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The Ultra-Flexible SYMPLA System from Manfrotto

Manfrotto recently released the Sympla rig, which they call the “system moving platform.”  The name is quite fitting considering how many different variations of this rig are available.  Let’s go over the separate pieces, which include: HDSLR Clamp-On Remote Control: There are two versions of this — one with iris, shutter, ISO and focus point control, and the other with just focus point control.  The first one mentioned attaches with a Manfrotto rosette to the side of a Manfrotto Tripod and acts as a 2nd arm to the tripod, putting together a studio setup environment for the camera. Sympla Variable Plate: This is a fancy name for a Manfrotto baseplate which is actually similar to any Manfrotto quick release on the market that uses a 501 tipod plate.  It will fit most Manfrotto video and photo tripod heads, making the mount interchangeable. Sympla Shoulder Pad: This actually is not padded, but many people think it is very comfortable despite that fact.  It leans on the shoulder and allows a weight to hook on the back with a 3/8″ screw. Sympla Adjustable Handles: These are not 15mm rod mounted. They are handles custom to the Sympla rig, so you won’t be able to move or interchange them with handles on any of your other rigs.  They go straight down and the angle is adjustable at the very top of the handle. Sympla Flexible Mattebox: This mattebox is perhaps the coolest of it’s kind and the coolest on the market!  It is called a universal mattebox, but it is universal in more ways than one. It has 4 “lengths” — lengths equaling from the camera on out.  This mattebox is made of a thick flexible rubber, which holds shape when you bend it and adjusts to the way the light falls without changing your entire setup.  The mattebox pushes in to become smaller or pulls out to become longer.  It does include step down rigs and what is called Nuns Knickers, or a Shade to go between the camera and the step down ring to ensure that no light gets in. Fig Rig: The Fig Rig is a steering wheel that goes around the camera.  The lens sits through the steering wheel to balance the weight, and the shoulder pad is turned upside down to lean against you instead of going over you. Lens Support: Lens support is a sloped piece that sits under the lens to support it.  This is actually a nice way of doing it, as you don’t have to screw anything in. That being said, it’s a nice way to focus your DSLR while it’s attached to a rig, or think of it as another way of putting a tripod in a studio-like setup.  The focus is accurate and not painfully slow.   I would recommend this if you’re looking to operate a little differently than what you are used to with more flexibility — especially when you are shoulder mounted. –Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales, brooks@rule.com

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Bags named Petrol

A question I get a LOT working at Rule is, “How do you guys choose your bags?”  The answer is: carefully.  When a new line or an interesting item comes on the market, we either take it is as a demo, or we stock it and try it out.  If it’s good, we order more.  If it’s bad, we never order it again. With bags, a lot of us here shoot.  We have our preferences.  We also rely a lot on our client’s referrals for what they use and are happy with.  I’m focusing this blog on Petrol because it’s not a new line of bags, but they’ve made several new developments feature-wise that I appreciate, that other companies have not yet adapted. The first nice thing, is the inclusion of a line of LED lights on the inside of the bag.  Night shoots, especially in the fall go after 5PM a lot of the time.  Packing up is often done in the dark, even if shooting isn’t.  Being able to open up your bag and see where things go without holding a flashlight in the other hand is an immediate bonus. The other is that Petrol makes really nice lighting bags.  They’re not cheap.  But if you’re looking for a bag that is SIMPLE, with wheels, and not overdone, Petrol makes a good one similar to the size of the Arri 3-piece light kit, except in soft-case, hard-foam form.   They also make a C-Stand bag, which comes in handy because, let’s admit it, C-stands are usually tossed in the van or truck un-cased, and they are awkward to carry around while trying to carry other equipment. An interesting addition to the Petrol line is the Cambio bag.  Prognosis is still out on this. Petrol is trying to be creative by putting a pull-out tripod on a bag, excluding the need for a tripod.  This is something that might seem dinky at first, but if you’re traveling up a mountain and now need a tripod and you’ve got one, this might seem like the best idea ever.  In everyday situations though, it’s always better to plan out your shots AND your equipment. A customer favorite is the Deca-Lightweight Audio Bag and the Deca Eargonizer.  These are well-designed sound recorder bags.  I pair everyone who is using more than just a sound recorder with one of these bags.  For example, if you are using a pair of wireless lavs with a sound recorder or mixer, this bag just makes sense. It’s organized with clear material in the right places and balanced with pockets for EVERYTHING so that you’re not fumbling around trying to separate wires and cords. That is a quick summation! In another few weeks, we will be stocking the Petrol PC104, the PC302, the Decashell Cam Backpack and the PM805.  The Decashell Cam Backpack is of specific interest, as it looks like a normal day backpack, yet holds a lot of gear.  It is mostly black with only small labels, so it will not draw attention to the equipment if you are going overseas!  Also feel free to email rulesales@rule.com, or any of our sales reps for more information. Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales, brooks@rule.com

