.

-Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech

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The New Feature-Rich Cinevate Horizen Sliders

(UPDATE! Rent a variety of our Sliders + Jibs — including the Cinevate Sliders — at 25% in March! Click here for details.)

You cannot reinvent the wheel, but Cinevate tried to do just that with the new Horizen Slider series. Cinevate states “We combined your feedback with our 13 years of manufacturing expertise to create our most intensively designed product, ever.”

At first I was skeptical because what can you really modify on a slider to make that much of a drastic change? I soon found out — a lot. The major feature that separates this slider from any other is the newly designed adjustable resistance control. This system actually runs off of a magnet which creates a completely silent, fluidic operation.

When first using the Horizen I noticed this right away. My biggest problem with sliders is adjusting the tension because you can never get it just right. The camera never seems to glide seamlessly unless you are controlling the slider with a motion controller, which can be easily integrated when using this slider. Since the resistance control is now magnetic, you will never have to deal with this problem again.

Besides being the best feeling slider I have used, the Horizen comes with a whole bunch of other awesome features. It natively supports both 100mm and 75mm ball heads. It also has multiple ways to mount it, whether it be on a tripod with its new center mount or with two stands on both sides. If you want to ditch the stands and go lightweight, there are quick-stow, all-terrain legs that come attached with it. This slider is also filled with a ton of mounting options for accessories like monitors.

With a payload of 100 pounds and the option of 3 or 5 feet, the Cinevate Horizen slider is ready for whatever your situation may call for. Click here for product details on the 3-foot slider and here for the 5-foot slider — both are available to rent. See what you think and let us know.

-Alex Lopez, Quality Control Technician

 

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LiteMat+ Plus 8: Large, Soft, and Light

LiteGear has taken a stronghold in our rental inventory and the LiteMat+ Plus 8 is a great new option for any job. LiteGear stands out with their low-profile design and incredibly soft and color-accurate light. Mounting their products is a dream come true for any DP/gaffer/grip. The LiteMat+ Plus 8 has all these features and packs a serious punch when it comes to output.

The form factor of this light makes for a great, large source and minimizes the amount of lights you may need for your setup. I had a chance to work with the +8 the other day and it was the perfect fixture for the job. It was as easy as putting on the SnapGrid and tossing the light up into the ceiling.

If you’re a fan of LiteGear or interested in trying a new light with a large source — this is the one!

Dylan Law, QC/Logistics & MoVI Tech
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Meet the Extraordinary Zeiss Otus Lenses

What does the perfect lens look like? Is there even such a thing? We have a lot of philosophical lens conversations here at Rule. We’ve always had an affinity for vintage glass, and all the gritty imperfections that come with them. There are, however, plenty of shooting scenarios where a vintage look isn’t appropriate. Those modern, cutting edge, sharp-as-a-tack shoots. We’ve always had sharp glass, but the Zeiss Otus Primes (avail in 28mm, 55mm, 85mm) are a cut above.

As we work within the film and photography world when it comes to glass, there has always been a clear division between the two. Lenses that were very sharp, but not suited for on set use. Lenses that were geared and friendly for all our film accessories, but weren’t really that crisp — and if they could be both, they were pretty pricey. In this way, the Zeiss Otus series is a bridge between worlds. An expensive stills lens, and an affordable cine lens. Whichever way you decide to group them, the fact of the matter remains – this is extraordinary glass. 

The Zeiss Otus series was designed over a 3-year period, deep in the underground Zeiss bunker — somewhere, I assume, in the Alps. Zeiss made one thing clear upon announcing their new “affordable” lenses — they would not be compromising quality, in any regard. Did you know there are 6 elements in the construction of these lenses that are more valuable than gold? Vibranium unconfirmed. The body is a beautiful machined metal, and the overall feeling one has when shooting with them is a profound sense of modernity. These are the lenses of right now, and they’re great. 

