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GoPro App v.2.0 is Now Available

We upgraded our GoPro Hero3 cameras to new firmware v.3.0 recently. I tested the cameras with new iOS GoPro application (v.2.0). It offers live preview now (while recording), which works quite well. The control of camera settings also works very well. The availability of web browsing is only available when switched to Internet access mode (not controlling the camera). New features do not always work, as promised, yet! Playback from camera, on iPad 3 works sporadically, sometimes stalling on “Loading images” screen. But when it works, it is spectacular! It makes the file transfer from card to iPad and further distributing it, very easy.

GoPro HERO3
These are the new application features: -View photos and play back videos -Copy photos and videos to a GoPro album on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch -Share the photos and videos copied to your device via email, text, Instagram™, Facebook® or other apps -Browse and delete files on the camera’s memory card Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer, twarog@rule.com

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Azden

The Azden brand goes along with Rode and Sennheiser, but they seem to have filled a gap that has been left open for awhile by the mainstream brands.  Juiced Link and Beachtek have both produced small sound mixers, that leave some to be desired, but Azden has housed their own in a more sophisticated, small box that operates in the same fashion, but gives the user more control over their levels, as well as includes a jack for headphones in addition to the dual XLR inputs, and the L and R channel level controls. Azden also covers a FMX 42/42a 4-channel portable mixer, which offers 4 XLR inputs and 2 XLR outputs plus a mini plug output, adjustable input level monitor level, and adds a 10-pin  and mini plug camera return. These sound mixers run from $400 for the smaller dual channel mixer to $840 for the larger 4 channel mixers. Another unique product is the Azden dual receiver/transmitter kit. Running at $750, this price is highly competitive with buying two Azden or Sennheiser kits at around $599 each.  This dual receiver allows you to mic two people and run separate channels into one receiver, rather than using two receivers and two transmitters. Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales – brooks@rule.com

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New Firmware Upgrade for Sony HXR-NX70U

The Sony HXR-NX70U, released last June 2011 has a new firmware upgrade now available to end-users that offers:

• Selectable zoom speed for the rocker zoom

• Dual recording  (simultaneous recording) to both internal memory and SDHC card

• Additional frame rates of 1920×1080/30p and 1280×720/60p

• Expanded focus and histogram button are now assignable buttons.

• An added menu feature, “Last Scene Review” for playback on the camera.

• Face Detection Box on the video output can now be controlled by the Display On/Off button.

• The Display On/Off overlay the zebra and histogram display on the video output.

You can access the firmware upgrade here:

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-nxcamsite/resource.downloads.bbsccms-assets-micro-nxcam-downloads-nxcamfirmwareupgrades

This upgrade is currently offered for free on the Sony website as a download when their camera is hooked up via USB, but if the user does not wish to upgrade via download, they can send the camera into Sony for a technician fee to have the upgrade done at Sony’s service facility, which for New England is located in Teaneck, New Jersey.

If you wish to do this, you can contact the Sony Support Center at 800-833-6817 Mon-Fri, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. ET, excluding Holidays.

These are your options for Sony Service via Sony:

Sony Service Center

Sony Electronics Inc.

123 W.Tryon Ave.

Teaneck, NJ 07666

Phone: 201-833-5300

E-mail: TeaneckService@am.sony.com

Sony Service Center

Sony Electronics Inc.
2706 Media Center Dr.

Ste.13
LosAngeles, CA 90065

Phone:323-352-5000

E-mail: LAService@am.sony.com

The Sony HXR-NX70U was announced a year ago in April 2011, and literally made a splash at last year’s NAB in Las Vegas when Sony had it sit in a shower to demonstrate it’s unique water-resistant design.  The “chiihuahua” camera is another in Sony’s Prosumer NXCAM line, all of which record onto SDHC cards with an AVCHD codec, and carry a list price range of $2K-6K, including the well-known HXR-NX5U, HXR-MC50U, and soon-to-be released palm-sized HXR-NX30U, which features a built in projector, will list for $2,500 and will be available June 2012.

Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales

brooks@rule.com

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A Note for our Existing Sony Anycast Owners…

Sony has recently announced that their AWSG500E Anycast Station Live Content Producer will be discontinued.  For many years the Anycast has been a “go to” portable video switcher, audio mixer, PTZ camera controller & more in a self-contained, briefcase sized package. Many of our customers over the years have used it and continue to rely on it for day-to-day use in events, public access, education, houses of worship, and a whole range of productions.  For most of our customers, once they have used the Anycast they continue to use and rely on it. Normally, our instinct is to jump right into the latest and greatest technology, especially when we receive news of a discontinuation.  I am not saying that there are not alternative replacements on the market right now but I will say that the form factor and capability of the Sony Anycast are not easily matched. If you have used and enjoyed the Sony Anycast and/or if you have established environments that already rely on the Anycast then it is not too late to purchase one.  Our sales team can still quote and sell you an Anycast including any optional boards needed.  Please reach out to them at rulesales@rule.com for more info and to request a quote before it is too late! Sony has a excellent track record for servicing and supporting products long after they have ceased to exist as a sales product.  Our Rental Department owns many of these systems and we are not planning on removing them from rotation anytime soon. I hope this helps! Tom Talbot – Director of Technology