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What to do with the handle on the FS100 when it turns out that its not really a “handle”?

I was shooting recently with the FS100UK with the kit 18-200 lens, a Litepanel mini plus, a Sennheiser wireless receiver, and a Shotgun microphone in a poorly lit ‘”run & gun scenario”. The stock “handle” was not up to the task of supporting all of these accessories and required quite a few black hair elastics just to keep things from bouncing around. When I got back and reviewed the condition of our FS-100 handles in rentals, I said, ‘There has to be some better way of handling this’. With locking screws stripped and parts on back order from Sony, a simple repair was not the best solution. Enter Caleb Crosby of Shot Grip with his Wood & Aluminum handles for the FS100. (http://shootingmachine.net/) I immediately took a liking to the handles, and worked quickly to outfit our rental cameras with this accessory (featured in our showroom). Why worry about the plastic breaking again when we could replace it with something that provided a better end-user experience, more functionality, and more mounting options — not to mention a pretty sweet look too! We took advantage of Shot Grip’s stub clamps to re-mount the stock microphone, and a few others stub clamps for lighting accessories and a wireless transmitter. The package was complete! Caleb came by recently and we chatted about development of a new product he unveiled at NAB. Caleb will be getting us some more handles from craftsmen in a shop just north of us in Maine. I’m so grateful for such an easy and elegant solution to this problem. Adam Van Voorhis, Equipment Manager adamvanvoorhis@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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First Impressions of the Canon CinemaEOS C300

Coming off of our hugely successful Pub Night here at Rule Boston Camera last Thursday night, I finally have a few minutes to sit down and pass along my initial observations of the Canon C300 and C300PL cameras.

MODULAR DESIGN & ERGONOMICS

When I first got to handle the C300 in November, I did not know if a modular design would be better than a single integrated design.  The first thing that comes to mind is that the bits and pieces, or modules as I have been calling them, could easily get misplaced if you were spending too much time setting up and breaking down “stuff” for any given shot.   I have started to reconsider this opinion thinking that different users and different productions might configure the camera to satisfy the shooting style rather than to satisfy the  shot.  That said, I tried adding some modules onto the camera and throwing it into a camera bag to see how much stuff could be left on without much fuss.  It is a bit tall rather than long (depending on the lens) but with a simple tripod plate screwed onto the camera I found that I could move from tripod to handheld to and then to camera bag just by removing the LCD module.

We will have to look into camera bag options that are a bit more “bowling ball bag” shaped…

I know that we will see lots of 3rd party accessories shortly so stay tuned!

In its most stripped down state, you simply pop in a Canon 955 battery, side grip and a lens and you can shoot using the small EVF and no microphone.