Using these, I’ve found myself saying things like “Wow, the GH5 looks great!” “Wow, this FS7 looks great!” It took a second to realize that this lens is just a very nice addition to any camera. We can get into the weeds all day long about sensors, debayer patterns, relative sharpness, crispening — but at the end of the day, it comes down to the thing you put on the front of the camera. They are, on one hand, larger than every stills lens I’ve ever used or even heard of, which can be a bit of a bummer for compact shooters. They are no bigger than a Canon 24-70, though, and the weight trade-off is certainly warranted. Speed is also a consideration, as our 28mm, 55mm, and 85mm are all f1.4. While some lenses can achieve an f1.2, I find that to be an aperture I seldom use. I’ll trade a stop for the improved performance, no questions asked. 

In addition to freakish clarity, the Otus primes handle chromatic aberration with ease. Edges I found ringed with purple with my Canon L series glass were made pure and clean with the Otus. Even the edges of frame are well-defined and are not only very sharp, but match the sharpness of the entire frame. They are extremely reliable in their projected image, and certainly deliver on the promise Zeiss made — they’re the new standard. 

For me, I’m finding them to perform as a budget-friendly option to the Zeiss Supremes – and that’s an enormous credential to boast. So, if you’re looking for the Lens of The Future (or, perhaps, today), give rentals a call (or click here to email), and come check these things out!

– Alex Enman, Engineer

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SL1 Mix + Mini Mix LED’s: High-Color Performance, Advanced Technology, Easy-to-Use

Durability, high-color performance, ease-of-use, advanced technology, and portability are all features that I look for when bringing new lights into our rental pool.  The SL1 Mix and the Mini Mix from DMG Lumiere provide all of the above, and make them a perfect fit for our rental clients.

Having the complete line-up of Rosco Gels at your fingertips is one of the many features of both the SL1 Mix and Mini Mix. While this isn’t new in the world of LED lighting, it’s nice to see these options integrated by many manufacturers.

Both fixtures can be powered by batteries, and this is, hands-down, my favorite feature. Production is a fast and furious business, so the ability to quickly power a fixture via battery is crucial!

Last but not least is the DMG Lumiere app that controls both of these units. Making your own colors, matching sources, dimming, and creating your own lighting libraries are just a few of the benefits that this app offers its users.

Both units are available to rent at Rule Boston Camera. Take either or both for a test run with our 25% discount in May. Click here to email rentals or call 800-rule-com.

-Dylan Law, QC/Logistics and MoVI Tech

 

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Gear up at 25% Off RED Digital Cinema Cameras in April

All-month-long, we’re offering a 25% discount on your favorite RED Digital Cinema Camera. Rent the Epic-W Helium, Gemini, or Weapon with RED Media at 25% off through April 30th.

RED Epic-W Helium 8K Digital Cinema Camera 

Powered by the HELIUM 8K S35 sensor, the RED EPIC-W is capable of shooting  8K Full Format at up to 30fps.

RED Gemini 5K Digital Cinema Camera

Featuring a dual sensitivity rating, the Gemini produces a clean high ISO image.

 

RED Weapon 8K S35

Capable of shooting motion and stills in 8K 2.4:1 at up to 75fps, or 8K Full Format at 60fps.

Contact Rentals by email or phone at 617-277-2200 (800-rule-com) to schedule your discounted RED Rental Rate in April!

You can also REGISTER FOR REDucation Boston, a 3-day workshop taught by AbelCine’s Director of Education, Jeff Lee, here at Rule Boston Camera over the weekend of May 3rd-5th. Click here to learn more and register.

 

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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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Your Guide to Shared Storage Solutions

We understand our customers need to focus on creative content while simultaneously sharing, safeguarding, and coordinating volumes of original media. We apply expert knowledge and decades of experience in all aspects of media creation to help you build, maintain, and refine key tools and methods for your business and your craft.  See our guide below for the types of solutions and clientele who benefit from Shared Storage and Media Asset Management.

Are you looking for Shared Storage and Media Asset Management Solutions?

In mid-2018, Rule Boston Camera saw interesting opportunities in the Boston and New England market and decided to reshape our product range for shared storage solution and media asset management. By consolidating brands and streamlining our offerings, we were able to work collaboratively with manufacturers such as EditShare, Facilis, ProMAX, Quantum and Avid and their shared storage solution products, as well as Sony, CatDV and Axle along with their media asset management products. This allowed us to offer the best integrated solutions — enabling clients of any size to acquire, modify, distribute, repurpose and deliver their digital media assets efficiently and effectively.