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New Firmware Upgrade for Ki Pro Mini

The new firmware upgrade from Aja for Ki Pro Mini V.2.6.0 is now available.  This upgrade fixes an existing problem with CUSTOM CLIP TAKE by removing this menu parameter altogether. What’s also good about this upgrade is that it adds new functionality by enabling the RED Epic, RED One and certain Canon XF cameras to pass metadata directly to Ki Pro Mini via a single SDI cable. The update is designed to streamline the workflow between Ki Pro Mini and REDs or Canon’s high-resolution imagery on set and in post. Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer, twarog@rule.com

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Alexa and Alexa Plus Software Updates

We’re in the process of updating and evaluating the latest software for the Alexa and Alexa Plus. The most important new features for ALEXA and ALEXA Plus: • Custom looks through ARRI Look Files • Audio playback from SxS PRO cards • Auto white balance • Anamorphic de-squeeze in EVF-1 and on MON OUT (paid license feature) • Peaking focus check in EVF-1 and MON OUT • False color exposure check for Log C images • EVF ZOOM target position • Compare stored image from SD card with live image • RETURN IN video • Operating time counter • SD card formatting in camera • EVF ZOOM and EXP buttons are now latching • SxS recording can be turned off • More silent operation at higher ambient temperatures • ‘Rec Low’ fan mode for silent operation in extremely hot environments • V-mount battery adapter update The most important new features for ALEXA Plus: • Master/Slave lens motor control • 3D lens sync • Lens Data System (LDS) info display in EVF-1 and on MON OUT • Lens Data Archive (LDA) • Electronic level in EVF and MON OUT Dave Kudrowitz, Senior Engineer kudrow@rule.com

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Arri ALEXA 3.0 Software Update

Exciting news here at RBC is that Arri, keeping with their promise of delivering updates for ALEXA, have recently released version 3.0 which now allows video playback of the clips from the SxS media cards, audio recording via the 5 pin XLR stereo input and embedded in the HD-SDI outputs, and max 3200 ASA. Push the PLAY soft button on the camera side, and scroll through the clips to select one. Push the knob and your viewing your footage on all outputs. A future update will allow audio to play back as well, but for now this is another step in the right direction from Arri. With ALEXA’s multiple output and record options, 3.0 has made it easier to independently select each output/record path gamma setting. For example; record LogC to SxS cards while outputting Rec709 from HD-SDI outputs. All easily accessible from the lcd without going into the menu hierarchy. The Rec709 color processing has also been improved from last version. If you do choose to record LogC to SxS , Arri has made available a LUT generator (Look Up Table) on their website for downloading LUT’s and applying them to footage in post. The viewfinder has an optional Smooth mode which reduces flicker in the viewfinder at 30fps and under. A much more pleasant viewing experience but this will not be the same as all other outputs which will still have motion flicker in respect to frame rates. False Color Check can be activated in the viewfinder and/or the monitor output path. False Color Check is an exposure level guide using different colors to relay different exposure levels in your picture. This is helpful as it’s the only exposure guide in the camera. Where traditional video and HD cameras have Zebra settings or spot meters, ALEXA is based on setting an ASA and measuring for that sensitivity. A more traditional film method.

False Color Map (From ALEXA manual 3.0)
Metadata can be set via the lcd which includes production info like director, cinematographer, location, and user info that could include scene names,etc. The data is saved with the ProRes files making it available post. Single Frame Grab is a nice function that will store the current frame in the Rec Out path to the cameras SD card as 1920×1080 Jpeg, Tiff, or Dpx files. Thanks to Arri for keeping the updates coming and ALEXA evolving. The camera will continue to produce exceptional images with amazing latitude into the future. Dave Kudrowitz Senior Engineer

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Ki Pro v2.0 Installed

We just installed the Ki Pro v2.0 upgrade yesterday on all the Ki Pros in our Rental inventory.  Here is what to expect… Ki Pro version 2.0 New Features The following features are implemented with version 2.0 firmware: • 8 channel embedded audio support-choose between 2 channels or 8 channels of audio via embedded SDI • Multi-unit Gang recording via the Web UI-use the web UI and ethernet connections to Ki Pro units on a common network to start and stop recordings • Custom Clip Naming-allows users to define their own naming convention using the front panel UI or the web UI • RS-422 support-allows interaction with some serial control devices and some non-linear editors Note: AJA has specifically tested with JL Cooper and FutureVideo 9-pin serial controllers. Other controllers may also be used, but may have not yet been tested by AJA. AJA has specifically tested 9-pin serial control with Apple Final Cut Pro’s Log and Capture and Edit to Tape for RS-422 compatibility. Other non-linear editors, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Autodesk Smoke and Sony Vegas, do not yet fully support ingest/output control via RS-422 when used with Ki Pro. Future firmware updates to Ki Pro will continue to add support for additional non-linear editors when controlling Ki Pro via RS-422. The following features are not implemented with this firmware release, but are planned for future firmware releases: • ExpressCard/34 media support • LANC and Lens Tap control of the device • Use of FireWire 400 port for timecode data • Use of FireWire 800 port for connecting Ki Pro to host computer as “media reader” Zbigniew Twarog, Chief Engineer