From there you can attach the LCD module which also gives you 2 XLR connections and media playback controls.  There is a shotgun mic holder on this module as well.  The module connects via two 20 pin limo connectors that appear to be totally unique.  These connectors provide signals for the LCD and controls as well as to the XLR mic/line audio inputs.  This is a small 1/8th mini mic connector on the camera body as well but I suspect that may be limited in quality.

Additionally Canon provides a handle which can be used with or without the LCD module.

LENS MOUNTS

Very simply, when you purchase or rent the Canon C300 you have to commit to either the EF lens mount version, called the C300, OR you have to commit to the PL lens mount version called the C300PL.  Canon deliberated this for quite some time before concluding that a super-accurate and mechanically sound lens mount was more important and beneficial to the user than in interchangeable adapter solution.  I agree with this when you consider that sacrificing tight design for flexibility and a broader audience may reduce the camera’s performance.

XF CODEC

Factoids on paper sometimes appear more powerful and important than they actually are.  Since 100 is a larger number than 35, 100 must be “better”, right?   Of course, the word “better” has no context and is very misleading.  This was often first sentence in a much more in-depth video signal compression discussion (but I digress). The Canon 4K imager does a fantastic job delivering a full 1920×1080 resolution for the Red and Blue components and actually delivers 2 channels of 1920×1080 Green in such a way to minimize moire and retain a super sampled luminance signal.   This full 4:4:4 signal is offered to the signal processing engine.  Ultimately from there the signal is fed to both the HDSDI and HDMI outputs as well as to the compression engine packaged as 8-bit.  In-camera recording to CF cards is up to 50Mbits/sec 4:2:2 wrapped in MXF. Some people are concerned that 8-bit is not as good a 10-bit and, in a vacuum, this is true.  Most of the current in-camera recorders out there encode an 8-bit signal of some type.  Some external records can be setup to record a 10bit signal but it depends on the CODEC. While demoing the C300 to a large group at WGBH the other day it was wisely pointed out that HDCAM is also an 8-bit recording format and HDCAM is the delivery format of choice for what we see every day for PBS broadcasting. Like most things, you be the judge of what is objectionable and what is water cooler speculation.

MENUS

I will devote a future blog entry  to the C300 menu structure but I can say that the interface was very intuitive and familiar.  The menu can be superimposed on the EVF, the LCD or the external outputs.   In the case of the external connectors you do not get all superimposed info such as  WFM, VECT or some other items.  There is also a very handy rear display below the EVF that gives you access to ISO/Gain, White Balance, and shutter angle.  I found this to be the place where I would quickly choose the Function button and toggle between and change these core settings.

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TV Logic’s New Electronic Viewfinder

At tonight’s Pub Night, we’ll be introducing an exciting new Electronic Viewfinder made by TV Logic and distributed by Alphatron that will be available at NAB 2012.  You can see the basic specs below, and more information will be released monthly. EVF 035W-3G Electronic Viewfinder, available Spring 2012. Made by TV Logic and distributed by Alphatron. Stats: 3.5” Display 960×640 HD-SDI loop through HDMI in/out 1080P Headphone Jack Focus Assist Each month between now and then we will release updates with new product features.  TV Logic and Alphatron came up with the idea for the new EVF at last year’s NAB and have spent this year working together to develop and fine-tune it.  Rene van der Reiden of Alphatron describes the relationship between Alphatron and TV Logic as, “a good combination with many factors, so this combination hopefully will be very successful in the time to come.” We encourage you to ask us questions about this new product!  We’ll channel them to Alphatron in order to get answers and to let them know what kind of feedback we’re hearing from our customers about the product so far.  The EVF035W-3G Viewfinder will not be available through TV Logic or Alphatron online.  The product will only be available through product resellers.  The list of resellers has not been announced yet, but Rule Boston Camera is one of them, and we look forward to answering your questions and telling you more about the viewfinder.  The EVF will list for a price of $1,395 which is also Minimum Advertised Price.  As a company that has had good experiences with TV Logic products in the past, we agree with Rene’s statement that, ‘what is important is how they handle problems and how they support you.  We have been working with them for the last 4 years and have an excellent relationship not only business to business, but person to person. Here, we are very excited because we know a little more than everyone else does and it will be a brilliant product, I’m sure.  It’s [a company to customer] win-win.’ -Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales, brooks@rule.com If you have further questions, please contact either our Sales Team here at Rule Boston Camera or myself at 617-277-2200 or email us at RuleSales@rule.com.