Who are the clients and what are the industries that would benefit from Shared Storage/MAM solutions?

One of the great things about what we do is that we get to interact with a broad spectrum of content producers, from one-man shops to global conglomerates. What we’ve learned over the past decade is that, to one degree or another, all of our clients can benefit from some type of shared storage solution. Read on for sample case studies from some recent installations.

Company A – Large National Health Insurance Company:

As part of their in-house production strategy, they built-out 3 edit suites and a related server room. To complement this set up, we sold and installed a Facilis TerraBlock 24EX/16 – 128TB as their primary tier and Facilis TX16 TerraBlock Capacity Expansion – 128TB. We also supplied a 10GbE switch through Facilis enabling them to take advantage of 10GbE speeds along with a Middle Atlantic 4431 server rack to house the server. Additionally, they requested editing/post-production software which included Adobe, AE Scripts, Telestream, Red Giant, and Video Copilot. We also provided ancillary edit/post-production products such as TVLogic monitors, Genelec Speakers, Mackie Distributors, AJA 4K IO’s and Wacom Tablets, rounding out a turn-key experience for the client.

Company B – Local Premier Post-Production House:

One of our oldest clients presented us with a brief for 72TB of storage, upgrade to 10GbE speeds for 5 users and a reliable MAM program. We consulted with several of our shared storage partners, who in turn presented their solutions, with the client finally settling comfortably with an EditShare shared storage and MAM solution. We spec’d and installed an EditShare XStream EFS 200-72TB solution that included server, 5 seats of EditShare Flow MAM, 2 x File Ingests and 25 Ark Tape licenses. Additionally, we spec’d and installed a Netgear NG-XS728T 10GbE switch as well as 5 x ATTO ThunderLink NT 2102 10GbE with RJ45 adaptors for their users for 10GbE speeds.

Company C – Global Advertising Agency:

Another longtime client of ours, a large advertising agency, was looking to refresh their post-production department consisting of 4 edit suites and a new server room. The brief was clear, they required completely new future-proof technical capabilities, for which we needed to supply, integrate and install all the equipment  on an accelerated schedule. On the shared storage side, we worked with Facilis and spec’d an integrated solution that included a Facilis TerraBlock 24D – 192TB as the primary server that included 5 seats of their proprietary Fast Tracker MAM, a Facilis LTO7 LTFS Backup 2U 24-Slot Autoloader Kit dual tape drive, Archiware P5 Archive edition archiving/backup software, mLogic mTape LTO7 direct attached LTO data tape drive, Imagine PreRoll Post software, OWC 24TB 6-Drive HDD Storage, Middle Atlantic 3731 server rack, power solutions and a 10GbE RJ45 switch for high-speed connections. For edit/post-production equipment, we spec’d and installed (1 per suite) Apple iMac 27” 4K 10-core computers,  Flanders Scientific DM240 monitors, Flanders Scientific AM420 monitors, Tangent Element Bundle panels, JBL speakers, Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K IO’s, and, for software, we supplied and installed Adobe Creative Cloud, Maxon Cinema 4D, and DaVinci Resolve.

Who is the best contact to discuss my Shared Storage and Media Asset Management needs?

Whether you need to create, share, or store your digital assets, we are here to integrate and scale any solution to fit the needs of your business and your budget.

Our team is happy to help by starting with an assessment of your Shared Storage and Media Asset Management needs. Please contact us by email at sales@rule.com or by phone at 800-rule-com to get the conversation started.

-Dan Gruenpeter, Business Development Manager

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Stay Focussed with the Light Ranger 2

The demands on today’s focus puller are ever-increasing.  Extremely sharp, modern lenses, ultra-high resolution cameras and the expanding popularity of full-frame lensing and formats are challenging camera assistants everywhere.  In addition, productions are increasingly shot with higher page counts per day, leading to less or no rehearsal, more shots with wide-open lens apertures and generally adding more stress to the focus puller.

Enter Preston Cinema Systems’ Light Ranger 2.  It’s a device with LED sensors that tracks subjects’ distance; when coupled with a PCS HU3 handset and a MDR3 or MDR4 motor driver, it becomes a powerful tool for the focus puller.  The tracking data is relayed to a video interface which overlays sixteen vertical white boxes of the sensor over a live camera signal. This enables the user to remain looking at a monitor instead of splitting their attention between hand unit marks and live-video.