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The Canon EOS C300 and Project Imagin8ion’s WHEN YOU FIND ME really had an impact on me..

– How do I begin… I just watched When You Find Me, which made its debeut a few days ago as part of Canon’s Project Imagin8ion.

Described as a Hollywood short film inspired by 8 winning photographs chosen by Ron Howard and Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, When You Find Me was shot with Canon’s soon to be released Cinema EOS C300 camera. As a father of two daughters, similar in age to the girls in this film, and husband to a wife who I would never want to be without, I will publicly admit, it moved me -tears and all!  And, I think, for all the right reasons. Within one minute, I totally forgot why I was actually watching it (which was to study how the Canon EOS C300 actually performed ) and I was completely enshrouded in the story, the characters, the mood – everything.  I felt so much, for what the girls were feeling, for what parents feel for their children, and how each of us carries our own fear, hope, regret, and ultimately, relief.  I was quickly overwhelmed by simultaneous emotions… it was powerful, I didn’t expect it at all. This short film simply reminded me why I went into this business in the first place! My apologies for being sappy on this post.  That said – Thank you Ron Howard, thank you Bryce, and thank you to everyone involved in this project – especially our friends at Canon! – Tom Talbot Director of Technology Rule Boston Camera

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Shoemount Anyone?

With all of these shoulder mounts getting put together, most of my customers are finding that they need more than one shoe mount. And with all of those extra screw holes in the FS100, might as well put them to good use, right? So here you have the top shoe mounts that I’ve found to be most useful. I’m well aware there might be others out there that are working excellently, and if so I would love to add them to this collection.  I would also love feedback about which of these works best for you, the customer. So please, if you read this and so desire, email me at Brooks@Rule.com these three things: 1.    Which would you buy for the price and usability? 2.    Is this an item that would be useful for Rule to stock? 3.    Which would you find yourself using the most?

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Early Sneak Peak at the Panasonic AG-HPX250

Over the last few days we at Rule Boston Camera have been evaluating the forthcoming Panasonic AG-HPX250. As a matter of fact, I think we may be among the very first in the country to get our hands on it and we are happy to pass along our first impressions. Working with Jason Potz, one of our engineers here at Rule, we setup the camera at one of our camera test stations.  We decided to throw the HPX170 camera next to it for comparison. For those who may not be aware, the HPX170 essentially an HVX200A but without the DV tape mechanism.  The 170 / 200  share a lower effective resolution imager of 1.1 million active pixels with a spatial offset but the new HPX250 offers what is often called a Full HD imager of 2.2 million pixels! It is also worth noting that packed inside this Compact HD styled camcorder is the very impressive 4:2:2 10-bit sampled  AVC-Intra 100 codec.   To date, this higher quality recording has been reserved for “full sized” ENG type camera bodies costing thousands of dollars more. On the surface, you could consider the AG-HPX250 a replacement for the very successful and respected HVX200A but with several important improvements that I have outlined below. Here are some of the key improvements over the HVX200A or HPX170:

  • Longer 22x lens but with the same 3.9mm wide angle as the HPX170

  • Full HD 1920×1080 1/3” 3-MOS 2.2 Million pixel (times three) imager

  • Timecode and Genlock connectors via BNC useful for multicam studio shooting

  • 10-bit, 4:2:2 AVC-Intra 100, AVC-Intra 50, DVCPro HD & Standard Definition record options

  • 720p or 1080i

  • HD-SDI and HDMI outputs

  • 2x P2 Card Slots

  • Separate control connectors for remote Zoom and Focus

  • Smaller form factor and lower cost battery system than HPX-370 but with many of the same capabilities

  • List price of $5,995

After looking at the body size, lens, menu system, external connectivity and price, it seems to me that this is a very smart camera choice for Public Access, Education, and Government customers that desire a fairly low cost solution that can easily perform dual duty as both a studio camera by day and a roving compact HD camcorder by night. 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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New In The Showroom

Lots going on In The Showroom these days.  Much of it consists of rendering footage on the showroom comp and loading the new Adobe 5.5, Apple Final Cut X and updating our Avid.  If you’re not familiar with that software and are considering an upgrade, you should come by and ask us your questions. What we have in stock and ready to go is exciting. We’ve got lots of new Sennheiser headphones, tons of SxS, CF, SDHC, and P2 Cards, plenty of different speeds to fit whatever camera/recorder you are working on, custom Zacuto rigs, Canon lenses and DSLR’s, and…ta da…the Sony FS100 and F3 cameras (which, yes, we do have in stock… just raring to go and definitely ready to be your latest experience!). We’ll be running a sale on Ki Pro Mini’s, so if you attend any of our August Learning Labs, stop by the Showroom for a look-see!  This sale will only be running for a short time, so if this is something that you’ve been thinking about purchasing, please let us give you a quote.  We also have an interesting addition of Porta Brace bags. This is an experiment on my part–since it is easy to go online and see all sorts of bags that you are curious about, but, if you are like me and need to see it and touch it, well — now you can!  We have sack packs, Cable bags, small DSLR bags, airplane bags for traveling, backpacks, ect.  If there is something you’d really like to see in here, let me know! I’ll make it happen. Sincerely, Your Neighborhood Salesperson, Brooks

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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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Back from InfoComm!

It’s nice to be back in Massachusetts following the heat of Orlando at this year’s InfoComm Show.  The show was great and provided opportunities for learning new skills from other industry professionals, exposure to the cutting edge of what technologies are available now in AV installation and continuing positive relationships with manufacturers. This year’s show focused on a few things that we at Rule Boston Camera already do well.  There was talk about the move in our industry away from providing products and towards providing services.  We go into most of our jobs assuming that all of your perspective installers can get you the same equipment that we can.  What sets us apart needs to be our attention to detail and the ongoing relationship that we have in providing not only the gear you want but the “Engineering Services” you need. The product category that seemed to have some buzz behind it this year was digital signage.  I agree with many of the presenters at the show, that in the next year to three years, who is using digital signage, and how they are using it will change dramatically.  New products at a wide range of vertical markets and price points can meet this need.  It is our goal at Rule to ride this wave since we already started surfing it!  We will take what we have learned from our clients who are already running digital signage and from those running bulletin boards on their PEG stations in order to offer a full range of products along with our engineering expertise to find the right solution for each customer’s need. Each year at this show, I learn more and more of what else is out there.  I am looking forward to implementing much of what I saw and to returning next year to learn more of what I have not even thought of yet. Ian Tosh Director of Engineering Services

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Sony FS100 Camera (NXCAM Super 35)