In Manual mode, these bars move up and down indicating whether an object inside the white box is closer to or farther away from camera and how much the user needs to move the lens and at what speed.  When an object is sharp, the box turns a reassuring green.  In Basic mode, the individual bars give an individual distance read-out as if sixteen laser-tape measures were atop the camera.  The most stunning feature of the Light Ranger 2 is Auto-Focus mode.  With a button-tap on the HU3 the LR2 will display a user adjustable (size and position) red box representing the subject to be kept in focus. Pushing another button on the hand unit, the focus will ‘park’ on the object and stay focussed independent of any camera movement; very helpful when subjects wipe the frame.

The Light Ranger 2 is available to rent here at Rule Boston Camera. Contact Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com.  Join us for an overview of the LR2 on Thursday, March 21st from 12n-1pm. No RSVP’s needed. Click here to view the event on our website and here to view the event on our Facebook page.

-Tim Coughlan, Senior Engineer

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Flexible, Secure and Efficient Shared Storage System for Rent

Our Facilis TerraBlock rental system has just come back from a long term rental and our clients were so thrilled with the capabilities and performance that they decided to buy their own permanent system. We just completed that installation for them, and it’s been gratifying to see them leverage this system for added efficiency AND creativity.

Way back in 1992, we were the first rental house in the country to rent mobile computer-based edit systems and it’s something we’ve excelled in ever since. Over the past few years, as workflows have gotten more complicated and collaboration in Post has become more prevalent, we’ve found that small shared storage systems (this one is 48TB) have become more and more necessary.

The TerraBlock shared storage system is perfect for smaller workgroups that are built to grow. Editors, colorists, and producers will be much more efficient, with their media and projects easy to access, share, and find. Safety is heightened also, as it becomes so much easier to back up the media since it is not spread out across multiple workstations.

Rent this shared storage system if you’re temporarily scaling up for a larger project and you’re looking to give your post team a flexible, secure and efficient environment for the media.

Didn’t your mother always tell you to share?

-John Rule, President

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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

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The Angenieux EZ-1: Affordable and Flexible Cine Zoom

The Angenieux EZ-1 30-90mm T2 Super35 zoom lens is one of a handful of lenses in the quickly expanding category of affordable cine-zooms. For a long time, cinema zooms were always two things: heavy and expensive. In the past year or so, we have seen manufacturers innovate and release a new group of lightweight cinema zooms. To name a few: Zeiss 21-100mm, Sigma 18-35mm / 50-100mm, Fujinon 18-55mm, and Canon 18-80mm. As a documentary and commercial shooter, it has been great to see this huge increase in choices at a reasonable price. I find myself taking the Angenieux on set because of its size, its flexibility, and its wide open performance.

First and foremost, the size, weight, and handling of this lens is superb. It is well-balanced and weighs in at just 4lbs. I shoot a lot of handheld and gimbal work so weight is always a factor. Having built-in focus, iris, and zoom gears is a big advantage in both keeping the lens streamlined and removing any extra weight from add-on 3rd party focus gears. The EZ-1 also features rubberized grips along the lens for better control when not using a follow focus. This lens is built with the operator in mind.

In the documentary world, staying flexible on set is a must. The ability to quickly go from PL to EF to E mount on set with no tools is a big deal. Pairing lenses and sensors is a big part of a cinematographer’s job these days — both from an aesthetics standpoint and a function standpoint. This lens is equally at home on a Sony a7S wedged inside a car as it is on a 35mm ARRI film camera on a dolly. In addition to the lens mount, you can also change the rear optical block to go from covering just Super35 to covering full frame/ VistaVision. 

There is a certain feeling imbued into lenses by each manufacturer. A subtle difference that doesn’t come across in technical specifications but is often talked about amongst cinematographers and is unique to that manufacturer. Angenieux’s reputation is one of the best in the industry. The EZ-1 fits in easily amongst its family members and delivers the same consistent colors and pleasing sharpness that one should expect from Angenieux.  

-Harvey Burrell, Guest Blogger and Co-founder of Windy Films

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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