I got a look at the new Sony Super 35mm FS100 camera recently, and I was relatively impressed- especially when the lights were turned off and the gain was tuned slightly to reveal a fresh crisp picture, with skin tones and blacks intact. Granted, this was with a Sony E-Alpha mount and Zeiss 85mm lens with a 1.4 F-stop, but still…  It was music to my eyes.  With a price range of $5,800 list for body only, it’s not made to be the F3, but could easily serve as a B-camera.  Actually, the gain level is better than the F3. I’ll keep this short and sweet so that hopefully your questions are answered quickly: Inputs: Comp/RCA video (L, R) USB out (2) XLR, one on the back of the camera, one on the right side AVCHD, 28mbps remote LANC clean HDMI out w/ LCD setting in menu “turned on” 1080/60i/24p 720/60i Does not have: ND Filters iLINK Timecode Out 720/24p Special Features: Tripod screw inputs on both the bottom and side of the camera Ability to use the FMU128 hardrive (List $800) for 10 Hours nonstop footage LCD screen on TOP center of the camera, 180-degree turn angle Optional Viewfinder (same hardware as EX3) Expanded Focus button Auto Iris (with E-mount lens lens) Peaking Interesting — included hot shoe mounted mic holder, looks like a handle, fairly sturdy, I wouldn’t use it as a handle if I had a choice… which I do. You’ll likely see 3rd party handles start coming to market pretty soon. And finally: Adapters: Currently Available: NOVAFLEX- E-Nikon F MTF                E-Canon FD MTF                E-PL MTF                E-Nikon G (manual iris control on adapter) SONY              E-Alpha 16×9                 E- PL On their way: Birger Eng.    E-Canon EF Hotrod            E-PL These are expected around the time that the camera starts shipping June-July however nothing is set in stone (4) Sony E-mount lenses coming out this year, (3) more coming out next year The stock lens that comes with it is an F/3.5 Stop fully zoomed in. Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales Representative brooks@rule.com

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Apple Predictions for NAB 2011

We all give Apple credit for keeping the lid on information regarding new products or even new announcements. So since I don’t have any direct knowledge to NOT pass along I thought I would do what everyone likes to do – guess! I suspect that Apple may offer a new paradigm for media collection, assembly, and dispersion. I don’t know if all of us will like it but I suspect that Apple is about to make media social. I also wonder if Thunderbolt will electrocute the need for larger workhorse desktop computers or if Apple does still enjoy being in the traditional “heavy iron” computer business.  My hope is that a Mac Pro ergonomic redesign is in the works that will become the next must have Media Manipulator. Native camera formats will trivially exist outside the sphere of QuickTime and I suspect that H.264, AVCHD and many others will just play and edit with the right computer and graphics cards. We will continue to discuss the emotion and feel of anything new that Apple brings us.  Bits and bytes are part of the equation but if Apple continues to value and respect the creation community (which I suspect they do) I hope to see some real tactile interfaces that leverage the other consumer technologies such as the iPad and iPhone. Finally, I  predict that many of these predictions will be predictably preposterous unless they are perfectly punctilious. Tom Talbot

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Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival 2011

It’s my favorite season again- Film Fest Time! Rule Boston Camera supports a number of film festivals in New England, one of them being the Martha’s Vineyard Film Fest, which was held from last Thursday to this past Sunday and was in one word — AWESOME.  It was extremely well organized and the most enjoyable one I’ve been to yet.  I was privileged to watch (3) films during my stay – “How to Die in Oregon”, addressing Doctor-assisted suicide, “I Am” by Director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty) exploring the world’s greatest minds with deep questions and personal revelations, and “We Still Live Here,” about the Wampanoag Indian’s reviving their ancient language and making it a part of everyday life after over 100 years of silence.  Most films had Q&A afterward, which, to me, is one of the props of the FF’s — being able to hear insight on editing, shooting challenges, etc.  It was fun to see lots of people with Rule Boston Camera hats walking around, and much thanks to Molly Purves, who made my stay (and everyone else’s) comfortable and easy.  Free (good) catered food with the movies, so if you are thinking of going to this fest in the future, you are literally looking at a $16 ferry ticket, hotel and movie tickets. A fairly cheap weekend, if you ask me and well-worth the trip.  Next year should be interesting, as Martha’s Vineyard has expressed a desire to build a facility strictly for films.  Personally, I hope they keep the 12 couches in back of whatever they build because that may be the greatest decision to date. If you want to look at more, follow me on Twitter @michelle_brooks and @ruleboscam and see my opinion of the films this weekend. Michelle Brooks, Inside Sales Representative